The Los Angeles Dodgers released Yaisel Sierra in the final season of the six-year, $30 million contract he signed back in 2016 as an international free agent out of Cuba.
At the time of the signing, Sierra was a 24-year old right-hander with great stuff and control problems who the Dodgers intended to develop as a starting pitcher. His development got off to a rough beginning as he made 13 starts for the then-High-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes with a 7.05 ERA.
The Dodgers decided to move Sierra back to the bullpen, and he was able to bring his ERA down to 6.20 before he was promoted to Double-A Tulsa in August of 2016.
With the Drillers, Sierra showed some of the talent that made him intriguing to the Dodgers despite his 4.30 ERA. In 14.2 innings, he posted a 1.34 FIP and struck out 32.8% of the hitters he faced.
He continued that success into 2017 with Tulsa, throwing 49.2 innings with a 2.54 ERA and 2.03 FIP while striking out 30.3% of hitters and only walking 7.6%. The success earned him a promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
With OKC, Sierra once again struggled as he posted a 4.22 ERA and 5.17 FIP while he only struck out 18.4% and walked 12.2% of hitters in 21.1 innings.
In 2018, Sierra missed the entire season due to a shoulder injury, which also caused him to miss most of the 2019 season, but did manage to throw three innings at the rookie ball level.
Sierra then missed a third year of pitching professional baseball as the 2020 Minor League season was canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This season, Sierra, who is now 30 years old, was once again back with the OKC Dodgers but couldn’t find any success before the organization decided to move on. In the 16.1 innings, he held a 13.78 ERA and 8.93 FIP with an 18.4% strikeout percentage and 12.2% walk percentage.
Pepiot call-up a possibility
Ryan Pepiot has been having a breakout season this year that has caused him to rise up the prospect rankings and cement himself as one of L.A.’s most promising young pitchers.
Because of that, the Dodgers would at least consider promoting the 24-year-old right-hander to make his MLB debut this season.
“It’s certainly a possibility,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently said of Pepiot.
Although he has had some struggles since his promotion to Triple-A, Pepiot should make his debut by some point next season at the latest.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and more!