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Interesting guys on the waiver wire

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A couple of interesting lefthanded pitchers popped up on the transaction list over the weekend...

First, Carlos Hernandez was outrighted by the Astros, refused the outright assignment, and has become a free agent. Hernandez was a terrific pitching prospect for the Astros about 4-5 years ago, but he tore up his shoulder sliding into second base in 2001, and has never been the same, with recurring shoulder problems ever since. He's just 25, though, and might be worth looking at as an NRI.

Second, Derek Thompson was designated for assignment by the Dodgers. Thompson is an interesting guy, a former first round draft choice of the Indians in 2000 who has generally posted good strikeout numbers and ERAs in the minors, but has struggled to stay healthy and avoid walks. He was a Rule 5 pick by the Cubs after the 2002 season...the Cubs sent him to the Dodgers, and Thompson ended up missing the entire 2003 season due to injury. He's put up solid numbers since his return, though, and split 2005 between AA, AAA and Los Angeles.

The most intriguing thing about Thompson is his home runs allowed...he has allowed only 15 homers in 400 professional innings, a remarkably low total. A lefty with a live arm who keeps the ball in the park is a commodity that the Rangers can use, and he is someone who might be worth making a waiver claim on. I'm not sure of his option status, but my guess is that he has at least one option remaining -- since he was a Rule 5 selection after 2003, and spent that whole year on the D.L., he should have only burned options in 2004 and 2005.