From BR Bullpen
Raisel Iglesias Travieso
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 165 lb.
 Biographical Information
Raisel Iglesias, whose first name is also sometimes spelled "Raicel", debuted for the Pineros de Isla de la Juventud in 2011-2012, going 1-1 with two saves and a 3.29 ERA, with poor control (54 BB in 76 2/3 IP). He was one of the younger members of the Cuban national team for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
He defected to Haiti in the fall of 2013, establishing residency there. He petitioned Major League Baseball to be recognized as an international free agent and began working out for major league teams soon thereafter. On June 27, 2014, he signed a seven-year contract with the Cincinnati Reds for a total of $27 million, with a $5 million signing bonus. The Reds were impressed by the fact he could throw four pitches of solid quality. His only action came in the Arizona Fall League that season.
Iglesias started his professional career straight in the major leagues. Although he had been mainly a relief pitcher in Cuba, the Reds asked him to be a starter and he won a job in the starting rotation coming out of spring training in 2015. He made his debut facing the St. Louis Cardinals on April 12th and began very strong, pitching four dominant scoreless innings before running into trouble in the 5th, when he gave up three runs. He ended up with a no-decision. He was then sent down to the minor leagues after that start, making four starts for the AAA Louisville Bats before being called back to the Reds for a one-off start on May 13th, as a result of a string of rainouts and doubleheaders. He was masterful that day, allowing the Atlanta Braves only one run on two hits over 8 innings to earn his first major league win, 5-1. When he had three straight starts with double-digit strikeouts later in the year, he became the first 'rookie' to do that in MLB since Hideo Nomo 20 years earlier. While wins were hard to come by, he was pitching well, putting together a string of seven consecutive quality starts late in the year. He ended the year with a record of 3-7, 4.15, in 18 games, including 16 starts, and a K/W ratio of 104/28 in 95 1/3 innings.