Photo by Brad Mills, US PRESSWIRE
The Houston Astros (yes they’re going to remain the Astros) yesterday signed 16-year veteran pitcher Livan Hernandez to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training camp. Hernandez gets by more on guile now than stuff. His biggest strength is that he takes the ball, eats up innings and keeps his team in the game. He has averaged 216 innings per season since becoming a full-time starter in 1998, and he has pitched no less than 175 innings in a season for each of the past 14 years.
Barring a trade or injury the front end of the rotation should consist of Brett Myers, Wandy Rodriguez and Bud Norris. Hernandez will compete for a spot at the back end of the starting rotation in a mix that includes Zach Duke, Jordan Lyles, Kyle Weiland, Henry Sosa and JA Happ.