Ex-Nat Hernandez to serve various roles in camp

VIERA, Fla. -- Former Nationals right-hander Livan Hernandez was in camp Saturday and will have various roles with the team, according to manager Matt Williams.

On Saturday, for example, Hernandez watched the pitchers have their bullpen sessions. He will also work with the pitchers on fielding, bunting and holding runners.

"I look at Livo as a shortstop in a pitcher's body. He could hit. You put him out at shortstop and he could play it," Williams said. "So I want him to bring that expertise. … He was a thinking man's pitcher, right? If we could take guys that have 97-mile-an-hour fastballs and get them to be a little more of a thinking man's pitcher, imagine what they could be in every aspect."

Hernandez will also serve as an ambassador for the organization, Williams said. Hernandez, 38, is arguably the most popular pitcher in Nationals history. He was a workhorse during his time with the Expos and Nats. He was often among the league leaders in innings pitched and was considered the leader of the staff. Hernandez also has the distinction of throwing the first pitch in Nationals history and making an All-Star appearance with the club in 2005.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.