Alex Maestri
OB-Alessandro-Maestri20120714.jpg
Maestri with the Orix Buffaloes
Pitcher
Born: (1985-06-01) June 1, 1985 (age 37)
Cesena, Italy
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
Professional debut
NPB: August 12, 2012, for the Orix Buffaloes
KBO: April 5, 2016, for the Hanwha Eagles
Last appearance
NPB: September 30, 2015, for the Orix Buffaloes
KBO: June 17, 2016, for the Hanwha Eagles
NPB statistics
Win–loss record14–11
Earned run average3.44
Strikeouts164
KBO statistics
Win–loss record2–2
Earned run average9.42
Strikeouts23
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Alessandro Maestri (born June 1, 1985 in Cesena, Italy) is an Italian former professional baseball player. He played in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for the Orix Buffaloes and in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) for the Hanwha Eagles.

A pitcher, the 5'11", 180 lb. right-hander signed with the Chicago Cubs as a non-drafted free agent on Jan. 6, 2006.[1] He played for Team Italy in the 2019 European Baseball Championship.

Career

Early career

Born in Cesena, Maestri grew up in Viserba, a suburb near Rimini. He played in the Italian minor leagues for Torre Pedrera. In 2005, he joined the San Marino Baseball Club of the Italian Baseball League, the highest league in Italy.

Chicago Cubs organization

Early in the 2007 season, Maestri's second season of professional ball with the Class A Peoria Chiefs, he gave up seven runs in two innings against the Cedar Rapids Kernels. From that point on, he did not give up more than two runs in an appearance for the rest of the season, and converted his first seven save opportunities to earn himself a Midwest League All-Star nod.

His success in 2007 prompted the Cubs to try to convert Maestri into a starter. Thus, he began the 2008 season in the starting rotation of the Florida State League Class A advanced Daytona Cubs. In this role, he went 5-3 with a 3.69 ERA to again earn himself an All Star nod. Following the all star game, Maestri was promoted to the double A Southern League Tennessee Smokies. With the Smokies, Maestri made two starts in which he pitched 11 innings and gave up eight earned runs before shoulder soreness forced the Cubs to shut him down for the remainder of the season, and ended the Cubs' experiment with Maestri as a starter.[2]

The Cubs released Maestri in April 2011,[3] and he signed with the Lincoln Saltdogs of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.[4]

Brisbane Bandits

On November 5, 2011, Maestri made his Australian Baseball League debut with the Brisbane Bandits. Starting against the Canberra Cavalry, Maestri went five innings and gave up two hits, picking up the first win of the Bandits' 2011-12 season. His performances earned him a spot with Team World at the 2011 Australian Baseball League All-Star Game. Maestri pitched a scoreless inning in the game. Maestri continued the season as the Bandits' ace, finishing third highest in the league in strikeouts and innings pitched. The Bandits ended the half a game short of the playoffs, with Maestri posting a 3.25 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP en route to winning the ABL's Fan Choice Award.

Rimini Baseball Club and the Kagawa Olive Guyners

Maestri played portions of 2012 for the Rimini Baseball Club and the Kagawa Olive Guyners of Japan's Shikoku Island League.[5]

Orix Buffaloes

Maestri signed with the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional baseball prior to the 2012 season.[6] In his first season with Orix, Maestri recorded a 4-3 record and 2.17 ERA with 40 strikeouts. In 2013, Maestri pitched to a 7-5 record and 5.40 ERA in 24 games. In 36 games in 2014, Maestri registered a 3-1 record and stellar 1.97 ERA with 48 strikeouts. In his final season with Orix, Maestri recorded an 0-2 record and 3.19 ERA in 28 games.

On November 9, 2015, Maestri elected free agency.[7]

Hanwha Eagles

In 2016, Maestri moved to the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization.[8] He was released on June 25, 2016 to make way for new signing Fabio Castillo. He had recorded a 9.42 ERA in 9 games for the Eagles.[9]

Gunma Diamond Pegasus

On July 12, 2016, after being released from his Korean team, Maestri returned to the independent leagues of Japan by signing for Gunma Diamond Pegasus of the Baseball Challenge League.[10]

Rojos del Águila de Veracruz

On April 10, 2017, Maestri signed with the Rojos del Águila de Veracruz of the Mexican Baseball League.

Return to San Marino

On December 21, 2017, Maestri signed with the T&A San Marino of the Italian Baseball League.[11] He played with the club through the 2020 season.

Sydney Blue Sox

Maestri signed with the Sydney Blue Sox of the Australian Baseball League for the 2018-19 season.

On May 11, 2021, Maestri announced his retirement from professional baseball.[12]

International career

Italy national team

Maestri was signed by Cubs scout Bill Holmberg, who also serves as pitching coach for the Italy national baseball team for whom Maestri pitched in both the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic. Maestri gave up one earned run in two appearances out of the bullpen in the 2006 WBC. In 2009, Maestri pitched 2.2 innings without giving up a run.[13] He also pitched for Team Italy in the 2019 European Baseball Championship. He is playing for the team at the Africa/Europe 2020 Olympic Qualification tournament, taking place in Italy beginning September 18, 2019.

References

  1. ^ "Minor League Baseball". Archived from the original on 2 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  2. ^ "Cubs' Maestri a rarity on Team Italy". Archived from the original on 4 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  3. ^ Eddy, Matt. "Minor League Transactions: March 30-April 5." Baseball America. April 7, 2011. Accessed April 25, 2011.
  4. ^ "Chicago Cubs release Alex Maestri, stays in US." Mister-Baseball. April 11, 2011. Accessed April 25, 2011.
  5. ^ "アレックス・マエストリ選手入団会見(Conference for the signing of Alex Maestri)". Kagawa Olive Guyners. 5 April 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  6. ^ Coskrey, Jason (18 June 2014). "Buffaloes' Italian pitcher Maestri keeps track of Azzurri's World Cup progress". Japan Times. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  7. ^ "オリックスのバリントンら外国人3選手が自由契約に (3 Orix foreign players become free agents)" (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. 10 November 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  8. ^ ":: 공감언론 뉴시스통신사 ::". 28 December 2016.
  9. ^ "Hanwha Eagles on verge of releasing ex-big league pitcher". Koreatimes. Korea Times. 24 June 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  10. ^ "アレッサンドロ・マエストリ選手 移籍のお知らせ" (in Japanese). BC League. 12 July 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  11. ^ "IL REGALO DI NATALE DELLA T&A E' ALESSANDRO MAESTRI". San Marino Baseball (in Italian). December 21, 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-12-30. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  12. ^ @NPB_Reddit (11 May 2021). "Former Orix Buffaloes pitcher Alex Maestri announced he is retiring. He played for the Buffaloes from 2012-15, and…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ "World Baseball Classic Team Italy Page". Archived from the original on 21 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-20.