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Vidal Nuno

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Vidal Vicente Nuno

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Pitcher Vidal Nuno made his major league debut in 2013.

Nuno was named the Heart of America Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2008. He had been a 48th round choice by the Cleveland Indians in the 2009 amateur draft, out of Baker University in Baldwin City, KS (the scout was Steve Abney). A prototypical long shot to make it to the Show, he pitched two seasons in the Indians organization. In 2009, he went 5-0, 2.39 between the AZL Indians (4 R in 7 IP) and Mahoning Valley Scrappers (5-0, 2.05, which would have been third in the New York-Penn League had he qualified), but in 2010, his record fell to 6-8 and his ERA rose to 4.96 in 21 games for the Lake County Captains, though he only walked 14 and fanned 94 in 94 1/3 IP. He was let go and had to pitch in the independent leagues to continue his career, making 6 starts for the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League, in which he went 2-3, 2.83, before signing with the Yankees in June of 2011. He went back down to the New York-Penn League, where he had pitched in his first pro season, and dominated opponents to the tune of a 5-0 record, 1 save and an 0.92 ERA in 8 games for the Staten Island Yankees. That earned him a promotion to the Charleston RiverDogs of the South Atlantic League, where he continued to do well, going 2-1, 1.80 in 7 starts. His combined record during that fateful season was 9-4, 1.95, with 100 strikeouts in 106 1/3 innings. Suddenly he was on the prospect radar screen.

In 2012, Vidal continued to pitch very well in a couple of minor league stops, first going 1-1, 2.96 in 11 games as a reliever for the Tampa Yankees, and then 9-5, 2.45 in 20 starts for the Trenton Thunder of the AA Eastern League. He led Yankee farmhands in strikeouts (126, two ahead of Dellin Betances) and ERA (2.54, .46 ahead of Nik Turley) while he tied Turley for third in wins. In winter ball, he was 4-3 with a save and a 2.52 ERA in 22 relief outings for the Aguilas del Zulia. He started the 2013 season in AAA, with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and had recorded a pair of wins with a 1.54 ERA in his first four starts, winning International League Pitcher of the Week, when he got the call to the Show.

He made his MLB debut with the New York Yankees on April 29, 2013, having been called up that day when Ivan Nova was placed on the disabled list. In his debut, he pitched three scoreless innings of relief in a 9-1 loss to the Houston Astros, having come into the game in the 7th inning after both starter Andy Pettitte and reliever Adam Warren had been shelled. He gave up four hits but no walks and struck out a pair. He only pitched 5 times for the Yankees that year, including 3 starts, and went 1-2, 2.25 in 20 innings, as a strained groin cut his season short just after he had been sent back to AAA in early June. In 2014, he was 2-5, 5.42 in 17 games for the Yankees, including 14 starts, then was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 6th in return for experienced starter Brandon McCarthy. The Yankees had just learned that CC Sabathia would likely be out for the season with a knee injury and did not want to have a young starter like Vidal learning on the job while they were trying to chase down a postseason slot. Pitching for Arizona on August 30th, he retired the last 20 batters he faced and allowed a run on two hits in 8 innings - but still lost to the Colorado Rockies as his teammates failed to back him up with any runs. That made him 0-4 in 10 starts since the trade, in spite of allowing 2 runs or less in 7 of those starts.

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