When I asked Nats bench coach John McLaren on Thursday about Livan Hernandez, he likened the veteran pitcher to a surgeon. He said he's like a doctor the way he treats each batter.
When I mentioned this to Livan, he appreciated McLaren's compliment and he explained that as a pitcher you have to be like a doctor out on the mound. He said you have to make a plan, and if you make a mistake you'll pay for it.
When we discussed the idea of pitching inside, Livan told me his goal is to try and put the ball where the hitter isn't comfortable. He also said he's often asked why he looks so comfortable on the mound. He told me it's because his mind is always thinking about the next pitch and what he has to do.
He also said his passion for the game comes from growing up in Cuba where you learned to play hard, play smart and play the game the right way. The veteran has accomplished a lot in this game. On an individual level he has earned and won a variety of honors, ranging from being an All-Star to winning a Silver Slugger award. Next up, he'd like to win a Gold Glove. He's definitely showed he's got the defensive ability and athleticism to do that. Stay tuned!
Prepping for Draft Day...
Nats GM Mike Rizzo has been in D.C. this week preparing for the upcoming First-Year Player Draft. For the second year in a row, the Nats have the top pick, and they hope it's one of their final number one draft picks.
It's encouraging for Rizzo to see the fruits of his labor already making an impact. Drew Storen has done a nice job out of the bullpen, and Stephen Strasburg will be joining the starting rotation next week.
If the Nats can make another impact pick, it will really help the organization from a scouting and development perspective. It's encouraging that Rizzo has a plan and he is sticking to it.
Josh Willingham is in a groove...
His teammates tell me he's the consummate professional. He's quiet. He hits a home run, and he's still quiet. He's the ultimate professional, and what makes him such a great teammate is his ability to stay even keeled no matter what is happening in the game.