Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Our Right-Handed Starter?

Pat at WHYGAVS and Charlie at Bucs Dugout have reported that the Pirates have signed Cuban defector Yuslan Herrera, a 25 year old right-handed starting pitcher (there are others bringing this news to us also, but I read it at these two sites first). There is not much information available on him that I can find outside of what Pat and Charlie have found. Apparently he throws a fastball in the 88-92 mph range with an above average splitter, and has had some success in Cuba in the past. However, he defected after the 2004 Olympics and nobody seems to know what he's been doing since then. I'm not sure what to make of this alleged signing (no official word as of yet), but it is at the very least intriguing. This could mean that maybe Dave Littlefield is coming up with some new ideas about how to build a successful team, which would be beneficial to everyone. But more importantly, if Herrera can be a successful 4th starter, as one scout claims he could, he would be a very cheap and efficient way to fill the right-handed starter hole the Pirates currently have. That would leave a considerable amount of payroll available to use on the left-handed power hitter the team so desperately needs. Acquiring that impact hitter would have the Pirates on a definite move in the right direction.

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