Monday, October 30, 2006

Yuslan Herrera?

I was going to get a post ready tonight about potential free agent starters that might be on the Pirates' radar for tomorrow morning, but apparently DL is acting quickly. The BCT is reporting that the Bucs have signed Cuban defector Yuslan Herrera (link via Bucs Dugout). I've been Googling Herrera like crazy and can only come up with two Baseball America articles about the guy. One is the same as the one that Charlie links to about him from August, in which an unnamed scout projects him as a fourth starter. He is 25 year old right-handed starter with a high 80s/low 90s fastball and a good splitter and a good curve. The consensus seems to be that he could pitch in the bigs right now. This BA article is from the same time period and has most of the same material about him, but mentions that the last time he is believed to have pitched in Cuba is the "2003/2004 season," which meshes with Perrotto's report that he defected after the 2004 Olympics. That, of course, means that we don't have a WBC performance of his to judge. Beyond that there's not much about him besides some mentions of him on message boards and lots of stuff in Spanish. Though I'm a bit hesitant over the fact that it seems possible that he hasn't pitched competitively in 2 years, it's encouraging to see Littlefield looking outside of his typically very narrow field of vision for talent. I'll post more when/if I find it.