On February 21st, the Los Angeles Dodgers finalized a deal with Cuban right-hander Yaisel Sierra. It was worth a reported six years and $30 million. However, on February 26th, the team was still waiting on the talented pitcher to arrive in camp. Well, wait no more. He’s finally arrived.
There’s no word yet on the team’s plans as far as getting Sierra out there are concerned, but the team has said in the past that they hope to have him in the big leagues sometime later this season as a possible bullpen option. If that’s the case, then getting him in camp now is still fine.
Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times broke the news of Sierra’s arrival shortly ago:
Yaisel Sierra has arrived at Camelback Ranch.
— Andy McCullough (@ByMcCullough) February 29, 2016
The 24-year old pitcher features a good four-seam fastball, a developing and good two-seam fastball, and a slider that scouts do like quite a bit. The hope with Sierra is that the team can eventually turn him into a starter, either in the middle or back end of the rotation. However, for now, it’s looking likely that he’s headed to the bullpen.
With his athletic frame and potential pitchability, there is a sentiment within the organization that Sierra could be a major haul for the club if he actually reaches his full potential. Then again, whether he can reach that remains to be seen, and a lot has to do with his command and control more than anything.
The good news to take out of all of this is that Sierra is in camp just before the actual games are about to start. You probably won’t see him pitch much in Spring Training, and he’ll likely be headed down to the upper minors for some work to get stretched out before heading up to the big leagues.
However, this is still fantastic news that the Cuban signee is now in camp. The team hopes to integrate him and get him accustomed to life over in the big leagues. Hopefully he adapts seamlessly. They could be using him in big spots this season.