Astros sign Livan Hernandez
The Astros have signed right handed starting pitcher and 2-time former National Livan Hernandez to a minor league deal, tweets Ken Rosenthal. Hernandez, 36, defied age expectations last year and pitched to a 4.47 ERA, just 8 points above his career average. The World Series MVP from 1997 (his rookie year with the Marlins, a year in which he had a career-best 3.18 regular season ERA) was an All-Star two straight years for the Expos/Nationals in ‘04 and ‘05, both years in which he led the league in starts, innings pitched, and batters faced. In his second tour of duty with the Nats, which started when Washington picked him up following his release by the Mets in August of ‘09, Livo pitched to a 4.17 ERA in 70 starts. He owns a career 174-176 record, and has had his best years with the Nationals’ franchise; in 7 seasons with the Nats/Expos, he has a 3.98/1.349 in 197 games. Livan has appeared in 4 postseasons (‘97 with the Marlins; ‘00 and ‘02 with San Francisco, and ‘07 with the D’Backs). He’s also thrown 50 complete games in his career, and averaged just over 6 innings per start last year. The workhorse has made just one regular season relief appearance in his career (he appeared in relief twice in the ‘97 playoffs), his first ever MLB appearance, and should be a reliable fourth or fifth starting pitcher for Houston. He joins a starting rotation pool that already includes Wandy Rodriguez (L), Bud Norris (R), Kyle Weiland (R),
J.A. Happ (L), Henry Sosa (R), Brett Myers (R), Jordan Lyles (R), Aneury Rodriguez (R), Lucas Harrell (R), and Paul Clemens (R, minors). I don’t expect Livan’s time in the Nationals’ organization is over, however; look for him to return to the Nats as a coach once he retires. The best of luck to Livan.