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Liván Hernández

Hernández with the New York Mets during spring training in 2009.
Washington Nationals — No. 61
Starting pitcher
Born: February 20, 1975 (1975-02-20) (age 35)
Villa Clara, Cuba
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
September 24, 1996 for the Florida Marlins
Career statistics
(through 2009)
Win-Loss     156-151
Earned run average     4.45
Strikeouts     1,715
Career highlights and awards
Hernández pitching for the Colorado Rockies in 2008.

Eisler Liván Hernández Carrera (Spanish pronunciation: [liˈβan erˈnandes]; born February 20, 1975, in Villa Clara, Cuba) is a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball, who plays in the Washington Nationals organization. He is the half-brother of pitcher Orlando "El Duque" Hernández.


Playing career

Hernandez was a successful baseball player from a poor family in Cuba. After meeting recruiter Joe Cubas in Velenzuela in 1994, the two planned an escape through Mexico. At the age of 20, Hernández gave up his $6/month job as an official Cuban athlete and defected to the United States in 1995. His half-brother, Orlando, would defect as well two years later.

Florida Marlins

After meeting with numerous team officials in the Dominican Republic, he signed with the Florida Marlins in order to live in Miami. He made his first appearance for the team as a September call-up in 1996, and joined the team for good in June 1997.

His rookie season in 1997 coincided with the recent expansion franchise reaching the 1997 World Series. He started and won game 1 and 5 of the series against the Cleveland Indians. His efforts awarded him the World Series MVP trophy, although some dispute that outfielder Moises Alou was the more deserving player.

Before Game 7, Hernandez was able to meet his mother, Miriam Carreras, for the first time in two years. The moment was the result of concerted efforts by the Cuban and United States governments as well as a written plea from the entire roster of players. His mother and sister now reside in Miami.

After signing a four year contract with the San Francisco Giants (1999-2002), he bought and delivered a Mercedes Benz to former minor league teammate Kevin Millar.

He has also played for Montreal Expos (20032004) the Washington Nationals (formerly Montreal Expos) (2005-2006), the Arizona Diamondbacks (2006-2007), the Minnesota Twins, the Colorado Rockies (2008), and the New York Mets (2009). He bats and throws right-handed, and is known for often throwing a "slow hook," sometimes going even below 60 miles per hour, as a strikeout pitch.

A two-time All-Star, Hernández is considered to be a great defensive pitcher, having made just 11 errors in his career. He is described as a workhorse; he throws many pitches, pitches many innings, and makes every start he needs to in order to provide his team's bullpen much rest. Between 1998 and 2007, he never pitched fewer than 199 innings in any given season (in 1999 he threw "only" 199 2/3 innings). He led the National League in innings pitched in three consecutive seasons, 2003 through 2005, and led the league in complete games for the first two of those years. In 2005, he once threw 150 pitches in nine innings, although the game went into extra innings after he left. In 2004 and 2005, he led the major leagues with 3,927 and 4,009 pitches, respectively. Hernández also is a dangerous hitter, helping his own cause with the bat, and won the Silver Slugger award at the pitcher position in 2004.

After the 2005 season, he had knee surgery, and his performance in the first half of 2006 suffered. At the All-Star break, he had a 5.64 ERA and allowed hitters a .308 average. But over his last five starts with the Nationals, he had a 3.27 ERA with four walks and 23 strikeouts. [1]

On August 7, 2006, Hernandez was traded from the Nationals to the Diamondbacks for two young pitching prospects, Matt Chico and Garrett Mock.

Livan led the majors in home runs allowed in 2007, with 34, and had the lowest strikout:walk ratio in the majors (1.14)..


Minnesota Twins

On February 12, 2008, Hernandez signed a one-year deal with the Minnesota Twins worth $5 million, with an additional $2 million for performance bonuses.

Through July 20, 2008, Hernandez led Minnesota Twins starting pitchers with 10 wins and 127.2 IP. [1][2] He was 10-6 with 5.29 ERA and 47 strikeouts[3] On August 1, 2008, Hernandez was designated for assignment to make room for Francisco Liriano.

Colorado Rockies

On August 6, Hernandez was claimed off waivers by the Colorado Rockies, and had a record of 3-3 with 13 strikeouts in 40.1 innings and finished the 2008 season there.

Hernandez ended 2008 having given up 12.9 hits per 9 innings, the highest rate in the majors, had a major-league-worst .342 batting-average-against, and his 3.4 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched were the lowest rate in the major leagues.[2] [3] Batters also made contact with his pitches 91.3% of the time that they swung at them, easily the highest percentage among major league starters.[4]

New York Mets

On February 14, 2009, Hernández signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets.[4] He won the fifth spot in the rotation, and was added to the major league roster when his turn came up on April 11.[5]

In 2009, Hernandez was one of only three active players, along with Derek Lowe and Brad Ausmus, to have played 12 or more seasons without going on the disabled list.[5]

Hernandez securely established himself as a dependable starting pitcher early in the Mets' 2009 pitching rotation. On May 26, 2009, Hernandez threw a complete game, giving just one earned run through his nine innings courtesy of an Adam Dunn home run in a 6-1 win over over his former club, the Washington Nationals. He was the 1st pitcher to throw a complete game in Citi Field. He became the only active player that have thrown a complete game with six different teams.[citation needed]

However, after struggling greatly in July and August, Hernandez' job was put in jeopardy. After a 6-2 loss to the Diamondbacks, manager Jerry Manuel decided to start Hernandez against the Giants, who handed the Mets a 10-1 loss on August 17, 2009. Subsequently, on August 20, 2009 the Mets released Hernandez to make room for Billy Wagner on the active roster. [6]

Return To Nationals

On August 26, he re-signed with the Nationals, where he finished the season.[6]

On February 24, 2010, he reportedly agreed to a minor league deal to stay with the Nationals.[7]

See also


External links

Preceded by
Javy López
National League Championship Series MVP
Succeeded by
Sterling Hitchcock
Preceded by
John Wetteland
World Series MVP
Succeeded by
Scott Brosius
Preceded by
Mark Redman
National League Player of the Week (with Preston Wilson)
July 7-13, 2003
Succeeded by
Rich Aurilia
Preceded by
Dontrelle Willis
National League Pitcher of the Month
July 2003
Succeeded by
Mark Prior
Preceded by
Washington Nationals Opening Day
Starting Pitcher

2005 - 2006
Succeeded by
John Patterson


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