Hernandez adds speed to Marlins' outfield

Hernandez adds speed to Marlins' outfield

ATLANTA -- Having room to run is perfectly fine for new Marlins outfielder Gorkys Hernandez.

Acquired from the Pirates on Tuesday as part of the Gaby Sanchez trade, Hernandez will be given a chance to roam the spacious outfield at Marlins Park.

The Marlins parted with the power potential of Sanchez to upgrade their speed. It is necessary, especially at Marlins Park, which has so much ground to cover.

"There is a lot of room in the outfield. That's what I like," said the 24-year-old Hernandez. "That's good for me. I like running for the ball. When I see the field, I see a lot of room. That's very comfortable for me."

Scouting reports rate Hernandez as a plus-defender at all three outfield positions. He is a plus-runner who can steal a base. The Pirates used him frequently as a defensive replacement.

The key to playing time is how he handles the bat. In 24 at-bats with Pittsburgh this year, he has just two hits. He's also played in 67 games at Triple-A Indianapolis, where he batted .257 with 43 runs scored, 11 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 25 RBIs.

He's considered better against left-handed pitching.

"I have to try to be consistent at the plate and try to use the whole field," Hernandez said. "The field in Miami is a big one. If I use the field, the middle and away, I will have a lot of room for running."

The right-handed-hitting Hernandez was not in the starting lineup on Wednesday, but he could be on Thursday against lefty Mike Minor.

Manager Ozzie Guillen wants to break Hernandez in at the plate hitting against a lefty. How he looks will determine how much playing time he will receive.