Simón with the Baltimore Orioles
|Born: May 8, 1981|
Santiago, Dominican Republic
|September 6, 2008, for the Baltimore Orioles|
|MLB statistics |
(through September 5, 2016)
|Earned run average||4.56|
|Career highlights and awards|
Alfredo Simón Cabrera, also known as The Big Pasta, (born May 8, 1981) is a Dominican professional baseball pitcher who is currently a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds. From 2001 through part of 2004 he pitched under the name Carlos Cabrera.
Simón was signed on July 9, 1999, by the Philadelphia Phillies. He originally signed under the name Carlos Cabrera, and he pretended to be 21 months younger than he really was. He made his professional debut in 2000 for the La Vega Phillies in the Dominican Summer League. In 2004, the Phillies found out his real name and age.
Simón was assigned to the A Advanced San Jose Giants. He got off to a bad start, posting a 5.68 ERA in 6 starts while going 1-2. His next season, he was promoted to the AA Norwich Navigators. He started for only part of the year, and closed for most of the season, posting a 5.03 ERA in 43 games (9 starts). In 2006, he started the season at San Jose but was promoted to the AAA Fresno Grizzlies. Following the season he filed for free agency.
On November 3, 2006, Simón signed with the Texas Rangers. In December, the Baltimore Orioles drafted him in the Rule 5 draft. On the same day, the Orioles traded him back to the Philadelphia Phillies for Adam Donachie and cash.
On March 17, 2007, the Phillies returned Simón to the Rangers. Simón pitched as a starter for the AAA Oklahoma RedHawks. He had a bad year, going 5-10 with a 6.43 ERA in 22 starts. Following the season, he filed for free agency.
After being released, Simón signed with the independent Sultanes de Monterrey of the Mexican League. He pitched very well with them, going 7-2 with a 2.67 ERA in 15 games (11 starts). During the season, he was signed by the Baltimore Orioles.
The Orioles originally assigned Simón to the AAA Norfolk Tides, but they quickly called him up. On September 6 he made his major league debut. He finished 2008 with a 6.23 ERA in four games (one start) and no decisions. In 2009, after a strong spring training, he was named to the Orioles' starting rotation. However, he was injured in only his second start and missed the rest of the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Simón failed to make the Orioles out of spring training in 2010, but on April 27, the Orioles promoted Simón from AAA Norfolk. The same day, he became the Orioles' closer (due to bad pitching and a subsequent injury to Mike Gonzalez), and he notched his first save against the New York Yankees. He pitched an inning and gave up no earned runs (and two unearned). Coincidentally, the Yankees were the same team Simón earned his first decision against. Simón converted his first five save opportunities before blowing one against the Cleveland Indians on May 15. Through the 2010 season, Simón converted 17 of 21 save opportunities. After blowing a save on August 9, he did not receive another save opportunity as Koji Uehara was used most often in the role.
On April 3, 2012, the Cincinnati Reds claimed Simón off waivers from the Orioles. He served in the bullpen for the season, posting a 3-2 record and a 2.66 ERA in 36 games.
He spent most of the 2013 season as a part of the Reds bullpen. He went 6-4 and posted a 2.87 ERA in 63 appearances.
He began the 2014 season in the Reds' starting rotation after an injury to Mat Latos. He immediately excelled in the role, and at the All-Star break he led the National League with 12 wins (against only three losses) to go with a 2.70 ERA.
On July 13, 2014, Simón was named to the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, replacing fellow Red Johnny Cueto, who was unavailable to pitch due to starting a game the previous Sunday. Simon was mobbed by his teammates in the dugout when the announcement was made during the game. In the All-Star game, Simón pitched a scoreless third inning, allowing one hit and striking out one batter. He would win only three more games after the All-Star break, finishing at 15-10 with a 3.44 ERA, while throwing a career-high innings.
On December 11, 2014, the Reds traded Simón to the Detroit Tigers for Jonathon Crawford and Eugenio Suárez. On January 16, 2015, Simón and the Tigers avoided arbitration when the two parties agreed on a one-year contract worth $5.5 million.
On August 20, 2015, Simón recorded his first career complete game shutout in the Tigers 4-0 win over the Texas Rangers. He allowed only one hit in the contest, a double to Rougned Odor in the fifth inning, while walking two and striking out five. Despite finishing the season with a 5.05 ERA, Simón led the Tigers in wins (13) and innings pitched (187).
On March 17, 2016, Simón signed a one-year deal to return to the Reds.
Simón is primarily a fastball pitcher, throwing several varieties of the pitch. He throws four-seam and two-seam fastballs in the 92-94 MPH range (topping out at 97 MPH), plus a split-finger fastball in the 83-85 MPH range (topping out at 89 MPH). The split-finger is his favorite pitch with two strikes on the hitter. He also throws a standard curveball that averages about 77-79 MPH, plus an extremely slow curveball that averages about 66-69 MPH. The slow curve has been clocked as low as 49 MPH, leading some analysts to call it an eephus pitch.
In January 2011, Simón allegedly shot and killed Michel Castillo Almonte and wounded his 17-year-old brother during a New Year's Eve celebration in Luperón, Dominican Republic. Simón denied the allegations. Police then announced their intention to file involuntary manslaughter charges. In March 2011, Simón posted bail. On November 8, 2011, Simon was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter.
In April 2014, Simón was sued for $15 million by a woman who alleged that he had raped her in a Washington, D.C. hotel room about one year earlier, while the Reds were in Washington for a series against the Washington Nationals. While no charges were ever filed, a civil suit was still pending as of December, 2014.