Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider reports that Yunesky Maya, the Washington Nationals recent Cuban free-agent acquisition pitched three hitless innings in his organizational debut for the Gulf Coast League Nationals:
"In his minor-league debut, Maya tossed three hitless innings for the Nationals' rookie Gulf Coast League squad, allowing only one of 10 batters faced to reach base...The 28-year-old starter hit the first Marlins batter who stepped in against him, then proceeded to record eight straight outs on groundballs before striking out the final batter he faced in the third."
Maya recently signed a four year $8 million contract with the Washington Nationals after defecting from Cuba this summer. The starting pitcher is projected to be a number two or three starter.
At 28-years-old, Maya isn't going to be getting any better. His stint with the GCL Nationals was more likely precautionary than anything else. I'd be very surprised to see him in the Nats minor league system much longer unless he runs into some trouble at the higher levels. We should instead probably just view this as almost a rehabilitation assignment for a veteran.
The ball club could certainly use another starter at the major league level as soon as possible. Atilano and JD Martin are now out for the year, Detwiler is back on the disabled list, and Jason Marquis is hardly inspiring confidence. Maya could provide stability, and confidence, going into the 2010 offseason