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Livan Hernandez to spend September as coach/pinch-hitter

Sep 2, 2011, 6:22 PM EDT

Livan Hernandez Getty Images

Preferring to look at the team’s younger pitchers down the stretch, the Nationals informed Livan Hernandez today that he’d be removed from the rotation following his start Sunday against the Mets.

According to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, manager Davey Johnson indicated that Hernandez would become a mentor/coach the rest of the way.  He won’t pitch out of the bullpen, but he will be available to serve as a pinch-hitter if needed.

The guess here is that Hernandez wasn’t keen to the idea of working as a reliever.  He’s made just one appearance out of the pen in his career and that was his very first appearance for the Marlins way back in 1996.  He’s made 473 consecutive starts since.

Hernandez has a pretty respectable 4.29 ERA in 28 starts this year, though he is at 4.99 since the All-Star break.  One wonders if he might be part of a rare September trade should some team approach the Nationals.  Hernandez wouldn’t be eligible to pitch in the postseason, but he’d make sense as an injury replacement: he could certainly eat up a few starts that might otherwise go to inexperienced pitchers.

With Hernandez out of the mix, it looks like the Nationals will use a rotation of John Lannan, Stephen Strasburg, Ross Detwiler, Chien-Ming Wang and Tom Milone the rest of the way.

  1. bravesman1983 - Sep 2, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    As long as they don’t try to install him as the team dietician, they’re in good shape.

    • Bill - Sep 2, 2011 at 6:41 PM

      Maybe as equipment manager? I hear he’s good at laundering things.

  2. Travis Reitsma - Sep 2, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    Thinking of possible destinations for Hernandez if a rare September trade were to be executed, would it not make sense for a team like the Rangers? They have three starters who’s innings total is an issue heading down the stretch in Harrison, Holland, and Ogando, and they aren’t far enough ahead of the Angels to start throwing in inexperienced rookies to soak up innings. Hernandez gives them a somewhat reliable arm (although his numbers in Texas might be scary) who can save some innings for the three young Texas hurlers who’ll be needed in the post-season.

  3. ditto65 - Sep 2, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    First, El Duque. Now, this. I hope the Hernandez family has a good counselor.

  4. Bryz - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    If he doesn’t make 2 more starts, then his streak of consecutive 30-start seasons ends at 13. It would be too bad that this streak would end due to the refusal to let him pitch (especially when it’s not even performance-related) and not because of injury.

  5. pxeeks - Sep 3, 2011 at 12:36 AM

    I still don’t understand the Nats starting Strasburg this year. Do they really want to end this kids career. What’s the point except a headline or two. Maybe $ at the gate. It’s sad. If I were him I’d fire his agent ASAP!!

  6. flavadave10 - Sep 4, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    Could this be the beginning of the end of Livan Hernandez? First Matt Stairs… then Arthur Rhodes… and now, THIS??? R.I.P. my childhood.

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