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Kovacevic on Roberto Hernandez

This interesting thing about this story is that Hernandez says his performance improved last year because of a mechanical problem that was corrected by Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson. This isn't implausible - Hernandez' improvement in his ERA didn't come from nowhere last season, as it was accompanied by a dramatic improvement in his peripheral stats as well. I thought about that when I wrote about Hernandez last week, but I figured the improvement in his peripherals was just the result of a sample-size fluke.

If that isn't the case - and the scouts would know better than I would - then I like this signing a little better. The Pirates still overpaid - Hernandez is incredibly unlikely to come anywhere near his low 2005 ERA in 2006 because he's moving to a tougher park for pitchers and because he'll be a year older. But neither would he be extremely likely to completely collapse if his increased strikeout rate last year was the result of a mechanical improvement rather than just a fluke. Let's upgrade this one to thumbs merely way down, as opposed to way, way down.