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Deolis Guerra

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Deolis Alexander Guerra

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 5", Weight 250 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Deolis Guerra reached AAA in 2010, at age 21, then took until 2015 to make his major league debut.

Guerra originally signed with the New York Mets in 2005 at age 16. The scout was Rafael Bournigal. The right-hander made his pro debut with the Hagerstown Suns in 2006, going 6-7 with a 2.20 ERA and .208 opponent average. Promoted to the St. Lucie Mets, he was 1-1 with a 6.14 ERA in two late-season starts. Baseball America rated him as the #11 prospect in the South Atlantic League, right after Dexter Fowler. Had he qualified, Guerra would have been second in the SAL in ERA behind Matt Maloney.

The young Venezuelan spent 2007 with the St. Lucie club, going 2-6 with a 4.01 ERA. Baseball America rated him the #2 Mets prospect and #8 overall in the Florida State League between Ian Kennedy and Jose Tabata. He pitched for the World team in the 2007 Futures Game, allowing one homer to John Whittleman in the 5th and retired the other two batters he faced before being replaced by Franklin Morales.

Deolis was part of a blockbuster deal that winter, traded with Kevin Mulvey, Philip Humber and Carlos Gomez to the Minnesota Twins for Johan Santana. He was assigned to the Fort Myers Miracle, where the big right-hander was 11-9 with a 5.47 ERA.

Turning 20 years old in 2009, Guerra split time between Fort Myers (6-8, 4.69) and the New Britain Rock Cats (6-3, 5.17). In 2010, he went 2-10, 6.24 for New Britain but still got to reach AAA, where he was 0-3, 6.84 with the Rochester Red Wings. Things went slightly better in New Britain in 2011 (8-7, 5.59), but his results were still far from major league quality. He had been mainly a starting pitcher up to that point, but given his stall, he was moved to the bullpen in 2012, and seemed to turn a corner. He began that year with New Britain, and after posting an 0.71 ERA in 7 games, to go along with a 2-0 record and a save, he returned to AAA Rochester. The rest of the year, he was 2-3, 4.87 in 29 games. He was on the Venezuelan national team roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic but was one of their two pitchers who did not get into a game (José Mijares was the other). While with his national team in Puerto Rico, he suffered a life-threatening blood clot. He discovered it as he was suffering chest pains and went to see a local doctor, who diagnosed the problem as caused by poor circulation, but could not treat it. He flew back to the Fort Myers, FL area where the Twins were training; a team doctor had him immediately evacuated by helicopter to Tampa General Hospital. The blood clot could have caused a fatal heart attack or stroke had it been left untreated any longer. He had to take blood thinners, then had a rib removed to ease blood flow, then went on a long recovery.

As a result of the health problem and subsequent operation, he was limited to 3 games and 4 innings with the GCL Twins in 2013. He then pitched in winter ball and in the 2014 Caribbean Series, he tossed two hitless, walkless, scoreless innings for the Navegantes del Magallanes, fanning 3 and getting a win. In 2014, he was healthy again and pitched 36 times for Rochester, with a record of 2-2, 4.33. He did strike out 54 opponents in 52 innings.

He became a free agent after the 2014 season and signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Something seemed to click when he joined the Indianapolis Indians at the start of the 2015 season, as he went 2-1, 1.23 with 4 saves in 25 games to receive the long-awaited call-up to the Show. The Pirates selected his contract on June 26th when Rob Scahill went on the disabled list and he made his debut the next day, pitching the final inning of an 8-4 win over the Atlanta Braves. he was 2-0, 6.48 in 10 games for Pittsburgh. he was designated for assignment at the end of July, in order for the Pirates to send him back to Indianapolis, but by the time he had cleared waivers, he was on the sidelines with a knee inflammation and did not pitch again that season. He became a free agent, re-signed with the Pirates on a minor league contact on December 7th, but a few days later, on December 10th, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim took him in the 2015 Rule V Draft, and it was with the Angels that he headed to spring training in 2016.

He has pitched with the Navegantes del Magallanes of the Venezuela League every year since 2008. He split Setup Man of the Year honors with Jorge Rondon in 2014-2015 despite a 4.24 ERA.

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[edit] Further Reading

  • Alden Gonzalez: "After nearly dying, Guerra grateful for second chance: Angels' Rule 5 pick, who had blood clot surgery in '13, seeking 'pen spot", mlb.com, March 14, 2016. [1]

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