Thursday, May 25, 2006

Duke, Duke, Duke, El Duque of Queens....

Any time we can add a person / player the caliber of "El Duque" Orlando Hernandez, we are a better team because of it. Ironically, we acquired Hernandez on the same day that Alay Soler, another Cuban ballplayer, made his pitching debut in the majors (see next article). While we're a bit sad to see Jorge Julio go, especially as he has been pitching well for us of late, we never could feel entirely comfortable with him on the mound as we didn't know on any given day whether we'd be seeing Dr. Jeckly or Mr. Hyde. While Hernandez hasn't been lighting Arizona on fire, his E.R.A. away from that bandbox is 2.65 (or about 5.5 runs less per 9 then in Arizona). Pitching in Shea means his E.R.A. will be lower, and on a team with Pedro and a new protege' like Soler, in the market he prefers, all of the ingredients are in place for El Duque to re-establish his place in the hearts and minds of New Yorkers! Let's hope this means that Pelfrey will be able to stay in the minors long enough to establish his off-speed stuff and develop into the type of pitcher we know he will become, and Bannister will be able to take his time and rehab properly. If I were Mr. Gonzalez, I would have invited my family and all of my friends to today's game, as it will most definitely be his last time in our rotation...and possibly his last start as a major leaguer.
GM TRADE GRADE: B+ (Could become an A if Hernandez pitches like we think he can!)
REASONING: There are not a lot of pitchers available on the market right now, certainly not front-line starters, and everyone knows that we are in a pinch for starters. Apparently Omar was watching the last game Hernandez pitched for Arizona, versus the Bucs, and as he struck out more and more batters, Omar started getting nervous, thinking El Duque's price was going to go up with each whiff. In the market he wants to pitch in, playing in a pitcher's ballpark, alongside Pedro and as a big-brother type to fellow Cuban pitcher Alay Soler, Hernandez has an opportunity to really shine (again) in the Big Apple! Once again, Omar makes a bold move that could pay off big-time in the short-run, which is what we need right now!!!

By the way, nice game that my friend Aaron Sele threw yesterday- 7 shut-out innings, 3-0 record, 4 wins for the Dodgers in the 4 that he has pitched for them- not bad, not bad...

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