Cuba's daily Gramna reported today that the Caribbean island has announced a 36-man selection for the World Baseball Classic III, which is supposed to start on March 2, 2013.
Prior to February 14, Cuba will select their final 28-man roster and will depart for Taiwan to play some preliminary exhibition-training games.
Cuba will debut against Brazil on March 3 and then they will play China and Japan in that order. The third game is, in my opinion, the most important. Japan always has an excellent team, and they will probably be the favorite to win the Classic again.
Will the old Cuban adage of “A la tercera va la vencida” (The Third Time Is a Charm) hold true? Cuba has to do well in both pitching and hitting to have a chance to take the crown to a new home in Havana.
Here are the 36 men selected so far:
Catchers: Eriel Sánchez, Yulexis la Rosa, Frank Camilo Morejón and Yosvani Peraza. Infielders: José Dariel Abréu, Luis Felipe Rivera, José Miguel Fernández, Andy Ibáñez, Yulieski Gourriel, Erisbel Arruebarruena, Yordan Manduley and Raúl González. Outfielders: Frederich Cepeda, Alfredo Despaigne, Rusney Castillo, Alexei Bell, Guillermo Heredia, Yadiel Hernández, Yasmani Tomás and Stayler Hernández. Pitchers: Ismel Jiménez, Freddy Asiel Álvarez, Odrisamer Despaigne, Vladimir García, Norberto González, Darién Núñez, Danny Betancourt, Yadier Pedroso, Raicel Iglesias, Wilber Pérez, Yander Guevara, Alexander Rodríguez, Leandro Martínez, Carlos Juan Viera, Diosdani Castillo and Yasmani Hernández Romero.