Hernandez is putting together the best season of his career and is a lock to make the All-Star team. The only question to be settled is if he will start the game for the American League.
The biggest difference for Hernandez in 2014 has been the effectiveness of his off-speed pitches, particularly his changeup.
Catcher Mike Zunino told Curtis Crabtree of the Associated Press that Hernandez had all four of his pitches working in last Sunday’s domination of the Cleveland Indians, as he has all season:
He threw his breaking ball and his changeup early in the count and was able to throw that fastball late. It's just tough when you've got four pitches and guys have to respect it, you're not always going to pick right. He's doing a good job of mixing up and then making the pitch, too.
John Farrell’s starting pitcher decision will come down to Hernandez and Masahiro Tanaka. The two are dead even in ERA at 2.10, with Tanaka having the slightest of advantages in strikeout and walk rates.
Hernandez’s FIP is nearly a full point lower and he has a huge WAR of 4.8, easily the best in baseball among pitchers. Those stats won’t necessarily factor into Farrell’s choice and Tanaka is an electric rookie pitcher who will surely be tempting.
If the Yankees' rotation holds, Tanaka is also scheduled to start the Sunday before the All-Star Game, which would rule him out. Things could still change before then.
Both Tanaka and Hernandez should get at least two more starts before July 15, and the results of those could break the deadlock.
All stats courtesy of FanGraphs unless otherwise noted.