Tag:Yunesky Maya
Posted on: July 31, 2011 1:24 am
Edited on: July 31, 2011 1:26 am

3 Up, 3 Down: Dutch deals in Toronto

By Matt Snyder

Derek Holland, Rangers. The man they call "Dutch" in Rangers country -- Dutch_Oven45 is his Twitter handle -- was absolutely magnificent Saturday afternoon in Toronto. He held the Blue Jays to just four hits in his complete-game shutout, and three of those didn't even make it to the outfield. The one line drive to the outfield was courtesy of Jose Bautista, too, which is completely forgivable. Holland is now 10-4 with a 4.14 ERA and has thrown a shutout in three of his past five outings. In fact, he's tied with Cliff Lee for the major-league lead with four shutouts.

Yunesky Maya, Nationals. He wasn't even supposed to start. Just a few hours before the game, the Nationals traded scheduled starter Jason Marquis to the Diamondbacks, thrusting Maya into the starting role. He entered the game with a 6.31 ERA in nine career starts and was facing a red hot Mets team. Maya went out and worked 5 1/3 scoreless innings, spreading out five hits. The Nationals went on to win 3-0 and ended their six-game losing streak.

Dan Uggla, Braves. Perhaps only Adam Dunn was more of a disaster in the majors for most of the 2011 season. But Uggla has picked things up for the Braves of late. Saturday, he clubbed a three-run homer in the Braves' 5-1 win over the Marlins. Since July 4, Uggla is hitting .338 with eight homers, 18 RBI and an OPS north of 1.100. It couldn't be happening at a better time, either, with Brian McCann on the shelf and Chipper Jones struggling to stay healthy.

Joakim Soria, Royals. The Royals handed their closer the ball with a 2-1 lead over the Indians in the bottom of the ninth. He got two outs before Matt LaPorta's three-run walkoff bomb nestled into the left field stands. Soria finished with a line of 2/3 innings, two hits, a walk, a hit batsman, four earned runs, a loss and a blown save. Needless to say, that's not a very good day at the office.

Zach Britton and Jason Berken, Orioles. This was about as ugly as it gets. In the second game of a double-header, the Orioles could have used a deep start by Britton to save the bullpen. Instead, he was awful. He only recorded one out while walking one, allowing seven hits and nine runs (six earned). Berken came on in relief and wasn't much better. He made it through 2 2/3 innings, giving up eight hits, two walks and seven earned runs. Yes, the Orioles trailed 16-1 through three innings. They lost 17-3. Also, for the first time in their storied history, the Yankees scored 12 runs in the first inning.

Colby Rasmus, Blue Jays. He's now 0-12 with five strikeouts since coming over in a trade from the Cardinals. As I reminded someone on Twitter Saturday afternoon, it's definitely a small sample size, but a bad start for the kid trying to win over Toronto fans.

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Posted on: February 11, 2011 12:42 pm

Long list of contenders for Nats rotation

MayaThere's seemingly no end to the list of pitchers that could win a rotation spot for the Nationals.

Luis Atilano, Ross Detwiler, Tom Gorzelanny, Livan Hernandez, John Lannan, Jason Marquis, J.D. Martin, Yunesky Maya, Craig Stammen, Jordan Zimmermann... that's a lot of names for just five spots.

Of course, most of these spots are locked up. It's hard to imagine Hernandez (pictured) not winning a spot when he's the projected Opening Day starter a season after posting a 3.66 ERA in 211 2/3 innings.

"Here's the thing about baseball," pitching coach Steve McCatty told the Washington Post. "Until somebody says, 'Hey, you have it,' you better fight your butt off to keep it. I'm sure that the guys realize, 'Hey, Livo is probably going to be starting. They look at how many starts are open. 'I don't know how many spots we have, but I want to be one of them.' Competition should bring out the best of them."

Hernandez figures to be joined in the rotation by Marquis, Lannan and Zimmermann, leaving just one spot for the scrum to get. But as McCatty points out, what if Marquis shows he's not all the way back from injury? Or Zimmermann, despite his loads of talents, doesn't put it all together?

"I'm not trying to sit here and say those guys are nailed down," McCatty said of the projected front four. "Those are the guys who roll off your tongue first, but it doesn't mean it's a lock. Those final decisions will come down to [manager Jim Riggleman] and [GM Mike Rizzo]."

The leaders for the No. 5 spot are Maya and Gorzelanny. Maya defected from Cuba and spent 2010 in the farm system, making a handful of starts down the stretch, but the 29-year-old didn't impress. A star turn in the winter leagues has boosted his stock, but he will have to contend with the recently-acquired Gorzelanny, recently of the Cubs. A year younger than Maya, Gorzelanny pitches from the left side and has unquestioned stuff but has struggled to put it all together consistently. If he finally goes, it could be a major gain for the Nationals.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 28, 2010 3:17 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2010 3:17 pm

Cards GM likes club's defense and more

In another impossibly slow day in between Christmas and New Year's, we bring you a roundup of the latest news, a term to be used loosely...

  • Cardinals GM John Mozeliak admitted he sacrificed defense in favor of offense this offseason by adding Lance Berkman and Ryan Theriot. Berkman is impossibly being asked to play right field when he has no business being back in the outfield while Theriot was moved to second by the Cubs for a reason -- and dumped onto the Dodgers who then dumped The Riot on the Cards. Ah, but --

    "I'm of the belief that the defense question is being overstated," Mozeliak told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "Overall, the idea that we've lessened our club that much defensively I guess I understand from the comment that we traded Brendan. But I don't see the big change. I think this is going to be a good defensive club, if not better."

    Hogwash. Remember this quote when the Cardinals are falling apart on defense, move Berkman to left and go on the hunt for a better middle infielder to replace either Theriot or Skip Schumaker, expected to man second.
  • The Nationals saw Cuban defector Yunesky Maya named as the Dominican Winter League's pitcher of the year. Maya posted a 1.32 ERA in eight starts, whiffing 42 batters in 41 innings as MASN reports.

    Maya had a 5.88 ERA in five starts for Washington at the end of the season but will be looked upon to help deepen a rotation that will be without Stephen Strasburg for most, if not all, of 2011.

    The Rookie of the Year award, meanwhile, went to Eury Perez, who played at Class A in 2010 and is evolving into a possible leadoff man for the Nats in a couple years.
  • SI.com's Jon Heyman reports the Red Sox are still looking at left-handed reliever Brian Fuentes, who reportedly wants three years and around $15 million. No wonder he's still on the market.

    Also no word on if Fuentes is intimidated by the length of time the Red Sox have spent staring at him, which has been all offseason. Would creep me out.
  • Jeff Francis has received plenty of interest, but no contract offers as the Canadian tells the Vancouver Province.

    There is rumored interest from the Mets, Yankees, Rangers, Nationals and Pirates, but Francis is keeping his cool.

    "It's exciting for people to read because they think there's lots of things happening," Francis said, "but it's not as fast-paced as it's all made out to be. Teams are interested, but that's about it at this point."

    Jeffrey Franchise helped lead the Rockies to the 2007 World Series but has been plagued by injuries since, having surgery to repair a torn labrum in 2009 and struggling to produce in 2010.

  • A sad Christmas for Matt Kemp, who split up with singer Rihanna just before the holiday after an 11-month romance as the Toronto Sun reveals. Perhaps Kemp's focus will be improved in 2011 after questions around his desire and relationship with Rihanna surfaced as questions in his inconsistent 2010. Of course, if he continues to not produce, there will be those who say he's taking the breakup hard.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: September 26, 2010 7:51 pm

Nats' Maya adjusting to American baseball

Yunesky Maya Yunesky Maya got Saturday's game off to a good start, but ended up coughing up five runs (four earned) in a 5-0 loss to the Braves.

That brings the Cuban's major-league line to 0-3 with a 6.43 ERA in four starts. Not exactly the quality the Nats hoped to get after Maya spent years as one of Cuba's top pitchers.

However, Washington feels that there's much more in Maya that will eventually surface.

"The culture shock, everything that he's been through to get to this point, it's been a lot," pitching coach Steve McCatty explained to the Washington Post . "It's a tough adjustment. He's changing his whole idea how to pitch. Learning in the big leagues can be a tough thing to do. You get exposed fairly quickly."

Adjusting to a whole new country and culture is a major undertaking, but Maya has also had to contend with far tighter strike zones and discerning players, at one point marveling at the discipline Class A hitters exhibited -- and those players are a far way from major-league plate discipline.

As a result, Maya has turned into a nibbler at the major-league level, a label that seems to plague any pitcher coming in from outside America, including Daisuke Matsuzaka who is perhaps the poster boy for nibbling.

"I have a lot more to show, to prove here," Maya mentioned, catcher Wil Nieves serving as translator. "This is the best baseball in the world. Every day, I feel more comfortable. There's always room for improvement. You've got to be positive. I believe I can be successful up here."

Maya still has a ways to go, but has the right mindset in terms of putting pitches in the strike zone. He began the Braves game by throwing nine of his first 11 pitches for strikes. However, the sun contributed to a dropped pop-up, Brian McCann's fluky grounder through the left side of the infield ("McCann doesn't hit groundballs to the left side of the infield," Riggleman says) and an ill-timed home run all contributed to Maya's final line of four earned runs on eight hits, three walks and just one strikeout.

"He's gotten better each time," manager Jim Riggleman said of the righty's outings. "I think what he shows us is what he is. It's going to work."

The Nats better hope it works, as Maya has a four-year, $6 million deal to prove his worth.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 4, 2010 4:44 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2010 7:35 pm

Nats' Maya may debut on Tuesday

Yunesky Maya How about Aroldis Chapman and Stephen Strasburg rolled into one?

Yunesky Maya is Cuban and playing for the Nationals, so he's kind of like a combo of two of the game's top pitching prospects.

Anyway, the 29-year old Maya could be making his major league debut Tuesday at Nationals Park against the Mets, the Washington Post 's Adam Kilgore reports .

Kilgore cites a source that the team is moving left-hander Scott Olsen to the bullpen and Olsen's spot in the rotation -- Tuesday -- is now officially listed as TBA by the Nationals.

The will likely go to Maya, who signed a four-year, $6 million contract with the Nationals. He started two games at Triple-A Syracuse, allowing one run, eight hits, five walks and striking out nine in 10 1/3 innings. He made three total starts in the minors, going 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA.

The right-handed Maya is a veteran of the Cuban national team and its ace the last few years. Maya defected last year. In his final year in Cuban's top league, Maya was 13-4 with a 2.22 ERA and won the league's equivalent of the Cy Young Award.

Olsen's move to the bullpen hurts his wallet more than his pride. Because of the incentive-laden contract the left-hander signed, he received $100,000 for every start of the season he made after his 13th (he made $250,000 for starts 11 and 12). Olsen is 3-8 with a 5.88 ERA. He allowed eight hits and nine runs in 1 2/3 innings against the Marlins on Wednesday.

UPDATE: NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman reports Maya will indeed start on Tuesday.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: August 15, 2010 1:47 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:18 am

Nats stand slightly behind Marquis

Jason Marquis Nationals manager Jim Riggleman's vote of confidence in starter Jason Marquis relayed very little confidence on Sunday.

When asked by reporters if Marquis would make his next start -- Friday in Philadelphia -- Riggleman said, "when the dust settles, we'll probably run Jason out there again."

What was left unsaid was that the bullpen would be ready to come into the game pretty darn quickly. In five starts this season, he's yet to make it out of the fifth inning. He's managed to get through just four innings in each of his two starts since coming off the disabled list earlier this month after elbow surgery. He is owed $7.5 million for 2011, so the Nats are stuck with this conundrum for another season, too.

Riggleman noted he hadn't talked to general manager Mike Rizzo or pitching coach Steve McCatty about the start yet.

The team could go with Yuniesky Maya or Jordan Zimmerman, MASN's Ben Goessling speculates . The team has also used relievers Miguel Batista and Craig Stammen as starters this season.

Zimmermann is scheduled to start for Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday and has thrown 29 2/3 minor league innings in his return from Tommy John surgery.

"He feels like he's ready," Riggleman said. "I'm sure he feels like five days from now, he's ready to pitch here. That's something we'll consider, but the likelihood is, he'll stay down there a little longer."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com