February 26, 2013 - Atlantic League (AtL) - Lancaster Barnstormers
The Lancaster Barnstormers have signed former Pittsburgh Pirates right-handed pitcher Yoslan Herrera to a contract for the 2013 season, it was announced today by manager Butch Hobson.
In addition, Lancaster has added corner infielder Curt Smith, who will represent the Netherlands in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, and left-handed pitcher Marlon Arias. All three are new to the Atlantic League.
Herrera, 31, signed with the Pirates in 2007 after defecting from his native Cuba and was assigned to Class AA Altoona, where he was 6-9 with a 4.69 ERA. The following season, he got the call to Pittsburgh and made five starts, going 1-1. His lone victory came as the result of six shutout innings against San Diego on July 24.
The right-hander wove together his best minor league season in 2009, going 12-2 with a combined 3.10 ERA for Altoona and Indianapolis and pitched for Class AAA Rochester in the Twins system in 2010.
"This guy is really interesting," said Hobson. "Tony Oliva recommended him to me in Florida. After four warm-up pitches, he was popping 92-93, then I saw his breaking pitches. He looks really good."
Smith, 26, hails from Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles but came to the United States and attended college at the University of Maine. He was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2008 and batted .378 for Johnson City, tops in the Appalachian League that season. The right-handed batter reached Class AA Springfield by 2010 where he hit .279 with nine homers and 46 RBI.
In 2011, Smith played with last year's Lancaster and Atlantic League MVP Blake Gailen on the Lincoln Saltdogs, hitting .335 with nine homers and 48 RBI. He signed with the Marlins last year and batted .261 with nine home runs and 48 RBI at Class AA Jacksonville.
Smith has appeared at five different positions over his professional baseball career.
"Smith just doesn't strike out," said Hobson. "He is a bulldog kind of guy."
Arias, 28, spent five seasons in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization from 2005-09. He had his best year in 2007, winning 12 games for Class A Inland Empire. The southpaw then won seven of 14 starts for Class AA Jacksonville in 2008 and reached Class AAA Albuquerque the following season.
The native of Bani in the Dominican Republic pitched last season in Mexico, appearing in 14 games for Saltillo and Yucatan.
"Arias was recommended by Gilberto Mejia and Francisco Hernandez, among others." "He throws in the 90s with a good curveball and change."
Lancaster now has eight players under contract for the 2013 season.
The Lancaster Barnstormers are entering their ninth season as a member of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Home games are played at Clipper Magazine Stadium in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Please call 717.509.HITS (4487) or visit LancasterBarnstormers.com for more information.