27 June, 2007
The 20-player roster of Cuba’s baseball team for the Rio de Janeiro Pan American Games in July was announced Tuesday on the evening TV and radio Round Table program. Twelve have played on Olympic championship squads.
Benito Camacho, technical director of the Cuban national team, gave a detailed run down on the preparation of the players in the training and recent tune-up games against Venezuela in which they won six of seven games. He said the average age on the team headed to Rio is 27, and noted that four players made the team for the first time: Luis Miguel Navas, Yoennis Cespedes, Elier Sanchez and Aroldis Chapman.
Right-hand pitcher Pedro Luis Lazo and shortstop Eduardo Paret will both be seeking their third gold medal at the Pan American Games, which began 56 years ago in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The team managed by Rey Vicente Anglada includes:
Catchers: Ariel Pestano and Eriel Sanchez; Infielders: Alexander Mayeta, Alexei Ramirez, Eduardo Paret, Yulieski Gourriel and Luis Miguel Navas; Outfielders: Frederich Cepeda, Giorvis Duvergel, Yoandry Urgelles, Osmani Urrutia y Yoennis Cespedes; Righthanded Pitchers: Pedro Luis Lazo, Yunieski Maya, Jonder Martínez, Norge Luis Vera and Lefthanders: Adiel Palma, Norberto Gonzalez, Elier Sanchez and Aroldis Chapman.
Carlos Rodriguez Acosta, president of the Cuban Baseball Federation, also announced that 15 pre-selected players that didn’t make the team for the Rio Games will be the core of squads to play in the 11th World Port Tournament in Rotterdam, Holland; in the Italian Baseball Week, and at an event in Guayaquil, Ecuador, all this summer. Those teams will be managed by Lourdes Gourriel, Victor Mesa and Jorge Milian respectively.
Also on the upcoming baseball calendar is the 15-16 year old world championships, the Pan American Youth tournament and the 37th World Cup to be played in Chinese Taipei, said Rodriguez.