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Odrisamer Despaigne dazzles in his major league debut

Jun 24, 2014, 9:16 AM EDT

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 8.41.41 AM Getty Images

Yesterday I made a joke that the name “Odrisamer Despaigne” sounded more like an obscure Belgian ale. Well, it does. But it seems that the name attaches to a pretty good pitcher too. Last night Despaigne tossed seven shutout innings and allowed four hits in beating the Giants. And he wasn’t even supposed to be there yesterday. He got the start because Andrew Cashner went on the DL.

Not that we should necessarily expect that. The Cuban defector wasn’t exactly sought after like Yoenis Cespedes or Arolids Chapman. The Padres got him on a minor league deal back in early May and spent six weeks in the minors, going 1-3 with a 6.03 ERA between Double- and Triple-A. He’s not overpowering — he works in the low 90s — but he flashed some pretty impressive speed-changes and arm slots last night, throwing four pitches, some in the 60s.

Junk ballers may not be as impressive as fireballers, and Despaigne may have a lot of bumps ahead of him based on his minor league track record, but it was fun to see the highlights of this one this morning.


  1. icanspeel - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    In the minors his big issue was control. 18 walks in 31.1 innings, but he showed last night what he can do with better control. It’s only 1 start, but definitely impressed.

  2. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    Does anyone have a link to a Cuban name pronunciation guide? An old cracker like me is struggling to keep up. Are these traditional names (of Cuba? of some other group with great influence in Cuba?) or are Cubans just creative in inventing new names?

    • gloccamorra - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      I usually depend on Baseball Reference for a pronunciation key, but they don’t have his up yet. It’ll probably be something like “Oh-driss-AH-mur dess-PAIN”.

      • gloccamorra - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        BTW, the Padres have two other players with Cuban connections, Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal. As Cuban players trickle into MLB, we may all have to make adjustments.

    • jwbiii - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:49 PM

      Google gave me four hits for Desaigne. At least three were Cuban. Besides the baseball player, there is a boxer and a volleyball player. All are from Cuba. There is also a dentist in Fort Lauderdale. Given what we know of South Florida, it is likely that he is also of Cuban descent.

      • roundballsquarebox24 - Jun 26, 2014 at 11:02 AM

        Hey, can’t forget about Alfredo Despaigne. Outfielder from Cuba, regarded by some as one of the best Cuban ballplayers not yet in the MLB. Of course, I have no idea how good the guy is because I’ve never seen him play but they say this guy can hit. In 2012 he broke Yoenis Cespedes’ single-season home run record in the Cuban national legue.

  3. [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    37? 37 guys?

    • gloccamorra - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      Um, did you comment at the right post?

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