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Yunesky Maya Mendizula (born August 28, 1981) is a Cuban-born professional baseball pitcher who is a free agent. He has previously pitched for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball and Pinar del Río of the Cuban National Series.[1] He was part of the Cuban national baseball team at the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Yunesky Maya
2ND Yunesky Maya.jpg
Maya with the Washington Nationals
Free agent
Born: (1981-08-28) August 28, 1981 (age 37)
Pinar del Río, Cuba
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 7, 2010, for the Washington Nationals
MLB statistics
Win–loss record1–5
Earned run average5.80
KBO statistics
Win–loss record4-9
Earned run average6.58
Career highlights and awards
KBO Records
Yunesky Maya
Medal record
Men's Baseball
Representing  Cuba
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 2007 Rio de Janeiro Team
Baseball World Cup
Gold medal – first place 2005 Rotterdam Team
Silver medal – second place 2007 Taipei Team
Intercontinental Cup
Gold medal – first place 2006 Taichung Team
Central American and Caribbean Games
Gold medal – first place 2006 Cartagena Team




Maya led the Cuban National Series with a 1.61 earned run average (ERA) in 2004–05, and followed that up with a 7–9 record and a 3.79 ERA in 2005–06.[2]

In the 2008–2009 Cuban National Series Season Maya finished with a 13–4 record and seven complete games, and finished second amongst League Leaders in ERA with 2.22 ERA. He was also second in Strikeouts with 119, behind Aroldis Chapman who had 130 (after the season, Chapman defected and signed with the Cincinnati Reds). On this performance, Maya won Cuba's equivalent of the Cy Young Award.[3] During six Cuban National Series seasons, Maya accumulated a record of 48–29 and an ERA of 2.51.[4]

In Summer 2009, Maya was expelled from the Cuban national baseball team; the official newspaper Granma referred to "grave problems of indiscipline",[5] presumably following a failed attempt to leave the country without permission. In September 2009, Maya successfully fled Cuba.[6] After living in the Dominican Republic for about nine months, the United States Department of Treasury authorized Maya to sign with a Major League Baseball team.[7]

Washington NationalsEdit

On July 31, 2010, Maya signed with the Washington Nationals.[8] Maya zoomed through the Nationals minor league system, making only five starts, before getting the call to the majors when rosters expanded in September. In the minors, he started two games for the GCL Nationals; one game for the Potomac Nationals; and two games for the Syracuse Chiefs, combining for 21-1/3 innings pitched and an overall ERA of 3.38 ERA.[9] He pitched five inning in his first major league start was on September 7, 2010, against the New York Mets (which also saw the big league debut of Met Dillon Gee). After a rough start (allowing a three-run homer in the first inning to Ike Davis), he retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced.[3]

On May 29, 2011, Maya was recalled by the Washington Nationals to take the rotation spot of Tom Gorzelanny, who was placed on the disabled list. Collin Balester was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse to make room.[10] He was designated for assignment on May 25, 2013. However, the Nationals got him back and sent him outright to the Syracuse Chiefs.

Atlanta BravesEdit

He signed a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves in January 2014.

Los Angeles AngelsEdit

On February 2, 2016, Maya signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Angels.[11]

Doosan BearsEdit

The Braves released Maya in July 2014, and he signed with the Doosan Bears of the Korea Baseball Organization, replacing Chris Volstad in their starting rotation. Maya pitched to a 2-4 record and a 4.86 ERA in 11 games started for the Bears, who brought him back for the 2015 season. He threw a no-hitter on April 9, 2015. However, his final ERA of 8.17 caused his release from the team.[12]

Rieleros De AguascalientesEdit

On June 18, 2018, Maya signed with the Rieleros de Aguascalientes of the Mexican League. He was released on August 1, 2018.

Saraperos de SaltilloEdit

On March 1, 2019, Maya signed with the Saraperos de Saltillo of the Mexican League. He was released on April 13, 2019.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Yunieski Maya Mendizula" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on December 10, 2004. Retrieved October 8, 2006.
  2. ^ "Béisbol Pitcheo Clasificatoria" (in Spanish). Retrieved October 10, 2006.
  3. ^ a b Wang, Gene (September 7, 2010). "Yuniesky Maya Mendizula debuts, but Nationals succumb to Mets, 4–1". Washington Post. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  4. ^ "El Nuevo Herald" (in Spanish). Retrieved May 19, 2010.
  5. ^ "Todo el mundo se prepara para la XXXVIII Copa" (in Spanish). Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  6. ^ "Cuban Colada: Star pitcher Maya emigrates – illegally". Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  7. ^ Rojas, Enrique. "Source: Maya signs with Nationals". Retrieved September 6, 2010.
  8. ^ Rosenstein, Greg (2010-07-31). "Cuban hurler Maya signs contract with Nats". Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  9. ^ "Yuneski Maya". Retrieved September 6, 2010.
  10. ^ Kilgore, Adam (2011-05-29). "Yunesky Maya starts, and the Nationals lineup". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
  11. ^ "Major League Baseball Transactions". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  12. ^

External linksEdit