Raisel Iglesias Extends Ties Of Cincinnati With Cubans

Raisel Iglesias is the latest chapter in the long history of the relationship between the Cincinnati Reds and the Cuban baseball players, started more than a century ago with the hiring of Armando Marsans and Rafael Almeida in 1911.

Iglesias follows in the footsteps of the great Adolfo Luque, the first Latin in a World Series, that of 1919 famous for the sale of eight players of the Black Sox.

Or Tany Perez, soul and heart of the Great Red Machinery of the 70s.

He is the current closure of the Reds the Cuban number 25 in wearing the shirt of the oldest professional club of all the Major Leagues, for which they passed at some point other stars, like Camilo Pascual, Cookie Rojas, Mike Cuellar and Aroldis Chapman, hardest man has thrown a baseball.

That, without counting other players who are currently in the organization’s Minor League system, such as shortstop Alfredo Rodríguez and pitcher Vladimir Gutiérrez.

After alternating between starter and reliever in his first two seasons, Iglesias has established himself, without noise, almost in anonymity, as one of the most effective closers today, adding zero after zero and with 17 saves in just 18 opportunities of rescue that has left him a mediocre pitching corps, the worst of all major leagues.

“We are going through a difficult situation concerning the starters, but I do not worry about the number of saves. I prepare always to be ready to help the team when it’s needed, taking care of my career-average numbers, because that’s how I help the most, “explained Iglesias, who was the starter of the 2016 Opening Game for the Reds.

Iglesias Adapts To Us Baseball

Last season pitcher Raisel Iglesias with the Cincinnati Reds finished in mid-September with fatigue in his right shoulder. By then, the Cuban rookie was worn out, on and off the pitch.

“Last year was quite long for me,” Iglesias said. “I thought the season would never end.”

Iglesias was referring more than anything to the differences in culture and the extension of the campaign of the majors, in comparison with the Cuban society and the baseball season in that country.

“I think Cuban baseball players have to get used to a longer season,” he said.

The 26-year-old pitcher, a native of Juventus Island, was a reliever in Cuba, but his control and arsenal of four pitches convinced the Reds to use him as a starter. Iglesias went 3-7 with a 4.15 ERA in 16 starts, including a run of three consecutive starts between August 23 and September 2 in which he scored at least ten strikeouts.

Iglesias was the first rookie in the majors to strike out at least ten batters in three consecutive games since Hideo Nomo in 1995. Among the rookies, Iglesias was the second best pitcher in batting average of the opponents, sixth ineffectiveness, and strikeouts, ninth in innings and openings.

“Coming from a different system, I was not used to throwing in these conditions, but I’m happy with the season I had,” he said.

And the load finally wore the right.

“It is impossible to know how many innings Raisel sent in Cuba. The sport is different internationally and in an industrial league. I’m sure they play a lot of games between the same team, and then it was a whole year without pitching, “manager Bryan Price said. “We put him in a program to give him flexibility, and he started throwing after the others in the training camps. We believe that flexibility will be the difference. “