An ankle injury will prevent fans from witnessing the 100 mile per hour fastball from Shohei Otani at the World Baseball Classic. He could still be available as a hitter if his ankle can improve. If the ankle does not improve he could drop out of the tournament completely, leaving Japan without one of the best players in the tournament.
The Cuban National Series champion, the Granma Horses, has announced its roster for the 2017 Baseball Caribbean Series.
The list of players includes 12 pitchers, 2 catchers, 9 infielders, and 5 outfielders.
Granma added 9 reinforcement players to its original roster.
The 2017 Caribbean Series will be played in Culiacan, Mexico, from February 1-7.
The Cuban Team opens the CS on February 1 against Dominican Republic at 3:00pm, with games against Puerto Rico (Feb 3), Venezuela (Feb 4), and Mexico (Feb) to follow.
Here is the roster.
No one said it would be so easy. There have been five sweeps in Cuban championship history. Granma made it six, winning their first Cuban championship with a game four 3-2 win.
BOXSCORE: Grm 3, Cav 2
Guillermo Aviles drove in Alfredo Despaigne from third with a sacrifice fly to drive in the game winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Granma scored the run without benefit of a hit, three walks loading the bases and advancing Despaigne to third.
Alfredo Despaigne is the one Cuban star who has not bolted for the United States for the greater gold. He has played a couple years in Japan for the Chiba Lotte Marines on a contract negotiated by the Cuban government but Chiba did not find themselves in a championship series.
BOXSCORE: Grm 4, Cav 3 (10)
The schedule for the 2017 Cuban Finals, between the Granma Stallions and the Ciego de Avila Tigers, has been realeased.
The series will kick off on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 7:15 pm (EST) with Game 1, and could go as late as Jan. 26, if the Finals need a full seven games to be decided.
Ciego de Avila has home-field advantage in the series after winning more games than Granma during the regular season.
During the regular season Matanzas broke a record for most wins. At the beginning of the season they looked unbeatable, but chinks in the armor were beginning to show during the playoff round. The Granma Stallions advanced to the finals taking the last two games of the seven game series to eliminate the Crocodiles from the championship round, slaying the giant of the regular season. It is not the first time Matanzas has won the regular season with the best record but lost in a playoff series.
Ciego de Avila won their best of seven series over Villa Clara four games to two to advance to the Cuban finals. In the four games they won the team scored 8 runs or more, winning the last game 9-3.
BOXSCORE: Vcl 3, Cav 9