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Noel Fernando Salas (born May 30, 1985), is a Mexican professional baseball pitcher who is currently a free agent. He made his major league debut in 2010. He previously played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim / Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Philadelphia Phillies.

Fernando Salas
Fernando Salas on May 16, 2015.jpg
Salas in his first stint with the Angels
Free agent
Relief pitcher
Born: (1985-05-30) May 30, 1985 (age 34)
Huatabampo, Sonora, Mexico
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
May 28, 2010, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
(through 2019 season)
Win–loss record25–28
Earned run average3.91
Career highlights and awards
Salas pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011

Early lifeEdit

Fernando Salas was born and raised in Huatabampo, Mexico. Growing up he never thought about playing in the American Major Leagues, instead being an avid fan of Mexican League baseball. Said Salas: "There is a lot of money to stay in Mexican League. A lot of players in Mexican League have a chance, (at American baseball) but they want a lot of money." Although he watched little if any American baseball—the only game he can remember watching is the 1993 World Series between the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies—he had a dream of proving he was good enough to play in the major leagues.[1]

Professional careerEdit

Saltillo SaraperosEdit

Salas first pitched professionally at age 20 when he was signed by the Saltillo Saraperos of the Mexican League. There his pitching coach was Sid Monge a veteran of ten years in American Major League baseball as a player and a coach in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system.[1] According to Salas, Monge was the reason he is now playing in the major leagues: "He pushed me. He said 'You can go to America'. He believed in me."[1] Representatives from other major league teams took interest in Salas as well, with scouts from the Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers and the Cardinals watching Salas pitch in the 2006 Mexican League playoffs.

St. Louis CardinalsEdit

The Cardinals were impressed enough to buy Salas' contract from Saltillo in February 2007. He reported for Spring training in Jupiter, Florida, remaining there for the entire season with the Cardinals High-A ball affiliate Palm Beach Cardinals. He advanced through the minor league system, playing for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals in 2008 and Triple-A Memphis Redbirds for the 2009 season.[1] Salas began 2010 in Memphis but was called up to the majors for the first time on May 27, 2010.[2] He made his major league debut the next day, pitching one scoreless inning. In 2011, he replaced Ryan Franklin as the Cardinals' closer, earning 24 saves in 68 appearances with a 2.28 ERA.[1] Salas began the 2012 season with St. Louis, but after going 0-3 with a 6.32 ERA in 18 games, he was optioned to Triple-A Memphis.[3] It was later learned that Salas had been hampered by a kidney stone, and once that medical situation passed he returned to St. Louis later in the season.[1] He finished the 2012 season with a record of 1-4, 60 strikeouts, and a 4.30 ERA.[4]

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim / Los Angeles AngelsEdit

On November 22, 2013, he was traded along with David Freese to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for Peter Bourjos and Randal Grichuk.[5]

New York MetsEdit

Salas with the Mets in 2017
Salas with the Mets in 2016

On August 31, the Angels traded Salas to the New York Mets for minor league pitcher Erik Manoah.[6] He debuted for the club on September 1, pitching a scoreless inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field.[7] On February 15, 2017, Salas signed a one-year contract with the Mets.[8] On his thirty-second birthday, Salas recorded his first Major League hit off of Carlos Torres of the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field.[9] He was designated for assignment on August 11, 2017.[10] He was released by the Mets on August 16, 2017.

Second stint with the Los Angeles AngelsEdit

On August 19, 2017, Salas signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

Arizona DiamondbacksEdit

On January 22, 2018, Salas signed a minor league deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.[11] In 44 games for Arizona, he was 4-4 with a 4.50 ERA in 40 innings. On July 6, 2018, Salas was designated for assignment. He was released on July 9, 2018.

Atlanta BravesEdit

On July 16, 2018, Salas signed a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves. He was released on August 11, 2018.

Acereros de MonclovaEdit

On March 6, 2019, Salas signed with the Acereros de Monclova of the Mexican League.[12]

Philadelphia PhilliesEdit

On June 7, 2019, Salas signed a minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies and was assigned to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. On June 24, his contract was selected by the Phillies.[13] He was designated for assignment on June 28 after appearing in just one game.[14] Salas has his contract selected by the Phillies on July 18, 2019. He was once again designated for assignment on July 21, after the signing of Drew Smyly, and outrighted on July 23. In 2019 with the Class AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs he was 1-1 with a 4.63 ERA in 18 relief appearances (23.1 innings), and with the Phillies he pitched 2.2 innings in which he gave up two runs.[15] He elected free agency on October 1.

Personal lifeEdit

Salas and his girlfriend, Daniela, are parents of a son, Fernando, born during 2012 spring training. He is being raised in Mexico.[16] It is not a situation to Salas' liking: "Other Latin players have a lot of family in America. For me, it didn't happen. It's a little difficult because my family doesn't know any English. But they know it's work. They know it's a profession." and "I love the opportunity. I want to do everything I can to stay here."[1]

Awards and honorsEdit

  • 2006 Mexican League mid-season All-Star
  • 2008 Texas League mid-season Al-Star
  • 2008 Futures Game selection
  • 2008 Texas League post-season All-Star
  • 2008 Baseball America Double-A All-Star
  • 2010 PCL Pitcher of the Week
  • 2010 PCL mid-season All-Star
  • 2010 Organization All-Star[17]
  • 2011 World Series champion


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Langosch, Jenifer (September 28, 2012). "From Mexico to St. Louis, Salas seizing opportunity". via Cardinals team website. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  2. ^ Lohse Down, Salas Up, Shock Troops In
  3. ^ Walton, Brian (May 26, 2012). "Fick replaces Salas in bumpy Cards bullpen". The Cardinal Nation.
  4. ^ "Fernando Salas – Stats". Sports 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  5. ^ "Cards get Bourjos from Angels for Freese". November 22, 2013.
  6. ^ "Mets acquire Fernando Salas from Angels for Erik Manoah". Washington Post. Associated Press. August 31, 2016. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  7. ^ Guardado, Maria (September 2, 2016). "Newly acquired Fernando Salas makes Mets debut vs. Marlins". Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  8. ^ Macklin, Oliver (February 15, 2017). "Mets finalize deal to bring back Salas". Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  9. ^ @Mets (May 30, 2017). "Happy Birthday, Fernando Salas! His 1st major league hit" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  10. ^ Connor Byrne (August 15, 2017). "Mets To Release Fernando Salas". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
  11. ^ Jeff Todd (January 22, 2018). "Diamondbacks To Sign Fernando Salas". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
  12. ^ "Fernando Salas se suma a los Acereros de Monclova" (in Spanish). March 6, 2019. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  13. ^ RotoWire Staff (June 24, 2019). "Phillies' Fernando Salas: Contract selected by Phillies". CBS Sports. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  14. ^ De Nicola, Christina (June 28, 2019). "Phillies activate righty Hunter from injured list". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  15. ^ "Fernando Salas Mexican, Winter & Minor Leagues Statistics & History". Retrieved October 5, 2019.
  16. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (May 11, 2012). "Cards' new dads praise hard work of mothers". Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  17. ^ "Organization All-Stars". November 16, 2012.

External linksEdit