The Texas Rangers will have to start the 2021 MLB season without their top reliever Jonathan Hernandez. According to Rangers manager Chris Young, Hernandez is dealing with a UCL sprain in his elbow and will be out for at least four weeks.
Hernandez felt something was wrong during bat practice earlier this week. He was sent to an MRI test and was later diagnosed with a “low-grade sprain”.
At the moment, the Rangers believe rest will help Hernandez heal and are optimistic that the 24-year-old player won’t need surgery.
“The good news on him is that this is [an injury] that normally recovers or responds well with some rest,” said Young. “We will reevaluate [after four weeks], and hopefully at that point, we’ll see enough healing that we can begin a throwing program.”
Jonathan Hernandez signed with the Rangers back in 2013 but waited until 2019 to make his MLB debut. After a solid rookie outing, Hernandez shined during the shortened 2020 season.
In 27 games he played last year, Hernandez went 5-1 while posting a 2.90 ERA. He also added eight walks and 31 strikeouts.
The Rangers expected Hernandez to be headline their bullpen in 2021 but will now have to turn to other options. This might prove to be a difficult task, as his potential replacements Jose Leclerc and Joely Rodriguez have also dealt with injuries lately.