Hernandez: Altitude affects recovery

Hernandez: Altitude affects recovery

Hernandez: Altitude affects recovery
PHILADELPHIA -- Veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez arrived in Colorado with plenty of big league mileage on his body, and the odometer has sped along this season.

Hernandez (.213, 5 HRs, 27 RBIs in 50 games) missed 42 games with a left hand strain, and has dealt with numerous bruises that didn't show up on an injury report. At 36, Hernandez knows to expect a little pain, but he admitted that the altitude of Colorado creates added challenges.

"The hard part is the recovery, the next day," Hernandez said. "In the altitude, you get really dehydrated and that's when the soreness comes out more. That can be draining, and when it's tough to breathe, it's tough to recover quickly. I have to learn to recover better.

"It's always tough. No matter how many years you play here, it's tougher than any place else. But you've got to figure out how to handle it."

But when the Rockies signed Hernandez to a two-year, $6.4 million contract, it wasn't to play every day. Rookie Wilin Rosario, with Hernandez providing advice, has moved into the top role. Hernandez said Rosario has gained enough confidence that he isn't in need of as much advice.

To be there when needed next year, Hernandez will have to develop a routine that will stave off fatigue.

"You have to have a routine -- the night before, my mind has to be set for the next day, and I'll know what I have to do," Hernandez said.

Part of it will involve rest, which will mean spending the offseason in Florida to let his body recover.

He does plan to make a trip to Colorado this winter, but that's not part of training.

"My kids want to go snowboarding ... I'll just take pictures," he said.