Manuel Alcides Molina Acosta
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 170 lb.
Manny Acosta saw action in six big league seasons.
Acosta signed with the New York Yankees as a teenager and had a rough debut in 1998 with the DSL Yankees, going 0-1 with a save and a 16.43 ERA. In 7 2/3 innings, he walked 10 and allowed 20 hits. They brought him back for 1999 and he improved to 4-2, 3.16 with 38 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings. In 2000, Manny was 4-2 with a 3.47 ERA for the GCL Yankees. He started 2001 with a blast for the Greensboro Bats (5-2, 1.51, 37 hits allowed and 67 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings) but was less impressive in a brief stint with the Tampa Yankees (0-1, 7.71). In 2002, he returned to Greensboro and was just 2-5 with a 6.40 ERA and 2.10 WHIP. He was 2-1 with a 4.11 ERA with the Staten Island Yankees as well. After starting 2003 0-8 with a 6.64 ERA for the Battle Creek Yankees, Manny was released.
The Atlanta Braves picked up the right-hander, who was 2-0 with a save and 6.34 ERA in eight games for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. In 2004, he pitched for Myrtle Beach (4-0, 4.24 in 11 games) and the GCL Braves (2 runs in 2 2/3 innings) while battling injury. In 2005, he threw 21 games, 18 for Myrtle Beach (2-4, 7 saves, 4.43) and 3 for the Danville Braves (2 runs in six innings). Acosta made Panama's roster for the 2006 WBC. In game one, he relieved Len Picota in a 1-1 tie in the fifth against Puerto Rico. He allowed a single to Alex Cintrón and Alex Cora bunted Cintron over; Bernie Williams then singled for a 2-1 lead. Acosta retired his next 8 batters, including Iván Rodríguez and Carlos Beltrán, before being replaced by Roger Deago. In game two, he came in with a 4-3 lead in the 7th with one out and the bases loaded against Cuba, replacing Manny Corpas. He allowed a sacrifice fly to Yulieski Gourriel but escaped further damage in the 7th and 8th. In the 9th, he walked Michel Enriquez, then surrendered a 2-run homer to Gourriel to give Panama the loss. Overall, Acosta was 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA.
During the regular season, he was healthy for the first time in years. He dealt in 55 games, leading the Braves system. He had 4 saves and a 2.35 ERA for the Mississippi Braves, allowing a .137 average but 15 walks in 15 1/3 innings. He moved up to the Richmond Braves, where he went 1-6 with 17 saves and a 3.63 ERA, albeit with 32 walks in 44 2/3 innings. Manny was even sharper in 2007. He began 9-3 with 12 saves and a 2.26 ERA for Richmond in 40 games, walking 35 in 59 2/3 innings. He was called up to Atlanta when Octavio Dotel went on the disabled list and debuted on August 12, relieving Peter Moylan in the 9th inning of a 5-3 game in which Atlanta trailed. He fanned his first batter, Aaron Rowand, and got two more outs to retire the side, becoming the 49th Panamanian native to appear in the majors. In 21 relief outings, he posted an outstanding 2.28 ERA and only gave up 13 hits in 23 2/3 innings.
Acosta was 3-5 with 3 saves and a 3.57 ERA in 46 games for the 2008 Braves. Back on Panama's roster for the 2009 WBC, he did not pitch. That summer, he pitched for both the big league (1-1, 4.34 in 36 games) and Gwinnett Braves (1-3, 2 saves, 2.63 in 18 games). He would split time between the majors and minors every year from 2009 to 2012. Waived by Atlanta at the end of 2010 spring training, he was picked up by the New York Mets. He split the summer between the Mets (3-2, 2.95 ERA in 41 games, 42 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings) and the Buffalo Bisons (2-3, 5 saves, 3.47 ERA in 28 games). He was 4-1 with 4 saves and a 3.45 ERA in 44 games for the 2011 Mets and 1-0 with 4 saves and a 1.77 ERA in 20 games for Buffalo, continuing his workhorse load. He slumped the next summer, doing well in the minors (0-1, 2.25 in 17 games for Buffalo) but only going 1-3 with a save and 6.46 ERA in 45 outings for the Mets. He was one of Panama's top hurlers (along with Ramiro Mendoza and Eliecer Navarro in the 2013 WBC Qualifiers. He closed out the 6-2 win over Nicaragua, replacing Manuel Corpas and retiring Jilton Calderón, Dwight Britton (with a strikeout) and Ofilio Castro in order. In the 1-0 loss to Brazil in the finale, he replaced Mendoza in the bottom of the 8th and fanned the only batter he faced, Yuichi Matsumoto.
Signing with the Yomiuri Giants for 2013, he was 1-0 with a 5.54 ERA in 14 games before a right shoulder injury ended his season and Nippon Pro career. He has pitched on and off in the Mexican League since.