From BR Bullpen
Yulieski González Ledesma
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 0", Weight 172 lb.
González broke into the Cuban Serie Nacional in 1997-1998. In 2000-2001, he was 7-10 with a 4.26 ERA. He struggled in 2001-2002, he fell to 4-7, 7.01, allowing 90 hits in 60 1/3 IP. The young southpaw went 10-6 with a 3.41 ERA in 2002-2003 and followed with a 9-7, 4.36 campaign in 2003-2004. He led the 2004 Super Liga with 24 innings pitched. In 2004-2005, Yulieski had a 8-7, 3.89 record. In the finals, he threw a combined shutout for one of La Habana's two wins.
González debuted with the national team in the 2005 Baseball World Cup, going 3-0 with a 1.62 ERA; he allowed 10 hits in 16 2/3 innings, striking out 17 and walking four. He pitched well against Brazil, Canada (a shutout) and Panama (the Bronze Medal winner). He tied Shinsuke Saito and Diegomar Markwell for the most wins in the 2005 Cup. Markwell beat him out for the left-handed pitcher spot on the tournament All-Star team.
González went 9-6 with a 3.87 ERA in the 2005-2006 Serie Nacional. In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, he pitched three games, allowing no runs or hits in 2 2/3 innings - but walking five. Despite his limited inning total, he tied for second in the WBC in walks, only one behind leader Dontrelle Willis.
Yulieski struck out 7 in five scoreless innings in the 2006 Intercontinental Cup, allowing two hits and three walks and getting one win. In the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games, he allowed one run (on a homer) in two innings of work. He was 7-4 with a 3.51 ERA in the 2006-2007 Serie Nacional. His record was 1-0 with 2 saves and a 1.50 ERA in the 2007 World Port Tournament but did not play with the Cuban "A" team that year.
González had a strong 2007-2008 season with a 15-0 record. He started for the Western League in the 2008 All-Star Game but allowed a 3-run home run to Alexei Bell in the first; the West later rallied to win. He set a new Cuban Serie Nacional record for consecutive wins in a season; Rolando Macías and José Ibar had won 14 in a row to hold the record previously. González led the league in wins, winning percentage and strikeouts (111), was 7th in innings (124) and third in ERA (2.25). The only pitcher who had a comparably excellent year in Cuba was his teammate Jonder Martinez, the ERA leader; the two helped La Habana post the best record in their division in the regular season. He was named to the Serie Nacional All-Star team as the left-handed pitcher.
González's winning streak of 2007-2008 did not carry over into the 2008-2009 season, as he dropped his first game 6-1 to Guantanamo.
González finished 2008-2009 with a 9-4, 3.04 record, a significant drop-off from the prior year, if still good. He was 8th in the league in ERA and 5th in strikeouts.