Hernandez provides experience, depth at catcher
LOS ANGELES -- Ramon Hernandez is in his 15th season in the Major Leagues, and the Dodgers' newly acquired catcher believes this club has the potential to be his best team yet.
Hernandez, 36, joined the club prior to Sunday's series finale against the Pirates. The Dodgers traded right-hander Aaron Harang and cash to the Rockies in exchange for Hernandez on Saturday.
"I want to say this is one of the best teams I've been on my whole career, besides maybe the A's when I was young," said Hernandez, a career .264 hitter who debuted with Oakland in 1999. "There's a lot of star potential on this team."
Hernandez will back up A.J. Ellis and is excited to work with a pitching staff that leads the Majors with a 0.80 ERA entering Sunday's action.
"This is one of the greatest pitching staffs in the whole Major Leagues," Hernandez said.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he expects to play Hernandez a "couple times" each week to keep Ellis fresh.
"A.J. is our guy. Ramon's here to give us experience, give us some depth," Mattingly said. "He's been a good player for a long time. We still think he's got something left."
For now, the Dodgers have three catchers in Ellis, Hernandez and rookie Tim Federowicz, who made his first start of the season Sunday. The Dodgers won't carry three catchers for an extended period, though, and Federowicz is likely to be optioned to the Minor Leagues this week.