Meet the Washington Nationals
RHP} Livan Hernandez
At this time last year, Hernandez seemed not like a core piece of the Nationals, but more like a dispensable stopgap until Stephen Strasburg made his debut. This year, partly by default but also based on his performance, Hernandez will start opening day, the spot reserved for Strasburg, barring further injury, for the next dozen years or so. Hernandez was released in both the middle of the 2008 and 2009 seasons and pitched for four different teams. His ERA over those two years was 5.74, the highest in the majors. He seemed like a player on his way out. He was not. Last year, of course, Hernandez was remarkable. But can he do it again? Advanced metrics pointed to luck being Hernandez's close ally last season. If Hernandez's sinkers and cutters deaden bats again this season, will we still call it luck?
By Adam Kilgore - The Washington Post. Published March 29, 2011.