By Jose Alejandro Rodriguez Zas
Cuban baseball players Alfredo Despaigne, Yurisbel Gracial and Liván Moinelo traveled to Japan in the last week of January to continue their respective contracts in the professional circuit of that Asian country (Nippon Professional Baseball, NPB) with the group of Fukuoka, the SoftBank Falcons.
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Dispatchwho debuted in the NPB in 2014 with the Chiba Lotte Mariners (he played with the franchise until 2016), has been part of SoftBank since 2017 and recently signed for another year (2022 season), in exchange for 2.5 million dollars, with the possibility of extension depending on their results.
In the case of gracefulthe third baseman from Matanzas began his experience in Japan with his current team in 2018 and has been part of the squad for five straight seasons, including the upcoming 2022 campaign, for which he reached an agreement with the SoftBank board, also with options for 2023, commensurate with its performance.
For his part, the young left-handed pitcher Livan Moineloan outstanding reliever from Pinar del Río who played in the NPB for the first time in 2017, precisely with the Fukuoka franchise, guaranteed contract for at least three more seasons (2022-2024)showing that his talent, translated into results, has been well valued by the team’s management.
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Today, Saturday, February 5, the news was known that the three players had completed their respective mandatory quarantine periods after arriving in Japan from Cuba, in accordance with the sanitary measures established in the Asian country, according to reported BaseballJapanese.com website
In this way, Despaigne, Gracial and Moinelo immediately joined the preseason training sessions of the SoftBank Falcons, along with their teammates “from the third group of the organization”, concentrated in the city of Chikugo, in Fukuoka.
This subdivision by groups of SoftBank players is due to the state of each of its members and the stage of preparation. In the case of the Cubans, the aforementioned source reported that the three “demonstrated good physical shape and a great desire to practice.”
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It also transpired that, “according to the team manager, Hiroshi Fujimoto, Gracial will be moved to the main training group, which is concentrated in the city of Miyazaki, starting on February 10 because he is in better condition than the other two.” .
In addition, the source stressed that “Moinelo and Despaigne will continue to work with the third group until they are in optimal conditions to join the main group.”
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The 2022 campaign of the NPB will start next March and all the Antillean baseball players hired by the Cuban Baseball Federation are in Japanese territory starting their preseason training.
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LAST MINUTE: Despaigne, Gracial and Moinelo received GOOD NEWS in the Japanese League