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Yunesky Maya to start for Potomac

Yunesky Maya continued building up for the major leagues Tuesday afternoon, throwing 66 pitches in four innings of a Gulf Coast League game. On Sunday, he will make his biggest step yet. Maya will start Sunday for Class A Potomac with a plan to throw five innings, Nationals pitching coordinator Spin Williams said.

The Nationals want Maya, a 28-year-old Cuban right-hander, to pitch this season in the major leagues. They have yet to determine when, evaluating him on a start-by-start basis since he has not played at a high level in more than a year. "We're baby-stepping him toward that," Williams said.

The Nationals signed Maya to a major league contract in late July for $6 million over four years. Last Friday, in his first GCL start, Maya retried all nine batters he faced. Yesterday, Maya allowed two runs in his four innings. He worked out today and felt good, Williams said.

Maya can throw five different pitches -- fastball, curveball, changeup, slider, splitter -- from two different arm angles. After watching him once, Williams could not think of anyone, exactly, that Maya reminded him of.

"He's a bulldog type guy," Williams said. "He throws a lot of groundballs. The biggest thing that stuck out in my mind was he threw the ball over the plate. The delivery looked very consistent. There are a lot of plusses. I liked him."

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 18, 2010; 5:57 PM ET
 
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