Fernando Antonio Abad
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 2", Weight 170-220 lb.
Abad was signed by scouts Julio Linares and Adriano Rodriguez for the Houston Astros in 2002. He began his professional career in 2003, pitching for the DSL Astros, going 6-2 with a 1.61 ERA, 87 strikeouts and only 7 walks in 78 1/3 IP. He was named an All-Star. Despite that strong debut, he remained in the DSL for 2004 (4-1, 1.29), 2005 (2 R in 3 IP) and 2006 (5-2 with a 1.32 ERA in 15 games; he struck out 64 batters in 61 1/3 innings).
After 4 years in the DSL, Abad came stateside in 2007. He split the season between the Greeneville Astros (6-4, 4.14, 54 K in 50 IP over 17 games, four starts) and Tri-City ValleyCats (2 R in 3 IP over two games), going a combined 6-4 with a 4.25 ERA, with 59 strikeouts in 53 innings. In 2008, he pitched for the Lexington Legends, going 2-7 with three saves and a 3.30 ERA in 45 relief appearances, striking out 94 batters in 76 1/3 innings. He pitched 2 1/3 shutout innings that winter for the Azucareros del Este.
Abad pitched for the Lancaster Jethawks (41 games) and Corpus Christi Hooks (three games, all starts) in 2009, going a combined 4-7 with a 4.00 ERA, striking out 92 batters in 96 2/3 innings of work. He had a 3-1, 3.42 record for the Toros del Este. He was put on Houston's 40-man roster in November.
Fernando began 2010 with the Hooks (4-3, 2.50) then moved up to the majors to replace Chris Sampson. He only got into one game, replacing Brandon Lyon with a 8-1 lead on July 28th against the Chicago Cubs. Abad walked Kosuke Fukudome to start things off, then retired Jeff Baker on a fly. Koyie Hill singled. Alfonso Soriano grounded into a force at home then Ryan Theriot grounded out to end the game. Abad was then demoted to the Round Rock Express to make room on the roster for Jeff Fulchino, who was coming off the DL. In all, he pitched 22 games for Houston that year, with an 0-1 record but a solid 2.84 ERA. 2011 was a different story, though, as his ERA rose all the way to 7.32 in 29 games. Hit hard, he managed to pitch only 19 2/3 innings at the big league level, with a 1-4 record, 28 hits and 18 runs allowed. He also spent time back in AAA with the Oklahoma City RedHawks, where he was 2-3, 4.80 in 29 games.
Abad started the 2012 season back with Oklahoma City, but made only 13 appearances before getting the call back to Houston. 3 of those appearances were starts, and he was 2-0, 3.90 with 2 saves while pitching 27 2/3 innings. In Houston, he was 0-6, 5.09 in 37 games for the last-place Astros, yielding 57 hits in 46 innings, walking 19 and striking out 38. After parts of three seasons in the big leagues, his combined record was an ungainly 1-11, 5.10. He became a free agent after the season and signed with the Washington Nationals for 2013. Given his lack of success in the Show, he was sent to the AAA Syracuse Chiefs to open the season, where he pitched extremely well. After 17 outings, he had a 1.06 ERA, prompting a call-up on May 21st. Although he continued his losing streak in the big leagues, with a record of 0-3, he otherwise was pretty good as attested by his 3,35 ERA in 39 games, and 32/10 strikeout to walk ratio in 37 2/3 innings. On November 25th, the Nats traded him to the Oakland Athletics in return for minor league OF John Wooten.