The calls came out from fans in mid-April. Cesar Hernandez stumbled out of the gate to the tune of 5 for 37, and the hometown faithful wanted Scott Kingery to be the everyday second baseman, and it wanted to send Hernandez out of town on the first thing smoking.
Manager Gabe Kapler stayed the course — he hasn’t made a ton of changes to the starting eight this season — and Hernandez rewarded Kapler’s faith by bouncing back in grand fashion.
Since April 10 — a span of 47 games — Hernandez is hitting .321. Amid some streaky stretches up and down the Phillies' lineup, Hernandez has been one of the few dependable contributors. That production hasn’t gone unnoticed by the skipper.
“Without Hernandez, I don’t know that we’d be in the position that we’re in,” Kapler said earlier this week. “He’s been a consistent on-base threat, pretty much the entire season. Earlier in the season, there were some struggles and I understood why it took a lot of courage for him to dig himself out of it. He’s been a catalyst for us. I think he’s done a really good job.”
Voting for the All-Star Game began this week, and whether he’s voted in by fan balloting or not, Hernandez should represent the Phillies at the Midsummer Classic in Cleveland in July.
Among NL second basemen, Hernandez ranks first in batting average and OBP, is tied for first in hits and doubles, is second in slugging percentage and tied for second in RBIs.
No matter how you feel about Hernandez, he has had the best hitting season among second basemen in the National League, and should be the first Phillies infielder to make the All-Star Game since Chase Utley in 2014.
You can vote here five times per day until June 21 at 4 p.m.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Sixers, Flyers and Phillies games easily on your device.