Sunday, May 9, 2010

DURAZO LET GO BY YAQUIS, LIKELY TO SPEND NEXT WINTER IN MEXICALI

Former Major League first baseman Erubiel Durazo will not be tendered an offer to return to the Obregon Yaquis next winter despite hitting .356 with nine homers in 32 games for the Mexican Pacific League team last season. Durazo began last year on the Mexicali roster before he was loaned to the Yaquis for relief pitcher Hugo Castellanos, who went 3-1 with a 2.56 ERA in 38 appearances as a middle reliever for the Aguilas. Castellanos is now pitching for Monterrey, where he’s 1-3 and 3.75 in 25 games out of the pen.

Fernando Ballasteros of Puro Beisbol says Durazo is likely to return to Mexicali next winter. Durazo, who hit .281 with 94 homers in seven big league seasons between 1999 and 2005 (including a .321 average with 22 homers and 88 RBIs for Oakland in 2004), now resides in Chandler, Arizona and oversees a successful livestock business, according to Ballasteros.

The Hermosillo native, who attended Pima Community College in Tucson before turning pro, hit .364 for the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2001 World Series but was traded to Oakland prior to the 2003 season. Injuries eventually curtailed Durazo’s MLB career after the 2005 campaign, although he’s since attended spring training with Oakland and Texas while playing AAA ball in the Rangers, Yankees and Twins organizations.

The 6’3” 240-pound left-handed batter spent part of last summer with the Monterrey Sultanes, batting .245 with no homers in 14 games. Durazo was one of a number of players ruled ineligible to play in the Mexican League this year because he did not sign a contract prior to a preseason deadline.

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