There’s already been a ton of news today regarding Cuban ballplayers, and there could be more to come in the weeks ahead. Former Serie Nacional star Yadiel Hernandez will hold a showcase for MLB clubs on February 23rd in Mexico City, MLBTR has learned. He defected this summer when he came to North Carolina with the Cuban national team, and Ben Badler of Baseball America noted earlier today (Twitter link) that Hernandez is one of the best position players available in a deep current pool of talent from the island nation. The 28-year-old has had his way with Cuban pitching at times — including a ridiculous .369/.509/.535 batting line that included 77 walks in 369 plate appearances last year — although Badler has explained previously that Hernandez is undersized and doesn’t possess loud tools. Nonetheless, every indication is that he could well be a viable big league player, so there’s sure to be ample interest.
Here are a few more stray notes from around the game:
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak addressed the Astros’ computer hacking scandal for the first time, and Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the story. Mozeliak seemingly expressed a cautious optimism that no other members of the organization would join former scouting director Chris Correa in being implicated in the improper database accessing. “I hope there isn’t,” he said. “I think before we totally engage in answering everything we need these proceedings to be concluded.” The Cards’ top baseball decisionmaker also added that he first became aware of the extend of what information Correa had accessed when he read the complaint recently. Otherwise, though, he did not get into the factual topics, indicating that the organization would wait to do that until Correa is sentenced in April.
- The Phillies announced several front office moves today, including the team’s previously-reported hiring of Ned Rice as assistant GM. Philadelphia also announced that Pat Gillick will return to a senior advisory role, while Benny Looper will shift into such a position after previously serving as an AGM. On the analytics side, Scott Freedman has been bumped up to director of baseball operations (from his former title of manager of baseball analytics) while the club made a full-time analyst position for Lewis Pollis, who penned a widely-read senior thesis on the market for front office talent.
- The Indians have parted ways with former director of Latin American operations Ramon Pena, as Badler reports. Both Pena and president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti indicated that the split was mutual and was the result of divergent visions for the team’s efforts in Latin America.