March 08, 2012; Melbourne, FL, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Livan Hernandez (61) during the spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

Braves Sign Livan Hernandez

A mere hours after he was released by the Houston Astros, Livan Hernandez was signed by the Atlanta Braves as a spot starter and long reliever. This signing is not really groundbreaking, but it does mean that he will make the team. Ironically it probably means that Yohan Flande, who I wrote about yesterday, is headed to Triple-A.

Hernandez makes me smile. You may not know, I didn’t grow up a Braves fan. In fact, I’m not even a Braves fan. I used to be a Montreal Expos fan (and you can say I still am one) and am a fan of baseball in general. Hernandez was the ace for the Expos way back in 2003 and 2004 and won a World Series with the Florida Marlins in 1997. That’s 15 years ago. He has played for two teams that don’t even exist anymore (in their current form)!

He’s 37 years old and is the definition of an innings eater. I said that Flande could play the role suited for low-leverage innings. Hernandez is even more perfect for that role. He won’t hurt you and gives Fredi Gonzalez a good option to rest pitchers like Cristhian Martinez and Kris Medlen (not to mention The Big Three.)

This was not a low-risk move for the Braves. It was a no-risk move. It allows the 5th starter battle to go on uninterrupted and provides depth in case multiple injuries hit (in a worst-case scenario, of course.)

At most of all, it gives me a familiar face when I watch Braves games. Even though the familiar face is familiar to anyone who has watched baseball in the last 20 years. Let me win this small battle. For all I know, Hernandez could stick around long enough to be the last Expos player in major league baseball. He has 13 years to catch up to Jamie Moyer.

Tags: Fredi Gonzalez Jamie Moyer Livan Hernandez Yohan Flande

  • aryanspecial

    A former Marlin, Met, and National/Expo. If you’re a long time Braves fan, you definitely know this guy.
    A close friend of mine is an Astro fan (I feel so sorry for him and all Astro fans. I have a slight pull for this team since in my younger years I was a HUGE Nolan Ryan fan) and I definitely thought that Livan would easily be their 4th or 5th starter. That move really shocked me since this season is clearly a developmental year and could’ve learned a lot from Livan’s experience and work ethic. Especially since the Astros plan to use Myers as a closer and their starting pitching is a disaster to begin with, I never saw this coming. And then to sign with the “pitcher rich” Braves on top of that? I have to say, I’m surprised. But I completely agree with you. He has always been a complete innings eater and could easily get us through those games where we might get behind big early from a bad outing and could put in some decent starts in case of injury while not having to rush minor leaguers up and allowing then to develop for one more season. I know everyone is excited about Teheran, but he definitely needs one more season in AAA in my opinion. I like the move. Rent-a-Livan.

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