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. “