Last year, when the Twins traded Johan Santana to the Mets, they replaced him in the rotation with Livan Hernandez. I never felt more grateful to be a fan of a big-market team instead of a small one.
Somehow, the Twins won 88 games last year, only one fewer than the Mets, and made it to a one-game playoff with the White Sox. Alas, Hernandez did not make it through the season - despite winning ten games by the end of July, he was designated for assignment on August 1. Presumably, the Twins were not thrilled with Hernandez' 5.48 ERA.
Hernandez was picked up by the Rockies, where he made eight starts and had an ERA of 8.03. That's right, 8.03. Batters hit .345 against him.
While Hernandez did have to content with Coors Field as his home park, his batting average against was almost the same with the Twins - .341.
In 2007, Hernandez pitched a full season for Arizona, going 11-11 with a 4.93 ERA and .308 batting average against.
So for the last two years, Hernandez has been a bad pitcher for three different teams.
And this year, he gets a chance to make a fourth team miserable. Hernandez has signed a minor-league deal with the Mets.
I thought the Mets were set in the rotation, with Tim Redding in the number 5 spot and Freddy Garcia battling to take that spot for himself. And the Mets have two young pitchers, Jon Niese and Bobby Parnell, in case they need more starters.
Hernandez is listed at 33 (turning 34 next week), but talk about numbers that deserve an asterisk.
I thought Omar Minaya was starting to get over his habit of signing players who were old, broken-down or both. Now, within a couple of days, he signs 40-year-old Jose Valentin and Hernandez.
Let's hope this year doesn't turn into "same old, same old" for the Mets.