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Livan Hernandez wants to stay a National

Livan Hernandez, signed to a minor league contract late this spring, has become the Nationals' most invaluable pitcher. He leads the team in innings, has taken the ball for every scheduled start and, while posting a 3.12 ERA, has taken on a mentoring role with the callow starting rotation.

Hernandez, certainly, has proved he can still be an asset to a major league team. But because the Nationals' future includes a rotation potentially crowded with young pitchers, Hernandez's place with the Nationals next season remains uncertain.

Speaking Saturday afternoon, Hernandez affirmed he wants be back next season and eventually retire as a National.

"That's what I think," Hernandez said. "To come back again next year, I would be really happy with something like that. This is something special, this year with the Nationals. It's a great organization. It's very classy and professional. I'm really happy to be here."

By committing with the Nationals early in the offseason, Hernandez, 35, could avoid having to sign a minor league deal in late winter, as he did before this spring training.

"I'm not thinking about that," Hernandez said. "I want to have a good year and finish, help the team win more games. This is what I'm thinking right now. That's all that's on my mind. But definitely, I want to stay here."

If the Nationals want to bring Hernandez back, they will have to fit him into a rotation that could potentially include any of the following: Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Craig Stammen, Jason Marquis, Scott Olsen, Chien-Ming Wang and Ross Detwiler, among others.

Hernandez has said he wants to pitch four more seasons, and his renaissance this year helps his case. Hernandez ranks 13th in the National League in innings (133 2/3) and 12th in ERA.

Hernandez, the man who threw the first pitch in Nationals history, would like to remain with the franchise through his playing days and beyond.

"I wish," Hernandez said. "It would be really nice. When I retire, I'm thinking about working in baseball. I don't know what kind of job, but I think I can do something good for baseball. If they give me a chance, why not?

Hernandez is motivated to stay in baseball because of his experience as a rookie with the Florida Marlins, when veterans taught him the game and how to handle its trappings. Hernandez, as he's done this year with his younger teammates, wants to continue to pass along what he knows.

"Baseball is not about one year," Hernandez said. "It's not easy. I'm the kind of guy that throws every five days for 13 years, and throw a lot of innings. Teach people that, and also how you go out and be professional, how you be a teammate. And the most important: Enjoy it. Enjoy baseball."

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 25, 2010; 11:50 AM ET
Categories:  Livan Hernandez  
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Next: Ross Detwiler's innings limit will be flexible


Love Livo
Frank Robbie's nickname for this guy - Cuban Relaxation

FYI - Livo may very well try pro golf, seniors tour, as a second career. He's ranked 6th in the latest Golf Digest ranking of pro athlete's.

Posted by: Sunderland | July 25, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Just sign him now. An innings-eater and mentor to younger pitchers on the staff. Not to mention he's our 2nd best starter. Why even wait until the end of the season? Probably so the cheap ownership can try and lowball him again this offseason.

Posted by: egoodman8 | July 25, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Hey long has it been since we won a Sunday game? I come up with the extra inning affair against the O's.
And Livo-if he wants to stay, he better be here. Keep him as a coach when he retires (between senior tour stops, if need be!). I have more gratitude for him than anyone else this franchise has had. Sentimental or not, THIS is a guy you want on your team-for EVERYONES' benefit....imho, of course.
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | July 25, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Just looked it up...actually won Sunday June 13 vs. the Indians-a Stras start.
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | July 25, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Love ya, Livo.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 25, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Craig Stammen, Jason Marquis, Scott Olsen, Chien-Ming Wang and Ross Detwiler.
With all of these guys why is Livan on the team. Oh that's right only one of these guys is actually pitching in the majors. A bird in the hand is worth 6 in the bush.

Posted by: hilow | July 25, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Make it happen. I'd love to see Livo back.

Posted by: InTheCheapSeats | July 25, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Livan tosses a bunch of quality starts and get shelled every once a while. The potential brigade (Martin/Atilano/Stammen) toss a quality start every once in a while, and the rest of time, you wonder whether they're going make it through 4 innings.

Sign Livan and let the other guys claim a spot in the rotation once they've lived up to their potential for more than a start or two.

Posted by: joebleux | July 25, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I agree, i like him a lot too. I think the _only_ thing that due diligence requires is to ask yourself (and him) if he'd be willing to accept a lesser role if he's suddenly the 6th best starter on the team. I mean, a 4-year deal (or even a 2-year deal) is a bit of a commitment for a guy who, let's remember, STUNK 2 years ago. I'm just sayin'.

Also, how many teams could use one more decent starter? I wonder if he might fetch a nice prospect.

Posted by: Section406 | July 25, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Should not even be a conversation,SIGN HIM NOW! don't insult him by dragging this out if he wasn't pitching every fourth day this team would be worse off then they already are, and don't look now but those Cleveland Indians are one game away from tying the Nationals in wins i would have bet the farm(if i had one!)that the tribe would not even be close to the Nat's just unbelievable.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 25, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Its long known by some of us fans that the Nats organization just like the Caps, need good, stable, consistent, professional, do things the right way, veteran leadership. Unfortunately Livian actually have to ask to stay here. He's rare, a loyal everstrong player-that speakes up, its almost like begging. Its just that the few in charge doesn't see it. He's what's necessary if we are to ever win, no matter how many potential youngsters are here. In todays sports, the coaches rarely can instill the confidence in pressure situations that a player on the field can, just by his actions. The Caps need it desperately because they have a REAL window of opportunity. The Nats lack positive, good, consistent field talent. Like this past off-season, its out there to be had at reasonable prices, but it is what it is. The town is just busting on the inside to spend there summer evenings at the local baseball park. Its a success story inwaiting.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | July 25, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Next year's potential rotation, "Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Craig Stammen, Jason Marquis, Scott Olsen, Chien-Ming Wang and Ross Detwiler", is almost the same as this year's was supposed to be. Whom do we rely upon when things don't work out as planned? Livan, always Livan. Sign him to play now, and start grooming him for a job in the organization--perhaps as a liaison to Latin American baseball camps, with an eye to the impending opening up of Cuba.

Posted by: trebor0012 | July 26, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Sign him now, he sould retire a Nat. Make him our pitching coach in 4 years.

Posted by: hansenjo | July 26, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

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