Tag:Orlando Hernandez
Posted on: February 24, 2011 4:06 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 5:13 pm

R.I.P. Dontrelle's leg kick

Dontrelle Willis

Dontrelle Willis had one of the most distinctive pitching motions in baseball, one that was long-credited with his success, but no more.

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweeted today from Willis' live-BP session and said his "high leg kick is gone."

With Willis' recent struggles, it seems like it's time to try something.

Once one of baseball's great ambassadors, Willis and his funky pitching motion burst onto the scene in 2003, winning 14 games as a rookie and appearing in the All-Star game. Two years later he won 22 games and finished second in the Cy Young Award voting.

In his first four seasons, Willis was 58-39 with a 3.44 ERA; the last four seasons, he's gone 13-24 with a 5.81 ERA. 

Fay reported positive results from Willis' round of BP (yeah, we know, way too early to draw any conclusions), but yet it made me sad for one of my favorite windups.

Other great ones:

Tim Lincecum -- a don't try this at home for kids, but when it looks this cool (and the results are like this), it's tough not to try it.

Tim Lincecum

Orlando Hernandez -- a similar high leg kick as Willis, but his hands are low instead of high and he would look backwards, like Luis Tiant. Add to that an arm slot as predictable as Lost, well, it's always fun to see what El Duque had on tap.

Orlando Hernandez

Hideo Nomo -- loved the throw-back with the hands high over his head motion.

Hideo Nomo

Of course, further back you have great ones in Dan Quisenberry, Luis Tiant, Fernando Valenzuela, Bob Feller and Juan Marichal. 

UPDATE: Fay followed up on his tweet, talking to Reds pitching coach Bryan Price about the lack of leg kick.
“That was pretty much gone when I started working with him,” Price said. “He had been working on that in Detroit. He wasn’t a reclamation project. We just really working on tightening things up.”
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. 
Posted on: October 19, 2010 10:19 am

El Duque hoping to pitch in 2011

Orlando Hernandez Orlando Hernandez hasn't pitched in the majors the last three seasons and only has 26 2/3 minor-league innings to his name the last two seasons.

And yet, the 45-year-old isn't ready to hang up his cleats as he intends to play in 2011, reports Bill Ladson of MLB.com .

El Duque played for the Nationals in 2010, splitting the year between rookie ball and Double-A where he posted a 1.72 ERA in 15 2/3 innings, punching out 21 and walking five. He left the squad when he was informed he would not be called up to the majors in September.

For someone who wants to keep pitching, Hernandez is going about it entirely wrong. He signs late every season, pitches minimally in the minors and then pouts and goes home when told he's not going to pitch in the majors.

If he wants a spot in the bigs, he needs to get into spring training, accept that he will spend the majority of the first half (at the very least) in the farm, and hope he performs enough to hit the majors eventually. His current strategy is not working.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 30, 2010 7:00 pm

Adios El Duque

Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez has left the Nationals' Double-A Harrisburg team after he was told he wouldn't be in line for a September call-up.

Hernandez, the half-brother of current Nats pitcher Livan Hernandez, was signed to a minor-league contract in July. In six appearances with Harrisburg, Hernandez was 1-1 with a  1.86 ERA.

"His expectation was to be a September call-up," Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told NatsInsider.com . "And just with the roster spot we're in and the additional guys we're going to put on the roster, it was just something I felt wasn't warranted at this time."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: July 2, 2010 8:30 pm

Nationals bring El Duque back

Orlando Hernandez El Duque is back. The Nationals inked Orlando Hernandez to a minor league deal, and the Cuban will begin a throwing program before working his way back to the big leagues.

The Cuban hasn't appeared in a major-league game since 2007 when he pitched 147 2/3 innings, starting 24 games and relieving in three for the Mets. He posted a 3.72 ERA. Hernandez pitched briefly in the minor leagues the last two seasons, starting eight games for the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate in 2009 and posting a 2.45 ERA in eight relief appearances over 11 innings.

It's always fun to hear of a 44-year-old making a return to baseball, especially someone like El Duque and his fascinating windup, but it's hard to imagine where the Nationals can fit him in if they intend to use him in the rotation. Right now, the rotation is in tatters but by the time Hernandez is ready, they may have a Stephen Strasburg-Livan Hernandez (El Duque's half-brother)-Chien-Ming Wang-Jason Marquis-Scott Olson lineup, and it's doubtful Hernandez can crack that.

The Nationals first acquired Hernandez after 2003, when the team was still in Montreal, as part of a three-team trade that saw the Expos ship out Javier Vazquez. However, El Duque needed shoulder surgery and missed the entire season, signing with the White Sox as a free agent after the year and nabbing his fourth (three with the Yankees) World Series title.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
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