Eight Cuban Players Who Play Abroad Have Agreed to Go With Cuba to the Classic

The Cuban Baseball Federation has not yet announced the group of 50 players who will leave for the World Classic. (JIT)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 30 December 2022 — Despite the fact that Cuba received permission from the United States to take MLB players to the World Classic, the list of baseball players from the Island team who will be at the event to be held from March 8 to 21, 2023 in the cities of Taichung (Taiwan), Tokyo, Phoenix and Miami has still not been disclosed.

So far the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) has only announced on its social networks the acceptance of the following players: Yoan Moncada (White Sox), Yoenis Céspedes (Cibaeñas Eagles), Onelkis García (Mexicali Eagles), Roénis Elias (Cibaeñas Eagles), Andy Ibáñez  (Tigers), Yoan López (Mets) and Elian Leyva (Naranjeros).

Based on the calendar of group A in which Cuba is located, which will compete with China, the Netherlands, Italy and Panama, the Pelota Cubana [Cuban Baseball] website considers that the Island’s team will not have the “treat” of passing the first round in the World Classic, but “it can.” It also highlights the additions of the pinareño outfielder Andy Pagés and the habanero Yasmany Tomás.

Tomás, who is a free agent, had an outstanding performance in the Mexican Pacific League. The baseball player said he is waiting for the invitation to be confirmed. With Pagés and Tomás “at least all positions will be filled with excellent players,” published Pelota Cubana.

Moncada, at 27, has played the last seven seasons with Boston and the White Sox and has 82 home runs and 299 RBIs. To this baseball player is added the experience of veteran Yoenis Céspedes with eight seasons with Oakland and the Mets, and a score of 165 home runs. The Power, as they call him, won the Homerun Derby in 2013 and 2014, being the first player born in Cuba to achieve it.

Cuba’s other hope in the World Classic is Onelkis García, who in the Major Leagues played with the Dodgers and Kansas, in addition to a stretch with the league of Japan. Also included is the left-handed pitcher Roénis Elias, who left the Island in 2010.

According to the FCB, Cuba will have as its backbone the team that won the Elite League, a tournament that just last December 24 defined the semifinals with Agricultores, Centrales, Portuarios and Tabacaleros.

Among hopes, Cuba’s team is formed for the World Classic, while the Island continues to receive news of ball players’ departures. Jorge Álvarez, La Pólvora, the Gunshot, is already in the United States. Last June he was nominated for the SN61 Golden Glove award for his arm power. In April he scored eight triples with Camagüey.

Also in the United States is the Camagüeyan receiver Julio César Nogueras. This athlete made “the well-worn crossing from Nicaragua,” according to the La Comarca de Los Toros Facebook page. In 2023 he will try to focus on his career within the world of baseball.

Before these departures was that of former pitcher Ifreidi Coss, who is in Mexico waiting to be able to reach the United States. On the Island he worked as a coach and debuted in the National Series at the age of 18. In 120 innings he had 87 strikeouts. “If the right-handed Coss didn’t get the Rookie of the Year it was because of the record season that Kendrys Morales had,” published Baseball FR!

Injuries after 2007 were the main obstacle for Coss to maintain his numbers, so after 2010 he decided to end his sports career.

“I injured my arm and then other things happened. I didn’t have enough support to rehabilitate myself well. At first Uberto Beltrán took care of me and I did well, but the required follow-up to that injury was not given, perhaps due to professional jealousy,” he once told the Escambray newspaper.

Translated by Regina Anavy


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.