Darwinzon Hernández of Team Venezuela reacts after recording the last out to defeat Team Israel in a World Baseball Classic Pool D game at loanDepot park on March 15, 2023 in Miami, Florida. Hernandez has signed with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks for the rest of the 2023 season. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Former Major League relief pitcher Darwinzon Hernandez signed with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of NIppon Professional Baseball in Japan for the remainder of the 2023 regular season according to Yahoo Japan’s website on July 27.
Hernandez will bolster the back end of the bullpen for the Softbank Hawks, as their closer Livan Moinelo had arthritis in his throwing arm on his left elbow and underwent a successful surgery at a regional hospital in Saga City, Fukuoka, Japan and will miss the remainder of the 2023 season.
Hernandez, 26, was born in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, and played for the Boston Red Sox in four seasons, making his big league debut on April 23, 2019. He spent nine seasons with the Red Sox organization after being signed as an international free agent at age 15 in August 2013.
Hernandez spent five seasons in the minor leagues with the Red Sox until 2019 and played the first two seasons of his professional career in the Dominican Summer League level.
This season, Hernandez played with the Baltimore Orioles organization at Triple-A Norfolk, where he came out of the bullpen 27 times, throwing 27.1 innings with a 2-1 record and an ERA of 2.96, one save, giving up 13 hits, three home runs, 19 walks, and striking out 37 batters with a 1.171 WHIP.
Back in March, Hernandez pitched for Venezuela in the 2023 World Baseball Classic against Israel in Pool D at loanDepot Park, throwing one inning and allowing one hit, no earned runs, and striking out two batters en route to Venezuela’s fourth win of the tournament.
He played four seasons in the Major Leagues with Boston from 2019-22, posting a 3-4 record with a 5.06 ERA in 91 games, throwing 85.1 innings and allowing 75 hits, 10 home runs, 73 walks, and 133 strikeouts with a 1.734 WHIP.
During the 2023 season, Monielo allowed three earned runs in 27.2 innings, recording a 0.98 ERA and going 3-0 with five saves while allowing 11 hits, five walks, and 37 strikeouts including a 0.750 WHIP against 97 batters.
The SoftBank Hawks are currently in third place at 45-41-2 and are six games back of the first place Orix Buffaloes at 51-35-2. The SoftBank Hawks will play their second game of their three game home series against the second place Pacific League (46-34-2) Chiba Lotte Marines at 5:00 a.m. EDT.