For Elias, 34, it is the most significant game in his baseball career as the Cuban nine will make its best to reach the final for the second time in the tournament’s short history following several shortcomings in recent international tourneys. Also it is the first time ever that the Cubans play a Major League Baseball all-star team.
The left-handed pitcher excelled in the Dominican Republic’s professional league in the 2022-2023 season and is in the Spring Training roster of the Chicago Cubs.
In two outings in this 5th World Baseball Classic, Elias pitched 7.0 innings, allowed two runs with three strikeouts, a walk and shows a 2.57 earned run average.
On the opposing mound, Wainright is one of San Louis Cardinals’ top starters. In this tournament he won the first game of the qualifying round beating United Kingdom. He pitched four innings, allowed one earned run (a home run by Trayce Thompson), walked one and stroke out four.
He is one of MLB’s best starting pitchers with a brilliant record that includes three All-Star Games, two Golden Glove and a Silver Bat. He also proudly wears the Champion Ring of the 2006 World Series.
The USA DT Mark De Rosa’s line-up could be Mookie Bets, Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Kyle Tucker, Tim Anderson, Kyle Schwarber, J. T. Realmuto and Trea Turner.
Cuban DT Armando Johnson might start the historical game with Roel Santos, Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert, Alfredo Despaigne, Erisbel Arruebarruena, Yoelkis Guibert, Ariel Martinez, Yadir Drake and Yadil Mujica.
In international tournaments, including the Harleem Baseball Week, World Cups, Intercontinental Cups, Premier 12 and Olympic Games, the Cuban Team has a 21-11 win record over the USA, but this is the first time it is playing an MLB all-star team.