Archive for the 'Nicaragua' Category

Puerto Rico Wins Pan Am Games

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

Puerto Rico won the Pan Am Games, defeating Canada 6-1 in the finals. The United States did not participate in the games, choosing to focus on the Premier 12 games to be played in Tokyo. Other teams that participated in the Games - The host Peru, Argentina, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Colombia and Nicaragua. For Puerto Rico it was their first Pan Am Gold, defeating the two time defending champs Canada. The poor hosts, Peru, were the only team that did not win a game.

Giovanni Soto got the start and the win for Puerto Rico in the gold medal game. Chris Leroux took the loss for Canada. Jorge Padilla drove in the first run for Puerto Rico with a double. Brahiam Maldonado went deep with a solo shot in the sixth and Edwin Gomez closed out the scoring for Puerto Rico with a two run single in the seventh.

Nicaragua, Colombia, Canada and Puerto Rico all qualified to play in an Olympic qualifier. Cuba had a rough tournament, only winning one game. They had a tough 10 inning loss to the Dominican Republic that was tied 1-1 after regulation time. When they scored 8 in the 10th it appeared they had the game won, but the Dominican Republic scored nine in the 10th to win it.

Puerto Rico won a tight 2-1 game against the Dominican Republic that went 10 innings and then two days later they beat Colombia 2-1. They finished the tournament undefeated.

Nicaragua shutout Colombia in the bronze medal game 6-0. During pool play Colombia had defeated Nicaragua 11-1.

Bucketlist Reviewed

Monday, June 24th, 2019

Myworld is in Omaha to watch the last two games of the college world series. First we will enter into Papillion for a day game for the Storm Chasers, which will be a DHer of sorts, i.e. a finish to the second game that was suspended last night and a new game. Then we will travel down to Omaha for the first game of the finals of the College World Series. That will be a first, three games in one day.

Since this college world series was on my bucket list myworld thought we would summarize some of our bucket list accomplishments since 2011 after we first wrote of our bucket list down. At the end we will identify those adventures still on the list. These are only our baseball bucket lists. We have plenty of non-baseball adventures we would still like to capture.

October 2011 - Went to Panama to watch the last Baseball World Cup. The event is not quite as strong as the soccer World Cups. Attendance was sparse. Netherlands went on to upset Cuba for their first World Cup win. Lots of rain at the event. The third place game was not played because of rain but Canada was awarded the bronze. The gold medal game was delayed by about five hours. This would be the last World Cup before a major reorganization.

November 2011 - Visited Taichung, Taiwan for the Asian World Series. This is another event that was discontinued. Another upset as the Samsung Lions defeated the Softbank Hawks to become the first non-Japanese team to win the Asian Series.

February 2012 - Traveled to the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to see the Series del Caribe. Cuba had yet to be allowed to participate. This is another event that is struggling for survival. At the time the teams played pool play and the team with the best record was declared champion. This event was anticlimactic as the Dominican Republic won it easily. On the last day, win or lose the Dominicans had won the pool. They added Cuba later and went to a pool play and playoff format to make the finals or last day more meaningful.

September 6-11 2013- Japan trip. This was my fourth trip to Japan to watch baseball so not really bucket list material. Some of the events were. Witnessed Wladimir Balentien hit his 54th homerun on his way to a record breaking 60 for the year, smashing the record of Sadaharu Oh and Randy Bass, who each had 55. Also saw a pitcher’s duel between Masahiro Tanaka and rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani, won by Tanaka 3-2. Tanaka would go on to break a baseball record of 25 consecutive wins and then went on to play for the New York Yankees the next year. Ohtani is now with the Angels.

November 7, 2013 - Visited Arizona and watched the Arizona Fall League for the first time. Aaron Sanchez and Travis Shaw were two players who impressed me during that visit.

July 8th 2014 - Traveled to Dyersville Iowa to see the Field of Dreams. Also around that time went to Durham, North Carolina to see the old stadium that was used for the Durham Bulls movie. Myworld loves the Durham park and we have visited there at least three times.

November 11 2014 - Revisited Taichung, Taiwan for the 21 and under World Cup. Taiwan won it, upsetting Japan. Chun Lin Kuo pitched seven shutout innings in the 9-0 rout. Myworld was strangled in blue confetti after the win.

June 20th 2015 - These bucket lists can not be predicted. Witnessed my first no hitter, Max Scherzer doing the honors in Washington D.C.. The only previous no hitter I had seen prior to that was a seven inning minor league no hitter. I never really counted that since it was only seven innings.

June 23 2016 - Did not see a Little League World Series but I did go to Williamsport and visited the park. Went to a minor league game in Williamsport and watched Triston Mackenzie pitch for the Indians minor league team. The minor league park is located next door to the first field where the Little League World Series was played. They are still playing Little League games at that field.

July 2016 - Went to Haarlem, Netherlands to watch the Honkball tournament. It was my first experience of European baseball. The facility where they held the tournament is pretty impressive. I do believe Japan may have been the winners of that tournament, upsetting the Netherlands in the finals but I could be wrong. I did not see the finals preferring to enjoy some of the sights of Haarlem instead.

February 8 2017 - Witnessed my second Series del Caribe, this one in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico beat Mexico in the championship match. This was the first Series del Caribe that Cuba was allowed to play.

March 12, 2017 - Travelled to Miami, Florida to watch a World Baseball Classic game and it was wild. The Dominican Republic beat the United States and the crowd was probably more entertaining than the game. Also saw a couple World Baseball Classic games in Miami in 2013. Kenley Jenson was a catcher for the Netherlands.

July 7-9, 2018 - This was my first Futures game. The United States defeated the World. Talk is that they will be changing that format for this year. The homerun derby and the All Star game followed after that. The experience was awesome. The only downside is I had to leave early because the game went into extra innings and Metro was closing.

June 24 2019 - In Omaha to see the College World Series

November 2019 - Hope to return to Tokyo to watch the Premier 12

2020 and beyond.

The Olympics is on the agenda. I’ve already been to an Olympic event when they were in Los Angeles but watched the volleyball. The prices for these events seem a little steep.

World Series game is still a must see. I may have to travel for that since the Nationals and Orioles may never give me that opportunity.

Been to every ball park in Japan but Hokkaido. That is on the list. Will be going to Saint Louis after the College World Series leaving Tampa, Seattle, Oakland, Chicago White Sox, Detroit, Arizona, Toronto and Colorado as the only major league parks I have not visited. Went to the old Seattle park and if I don’t hurry the Oakland and Tampa parks may no longer be available. Still lots of minor league parks to visit.

Hope to see a European championship tournament. On my bucket list is a visit to Italy so seeing a game there and visiting Italy would fulfill two accomplishments.

Myworld has seen games in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Panama and Dominican Republic so going to another country to see a game would be cool. We’ve also played softball in Australia and Sweden.

Myworld has also been to Cooperstown, but it might be cool to visit it again to see how time has changed it.

That is it for now.

World Cup 18 Groups

Friday, May 17th, 2019

The under 18 World Cup will be played in Gijang, Korea on August 30 to September 8 at the Gijang-Hyundai Dream Ballpark. The United States has won the last four under 18 championships.

Group A

Korea, Australia, Netherlands, Canada, Nicaragua and China

Group B

Japan, United States, Taiwan, Panama, South Africa and Spain

The top three teams from each group advance to the super round. The top two teams from the super round play for the championship. The absence of Cuba could be financial. They have also lost a number of their younger players to the major leagues.

Dominican Republic Still Leads in Foreign Major Leaguers

Monday, April 1st, 2019

According to a major league baseball press release there are 251 foreign players from 20 different countries or areas who appear on 25 man major league rosters, or are on restricted or disabled lists. That accounts for 28.5% of the players. The Dominican Republic again leads in the most major league players outside the 50 United States. Below is a breakdown of where all those foreign players are from;

1. Dominican Republic (102)
2. Venezuela (68)
3. Cuba (19)
4. Puerto Rico (18)
5. Mexico (8)
6. Japan (6)
7. Canada (6)
8. Curacao (5)
9. South Korea (5)
10. Colombia (4)
11. Aruba (1)
12. Australia (1)
13. Brazil (1)
14. Germany (1)
15. Lithuania (1)
16. Netherlands (1)
17. Nicaragua (1)
18. Panama (1)
19. Taiwan (1)
20. U.S. Virgin Islands (1)

United States Puts Exclamation Point to Under 18 Pan Am Championship

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

Myworld cannot recall such a dominant performance in a international tournament. The United States were in another league. After beating Panama in the Super Round 9-8 they got their chance to play them again in the gold medal round and won 17-2. Other than the 9-8 game no team got within seven runs. They outscored their opponents in the nine games 131-27, an average of about 12 runs more per game. It is the fifth straight Pan Am championship for the United States 18 and under team.

Bobby Witt Jr. was the big bat hitting for the cycle in a 4 for 5 day, driving in three runs. Corbin Carroll only collected one hit, but it was a homerun. He also drove in a team leading four runs. Tyler Callihan continued to be a hitting maching, going 2 for 4 with three RBIs.

With all the good hitting it is easy to ignore the pitching efforts. Jack Leiter pitched four innings of no hit ball, striking out nine.

In the bronze medal game Canada downed Nicaragua 5-3. LaRon Smith slugged a clutch two out two run homer in the eighth inning to break a 3-3 tie.

The United States, Panama, Canada and Nicaragua all qualify for the 18 and under World Cup that will be held in Korea in 2019. It will be interesting to see if the United States keep the same roster. Many of these players will be drafted in the first round of the major league draft. The United States won the last four 18 and under World Cup in 2017, 2015, 2013 and 2012.

Cuba did not get into the Super Round and failed to qualify for the 18 and under World Cup. The last time they won the event was in 2004.

Colon Makes Latin American History

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Bartolo Colon won his 246th game to become the all time winningest major league Latin American pitcher. He surpassed Dennis Martinez of Nicaragua. At 45 years of age Bartolo Colon has been pitching a long time. But there is another record on his agenda. Despite the number of years he has pitched he has only completed 3,445 innings. Colon needs to surpass 3,507 to surpass fellow Dominican Juan Marichal to achieve another record, the most innings by a Latin American pitcher. He needs 60 innings to achieve that goal. If he can not accomplish that this year some team would have to be willing to sign him next year at 46 years of age for him to achieve that record.

Top Central American/Caribbean Prospects

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

There was one major league player from the top ten list of last year. The number 10 prospect from the list last year, Allen Cordoba played in 100 games with 202 at bats as a Rule V pick. He is back in the minor leagues this year but has lost his rookie eligibility. The Bahamas seems to be a popular place for prospects this year. Below are the top ten from this year:

1. Estevan Florial OF (Yankees/Haiti) - He was a sleeper last year, fitting in the 8th spot. A break out season last year rockets him to the top. He showed off his impressive tools with 13 homeruns and 23 stolen bases between Low A and High A. His above average arm will allow him to play right field, but his speed appears to make center his best position. The Yankees outfield is crowded right now so the Yankees can be patient with him. The Yankees have him repeating High A where he hit .303 with two homeruns in only 19 games last year. He’s gotten off to a slow start this year at High A, hitting just .240 where he has struck out 37 times in just 27 games. Making contact has been his Achilles heel. Last year Florial struck out 148 times in 110 games.

2. Jamie Barria RHP (Angels/Panama) - At 6′1″ with a low 90s fastball, Jamie relies on his location to retire hitters. An above average change tends to make the fastball have a bit more hop. Last year he was rated sixth on this list but some decent starts saw him get promoted from High A to AAA. His strikeout numbers were not impressive but he kept the other team from scoring. A good start at AAA (2.92 ERA) and injuries to the Angels rotation gave him an opportunity to pitch in the major leagues this year. He got his first major league win in April and is now 2-1, 3.46 ERA in three starts. He will never be overpowering and is best used in the back end of a rotation.

3. Lucius Fox SS (Rays/Bahamas) - One of the best defensive shortstops in the minor leagues. The Giants signed him for $6 million in 2015 and included him in a trade to acquire Matt Moore, a deal the Giants may ultimately regret. Generating an offensive game has been his biggest issue. He lacks power, with a minor league career .313 slugging percentage. Excellent speed will get him a lot of stolen bases if he can find a way to get on base. A .241 batting average and .330 OBA needs to show improvement. It is still early in the season but this year Fox is hitting .340 in 26 games at High A. This would be enough juice to put him in the leadoff spot.

4. Touki Toussaint RHP (Braves/Haiti) - Touki was born in Florida but returned to Haiti when he was three months old. He returned to the United States with his mother when he was six years old. The Diamondbacks drafted him in the first round of the 2014 draft but were not impressed with his ability to get the ball over the plate and traded him to the Braves so they could rid themselves of the Bronson Arroyo contract. The only player they got in return was the journeyman Phil Gosselin. Touki still has not found the plate but his numbers are getting better. Last year he struck out 10 hitters per nine innings and limited AA hitters to a .207 average. He has repeated AA and continues to impress (2-1, 3.56 with a .196 opposition average). He is starting to find the plate more and with a mid-90s fastball and hard breaking curve with long arms he could end up at the top of a rotation in a couple years.

5. Jonathan Arauz SS (Astros/Panama) - With Carlos Correa at short it limits his opportunity to play there for the Astros. At 19 years of age the Astros can still be patient with him and either move him to second or trade him for a veteran player to help in a playoff run. He was acquired from the Phillies as part of the Ken Giles trade. Giles has helped them in the bullpen and Arauz will help them in the infield in a couple years. His season was shortened last year by 50 games because of a drug suspension. Eventually Arauz may have to move to second because of his limited range. His bat has made an appearance this year in Low A with a .340 average and .540 slugging percentage. This after hitting just .220/.276 last year in Low A. If the power stays a move to third is a possibility.

6. Mauricio Dubon SS (Brewers/Honduras) - Dubon was born in Honduras but played high school ball in the United States. The Red Sox drafted him in the 26th round of the 2013 draft. They included him along with Travis Shaw in a trade for Tyler Thornberg. Shaw has already made the trade look bad. Dubon’s ability to make contact, hit for average and play a solid shortstop could make it look worse. He won’t hit for a lot of power but his speed could get him 30 plus stolen bases a year. In the past that would make him an ideal number two hitter. This year a 30 game hitting streak in AAA has put his average at .343 with a .574 slugging average. He is in a zone.

7. Jazz Chisholm SS (Diamondbacks/Bahamas) - Not as talented defensively as his half brother Lucius Fox but his bat appears to show more power. A knee injury limited him to just 29 games last year. In 2016 he slugged 9 homeruns in rookie ball. The big swing makes him more susceptible to strikeouts with 112 in 91 games the last two years. He is starting this year in Low A where his knee injury limited him to 29 games and is working for a promotion, hitting .324 with a .606 slugging percentage. That is rare power for a Diamondback middle infielder.

8. Jonathan Loaisiga RHP (Yankees/Nicaragua) - At 5′10″ he lacks the height scouts like to see in a righthander. His mid-90s fastball and healthy breaking curveball with an ability to find the plate gives him an opportunity to stay in the rotation. Injuries have prevented him from throwing more than 31 innings in a season. Last year he started 11 games in the short season rookie leagues, pitching well with more than a strikeout per inning and limiting the opposition to an average that is quite a bit south of .200. He pitched well in four starts at High A (3-0, 1.35) resulting in a promotion to AA. The Yankees have a surplus of talented pitchers in their minor league rotations so he will probably settle in AA to limit his innings.

9. Leonardo Jimenez SS (Blue Jays/Panama) - A long career in youth tournaments has given Leonardo instincts for the game other players in the Caribbean lack. A lack of range may force a move from short but Jimenez was not signed until 2017. He will be making his debut in the minor leagues in 2018. At 17 years of age determining his position will have to wait until the short season leagues begin. He is expected to be a contact hitter with gap power.

10. Kristian Robinson OF (Diamondbacks/Bahamas) - Another player signed to a 2017 contract that has not played yet. The Diamondbacks shelled out $2.5 million to sign him. At 6′3′ he has the potential for power and with the genes of an Olympian sprinter in his blood has the potential for speed. He could end up fitting in centerfield. He will not begin his season until the rookie leagues start in July.

2017 Central American/Caribbean Prospects

Nicaragua Takes Cuba to Ten Before Falling

Monday, February 26th, 2018

Cuba swept Nicaragua but the last game was not easy. Nicaragua had a 3-2 lead going into the top of the ninth. Wilber Bucardo was going into his third inning of work but could not hold the lead. Frederich Cepeda tied the game with an opposite field RBI single between short and third to tie the game. Cuba then rallied for three in the 10th to secure the victory, Lazaro Cedeno getting the big hit with a double down the third base line that scored one with the second run scoring after the throw skipped past the catcher. Vladimir Garcia came on to pitch the bottom of the tenth, walking two but getting a ground out double play to end the game.

Guillermo Aviles strung together three hits for Cuba to continue his hot hitting. Nicaragua got three hits from Jilton Calderon, including a two run single in the sixth to give Nicaragua a promising 3-1 lead. Elmer Reyes scored two of the three runs for Nicaragua.

Freddy Alvarez got the call to start for Cuba and pitched five innings of one run ball. Nicaragua started Gustavo Martinez, who had trouble finding the plate, walking five hitters in his three innings of work. Despite the heavy doses of walks he allowed only one run to cross the plate. Cuban slugger Frederich Cepeda was walked three times.

Evereth Cabrera batted leadoff in the game and collected one hit with one walk in five at bats.

Cuba Wins Game Two Against Nicaragua

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

Cuba scored two runs each in the first three innings and coasted to a 7-1 win over Nicaragua in their second game of a three game series at newly built Dennis Martinez stadium. New Cuban National team player Jorge Tartabull drove in two runs with a single. Alexander Ayala drove in two runs without benefit of a hit. Roel Santos and Juan Torriente led the way from the top two spots in the order, combining for five hits and each scoring two runs. Lazaro Cedeno went a perfect 4 for 4 and also scored two runs.

Vladimir Banos went six innings for Cuba, giving up only four hits and striking out five. Carlos Teller could not survive past the second inning for Nicaragua, giving up four runs on six hits.

Interesting to see the names of some ex-prospects like Dwight Britton, Elmer Reyes and Ivan Marin playing for Nicaragua. Evereth Cabrera did not play this game.

Cuba Tops Nicaragua

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

In a three game exhibition series Cuba took the first game 6-4. The high light of the series is that it is being played in the new Dennis Martinez stadium. Nicaraguans have always had a passion about playing against Cuba and judging by the photos it was a well attended event.

The rosters for the two teams:

Cuba

PITCHERS (10) Lazaro Blanco, Erlys Casanova, Ulfrido Garcia, Yariel Rodriguez, José Angel Garcia, Alain Sanchez, Vladimir Garcia, Freddy Alvarez, Bladimir Banos, Misael Villa
CATCHERS (2) Frank Morejon, Yunior Ibarra
INFIELDERS (8) Guillermo Aviles, Juan Carlos Torriente, Carlos Benitez, Yordan Manduley, Alexander Ayala, Lazaro Cedeno, Raul Gonzalez, Yorbert Sanchez
OUTFIELDERS (4) Frederich Cepeda, Roel Santos, Jorge Tartabull, Raiko Santos

Nicaragua

PITCHERS (13) Wilton López, Carlos Teller, Gustavo Martínez, Fidencio Flores, Wilber Bucardo, Jorge Bucardo, José Elías Villegas, Berman Espinoza, Juan Bermúdez, Jason Aburto, Ernesto Glasgon, Armando Montenegro, Pedro Torres.
CATCHERS (3) Janior Montes, Rafael Estrada, Ronald Rivera
INFIELDERS (8) Darrel Campbell, Ofilio Castro, Benjamín Alegría, Iván Marín, Elmer Reyes, Edgar Montiel, Moisés Flores, Iván Hernández.
OUTFIELDERS (5) Jilton Calderón, Dwight Britton, Renato Morales, Javier Robles, Norlando Valle
UTILITY (1) Williams Vásquez.

Cuba jumped out to an early 2-0 lead off Nicaraguan starter Wilton Lopez, a Carlos Benitez high hopping seeing eye single with two out in the first inning scoring the first run.

Lazaro Blanco did not pitch well for Cuba giving up all four runs to Nicaragua in the second inning. Norlando Valle started the scoring with an RBI double into the left field corner and Ofilio Castro got the big hit for Nicaragua with a 2-run single into centerfield to break a 2-2 tie.

Wilton Lopez couldn’t retire any of the three hitters he faced in the fourth inning. With the infield in a throwing error by Evereth Cabrera allowed the go ahead run to score. Fidencio Flores replaced Lopez on the mound and except for one walk retired 9 of the 10 Cuban hitters he faced.

Guillermo Aviles finished off the scoring by pulling a pitch into the right field bleachers to give Cuba a 6-4 lead. Vladimir Garcia came out to pitch his second inning of shutout relief to close out the victory for Cuba.

Alain Sanchez pitched 4.2 innings of shutout relief to keep Cuba in the game. He yielded to Vladimir Garcia to open the eighth.