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Livo Won't Get Chance to Make Mets Pay

Shortly after Livan Hernandez signed with the Washington Nationals, he glanced at his new team's schedule, scanning for one thing in particular: Games against the Mets. Washington still had six remaining dates with its division rival, Hernandez's former team. Briefly, the 34-year-old right-hander got excited.

But then he aligned the schedule with the Nationals' pitching rotation, and the excitement was tempered. Because of his six-inning, two-run outing on Wednesday -- just his latest quality start with the Nationals -- Hernandez won't pitch against the Mets in the three-game series that begins Friday at Citi Field. Barring a rotation re-ordering, Hernandez won't pitch in the three-game series against New York (Sept. 28-30) at Nationals Park either.

"I don't think it's gonna happen," Hernandez said, shaking his head.

Hernandez wanted to pitch against the Mets, if only because he'd hoped to demonstrate his value to the very team that saved money by releasing him. Hernandez on Thursday suggested that the Mets cut ties with him not because of his record (7-8, 5.47 ERA), but because of soon-to-trigger incentives clauses. Hernandez's contract, according to the Web site Cot's Baseball Contracts, called for the pitcher to earn $100,000 for reaching 130 innings and another $100,000 for reaching 140 innings. He would have earned three separate payments of $150,000 by reaching 150, 160 and 170 innings.

Though Hernandez couldn't recount those specifics, he estimated he lost $500,000 because of his release, which occurred after he'd pitched 135 innings, earning only the first bonus payment. Hernandez emphasized that he enjoyed his time with the Mets -- he signed with them this offseason -- but he added, "It's difficult, because I think I deserved the money. I do something for the team every five days. But they make a different decision. I don't feel good about the decision."


First baseman Adam Dunn received a day off on Thursday, allowing interim manager Jim Riggleman to give utility infielder Mike Morse his first start at first base with Washington. Morse, brought up from Class AAA Syracuse on August 17, had started just once previously (in right field) before Thursday's game.


In related news, Adam Dunn is 1-for-12 lifetime against Cole Hamels, Philadelphia's starter in this series finale. Though Hamels has a 9-9 record and a 4.21 ERA overall, in his last four starts (29-2/3 innings), he has a 1.52 ERA.

By Chico Harlan  |  September 17, 2009; 5:45 PM ET
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Next: Nieves Leaves Game With Injury


darn...i was SO looking forward to a meatballers matchup of livo vs. redding.

Posted by: surly_w | September 17, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman should find a way to "jimmy" the rotation a tad.

Posted by: periculum | September 17, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

So they saved the price of one MLB minimum salary. Cheap owners--who needs 'em?1!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 17, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals (& Riggleman) might be able to accomidate Livo, but it would need going to a six-man rotation.

Not worth the individual "vengence" factor do disrupt the other five players routines, imo.

Posted by: BinM | September 17, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Their owner needs all the pennies he can scrape up thanks to Bernie Madoff!

Posted by: goexpos2 | September 17, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

@PattyinSJ: Dunn & Harris are most likely sitting because Hamels is a very tough LHP. Dunn's never hit him well, and Harris gets caught by the LH-RH matchups (Willingham, Maxwell, & Dukes are all RH).

Posted by: BinM | September 17, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Ah, thanks BinM.

Posted by: PattyinSJ | September 17, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

It almost was a six man rotation ... but I guess Estrada is not going to get another start.

Posted by: periculum | September 17, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Catching back up on the Flores injury comments - This is now Javier's second season-ending injury in consecutive years. I personally fear he may be showing some fragility; He may never be the 130-game+, .280/.350/.420 hitting, 40%CS catcher we all wanted him to be.

Bard & Nieves are slightly below MLB average as a replacement tandem, both offensively & defensively, imo. There doesn't to be anyone with a full skill set currently in the high minors (SYR-HAR), either. A re-sign of Schneider isn't part of the answer either, as his skills are in decline.

Leading out of 2009 and into 2010, the FO will need to assess the position & decide whether to stay the course (Flores, Nieves &/or Bard), or look outside the organization for a 1-2 year plug-in at the #1CA slot.

Posted by: BinM | September 17, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse


Where did Ladson get Rod Barajas? He is 34 and like Brian Schneider his defensive skills appear to be on the decline. He seems to be a 90 game catcher as well?

Posted by: periculum | September 17, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

@peric: I think Estrada might get another start (or three). Otherwise, the Nats would be down to Lannan, Livo & Mock before September ends. Martin is over 140IP for 2009, as Detwiler will be after tonight.

Posted by: BinM | September 17, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

@peric: The quote was "A player such as Rod Barajas may be a good fit, because he is an excellent handler of pitchers". Think of it as an example (which it was, albeit a bad one in my mind), not the answer.

I wouldn't have even a decent feel for possible fits at CA until November.

Posted by: BinM | September 17, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks BinM,

Guess we'll have to wait for "hot stove" to see what Rizzo plans next.

Posted by: periculum | September 17, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

AARGH - Looks like Nieves just tweaked a hamstring. This could end badly, boys & girls.

Posted by: BinM | September 17, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Uh Oh,

there goes another catcher?

Posted by: periculum | September 17, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh, no. Feel better, Wil.

Posted by: Section220 | September 17, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

No hitter so far for Hamels? And I hope Wil is OK!!

Posted by: PattyinSJ | September 17, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Willingham just became the emergency catcher. Possible moves would be to move Flores to the DL-60, and select one of the following internally...

Solano, Jhonathan - .228/.257/.315 w/6E at HAR & SYR in 2009.
Rooney, Sean - .275/.330/.407 w/5E+ at POT & HAR in 2009.
-- Or add (from outside) --
Montz, Luke - .181/.288/.313 w/4E at SYR & HAR in 2009.
Molina, Gustavo - .209/.233/.308 w/6E at SYR in 2009.

If I were Rizzo, I'd rather take a chance with adding Rooney, unless he's going to go completely outside the organization.

Posted by: BinM | September 17, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

"Catching back up on the Flores injury comments - This is now Javier's second season-ending injury in consecutive years."

Who's Javier?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 17, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Chuck Norris says to go to the new post.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 17, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Perfect game at 5? What next for this team?

Posted by: periculum | September 17, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me or has anyone else seen enough of Mr Clippard?

Posted by: yankish2 | September 17, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

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