Under Appreciated New York Mets: Orlando Hernandez

Daniel Marcillo
PORT SAINT LUCIE, FL - MARCH 08: Orlando Hernandez #26 of the New York Mets pitches during Spring Training practice at Tradition Field on March 8, 2008 in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Much like many other veterans who finish their career in Queens, Orlando Hernandez‘s New York Mets career is forgettable, but not because he did not play well. At ages 40 and 41, he spent the final season and a half stabilizing the Mets starting rotation.

Hernandez developed a reputation for his postseason dominance, which is why the Mets traded for him in 2006. The trade with the Diamondbacks occurred on May 24 in exchange for reliever Jorge Julio. Hernandez struggled in Arizona with a 6.11 ERA in nine starts. He pitched much better with the Mets, putting up a 4.09 ERA in 20 starts. Hernandez was in line to start game one of the postseason, but a calf injury sustained running the day prior scratched him from the roster.

Ageless El Duque

At 41, he looked sharp as ever during the 2007 season. He had a 3.72 ERA over 27 games, which was only second to Oliver Perez. Hernandez even made three relief appearances in September to bolster the putrid Mets bullpen. He received foot surgery after the season, which caused him to miss all of 2008, which effectively ended his Mets career.

After a couple of minor league comeback attempts, he retired following the 2011 season. Hernandez was not in his dominant Yankees form with the Mets, but he was still a key reason the team was in contention during his time with the team.