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Cuba to clear up expectations about World Baseball Classic

Havana, Jan 5 (Prensa Latina) Controversies and expectations are presently resounding on Cuban delegation for 5th World Baseball Classic (WBC), just hours away from clearing up enigmas about official roster and implementation of unprecedented call-up policy.

Social media are ablaze and baseball fans are gleefully rubbing their hands waiting to learn about 35-ballplayer pre-selection roster, which will be announced at a press conference on Friday 6, at 17:00, local time, at the Latino Americano Stadium.

Cuba´s baseball authorities will break the ice and reveal one of the best-kept secrets after so much questions and speculations, and also following the chance of counting on Cuban ballplayers who actually play in the Major League Baseball (MLB).

Contrary to the other ballplayers who were included to participate in WBC, Cuba was forced to receive the “green light” and now has the chance of including professional Cuban ballplayers in its roster, something unprecedented and that disarticulates some stigmas around emigrated Cuban ballplayers.

In this regard, it is worth noting that those ballplayers who left official delegations abroad will not be included in the pre-selection roster, said Juan Reynaldo Perez, Cuban Sports Federation (FCB) President.

Currently, one of the most recurrent cases is slugger Yasmani Tomás, who leads the race for winning the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in Mexico, but recently he expressed FCB has not called him yet.

Playing for the Cañeros de Mochis, “El Tanque” (The Tank), as Tomás is also called, reached positive statistics in qualifying round: AVE: 328, OBP: 383, SLUG: .510, OPS: 1,136, plus 10 HR, 57 RBI, 27 XBH and 85 H.

Likewise, the FCB must wait for the official listing of major leaguers Andy Ibañez (Detroit Tigers), Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert Moirán (Chicago White Sox), as well as Elián Leyva and Roenis Elías, two outstanding pitchers.

As catcher, the FCB is thinking about Lorenzo Quintana (MiLB); meanwhile in the infield – in addition to Tomás, Ibáñez and Moncada – some people dream of José Dariel Abreu (1B, Houston Astros) and Josuán Hernández.

Former MLB Yoenis Cespedes and Moiran could be included in the roster as outfielders, while Onelki Garcia, Miguel Romero and Yoan Lopez stand out as pitchers who play in NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball).

Among other ballplayers to be capped for Cuban team are Erisbel Arruebarrena (SS), Yadil Mujica (SS, 2B, 3B), Alfredo Despaigne (LF), Roel Santos (OF), Yadir Drake (OF), Yoenni Yera (LHP) and Carlos Juan Viera (RHP).

The FCB will have the final say in this matter and the loose ends will come together on Friday amid WBC´s expectations scheduled from March 8 to 21.


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