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Livan Hernandez gets contract extension

The Washington Nationals announced today a contract extension for starting pitcher Livan Hernandez through 2011. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hernandez has been the club's most reliable starter this season and is by far the leader in innings pitched with 175 1/3. He also has taken an active role in helping the younger pitchers on the staff become acclimated to the major leagues.

It's that level of dependability on the mound and in the clubhouse that prompted GM Mike Rizzo to work out a deal with the right-hander now rather than waiting until the end of this season.

"We think that he's earned it," Rizzo said after the Nationals beat St. Louis, 4-2, this afternoon to take three of four in the series. "His coming into spring training in terrific condition and pitching great throughout the season and really being a cornerstone and a leader of the pitching rotation, the time he gives with our young guys. It's just something we think that he earned and deserved and could be a guy for us through the winter that we know he's part of the ballclub, and we know every fifth day we'll be handing him the ball and have a quality start."

While the Nationals' rotation this season has been in flux, Manager Jim Riggleman always has been able to count on Hernandez, who in 15 big league seasons has not gone to the disabled list. Riggleman called that "remarkable" before his start on Saturday night against the Cardinals, when Hernandez gave up three runs in the first inning but settled down to even his record at 9-9 with a 3.49 ERA in a 14-5 victory.

Hernandez's durability is all the more stark considering Nationals rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg, who has 12 starts in his career, is expected to miss 12 to 18 months after ligament replacement surgery in his right elbow. Hernandez, meantime, made his club record 94th start on Saturday.

"I'm really happy with the situation," Hernandez said. "It's always I want to come back and play here. It gives me a chance to come back for another year and hopefully more years."

Hernandez, 35, is the winningest pitcher in the brief history of the Nationals, who came to the District in 2005. He's also the leader in innings pitched (617) and strikeouts (354).

Hernandez is 165-160 with a 4.39 ERA over his big league career comprising 440 games and 439 starts. He's the only current major leaguer who has started at least 30 games in 12 consecutive seasons. Hernandez needs three more starts this season to extend that streak.

"For next year, it's going to be very fun," Hernandez said. "It's a dream come true."

By Gene Wang  |  August 29, 2010; 5:32 PM ET
Categories:  Livan Hernandez  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Game 131 discussion thread: Cardinals at Nationals
Next: Comeback stories continue over the weekend

Comments

Cue a Dunn comment in 3...2...

Posted by: VelocityAtrocity | August 29, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Livo! You've earned it.

Now please sign Dunn.

Posted by: rbelleisle | August 29, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse


"Congratulations Livo! You've earned it.

Now please sign Dunn."
-------------------------------
Amen, Brother or Sister!

BTW, was at the game today and Dunn made an actual real diving catch, roll and throw to the pitcher (who ran to cover first) to record a nice out. SIGN HIM! PLEASE!

Posted by: NatsFly | August 29, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Hip Hip, Houdini!

Psyched about this news, he's by far one of my favorite Nats. And yep, to add to the chorus, Please Sign Dunn!!!

Posted by: NatAlbert | August 29, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Well deserved -- the Nats got a bargain basement deal on Livo this year. Can you imagine the team without him and his ability to eat innings reliably? The bullpen has been worked to death, and considering they got Livo as insurance before spring training, the front office could pay him millions just to compensate for his work this year.

Add to it that he will instrumental in getting Yunesky Maya comfortable next year (even more so now that Strasburg is out), and his off-season role as a certainty in the rotation becomes part innings-eater and part mentor-in-chief for his fellow cubano.

Viva Livo! Now work on your bunting old man!

Posted by: mo_dc | August 29, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Smarest move this franchise has made since they came to DC,Livo has earned it. Congrat's Livo!!

Posted by: dargregmag | August 29, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Excellent news about Livo. He deserves it.

And I want to add my voice to the chorus: Sign Dunn now! He's expanded his strike zone this season, he's getting better at first, his teammates love him, and the clubhouse (not to mention the batting order) needs all the stability it can get.

Posted by: wocoliz | August 29, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Can we say, 2011 opening day starter? : )

Posted by: VivaLivan | August 29, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

time for a little pessimism - this contract extension effectively guarantees he'll need Tommy John in the next 6 weeks.

Posted by: Section406 | August 29, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Hurrah for Livo! The Nationals' big papi has earned this one. With Maya approaching, and Livo 'locked-in', the mid-to-bottom of the rotation has two live arms for 2011, at the very least.

Posted by: BinM | August 29, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Congrats Livo! I second VivaLivian: not only will he be back, looks like he is a lock for opening day. (I'll be there.) If he gets one more win, he will be the first Nats pitcher in at least three years to have a season with ten wins. Darn right he earned a resigning!

Oh, and not to pile on -- but sign Dunn!

Posted by: ammonite88 | August 29, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Well deserved and we're lucky he likes it here.

Wasn't it great today seeing the Nats destroy the Cards yet again. Poor Tony LaRussa....speaks at Glenn Beck's little white tea party rally and forgets to concentrate on baseball. Loved it...

Posted by: AHappyWarrior | August 29, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Reported as $1 million plus incentives. Very affordable for this impoverished franchise.

Posted by: EdDC | August 29, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

The guy most happy about this has got to be Yunesky Maya. And I'd really love to see El Duque make a September appearance in DC with Maya.

BTW, Maya's first start is a must go to game for me. So I'm buying tickets now based on sheer speculation. If I guess wrong, I'm blaming Boswell.

Posted by: Sunderland | August 29, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Much respect to Mr. Adam Dunn, getting on the Web Gems list on BT for his great diving play. Never thought I'd ever see Adam Dunn and Web Gem in the same phrase!

Posted by: NatAlbert | August 29, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Good news for the franchise and better news for Lovo but..., he has better stick to that racket ball regime over the winter. Don't forget the great 2005 and 2006 seasons and then they got washed away by the bad knee and his inability to get people out in 2007.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | August 29, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Congrats Livo! Good move Nats. Now sign Dunn!

Posted by: RLFWDC | August 29, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Well, Mr. LaRussa Esq., how did you enjoy your weekend stay in Washington? Anything interesting happen? Meet any interesting people? Five games back, and counting...

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | August 29, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Great to see Lannan back to his 2009 form...definitely had his best stuff and was hitting low 90's on the radar gun and keeping it down in the zone. I was sitting behind home plate and he made soem great pitches and was ahead in the count all day. Great defense plays by Dunn and Bernadina should not be overlooked.

Signing Livo was a good move, but Kasten and the Lerners need to really step to the plate to re-sign Dunn to be competitive. It's no coincidence that his slump coincided with Willingham's going on DL. The Nats need his bat in the lineup to protect Zimmerman. I shudder to think of our lineup next year minus Dunn.

Posted by: wizfan89 | August 29, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Reported as $1 million plus incentives. Very affordable for this impoverished franchise.

Posted by: EdDC | August 29, 2010 7:09 PM

Yep - I love having Livo back next season, he's great. But I think we can expect plenty more below MLB average salary moves in the offseason. Now that the world believes that Strasburg's injury means we won't compete next year, the Lerners will just use that as an excuse to tighten the purse strings again. Gotta keep The Plan (TM) going, keep stingy cause the team's not ready yet. Nevermind the fact that staying stingy helps keep the team in a perpetual state of not ready yet. Maybe we'll be "in it to the end" with A Gon and "just miss"?

Posted by: Kev29 | August 29, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

"We think that he's earned it," Rizzo said
--------
Maybe I'm reading too much into this, probably I am, but I wonder how that sounds to Dunn.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 29, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Well, I think that Dunn knows that Rizzo is not in charge of his signing, ownership is. I honestly believe that if Dunn's agent has set the terms at $15 mil per season, that is just too rich for our owners and that's why a deal has not been done. Sure, maybe Rizzo is a little wary of having Dunn locked at 1B (defensively) for 4 seasons, but our GM is not in charge of his budget. I'd bet that the Lerners will want payroll under $70 mil again - quashing our dreams of assembling a team as expensive as the Kansas City Royals.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 29, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Watching the Rays on ESPN and seeing that their offensive stats are underwhelming. I looked them up and compared them to the Nats and the only difference is Runs and RBIs, while everything else is close. Wonder what accounts for this ability to knock in runners despite similar averages, etc.

Of course pitching is entirely different.
All this to say that I wonder who you would rather have: Zimmerman or Longoria? Desmond or Bartlett? Pena or Dunn?

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | August 29, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

With all the bad news we have received this week, this is certainly a welcome dose of good news. Love me some Livo.

Posted by: egoodman8 | August 29, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

It think Zimmerman and Longoria is a toss-up, I think I'd take Desmond over Bartlett, and Pena over Dunn.

Posted by: egoodman8 | August 29, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Not only has Livo been able to go every fifth day . . . but let's not forget the time the Nats were caught without a starter, and he volunteered to pitch against the Mets on three days rest . . . . he went 6.1 innings, giving up just two runs.

Now *that's* a ballplayer!!

Posted by: ADCWonk | August 29, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

The Cardinals series is over now let's focus on winning out the rest of this season and it start's with our nemesis the Marlins who lost in dramatic fashion to the Braves here in the A-T-L we need to develop winning habits and that means sound fundamentals the question is can Jim Riggleman lead this club, so far the answer would have to be no; the Nats had better get used to L.W.S (life without Strasberg) injuries are a part of the landscape of pro sports no matter how devastating. Mike Rizzo needs to convince the Lerners that we are not that far away, with the right coaching and some freedom of the purse strings 2011 could be very interesting, that being said the season is not over and if Riggleman wants to keep his job then he needs to convince these player's there's something to play for.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 29, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Way to go, Livo!! Good Nats day all around.

Posted by: samantha7 | August 29, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Way to go, Livo!! Good Nationals day all around.

Posted by: samantha7 | August 29, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

@jcampbell1:
sorry I got under your skin by using the term "Dunn haters.'' I, too, make a distinction between those who criticize the big guy and those who hate him, as evidenced by the words of their posts. I object to those that are over-the-top.

You are right. however, that there is something wrong with me: I am a Nats fan.

(and this goes for you, too, dargregmag. I'm sure you feel the same about Nyjer critics.)

Posted by: nats24 | August 29, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

I said before and have eaten crow about it that I didn't think signing Livo this year was a good idea. It's great to be wrong when it helps your team.

Now, as smart as Livo is and if in fact he is 35, he must know that Maddux and Glavine pitched well past their 41st birthdays. Those are his models. He could produce 5+ excellent seasons if he really wants to.

Posted by: nats24 | August 30, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse


First of all, Riggleman IS keeping his job so get used to it. Second, precisely what type of lack of effort on the players part would make us think that Riggleman has 'lost them'? Riggleman may not be the second coming of John McGraw but he has forgotten more about baseball than you or I will ever know.

Posted by: Natstoyou | August 30, 2010 6:25 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Nats 24, I have that same malady-Nats fan. Heck, I was an Expo fan. I've suffered a lot. My frustration with this forum is that I've been criticized for being negative, positive, ignorant and sundry other contradictions. Obviously, I need a thicker skin. But darn it, it would have been nice to have Dan Hudson or Edwin Jackson.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | August 30, 2010 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Smart move, we need his services until the kids show us something. In a rotation sans baseball Jesus, LH is our most consistent winner.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 30, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Super duper LIKE! Even average innings-eaters are gold!

Posted by: NatsLuver | August 30, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Nice move! Please don't sign Dunn!

Posted by: richs91 | August 30, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

NatstoYou: I wouldn't bet on Riggs keeping his job if this team loses 100 games,if that happens then all bets are off, as far as Riggs forgetting more than you or I will ever know i would hope so; i mean that's his job.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 30, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Love Livo. Love Dunn. Now please, Rizz, go find us a major league lead-off man. Imagine how good Zimm, Dunn & the Hammer would be if there were already MEN ON BASE!!!

Posted by: shanks1 | August 30, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I love watching Livo and I love that the Nats are keeping him.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | August 30, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Watching Livo pitch in 2011 will be one of the few things that will make life interesting. With Riggleman returning, spotty defense, and missing pieces all around (starting with SP), Papa Lerner's tight purse strings, etc., there's not much to look forward to next year or even in 2012.

But I've had good training in the school of hard knocks. I was a Senators fan.

Posted by: JohnRDC | August 30, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Nats thanks for signing Livo, 2 years was the more natural. Get some quality fielding baseball players, young or veteran. Just give the TEAM a chance at a positive season. Zimmerman for nobody- his body might not hold up, but this youngster gets it as a sound baseball player, and is a DC Nat in his heart. He is rare, help him and the team to see continuous progress, instead of what we and the players get every year.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | August 30, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

He's been fine this year but its probably more fluke than anything else.

Wait until he is the BP pitcher he was in the three years prior to this one.

I was afraid that the SS injury would lead to something like this.

Posted by: jeffreyt211 | August 30, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

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