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Remember Yoslan Herrera? Believe it or not, he's back in the majors

April 13, 2014 - Cory Giger
As far as major league promotions go, it doesn't get much more surprising than pitcher Yoslan Herrera getting called up to the L.A. Angels on Sunday.

Herrera is an intriguing but forgotten name from the Curve's past who is getting another shot in the major leagues, six years after he was crushed in five starts for the Pirates.

Herrera spent parts of the 2007-09 seasons with the Curve and was out of organized baseball the past three years.

Now 33, the Cuban defector last appeared in the big leagues with the Pirates in 2008. He made five starts and struggled big time, going 1-1 with a 9.82 ERA, allowing 20 runs on 35 hits in only 18 1/3 innings.

Despite going 11-1 with a 3.23 ERA for the Curve in 2009 and 1-1 with a 2.30 ERA for Triple-A Indianapolis that same year, Herrera never got another shot with the Bucs. He made only six appearances in Triple-A with the Twins in 2010 and got rocked, going 0-3 with a 6.08 ERA.

It's unclear where, if anywhere, Herrera spent pitching in 2011 and '12 because there are no statistics for him available. He turned up in the independent Atlantic League last year and went 2-1 with a 3.74 ERA in 59 relief appearances for Lancaster.

That earned him a minor league deal with the Angels, but he was barely given any opportunity in spring training, making only three appearances and working two innings.

He went to Triple-A Salt Lake to start the season and fared well, tossing 5 1/3 scoreless innings over four appearances. The Angels had a bullpen need, and something they saw in Herrera earned him another shot in the majors six years after his first trip there.

Herrera always had a sharp curveball during his Curve days, but with a fastball only in the mid- to upper-80s, the right-hander couldn't get by much on that and had to rely heavily on his offspeed stuff. That's almost always a bad sign for a minor league pitcher, and it was especially bad for the Pirates, who had given him a three-year contract worth $1.9 million but never got much in return.

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