Yunesky Maya will take the mound today as the Nationals face off against the Atlanta Braves in Kissimmee, Florida at 6:05 pm.
Maya this spring has pitched in a total 8.2 innings and has given up just 1 earned run on 9 hits while walking 4 and striking out 8 batters.
Maya signed with the Nationals on July 31st of 2010 and did so with much hype surrounding him. Maya in 6 seasons with the Cuban national team compiled a record of 48 and 29 with a 2.51 era.
So it was of no surprise that many were disappointed with Maya’s performance after being called up to the Nationals last season. Maya in 5 games started with the Nationals had an era of 5.88 on 30 hits and 11 walks in just 26 innings of baseball.
Having watched Maya pitch last season it appeared that a lot of his problems could be credited to having to adjust to playing in the MLB as opposed to playing for the Cuban national team. The strike zone for him in the major league is smaller than what he was accustomed to while pitching in Cuba. So a lot of pitches that would have once been strikes for him prior to signing with the Nationals were no longer strikes.
So he pitched himself in to jams often last season and his pitch count per inning was much higher than what one should want it at.
So hopefully with having had all winter and Spring Training to work on his pitching we will see a much improved Maya this year.