The Cuba U-23 baseball team debuted with three fewer players in the category’s world competition against their counterpart from Mexico, host of the event.
Without stepping on the grass at the World Championship for under 23s, the squad of the largest of the Antilles had already suffered the desertion of two pitchers and a receiver.
The last casualty suffered by the troop led by the former catcher from Spiritus Eriel Sánchez was that of the also masked Loidel Rodríguez.
According to the information released by the prominent sports journalist Francys Romero, Rodríguez separated from the rest of his teammates prior to the clash with the local team.
“After multiple confirmations with people close to the team, —and with the help of Yordano Carmona from the Pelota Cubana site— I learned that the 22-year-old boy boarded the bus to the Obregón stadium for the first game in Cuba, but he is no longer there. along with the rest of his colleagues ”, expressed Romero.
Loidel, 22, became the third player to leave the national team in what constitutes a constant dribble that can affect the performance of the Antillean team in the event. Before that, Luis Dany Morales, also from San Luis, and Ubert Mejías from Santiago, both pitchers, had done it.
The number could continue to rise in the coming days, as these are young and talented players with the potential to reach the highest level of baseball in the United States.
Rodríguez was included in the team after hitting .239 / .391 / .337, 3 2B, 2 HR and then 6-2, .333, triple with Sancti Spiritus between regular season and playoffs.
Cuba was finally beaten 5-0 by Mexico on its debut in the tournament. The Caribbean offense was greatly diminished to the point of connecting just three hits in the clash.
The capital’s Bryan Chi took the loss after allowing two runs in five and two thirds, while the local Alemao Hernández took the victory.
The squad led by Eriel Sánchez did not manage to threaten the Aztecs’ pitching at any time, evidencing the crisis in which Cuban baseball finds itself today.
Eriel had declared before traveling to Mexico that “to integrate the young squad not only the traditional statistics of each player were taken into account because there were other aspects such as discipline and patriotism that could leave out players with better performances.”
Apparently, Sánchez’s criterion of “patriotism” is totally wrong. So far the manager has only made a fool of himself in what is seen as another resounding failure of the Cuban Baseball Federation.