Another Cuban Defection - Raciel Iglesias

Cuba lost one of their better relievers when Raciel Iglesias left to try to play for the major leagues.  At 23 years of age and having played three years in the Cuban Nacional Series he would not go against a team’s international salary restriction.  Two sites, baseballdecuba and Baseball America have reported on his departure.  You can see his three year’s of stats for the Isla de Juventud here:  http://www.baseballdecuba.com/newsite/newsContainer.asp?id=3332 

Cuba does not have a lot of pitchers who throw hard, but despite his slight frame of 5′11″, 165 pounds Raciel can bring his fastball into the 90-94 mile per hour range.  He pitched for the Cuban National team in the World Baseball Classic where he appeared in five games, putting up a 3.86 ERA in four plus innings but striking out six.

Myworld was at a game in Durham that Raciel Iglesias pitched.  He was hitting 94-95 miles per hour on the radar gun with an excellent breaking pitch.  He struck out two of the three hitters he faced in the ninth inning.

This would be the second major defection of a Cuban player.  Slugger Jose Abreu defected a couple months ago and is ready to hold tryouts for major league teams.  He has still not been approved by the Foreign Assets Control (FAC) to sign a contract.      

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