Faustino Corrales Denis
- Bats Left, Throws Left
Faustino Corrales pitched for over 20 years in Cuba and retired among the all-time leaders in several departments. He led the league in strikeouts four times and also won a strikeout title in Italy.
Corrales first came to attention in 1983-1984 when the teenaged Forestales southpaw led the Cuban Serie Nacional with 143 strikeouts. Faustino threw a no-hitter on November 19, 1991. For the 1991-1992 Serie Nacional, he tied Roberto Ibáñez and Jorge Antonio Martínez Gerardo for the league lead with three shutouts. He also won his second strikeout title with 100. In the '92 Series Selectivas, he led with 89 K for Pinar del Río. He still failed to win a spot on Cuba's squad for the 1992 Olympics as they only went to a 7-man staff.
Corrales made his Cuban national team debut in the 1994 Baseball World Cup. He was 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA to help Cuba win Gold, striking out 14 and allowing only 3 hits in 10 innings. He still had the worst ERA on Cuba's superb staff which also featured Omar Ajete, Rolando Arrojo, Liván Hernández, Lazaro Valle, Orlando Hernández and Osvaldo Fernandez. It would be five years until his next stint with the national team.
In 1994-1995, Corrales tossed three shutouts to tie Fernandez, Orlando Hernández, Ormari Romero and José Ibar for the league lead. In 1995, he was allowed to play in Italy's Serie A1 for Parma. He went 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA, striking out 184 in 114 2/3 IP and allowing a .160/.262/.183 batting line. He was 3-1 with a 1.25 ERA in the postseason as Parma won the title. He led Italy in both ERA and strikeouts while finishing three wins behind leader Gianni Ricci.
Pitching for Pinar del Río in 1995-1996, the veteran led the Serie Nacional with 11 complete games, 128 strikeouts and 63 walks. In 1996-1997, he helped Pinar del Río win the title, forming an amazing rotation with Pedro Luis Lazo, José Contreras and Abel Madera.
Corrales allowed one run in 2 2/3 IP in the 1999 Pan American Games as Cuba won Gold. In the 1999 Intercontinental Cup, he was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 14 innings including a 2-hit shutout of Taiwan. He joined Adrian Meagher as the pitchers on the All-Tournament Team. He tied Chuck Bauer, Tom Becker, Taiyo Fujita and Meagher for the tourney's best ERA. Faustino tied Hiroki Kuroda, Ciro Licea, Meagher, Chung-Nan Tsai, Masanori Sugiura and Steve Falteisek for second in wins, one behind Shayne Bennett. He ranked fifth in strikeouts behind Licea, Tae-hyon Chong, Kuroda and Meagher. Cuba took home the Silver Medal.
From 1990-1999, Corrales had a 55-19, 2.88 record, for the best ERA and winning percentage in Cuba in the 1990s; in ERA, he edged teammate Lazo by .06. He allowed just a .211 opponent average for the decade.
On December 20, 2000, Corrales struck out 22 batters in a nine-inning game for a new Cuban record for a 9-inning game; Rogelio García held the record for any game with 24. Faustino broke the 31-year-old 9-inning record of 20 held by Santiago Mederos.
Corrales was 2-0 with a 1.15 ERA in the 2001 World Port Tournament and beat the Dutch national team in the finale. He struck out 21 in 15 2/3 IP. He led the event in strikeouts, tied for second in wins and was 7th in ERA.
Corrales retired after 2004-2005 as Cuba's all-time leader in seasons pitched (23). Through 2008-2009, the left-hander ranked 3rd in Cuban history in seasons pitched (behind Carlos Yánes and Misael López), 5th in starts (381), 11th in wins (172), 11th in losses (135), 9th in innings (2,544 1/3), 2nd in strikeouts (2,360, behind Rogelio Garcia) and 2nd in walks (1,198, 2nd to Yánes). His career ERA was 3.29.