MAESTRI WINS JAPANESE DEBUT
Alex Maestri was born in Italy.
He went to the United States to pursue a major league career becoming the first Italian born player to sign a contract with a major league team. He pitched in the Cubs minor league system, unable to get a sniff of the major leagues.
The Cubs finally released him prior to the start of the 2011 season. He played Independent ball in the United States in 2011, hooping to attract some interest in a major league team. When that didn’t happen he travelled to Australia to play for the Brisbane Bandits.
When the Australian season ended and no major league team showed an interest in him he signed with an industrial team in Japan, similar to independent ball in the United States. Some professional Japanese teams scouted him, but it was the Orix Buffaloes who signed him to a contract. Alex pitched five games in the Japanese minor leagues, working 14 innings, fashioning a 1.29 ERA.
That was good enough for the Buffaloes to promote him to their major league team. His debut start yesterday was a success, working six plus innings and giving up only one run to get the win. That should get him more starts.
You can view the box score here:http://yakyubaka.com/2012/08/12/orix-buffaloes-vs-chiba-lotte-marines-august-12-2012/#more-81991
The Buffaloes are currently in last place in the Pacific, but only nine games out of first and seven from making it as a wild card. A hot streak will get them back in the race. Solid pitching from Alex Maestri will help contribute to that pennant run.