Teoscar Hernández explains why the Mariners are ‘a perfect fit’ for him

Feb 8, 2023, 3:19 PM

Mariners Teoscar Hernandez...

Teoscar Hernandez of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates his two-run home run against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 13, 2022. (Cole Burston/Getty Images)

(Cole Burston/Getty Images)

The Mariners and their fanbase are fired up about the trade for slugging outfielder Teoscar Hernández that took place at the start of the offseason. It’s safe to say the feeling is mutual.

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“It feels great. As soon as I got traded, I was so excited to join the club and the people, the players, the fans and all the things that that I watched from the other side,” Hernández told The Hot Stove on Seattle Sports 710 AM this week. “The excitement that this organization has and the people around it, for me, it’s a pleasure to be part of it.”

During his sit-down conversation with Aaron Goldsmith, Shannon Drayer and Gary Hill, Hernández made it clear that he thinks he and the Mariners are a natural fit.

Hernández is a big slugger who plays the game hard and with a big smile on his face, much like many of his new Mariners teammates.

“That was one of the reasons I was so happy because I was going from a team that is almost doing the same thing that the Mariners were doing last year, and you could see that,” the former Blue Jays star said. “The Blue Jays were a team that were together when I was there … Every little moment, we tried to make it the best that we can and enjoy it the best that we can. And going to an organization that you can see it from the other side the same thing that you were doing in Toronto, it’s a perfect fit for me. And one of the reasons I was so excited for the trade, it was because of that, because I was going to a team that is going to continue doing the same thing that you were doing when you were on the old team.”

Hernández certainly got a first-hand view of the kind of team the Mariners are as he was on the other end of a wild Game 2 comeback in the Wild Card round that saw Seattle come back from an 8-1 deficit to win the game 10-9 and advance to the ALDS.

“I mean, I think we had them in that game and I thought we were going to win that game easily and then we were going to fight (in Game 3),” he said. “… But they saw a chance and they took (advantage) and they came back and won the ballgame. I mean, it was like a shock for us because we never thought we were going to lose that game. But that shows a lot about the things that this organization and this team can do. It doesn’t matter if they’re losing, they’re going to still be in the game and then they’re going to try everything in their power to try to come back and win it.”

Losing that game was certainly no fault of Hernández, who blasted not one but two home runs off Robbie Ray, who was Hernández’s teammate in Toronto for two seasons.

Ray has to be happy he’s no longer is pitching to Hernandez, but Hernandez is also happy about reuniting with a very good friend.

“He actually was the first one (to reach out to me after the trade),” Hernadez said. “Robbie was my guy. We became really close friends in Toronto … He’s an excellent person. He’s always there trying to help everybody and trying to do things to make everybody feel good. And he’s unbelievable, and now I have the chance to play with him again.”

Hernández joins a Mariners outfield with one of baseball’s biggest stars in center fielder Julio Rodríguez. The two have been working out together this offseason and are growing very close.

“Right now, we’re just trying to get it together 100%, trying to get on the same page and trying to learn from each other. I’m trying to know him really well so we can be really close during the season and in spring training,” Hernández said.

Hernández added that you can see the kind of person Rodríguez is when playing against him.

“You don’t have to meet Julio to know that he’s an excellent person, that he’s an excellent kid and an awesome player, that he’s enjoying everything that he’s doing on a baseball field and even out of the baseball field,” he said. “He’s always happy, he’s always trying to have fun and make jokes with the people around him, and that tells us a lot about a person. He’s been excellent. We’ve been having a lot of fun and in Tampa training.”

You can listen to full second hour of Wednesday’s Hot Stove, which includes an interview with new Mariners bullpen coach Steven Vogt, at this link or in the audio player below.

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