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.