Yoslan Herrera Betancourt
formerly identified as Yuslan Herrera
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 200 lb.
Yoslan Herrera is a pitcher who pitched for the Cuban youth national team in 1999-2000. He went 7-2 with a 3.14 ERA for Pinar del Rio in the 2002-2003 Cuban National League, his best year. Overall, he went 18-7 with a 3.72 ERA in his career. He was left off the Cuban roster in the 2004 Olympics due to injury, though many news reports have mistakenly claimed he played a role in their gold medal run. Herrera never played for Cuban national team at the senior level. Yoslan defected from Cuba in July of 2005 and settled in the Dominican Republic but did not have a work visa. The Pittsburgh Pirates negotiated with Herrera in the off-season of 2006. Rumors came up throughout the fall that Yoslan had signed or that he had not signed because he failed a physical. The pitcher and club did come to terms on December 18th for a $750,000 signing bonus and a three-year deal worth $1.17 million, with bonuses of up to $1.2 million per year. Some people expressed concern that Herrera had not pitched for two years. The Pirates assigned Herrera to the Altoona Curve. He debuted on April 11 against the Akron Aeros, pitching five innings and allowing one run on 4 hits and a walk. He struck out two. Herrera was 6-9 with a 4.69 ERA for Altoona. He walked only 38 in 128 2/3 IP but allowed a .296 opponent batting average.
Herrera began 2008 with the Curve and had a 5-8, 3.11 record after 17 games; he has also made a spot start with the Indianapolis Indians. In July, he was called up to Pittsburgh when Phil Dumatrait went on the disabled list for the second time. He got a start against the St. Louis Cardinals and allowed 11 hits and 6 runs in 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision. He retired his first MLB batter, Aaron Miles, and tossed two scoreless innings before St. Louis struck for 3 in the third, 2 in the 4th and one in the fifth before Franquelis Osoria relieved. He finished the season 6-9 with a 3.46 ERA for the 2008 Curve and 1-1 with a 9.82 ERA, 35 walks and 12 walks in 18 1/3 IP for the 2008 Pirates. He finished 8th in the Eastern League in ERA.
He was excellent in 2009 with Altoona (11-1, 3.23) and Indianapolis (1-1, 2.30). He was second in the Bucco chain in wins, one behind Daniel McCutchen. He would have been second in the EL in ERA had he qualified, behind only Zach McAllister, .12 ahead of Felix Doubront. He tied Daniel Moskos and Ryan Mullins for third in wins behind Josh Tomlin and Joe Savery. Moving to the Minnesota Twins system in 2010, he was 0-3 with a 6.08 ERA for the Rochester Red Wings.
He was out of the minors in 2011-2012, then returned to pro ball with the 2013 Lancaster Barnstormers; as a reliever, he was 2-1 with 8 saves, a 3.91 ERA and 49 K in 46 IP over 52 games. He tied for 5th in the Atlantic League in pitching appearances.
On April 13, 2014, Herrera pitched in the major leagues for the first time since 2008. He made a relief appearance for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim against the New York Mets and, outside of walking a batter, pitched a perfect inning. He pitched 20 times for the Angels, putting up a solid 2.70 ERA to go along with a 1-1 record over 16 2/3 innings. After the season, he asked for his release so he could sign with the Yokohama BayStars of the Central League for the 2015 season.
Sources include the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Bucco Blog