Darién Núñez: “I am just focused on my recovery and what I can control.”

Darién Núñez was the second youngest player on Cuba’s 2013 World Baseball Classic roster and a top pitching prospect when he requested his release from the Cuban Baseball Federation in 2015. During his time in the Serie Nacional he compiled a 19-27 record and posted a 4.00 earned run average.

Núñez signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2018 and steamrolled through the minors. In four seasons on the farm he had an 11-2 record, 2.49 ERA and fanned 201 batters in 126 ⅓ innings pitched.

On July 8, 2021 he made his major league debut against the Arizona Diamondbacks and in an inning of work gave up an earned run, while striking out three. He started 2022 with Oklahoma City (AAA) but was later placed on the IL with a torn UCL and opted for Tommy John surgery.

Núñez was released by the Dodgers on April 24th of that year, but was claimed three day later by the San Francisco Giants and signed a minor league contract with the ball club. Today the flamethrowing lefty is deep into his recovery with a burning desire to return to the big leagues.

What is your goal for this year?

My goal for this year is to recover 100 percent. God willing there is no delay in what remains of my recovery and I can return to the big leagues this season.

What stage of your recovery are you in?

I am throwing bullpens at 75 percent, they amount to 6 or 8 bullpens daily. In the near future they will go up come to 100 percent and the sessions will increase to 24 bullpens daily. This will set the stage to then pitch to live batters.

Is there an estimated time for when you will be able to throw hitters off the mound?

I don’t know when I could be ready to throw hitters, I still have several things left to do in my recovery. Everything depends on how my recovery continues and how my bullpen sessions keep developing.

What plans do the Giants have for you after you’re ready to pitch?

I still don’t know what plans the team has for me. I am going to have to sit down with my agent to see if he knows anything. I am just focused on my recovery and what I can control. I’ll leave the rest to team to decide what they’re going to do with me once I am healthy.

When you’re fully recovered, could we see you pitching in the winter?

Yes, I would say that when I fully recovered I would like to pitch in a winter league. Well this also depends if any team wants me to and if they allow me play, but I am always available on my side as long as I am in good health.

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