The 31-year-old Venezuelan right-hander Victor Moreno, who took the mound for the Italian Baseball League club UGF Fortitudo Bologna in the past two seasons, has signed a minor league contract with the Detroit Tigers organization according to a report by the Italian website Grande Slam. The agreement also consists of an invitation to spring training with the Major League team.
Moreno allowed just five runs (2 ER) on 17 hits and six walks in 32 1/3 innings for Bologna this year. He struck out 52 batters. He is currently playing for the Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he has an ERA of 2.04 in 39 innings. Before coming to Italy in 2009 he already had his opportunities in affiliated minor league ball, playing for teams of the Diamondbacks, Phillies, Twins, Athletics and Orioles from 1999 to 2007. Afterwards he went to Mexico.
With Fortitudo Moreno helped winning the Italian championship in 2009 and the European Champions Cup this summer. He mostly pitched in relief of the Dominican right-hander Jesus Matos in Bologna. If he can stick with the Tigers, Moreno would be the second Venezuelan player after Oscar Salazar to use the detour Italy to get into the big leagues (h/t to Ruben Hernandez).
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