LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers were desperate for help in the back end of their rotation, and on Thursday acquired Roberto Hernandez from the Phillies in exchange for two players to be named later or cash considerations.
Hernandez, 33, was 6-8 with a 3.87 ERA in 23 games with the Phillies, including 20 starts, with an underwhelming 75 strikeouts and 55 walks in 121 innings. Among 94 qualified starting pitchers in the majors, Hernandez ranks 88th in FIP (4.62), 89th in xFIP (4.58) and 89th in SIERA (4.71).
He has 13 strikeouts in his last six starts, with no more than three in any one start during that span. But he also has a 2.83 ERA in those games.
"Roberto provides us with another big league starting pitcher, who has pitched well this year, particularly the last seven starts," said general manager Ned Colletti in a statement. "He has postseason experience and helps fortify the rotation down the stretch."
What Hernandez brings is a ground ball pitcher - his 52-percent ground ball rate ranks 17th among starters - who has allowed only 11 home runs. He has also lasted six or more innings in six of his last eight starts, going 5⅔ innings in the other two outings in that span.
Dan Haren was 0-5 with a 10.03 ERA in his last five starts and hadn't lasted six innings since June 30 before his rebound start against the Angels on Wednesday night in Anaheim.
Josh Beckett has averaged four innings in his three starts since returning from the disabled list and hasn't lasted past five innings in a start since June 26. More importantly, he has been dealing with numerous minor injuries and fatigue all season that has made it a challenge to even get ready to pitch every five days.
"I think in between starts are a battle for Josh," manager Don Mattingly said after Beckett lost on Sunday. "That's just the way it is, and I don't think that's going to change."
Beckett was scheduled to start for the Dodgers on Friday in Milwaukee, but it appears plans have changed.
Roberto Hernandez said he will start Friday in Milwaukee for Dodgers.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) August 7, 2014
Hernandez last pitched for the Phillies last Friday, allowing one unearned run in eight innings against the Nationals.
Formerly known as Fausto Carmona, Hernandez made an All-Star team with the Indians in 2010 and finished fourth in American League Cy Young Award balloting in 2007, his second year. His only playoff experience came in 2007 when Cleveland advanced to the ALCS. He allowed one run in nine innings in a no-decision against the Yankees in the ALDS, but the Red Sox got him for 11 runs in six innings over two starts in the ALCS.
Hernandez is making $4.5 million this season, and will be a free agent after the season. With 52 days left in the season, the Dodgers will be on the hook for roughly $1,278,689 for the right-hander.
Hernandez also has performance bonuses in his contract, per Cot's Baseball Contracts, of $200,000 for each of 140 and 155 innings, $300,000 for 170 and 185 innings, and $500,000 for 200 innings. The Dodgers are probably responsible for any bonuses that he reaches, though that hasn't been reported yet.
The Dodgers' 40-man roster is now full, but the team will have to make a corresponding move to add Hernandez to the active roster.