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‘El Duque’ signs minor-league deal

Jul 2, 2010, 10:14 PM EDT

The Nationals have signed veteran right-hander Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez to a minor-league contract, according to two club sources.

Hernandez, the 44-year-old half-brother of Nats starter Livan Hernandez, will report to the organization's spring complex in Viera, Fla., to begin working out. He may wind up pitching at Class AAA Syracuse at some point this season.

A prize Cuban refugee who signed with the Yankees in 1998 and went on to post a 90-65 record and 4.13 ERA in nine seasons with four different teams, Hernandez has not pitched in the major leagues since 2007, when he went 9-5 with a 3.72 ERA for the Mets. He underwent foot surgery that offseason and then required toe surgery the following year. He wound up pitching eight games in relief for the Rangers' Class AAA club last summer but was released after Texas officials determined he wouldn't be promoted.

The Hernandez half-brothers briefly were teammates in Montreal during the spring of 2003, but Orlando tore his rotator cuff before ever throwing a pitch for the Expos. Livan is currently enjoying a niceRead more ยป

  1. Anonymous - Jul 2, 2010 at 10:26 PM

    why?

  2. Anonymous - Jul 2, 2010 at 10:31 PM

    I'm with Anonymous above. My first statement was 'why?".

  3. Anonymous - Jul 2, 2010 at 10:35 PM

    I'll top that.WHY???

  4. Chris - Jul 2, 2010 at 10:43 PM

    I'll play devil's advocate. Why not? It's a minor league deal and with Olsen and Wang looking very unlikely to pitch again this year, Lannan getting bombed in AA and Jesus shutting down early we could need a few extra arms to get through the last few weeks of the season.

  5. Slidell - Jul 2, 2010 at 10:45 PM

    Maybe they believe lightning can strike twice. Or, perhaps Livo has given them a heads up. Anyway, "You can never have too much pitching".

  6. Anonymous - Jul 2, 2010 at 11:06 PM

    Is this some sort of a joke? Is Roger Clemens next?

  7. Positively Half St. - Jul 2, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    This is pure entertainment. Let it be, see if the scouts know more than we do. Perhaps Syracuse has some fun with El Duque in August.

  8. BinM - Jul 3, 2010 at 12:28 AM

    He's 44 y.o. – What could he have left in the tank? I join the comments as to WHAT, and WHY?

  9. Suicide Squeeze - Jul 3, 2010 at 1:16 AM

    Well, one could ask how much Jamie Moyer has left in the tank, and the answer is quite a lot, apparently. No risk sign. Not worthy of angst.

  10. Michael J. Hayde - Jul 3, 2010 at 2:14 AM

    Maybe he's been playing racquetball with Livo?

  11. Sec3MySofa - Jul 3, 2010 at 2:29 AM

    I got a better question: What's it to ya?

  12. Richard - Jul 3, 2010 at 2:48 AM

    Looks like he's "only" 40, not 44. Just a kid compared to Moyer.

  13. Richard - Jul 3, 2010 at 2:54 AM

    Well, anyway, the MLB Web site lists his birthday in October 1969, but maybe it sorta depends ….

  14. Anonymous - Jul 3, 2010 at 3:28 AM

    We have become a clown joke team. This is ridiculous. Elephants come to the Nationals to die.

  15. Souldrummer - Jul 3, 2010 at 4:30 AM

    If it will get Ron Villone off of Syracuse's roster, I say yes!

  16. natsfan1a - Jul 3, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    And who wants to know? :-)As others have noted, it's a low-risk signing, anyway.—Sec3MySofa said…I got a better question: What's it to ya?

  17. FOTB - Jul 3, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    His signing is obvious. He had incredible success in the postseason with the Yankees. Unlike some guys who disappear in October, El Duque was a star. The Nats signed him now, so he'll be ready to help them in October.

  18. N. Cognito - Jul 3, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    Bob Gibson wasn't available.

  19. Anonymous - Jul 3, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    El Duque is a master tactician maybe he can help some of the kids in AAA work on mechanics. He is the only guy I have ever seen to pitch comfortably from all 3 arm angles so he can do a show and tell for these guys. The Hernandez's are the greatest pair of pitching brothers I have ever seen. Maybe he has something left, maybe he does not, but if Moyer can still pitch my guess is that El Duque has more stuff than Moyer ever had! Viva Livo! Vivo El Duque! Vivo Nats!

  20. Anonymous - Jul 3, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    The Nats only have 3 games scheduled in October.

  21. sjm105 - Jul 3, 2010 at 3:52 PM

    why get upset, it's a low risk gamble – what if he proves to be a decent addition and we trade him at the deadline for prospects? – why get upset and slam the franchise over something that probably won't amount to much but certainly doesn't hinder anyone at this point – If I was a young pitcher and had an opportunity to sit next to someone who had 4 World Series rings and talk strategy, I think I would relish that.

  22. natsfan1a - Jul 3, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    I think that somebody's snarkdar may need adjusting… :-)—Anonymous said… The Nats only have 3 games scheduled in October. July 3, 2010 11:18 AM

  23. FOTB - Jul 4, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    Thanks, natsfan1a. Somebody also doesn't understand satire.

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