It’s been a busy offseason for Dodgers free agents on the medical front. The latest player to go under the knife was Kiké Hernández, who had double-hernia surgery per a report by Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic.
Free agent Kiké Hernández underwent double-hernia surgery on Oct. 24. Expected to resume baseball activities in 3-4 weeks. Hernández’s condition helps explain why he wasn’t the same offensively and defensively last season. Dr. William Meyers performed the surgery in Philadelphia.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 7, 2023
“The hematoma had to be drained with a lengthy needle inserted through Hernández’s back,” wrote Alex Speier at The Boston Globe. “He said he passed out at least twice during the procedure.”
Hernández was one of 12 Dodgers to hit free agency the day after the World Series, a list that grew to 16 players after four club options for 2024 were declined by the team. Three of those free agents had some sort of surgical procedure after the season.
Clayton Kershaw was the most expected of the group, considering how hampered he was down the stretch. Kershaw’s procedure was last Friday, November 3 to repair the capsule and surrounding ligaments in his left shoulder, which is expected to keep him sidelined until midseason 2024.
Left fielder David Peralta had surgery in October to repair the flexor tendon in his left elbow. That came as a surprise, but also provided a glimpse into why his performance cratered — 54 wRC+, zero home runs — after the All-Star break.
There was no such dip in the second half for Hernández, who provided what the Dodgers traded for in July. He started at at seven different positions in that short time back with Los Angeles, and hit .262/.308/.423 with a 96 wRC+.
Acquired to mostly face left-handers, Hernández did that but also started 20 games against right-handed pitchers, and started over two-thirds of the Dodgers games after joining the team.
“I went there this year not thinking I would play as much as I did,” Hernández said in an interview with Foul Territory on October 26, which was only two days after his reported double hernia surgery.
Perhaps Hernández was more affected by the injury while with the Red Sox, for whom he hit just .222/.279/.320 with a 59 wRC+ with negative WAR before getting traded.