Dodgers’ Teoscar Hernandez to compete in Home Run Derby – Press Enterprise
Dodgers’ Teoscar Hernandez to compete in Home Run Derby – Press Enterprise

Dodgers outfielder Teoscar Hernández has accepted an invitation to participate in the All-Star Home Run Derby on Monday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Hernandez was named to an All-Star team for the second time in his career, but he will participate in the derby for the first time. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

PHILADELPHIA – If participating in the Home Run Derby is on Teoscar Hernandez’s bucket list, he’ll soon check it off.

Hernandez has accepted an invitation to participate in Monday’s Derby (5 p.m. PT, ESPN) at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Hernandez, who announced his Derby participation on Wednesday in the third inning of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies using an on-field microphone, is participating in the All-Star Game for the second time in his career, but the Derby will be his first appearance.

“I’m really excited,” Hernandez said after the game. “This is something I’ve always wanted to do and now I finally have the opportunity to do it.”

“I see how much fun the guys are having and how much they’re enjoying it. So why not just have the experience and try to win it all?”

Hernandez is one of eight participants in the Derby, along with two-time champion Pete Alonso of the New York Mets, Adolis Garcia of Texas, Jose Ramirez of Cleveland, Gunnar Henderson of Baltimore, Alec Bohm of Philadelphia, Bobby Witt Jr. of Kansas City and Marcell Ozuna of Atlanta.

Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani was a logical choice to participate in this year’s Derby, something he has done only once before (2021). He leads the National League with 28 home runs, but the Dodgers expressed displeasure at the idea of ​​Ohtani putting so much pressure on his rehabilitating right elbow.

There is no reason to object to Hernandez, who ranks fifth in the NL with 19 home runs.

“If he wants to go out there and hit a lot of home runs and make the fans go crazy, then let him do it,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Sunday.

Hernandez said Dodgers third base coach Dino Ebel will pitch for him during the derby. Ebel has filled that role in the past for hitters such as Angels sluggers Vladimir Guerrero Sr. and Albert Pujols, as well as Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson.

“He’s experienced at it,” Hernandez said of the pick. “I saw what he did with Pederson a couple of years ago, and he’s thrown against Pujols and all the others and Vlad recently. He knows how to do it, he’s experienced and I think he’s the best because he’s going to control the emotions and all those things.”

Hernandez said he plans to practice this weekend during the Dodgers series in Detroit to prepare for the timed aspect of the competition.

He said he would ask Ohtani for advice.

“Obviously, we just found out today, so I’m going to ask him how I can control everything and try to hit as many home runs as possible,” Hernandez said.

In the first round this year, all eight batters hit for three minutes (or 40 pitches, whichever comes first) before a bonus round that goes to the third out, with each pitch being either a home run or an out. A 425-foot home run in the bonus round triggers a fourth out. The four batters with the most home runs advance to the next round.

In the semifinals, participants are seeded based on the number of home runs they hit in the first round. The number 1 seed will face the number 4 seed, and the number 2 seed will face the number 3 seed. The same rules apply for round 2 as for round 1, with the winners advancing to the final.

The final consists of a two-minute round with a maximum of 27 throws. The same bonus rules apply. The batters also get one time-out in each round.

Dodgers players do not have a particularly good track record in the annual home run contest.

By Aurora