To comeback from a line drive shot to the face is not an easy thing to do, but Lázaro Blanco seems to be back from such a thing. Not only is the Cuban right-hander in the top end of the Bravos de León rotation, but he also just signed to deal to pitch for the Venados de Mazatlán this winter. Blanco who was injured last winter when he was hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of his childhood friend Henry Urrutia, while pitching in the Dominican Winter League.
When Blanco decided to defect from the Cuban National Team after the 2021 Olympic Qualfier of Americas in West Palm Beach, Florida. Blanco, who was the ace of the Cuban national team, was supposed to be in the first part of Saltillo’s rotation in the Mexican League for the 2021 campaign.
The native of Granma,Cuba was third in the Nicaraguan league in the winter of 2021 in ERA (3.38), third in wins (4) and finished fourth in strikeouts with 41. The right has looked marvelous this spring with León hitting between 92-93 with his fastball.
From 2017-2019 Lázaro Blanco was the most dominant pitcher in the Serie Nacional compiling a record of 33-15. His dominance earned him a contract with the Quebec Capitales, during his time in Canada he had a record of 16-7, ERA of 3.12 and 219 K’s. All this was over the span of two seasons and in 2017 he led the Capitales to a title.
The crafty hurler was the anchor to the Cuban pitching staff in the World Baseball Classic, Pan-Am Games, Premier 12, and Central American Games. In the last National Series, Blanco posted a 7-1 record with the Alazanes de Granma and had a 2.30 ERA in 62.2 innings pitched. On the national team, the pitcher has an 8-4 record, a 2.79 PCL and 80 strikeouts in 84 innings pitched. In the Caribbean Series, he has been nearly unhittable posting a record of 4-1 and an ERA of 1.22.
Blanco is looking to exhibit his talents this winter for possibly a team in Asia. Although the Cuban is 37 years of age he’s throwing harder than he’s ever thrown in his career. During his 117 Serie Nacionales in Cuba he won a total of 17 games, struck out 758 batters and hurled 11 shutouts.