The Livan Hernandez experiment is over.
The veteran right-hander was designated for assignment by the Braves on Friday, a day after general manager Frank Wren and manager Fredi Gonzalez met to sort out their pitching situation.
The good news is that left-hander Mike Minor and right-hander Randall Delgado have gotten better in their last few starts. Wren and Gonzalez have seen enough from them to keep throwing them out there. And right-handers Brandon Beachy and Tim Hudson aren't nursing injuries requiring them to be placed on the disabled list. And Tommy Hanson was sturdy if not spectacular in Friday's 4-2 win over the Orioles, issuing a career-high six walks in 5 1/3 innings.
The bad news is that the Braves wasted right-hander Kris Medlen's time over the last two weeks while he was pitching for Triple-A Gwinnett, stretching out to assume a spot in the rotation in place of one of the above. Instead, he'll be back where he started, in the bullpen, capable of long relief or consecutive days of shorter outings.
His recall from Gwinnett on Friday morning meant that someone had to go, and it was Hernandez. Medlen went right to work, pitching the seventh and eighth innings Friday to provide the bridge to closer Craig Kimbrel.
Hernandez's numbers weren't so bad -- 4.94 ERA in 31 innings (18 appearances). It's just that he was bad at the most inopportune times, such as when he gave up five earned runs -- including two home runs -- in 1 2/3 innings versus the Blue Jays on June 10.
Hernandez, not accustomed to relieving, was rusty. He hadn't been used since May 27, a layoff of 12 days. He didn't throw regular side sessions, as the other pitchers do, and his location was nowhere near the plate. Except when it was right down the middle of it.
After having played 33 games in 34 days from April 27 through May 30, the Braves have another off day this coming Thursday. (They were also off May 31, June 4 and 14). So the entire pitching corps will get a quick revamp if anyone falters over the next six days.