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Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez leaves Nationals, still wants to pitch

Orlando Hernandez - the half-brother of Nationals starter Livan Hernandez best known as "El Duque" - left Class AA Harrisburg on Sunday after General Manager Mike Rizzo informed him he would not be a September call-up. Hernandez asked Rizzo point blank, and Rizzo told him he wouldn't be pitching in the majors.

"It's safe to say his expectation was to be a September call-up," Rizzo said. "With the additional guys that we're going to put on the roster, it was something I felt wasn't warranted at this time."

Over 11 appearances with the Gulf Coast Nationals and Harrisburg, Orlando Hernandez, 44, had a 1.72 ERA over 15 2/3 innings with 21 strikeouts and five walks. Rizzo persuaded Hernandez to finish the season with Harrisburg, but he decided to end his stay with the Nationals.

"He was really the happy the team gave him a chance to pitch," Livan Hernandez said. "He understood the situation."

While Orlando Hernandez will no longer be a National, Livan Hernandez said "El Duque" will try to resume his career next season as a 45-year-old. Orlando Hernandez last pitched in the majors for the Mets in 2007.

"He's going to pitch next year," Livan Hernandez said. "He wants to be a reliever. He can be a great reliever."

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 30, 2010; 5:24 PM ET
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