Abad chases both the American and the Dominican dream

A's lefty Fernando Abad, Green Card in hand, has big plans for A's this season.

A’s lefty Fernando Abad, Green Card in hand, has big plans for A’s this season.

2015 figures to be a monumental year in the life of A’s reliever Fernando Abad.

Less than a month ago, the Dominican left-hander got his Green Card from the U.S. Government. In June, he’s due to get braces off his teeth, braces he’s worn for most of the last seven years.

And he’s a key member of an Oakland bullpen that helped the A’s make it to the playoffs last year, one that has hopes of doing the same in 2015.

“It’s been a big year already,’’ Abad said of getting his Green Card. It meant he had to spend almost all of the off-season in the U.S. rather than going to his native Dominican Republic, but he’s more than cool with that.

His goal for the next off-season is to get his kids, 23-month-old Fernando Jr. and 3-year-old Camilla Fernanda and their mom, Bettania, all green cards.

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Abad won’t remain A’s secret for long pitching like this

Two years ago, Fernando Abad was a little-known 28-year-old left-handed relief pitcher from the Dominican Republic trying to hang on in the big leagues.

He had a 1-11 record, a career 5.10 ERA and not particular prospects. He threw hard, but that wasn’t enough.

Then he and Rafael Soriano landed in the bullpen of the Washington Nationals at the same time in 2013. Soriano, who had closed for the Braves, the Rays and Tampa before landing in D.C., showed the then-28-year-old a few things.

“Soriano showed me how to throw the sinker,’’ Abad said. “I’m a 100 percent different pitcher now from two years ago because of that.’’

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