Daniel Alberto Cabrera Cruz
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 9", Weight 270 lb.
- Debut May 13, 2004
- Final Game October 3, 2009
- Born May 28, 1981 in San Pedro de Macoris, San Pedro de Macoris, D.R.
Daniel Cabrera pitched six seasons in MLB. He had electric stuff, once striking out 166 batters, but a crippling inability to find the plate.
Signed by the Baltimore Orioles in 1999, Cabrera arrived in the United States in 2001, playing for the GCL Orioles that summer. He spent the following year with the Bluefield Orioles, leading the club with 69 strikeouts and tying Joe Coppinger for the team lead with 5 wins. With the Delmarva Shorebirds in 2003, he went 5-9 with a 4.24 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 26 starts. After beginning 2004 with the Bowie Baysox, Cabrera was called up to the Orioles in mid-May. He made his big league debut on May 13th, throwing 6 scoreless innings and earning a win in a start against the Chicago White Sox. He remained in the Baltimore rotation for the rest of the year, going 12-8 with a 5.00 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 28 appearances, finishing third in AL Rookie of the Year voting behind Bobby Crosby and Shingo Takatsu. The following year, he went 10-13 with a 4.52 ERA in 29 starts while leading the O's with 157 strikeouts.
Cabrera began 2006 by representing the Dominican Republic in the inaugural WBC, going 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA in 2 starts. In his first start of the regular season against the Boston Red Sox, he walked 7 batters (including 6 in the first inning) and gave up 7 earned runs. His next outing was not much better, as he walked 9 in 5 innings of work against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (but struck out 10 and only allowed a run). In mid-May, he was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. He rejoined the team in early June, but after going 0-5 with a 7.02 ERA in 6 starts from mid-June to mid-July, he was demoted to the AAA Ottawa Lynx. After winning 3 of his 4 minor league starts, he was back in August and went 5-3 with a 4.04 ERA over the rest of the season. In his final outing of the year, he threw a one-hitter against the New York Yankees on September 28th. Overall, during that up-and-down season, he went 9-10 with a 4.74 ERA in 26 starts for the Orioles while leading the AL with 104 walks (but 157 strikeouts) and the majors with 17 wild pitches.
2007 proved to be Cabrera's most trying campaign in the majors. He tied for the AL lead with 34 starts but posted a 9-18 record and 5.55 ERA while leading the circuit in losses, earned runs allowed (126), and bases on balls (108). He did, however, also strike out a career best 166 hitters. On August 23rd, he started the only AL game ever in which the opposing team scored 30 runs. He allowed 6 runs over 5 innings against the Texas Rangers before the bullpen of Brian Burres, Rob Bell and Paul Shuey surrendered 24 in the next 4 frames. He put together a better 2008 for the Orioles, going 8-10 with a 5.25 ERA in 30 starts but still managed to lead the AL with 18 hit batsmen and 15 wild pitches. Following the season, he became a free agent and signed with the Washington Nationals for 2009. After going 0-5 with a 5.85 ERA in 9 appearances, he was released in late May. He signed a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks in early August and made 4 starts for the Reno Aces before a September call-up to the bigs. He went 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA in 6 late-season games, his final big league action, and became a free agent after the season.
After being signed and released by the Chicago White Sox early in the year, he spent 2010 in the Los Angeles Angels organization, going 0-3 with a 7.09 ERA in 11 outings between the AA Arkansas Travelers and the AAA Salt Lake Bees. Cabrera did not play professionally in 2011 but signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization for 2012, splitting the year between their system and back in the Diamondbacks chain. He spent two seasons with the Chunichi Dragons of NPB before finishing his career with a lone start in the Cincinnati Reds system (a run in three innings for the Triple A Louisville Bats) and time in the Mexican League in 2015.
- 2004 Topps All-Star Rookie Team
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (2007)