As we always find out, teams generally need more than five starting pitchers to get through a season. Out of the original projected five, only Cueto and Leake made all their starts throughout the season. By the time Latos was back in the fold, Simon had pitched 6 or more innings, giving up 3 runs or less in his first 6 starts. Simon stayed in the rotation and by July, was in Minnesota representing the Reds in the All Star game. For the season, Simon went 15-10, 3.44 in 32 starts, pitching 196+ innings with a WHIP of just over 1.20. Though his season deserves accolades, Simon had three distinct incidents which could have prevented this opportunity from even being a possibility.
Originally known as Carlos Cabrera, he was signed as an amateur free agent by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1999. He was born in the Dominican Republic and in 2003 it was determined that his real name was Alfredo Simon and he was 21 months older than he had originally disclosed. Of course, there were many young players that were determined to be older than they originally were at that time as the United States of America started to look deeper into the roots of people coming into the country after the events of 9/11. The original pronunciation of his last name was Su'-moan, and he was referred to by that name until recently.
After 5 seasons in the minor leagues with the Phillies, he was traded to the San Francisco Giants in 2004. After the 2006 season, he was granted free agency and signed with the Texas Rangers. A month later, he was taken in the Rule 5 draft by the Baltimore Orioles. The same day, he was traded back to the Phillies. After spending 2007 spring training with the Phillies, he was given back to the Rangers as part of the Rule 5 agreement. The Rangers had to either take put Simon on their major league roster by the start of the season or offer him back to his original club, which was the Rangers. After a rough 2007 season as a starting pitcher for the Oklahoma Red Hawks of the Pacific Coast League, he was once again granted free agency before signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers in January of 2008. He went to spring training and was one of the last cut at the end of March.
He spent the season pitching in Mexico before signing with the Orioles in September of 2008. He signed a major league deal and made his debut in the last month of that season. In 2009, he pitched in AAA and made 2 starts for the Orioles. The following season, he pitched in 49 games out of the bullpen and spent some time as the team's closer, saving 17 games for the Orioles.
It was the beginning of 2011 and news began to circulate that Simon was being detained in Luperton, Puerto Plata in the murder of a 25 year old man in an incident that left his 17 year old brother seriously injured. It turns out witnesses told police that Simon was shooting off his gun in the air to celebrate the new year of 2011. He later told police that the shooting was accidental, incriminating himself.
Things got worse for Simon after the judge denied him bail and ordered him held until the investigation was complete. The Orioles placed him on the restricted list and it seemed he was not going to be playing baseball anytime soon. However, soon after, the police were focused on another suspect in the murder and he was allowed play in the minors as he was not being charged in the case. By November of 2011, Simon was completely cleared of all wrongdoing.
Just as his great 2014 season had gotten underway, Simon found himself in trouble again as a woman accused him of rape. At the end of April, it seemed possible the pitcher was once again going to lose his spot on the roster to defend these allegations. Luckily, the assistant US attorney decided not to continue with the case against him.
Alfredo Simon's 2014 season can be considered a victory on many levels. The rape situation looks like it is completely behind him and it seems the police got the right person in connection with the murder of New Years Eve of 2011. On a baseball level, it seems the pitcher has arrived. For the first time in his professional career, Alfredo Simon is penciled in as part of a major league rotation.