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Rogelio Armenteros, 26, underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from right elbow this past March, so he didn’t pitch in 2020, and the former Houston Astros’ pitcher, who was
claimed off waivers by the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this month, was claimed again, this time by the Washington Nationals, who announced this afternoon that they’d added
Armenteros to their 40-man roster by claiming him off waivers from the D-Backs.
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Born in La Habana, Cuba, Armenteros signed with the Astros as an amateur free agent in 2014, and made his major league debut for Houston in 2019, going (1-1) in five games and
two starts, over which he had a 4.00 ERA, a 2.77 FIP, five walks, 18 Ks, and a .243/.293/.314 line against in 18 IP.
Armenteros was primarily a starter in his five seasons in the Astros’ system, making 106 total appearances, 93 of them starts, in which he had a combined 3.45 ERA.
The righty has a four-pitch mix, with nothing particularly overpowering, working with a 91 MPH fastball, 83 MPH changeup, 79 MPH curve, and 85 MPH slider.
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Armenteros was ranked 21st on MLB Pipeline’s list of the Astros’ top prospects prior to the 2019 campaign, with their scouts noting that though the 6’1’’, 243 lb pitcher,
“… only has one pitch that grades better than average, he has thrived because his tumbling changeup and his feel for sequencing and locating his entire repertoire keeps
hitters off balance.”
“He changes eye levels with sinking 88-90 mph two-seam fastballs and riding 90-92 mph four-seamers, and he has hit 95 mph at times. His average slider/cutter and fringy
curveball rarely buckle knees but he utilizes them well off each other.”
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Projecting the right-hander as a potential back-of-the-rotation starter, the Pipeline scouts noted then that, “he [had] one of the highest floors among the [Astros’] pitching
prospects but no clear opportunity in Houston.”
He’ll likely get an opportunity to claim a spot in the Nationals’ rotation this spring.
In a post on the Diamondbacks claiming him earlier this month, MLBTraderumors.com’s Steve Adams noted that the right-hander has an option remaining.
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Today’s move, the Nationals noted on Twitter, leaves them with 34 players currently on the 40-Man roster in D.C.
It was a busy day for Cuban major leaguers, as Raisel Iglesias was traded and Rogelio Armenteros has a new home.
The Cincinnati Reds have traded their closer Raisel Iglesias to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for reliever Noe Ramirez and a player to be named later.
The 30 year old closer had an exceptional year out of the pen in 2020 coming off a subpar season the year before. In 22 appearances the hard throwing Cuban saved eight games in ten opportunities, posted an ERA of 2.74 and opponents hit a paltry .193 against him. He also had a career high SO/9 of 12.1 and a career low WHIP of 0.91. He’s owed $9.1 million this season and will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
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I reached out via telephone to get the native of the Isle of Youth’s response to the trade and he had this to say about the transaction, “I’m very grateful to the Reds organization for signing me out of Cuba and making me the pitcher I am today. I’m also very appreciative of the support the fan base gave me while I was a member of the team. I will never forget my time in Cincinnati and will always have a spot in my heart for those fans.”
RELATED STORY: How Iglesias re-established himself
“The Angels have a lot of talent especially in the pen and on the lineup. I’m looking forward to making my mark as the closer. Knowing that I’m an impending free agent is going to motivate me to have a great season and leave it on the field for the Angels.”
Armenteros claimed off waivers by Nationals
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Crafty righty Rogelio Armenteros has been claimed off waivers for the second time in two weeks. The team that originally claimed him two weeks ago, the Arizona Diamondbacks inexplicably placed on waivers and he quickly picked up by the Washington Nationals.
The addition of Armenteros gives Washington a possible 4th or 5th starter behind Strasburgh, Corbin, and Scherzer or at worst a very talented long reliever.
NEXT: Plenty of moves amongst Cuban players
The righthander debuted in the majors in 2019 with Houston and posted a 1-1 record with 4.00 ERA in 19 innings of work. Armenteros missed last year due to injuries. The team expects to pencil him in somewhere on the roster whether it be the bullpen or the rotation.