Saturday, May 31, 2014

Could Reds be eyeing Cuban pitcher for immediate relief help?

The Cincinnati Reds bullpen has not been dependable this season. In fact, the unit's 4.47 ERA ranks as the third-worst in all of Major League Baseball. So it's safe to say the Reds could use some help in this area.

One option the Reds may be keeping an eye on is Cuban right-handed pitcher Raciel Iglesias. According to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati was among several clubs on hand to watch Iglesias throw in Haiti on Friday.

Who exactly is Raciel Iglesias and how can he help the Reds? For starters, the consensus is that Iglesias is a reliever who could immediately make an impact in a big league bullpen. And acquiring him wouldn't involve teams giving up players and/or prospects because he's a free agent. It would just take some money.

The 24-year-old defected from Cuba last fall and is a rather diminutive pitcher. He's listed at 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds. In comparison, Aroldis Chapman is listed at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds.

The scouting report on Iglesias is that he boasts a fastball in the 92-95 mph range while complementing it with a sweeping breaking ball that ranges from 76-81 mph. Many scouts believe he has the potential of throwing in the upper 90s once he packs on some muscle and weight in the U.S.

All in all, I would be surprised if the Reds wound up being the club who signed this guy. But the mere fact that they were in attendance to watch him pitch on Friday suggests they aren't opposed to pulling the trigger. Especially if the bullpen continues to be as woeful as it has recently been.

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