Pavel Hernández: “My goal for the season is to contribute and help Aguascalientes win.”

Pavel Hernández made his professional baseball debut this season with the Rieleros de Aguascalientes in the Mexican Baseball League. The right-hander after three starts with the Mexican squad has a record of 1-1 and 5.79 earned run average.

The native of Ciego de Ávila,Cuba won his first game as a professional yesterday after throwing six stanzas where he only gave up a run via five hits and retired five via the strikeout. The Rieleros defeated Durango 5-1. The young hurler now sports a 1.42 WHIP.

Hernández comes from pitching with Industriales in the 2022 Serie Nacional, where he went 7-2, a career high in wins for a season and a 3.58 ERA. In the Elite League with Portuarios he had a record of 3 and 5 with an earned run average of 3.76.

Hernández who is a prized pitching prospect in Cuba spoke to our Ariel Santa Cruz on how he is adapting to his recent incursion in the realm of professional baseball.

This is your first experience in professional baseball. What can you tell us about it?

It has been a great experience, this league is a step in competition. It’s a little of a culture shock to be in a new country with a different way of playing baseball as opposed to Cuba. I am adapting to this new league the best I can and trying to develop as a player the best I can.

You have had three outings with the Rieleros. How have you felt in those outings?

I have felt good on the mound, for a moment I thought it would be a little more difficult than it has been, but I feel like I am adapting well. I have been able to contribute to the team by eating up innings, which is key for a starting pitcher.

You have entered a new clubhouse where you did not know the players. How have you dealt with this change of scenery?

The reception here has been very good, I also thought that the issue of adaptation would be difficult, but it was not. The players here gave me a very good welcome, since they are used to receiving foreign players all the time and I get along very well with all of them.

You were part of Cuba’s the preparation for the World Baseball Classic. How did that help you in your incursion in the LMB?

The preparation served me very well, because there I had the opportunity to train daily with the best players in the country. This leads you to raise your level of play, because you see more quality and that makes you improve as a player. The best coaches were there also, which helped me prepare with all this that has come after.

What differences did you notice between training methods in Cuba as opposed to those in professional baseball?

Here you work a lot and the work is more individual. In Cuba you led by your your coaching staff. The work here is direct, that is, you work to achieve quick results because this is not a player development league, it is a league to achieve results.

Do you have any goals for the year?

For now, continue to contribute to the team, stay with them until the end of the season and then transition into the winter baseball.

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