Cuban pitcher winter SENSATION changed plans, about to make its debut in the Dominican Republic

By Yasel Porto

The Dominican professional ball has counted in this winter season 2021-22 with another good representation of Cubans. And not only the quantity stands out, but in the qualitative order the talent of ours has once again danced to the rhythm of the best merengue.

The circuit enters its second stage to define the clubs that will discuss the title of this anthological league, and for this they begin to take reinforcements even beyond the Dominican Republic itself.

One of those who will arrive shortly in the land of Máximo Gómez is Elián Leyva from Mayabeque, a pitcher who was a sensation in the 2021 international season.

So important was the year for the right-hander that he was once part of the Vaqueros y los Huracanes in Cuba that he was designated as the best pitcher in the Mexican Pacific League (winter league).

Leyva left everything ready to embark on a trip to the Caribbean country and the only thing left to do is comply with the protocol established by the issue of the pandemic and thus begin his work with his new club, the Gigantes del Cibao. This was confirmed by the pitcher himself in a recent conversation to coordinate details of his next participation in the show on our YouTube channel.

Aged 32 (he was born on March 17, 1989) he worked in Cuba between 2007 and 2015. There he was used basically as a reliever, especially in those years when he was part of the powerful pitching staff of the old Havana province. He was part of the group that, under the direction of Esteban Lombillo, won the crown in the 2008-09 fair. His main role was with Mayabeque, although at that stage he had against him pitching with a selection of the most discreet in the championship.

After the 2014-15 Series he emigrated from Cuba (he finished 14-8) and his first professional experience was in Venezuela with the Navegantes de Magallanes in 2016. The Atlanta Braves hired him and started in the Minor Leagues in the season of 2018 where he left formidable numbers as a middle reliever in AA and AAA (4-3, 2.69 PCL and 1.25 WHIP in 87 innings of work).

His performance declined in 2019 and it was then that the reigning World Series champions released him. There began a wide struggle of Leyva for different leagues where even the Italian one was included. In Mexico he has had a very varied participation in terms of clubs where that undoubtedly stands out. 2018-19 campaign in which he won the triple pitching crown with a formidable performance in the Arco Mexicana del Pacífico League, pitching at that time with the Charros de Jalisco.

In 12 starts with the Naranjeros de Hermosillo he had a 7-2 balance, with excellence in terms of effectiveness (1.54) and WHIP (0.98), standing out in almost all the important departments that made him equalize with what he achieved in 2019. And all after a summer league of many ups and downs and changes of teams.

When it seemed that Leyva would remain in Mexico as a reinforcement now of the Charros de Jalisco, the club with which he achieved the triple crown two years ago, this change of turn occurs to close the winter campaign in Quisqueya with the Giants.

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The Cibao Giants have had this season with the offensive role of another Cuban, outfielder Henry Urrutia from Las Tunas, who today is fighting to be the top home runner in the tournament.

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Cuban pitcher winter SENSATION changed plans, about to make its debut in the Dominican Republic