White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

June 15, 2010

Yuniesky Maya free to sign with any MLB club

Google translation of Enrique Rojas’ ESPN deportes column (h/t MLBTR):

The Department of U.S. Treasury on Monday granted permission needed Yunieski Maya Cuban pitcher to sign with a Major League club, according to ESPNdeportes.com one of the handles of the player.

Edgar Mercedes, academia “Born To Play” from the Dominican Republic, said Maya was authorized to sign for the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC, for its acronym in English), a Treasury Department agency that ensures that it comply with the provisions of the U.S. embargo against Cuba. “Now you only need to reach an agreement with an organization to be professional,” said Mercedes.

[The embargo against Cuba is down-right stupid. Punishing people for no reason…]

The White Sox were interested in Maya in December, not-interested in January, and interested again in May.

Maybe Kenny wants to trade J.J. Putz?

BTW, here’s my Yuniesky Maya scouting report.

May 19, 2010

White Sox interested in Yuniesky Maya again?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 19, 2010 2:20 pm
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Google translation of Jorge Ebro’s El Nuevo Herald column (h/t MLBTR):

Several reports indicate that Chicago White Sox and New York Mets would be among those who have expressed interest in the former pitcher for the national teams of the island. “From what we have seen, is consistently scoring between 92 and 94 mph,” Hernandez said.” But the main thing it is not so much the speed as the amount of resources and the ability to combine them. He knows how to get outs.”

Here are all my previous posts, including scouting reports and videos, on Yuniesky Maya. Scott Merkin wrote in January:

I was told at SoxFest that the White Sox scouted Maya and watched him throw, but they dropped out of the Maya picture after signing J.J. Putz. The money wanted wasn’t commensurate with where the White Sox thought Maya would be pegged as a fourth- or fifth-starter type.

Maya is at least six years older and right-handed, but on the other hand, boasts far more competitive experience and, by all accounts, a fuller arsenal of secondary pitches. Maya told Terreno de Pelota’s Uziel Gomez [Google translation] last September he alternates between a 94-mile-an-hour heater, slider, change-up, curve, and sinker, a repertoire which scouts backed up after seeing Maya in action at a workout late last year.In the 48th National Series that ended last year, Maya ended second to Chapman in strikeouts, 119 to 130, but outdistanced the younger pitcher in the league’s equivalent of the Cy Young, thanks to Maya’s superior overall stats: 13-4, seven complete games, and a 2.22 ERA in 145 IP. In six Cuban campaigns, Maya managed a 48-29 record with a 2.51 ERA and was also lights-out in both of his brief appearances at the WBC.
BTW, here’s Maya’s approach for Ichiro (from the Terreno de Pelota link):
“I always tried to open with the first strike in the lower to get above them in the count. Ichiro worked with him side shoots, the high and the surf line, changing the time of pitching. I got a grounder to second and then shortstop. “

Those Google translations are da bomb!

February 25, 2010

‘If Viciedo can get $10 million, then what am I worth’ ask Cuban ballplayers

Campbell @ Toronto Star:

Neither Morales nor Escobar was a full-time starter in Cuba, but each has excelled in the majors. And Krieger says eyes across the island opened wide when Viciedo signed with the White Sox.

Touted as Cuba’s next great shortstop, Viciedo entered the National Series as a 15-year-old in 2005, and hit 14 home runs the next year. From there, Krieger says, his production declined, yet after defecting in 2008 he still signed a four-year, $10-million (all figures U.S.) deal with Chicago.

“Viciedo had a very significant impact on the thinking of Cuban players,” he said. “They thought, `If he can get $10 million, then what am I worth?” …

February 16, 2010

February 16 links

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 16, 2010 11:18 am
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– Dan Hudson comes in at no. 9 in Phil Rogers’ ROY predictions.

– Could the Sox move their games and anchor a new FM sports radio station in Chicago?

– B-R will get Negro League (1940-1948) and Cuban statistics.

– Sox have won 14 and lost 8 arbitration hearings since 1974 when arbitration began.

– “There is a good chance that [Yuniesky] Maya will choose a team that offers a better opportunity to immediately enter its starting rotation.” (Bradford).

– Gregor’s spring training preview. Whitesox.com spring training previews here, here, and here.

PECOTA has been updated. Sox projected at 80-82 in a tight AL Central.

January 29, 2010

Sox drop out of the Yuniesky Maya sweepstakes

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 29, 2010 12:53 pm
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Last month we learned that the Sox were interested in Cuban RHP pitcher Yuniesky Maya. Merkin says they aren’t interested any more:

What is the latest on Cuban defector Yuniesky Maya? The last I’d heard about him was around Christmas time, and the White Sox and Mets were said to be the front-runners to land him. After watching a little bit of footage of him pitching, I think he’d be a good fit as a long reliever out of the bullpen.
— Dan, Aurora, Ill.

I was told at SoxFest that the White Sox scouted Maya and watched him throw, but they dropped out of the Maya picture after signing J.J. Putz. The money wanted wasn’t commensurate with where the White Sox thought Maya would be pegged as a fourth- or fifth-starter type.

BTW, here’s my Yuniesky Maya scouting report.

December 24, 2009

Yuniesky Maya scouting report

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 24, 2009 9:26 pm
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Yesterday we learned that the Sox and the Mets are the front-runners to sign 27–year-old Cuban RHP Yuniesky Maya. Maya and fellow Cuban Deinys Suarez threw for several scouts in the Dominican last week:

One scout said Maya, 28, threw in the 88-92 mph range, much like he did in the World Baseball Classic this year when he had a 1.23 ERA in 7 1/3 innings.

“That’s what he normally pitches,” said Maya’s agent Bart Hernandez. “His command was great. He has three plus quality pitches and he throws them for strikes.”

B-R Bullpen says he trows 4 pitches:

Maya’s repertoire includes a fastball (which peaks at 90 mph), curveball, changeup and slider.

Here’s another scouting report on Maya from cubanballplayers.blogspot.com:

Maya began his baseball career late. He has played six Cuban seasons. The 27 year old Maya is listed as 6’0 and 190 pounds.  The righthander from Pinar del Rio debuted in the ’04 season. Maya was the winning pitcher at the ’05 Serie Nacional All-Star game where he threw three scoreless innings.

During this past season (SN 48), Maya finished 2nd in ERA with 2.22, tied for 1st in CG with 7, tied for 1st in Wins with 13, tied for 1st in Shutouts with 2, 1st in IP with 146, 2nd in Strikeouts with 119 and tied for 5th in Dead Balls with 13.

Maya said during a recent interview that he replaced the slider with a curveball. He also throws sinker, changeup and fastball. This year he touched 96 MPH against Villa Clara. Pedro Pérez, the pitching coach for the Cuban National team, asked him to throw even more inside fastballs. …

He finished with 119Ks and 40 BBs. Peter Bjarkman’s blog shows a 1.51 ERA with 81 Ks and 23 BBs in the midpoint of that season. Here are his W-L and ERA numbers for the last 5 years.

Yuniesky Maya was voted the best right handed pitcher in the Cuban 48th series (2008) awards according to myworldofbaseball:

Maya doesn’t throw 100, but is a pitcher that knows how to slice and dice the corners.  He throws in the low 90s and mixes in a curveball, changeup and slider.  At 27, Maya can probably help a rotation now.

And here are a couple videos of Yuniesky Maya on youtube. You can see the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd innings of his start against Japan in the WBC.

December 23, 2009

Sox close to signing 27–year-old Cuban RHP Yuniesky Maya?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 23, 2009 1:20 pm
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According to Globedia.com the Mets and White Sox are the front-runners to sign 27–year-old Cuban RHP Yuniesky Maya. We don’t know much about these foreign imports and, just like with Ryota Igarashi, information is hard to come by.

Matt Cerrone of Metsblog described Maya as “major-league ready, mature, and has a low-90s fastball with a decent change-up and slurve… he is known for being a bit of a bulldog, pitching inside, challenging hitters.”

According to the Baseball Reference Bullpen Maya Cuba’s top right-handed hurler in 2008-2009. If you read closely it appears Maya would be better suited out of the bullpen.

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