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Dodgers News: Kiké Hernandez Having Fun, Don Mattingly Approves



Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of dealing Matt Kemp to the San Diego Padres, perhaps the most surprising trade the Los Angeles Dodgers made in the offseason was sending Dee Gordon, Dan Haren and Miguel Rojas to the Miami Marlins in exchange for four players who had minimal MLB experience.

Kiké Hernandez was one of the players the Dodgers acquired in the deal, and he struggled in the early days of Spring Training with a new club. Hernandez eventually turned the corner, but began the seasons in the Minors.

However, after being called up by the Dodgers April 28, Hernandez’s versatility has made him a valuable player on the 25-man roster. Additionally, he brings a youthfulness and energy to the club, which he says is sustained by the Dodgers being in first place of the National League West division, according to Zach Helfand of the LA Times:

We’re in first place so I can be myself, I can have as much energy as I have every day and I can have as much fun as I do,” Hernandez said.

A byproduct of Hernandez’s exuberance is the “rally banana,” which unofficially has been credited for a handful of Dodgers wins. Manager Don Mattingly had a lighthearted take on Hernandez and enjoys the fact that Hernandez is having fun, via the Associated Press and ESPN:

He’s definitely silly, that would be the best word,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “I like guys that are having fun. To me he’s a good teammate.”

Hernandez has played every position this season for the Dodgers outside of first and third base, catcher, though he’s willing to, and pitcher. The ability to play all over the field allows Mattingly more flexibility when he opts to fill his lineup with a bevy of right-handed batters.

Such was the case Wednesday, the Dodgers’ three-game finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Hernandez replaced Joc Pederson in center field and proceeded to go 3-for-5. He finished the night a home run shy of hitting for the cycle and scored two runs.

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Written by Staff Writer

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