Jose Hernandez was a Rule 5 pick by the Pirates last year. His rookie season had some ups and downs, but overall was solid for being a Rule 5 selection. Hernandez pitched to a strong 2.63 ERA, 3.40 FIP, and 1.02 WHIP in the first half of the season. But an injury-laden July was the start of his second-half struggles, as he owned just a 7.71 ERA, 5.74 FIP, and 1.76 WHIP in the second half of the season.
Hernandez’s stuff looked great, having a high-backspin fastball with a slider that held opponents to just a .216 wOBA, and 39.5% whiff rate. His change-up, however, was only used against same-handed batters. Hernandez probably has an inside track on the role as of right now. His quality first half definitely got him another look. But now that the Pirates have the option to send him to Triple-A, they could get him some extra work at Indianapolis.