Maya with the Washington Nationals
|Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim|
August 28, 1981 |
Pinar del Río, Cuba
|September 7, 2010, for the Washington Nationals|
(through 2013 season)
|Earned run average||5.80|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Pan American Games|
|2007 Rio de Janeiro||Team|
|Baseball World Cup|
|Central American and Caribbean Games|
Yunesky Maya Mendizula (born August 28, 1981) is a right-handed pitcher in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization, and formerly pitcher of the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball and Pinar del Río of the Cuban National Series. He was part of the Cuban national baseball team at the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic.
In the 2008–2009 Cuban National Series Season Maya finished with a 13–4 record and seven complete games, and finished second amongst League Leaders in ERA with 2.22 ERA. He was also second in Strikeouts with 119, behind Aroldis Chapman who had 130 (after the season, Chapman defected and signed with the Cincinnati Reds). On this performance, Maya won Cuba's equivalent of the Cy Young Award. During six Cuban National Series seasons, Maya accumulated a record of 48–29 and an ERA of 2.51.
In Summer 2009, Maya was expelled from the Cuban national baseball team; the official newspaper Granma referred to "grave problems of indiscipline", presumably following a failed attempt to leave the country without permission. In September 2009, Maya successfully fled Cuba. After living in the Dominican Republic for about nine months, the United States Department of Treasury authorized Maya to sign with a Major League Baseball team.
On July 31, 2010, Maya signed with the Washington Nationals. Maya zoomed through the Nationals minor league system, making only five starts, before getting the call to the majors when rosters expanded in September. In the minors he started two games for the GCL Nationals; one game for the Potomac Nationals; and two games for the Syracuse Chiefs, combining for 21-1/3 innings pitched and an overall ERA of 3.38 ERA. He pitched five inning in his first major league start was on September 7, 2010, against the New York Mets (which also saw the big league debut of Met Dillon Gee). After a rough start (allowing a three-run homer in the first inning to Ike Davis), he retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced.
On May 29, 2011, Maya was recalled by the Washington Nationals to take the rotation spot of Tom Gorzelanny, who was placed on the disabled list. Collin Balester was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse to make room. He was designated for assignment on May 25, 2013. However, the Nationals got him back and sent him outright to the Syracuse Chiefs. He signed a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves in January 2014. On February 2, 2016, Maya signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Angels.
The Braves released Maya in July 2014, and he signed with the Doosan Bears of the Korea Baseball Organization, replacing Chris Volstad in their starting rotation. Maya pitched to a 2-4 record and a 4.86 ERA in 11 games started for the Bears, who brought him back for the 2015 season. He threw a no-hitter on April 9, 2015. However, his final ERA of 8.17 caused his release from the team.
- "Yunieski Maya Mendizula" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on December 10, 2004. Retrieved October 8, 2006.
- "Béisbol Pitcheo Clasificatoria" (in Spanish). Retrieved October 10, 2006.
- Wang, Gene (September 7, 2010). "Yuniesky Maya Mendizula debuts, but Nationals succumb to Mets, 4–1". Washington Post. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
- "El Nuevo Herald" (in Spanish). Retrieved May 19, 2010.
- "Todo el mundo se prepara para la XXXVIII Copa" (in Spanish). Retrieved September 9, 2009.
- "Cuban Colada: Star pitcher Maya emigrates – illegally". Retrieved September 9, 2009.
- Rojas, Enrique. "Source: Maya signs with Nationals". ESPNdeportes.com. ESPN.com. Retrieved September 6, 2010.
- Rosenstein, Greg (2010-07-31). "Cuban hurler Maya signs contract with Nats". mlb.com. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
- "Yuneski Maya". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 6, 2010.
- Kilgore, Adam (2011-05-29). "Yunesky Maya starts, and the Nationals lineup". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
- "Major League Baseball Transactions". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
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