Mar 25, 2010, 3:08 AM EDT
Photo by Rachel Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Livan Hernandez has shown enough this spring to earn a rotation spot.
TAMPA — Livan Hernandez celebrated his 35th birthday last month, and while there are certainly plenty of skeptics out there who will never believe it, the right-hander insists his age is accurate. He even offered reporters $1 million tonight if we could prove he's older than his official bio states.
The guy was laughing through the whole exchange, so I don't think he was serious about the offer. But he was serious about his age. He also believes he can pitch in the major leagues for quite a bit longer.
"A lot of years," he said. "Five more? I feel good. Jamie Moyer's 46. I'm 35 now."
If Hernandez can keep pitching the way he did tonight — holding the Yankees' "A" lineup to one run and three hits in five innings — he'll remain a valuable, major-league hurler for years to come. Sure, he's going to have rough nights along the way, usually once every five starts or so. But the other four times out, he's going to give his team a chance to win, a fact he's proven time and again throughout a career that began in earnest in 1997 with the Marlins.
"When you put him out there, you put him out there with confidence," manager Jim Riggleman said. "You don't put him out there thinking he's going to break down. Some guys, maximum-effort guys, youRead more »
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