By Jose Alejandro Rodriguez Zas
Without a doubt, the man from Villa Clara Ariel Pestano, is one of the best receivers of the Cuban ball in history and, for many, the most outstanding mask that our national sport has given. Intelligence to drive pitchers, fearsome arm capable of catching a large percentage of the runners who came out for the steal, timely bat and excellent defense behind the plate, are some of the tools that place Pestano in the gold pages of baseball. on the island.
But it is not the great receiver of Villa Clara that we will talk about on this occasion, but about his descendant of the same name, Ariel Pestano Jr. who returned this season to the Azucareros, after playing a couple of seasons with the Alazanes de Granma, coinciding with the return to the bench of the historic manager Pedro Jova.
Pestano Jr. debuted with the orange team in the 57 Series, but in two years with the uniform of his native province he barely played in three games, with two appearances at bat, settled with a walk and a strikeout.
After his change to Carlos Martí’s troop, he had much more action, because in 75 games played (including the playoffs), he hit 34 hits in 161 times at bat, including eight doubles, a triple and a home run, in addition to 14 runs batted in and 28 runs scored.
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“After spending so many years in that position, seeing my son there is an honor,” express Pestano father to the Telecubanacán team, during the broadcast of one of the Villa Clara team’s matches at the Augusto César Sandino stadium in Santa Clara.
“Knowing that he is following in his father’s footsteps and that he is doing quite well. He is a good boy who is on the rise, it is good to give him the support that he needs, “he added.
Pestano Jr. has started very well offensively in this Series 61. In the first five games played, he has an offensive average of .353 (17-6) with five runs scored, two RBIs and the same number of extra-base hits (both doubles). , occupying the sixth or seventh place in the regular lineup.
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“It is no less true that Jova is a good manager, who has trained many players and knows how to lead a ball team,” said the historic Cuban catcher, who debuted with Villa Clara in the early 1990s. , precisely with Jova as director, giving him the first opportunities to prove himself in the National Series, at a time when Ángel López was the head of the position in the province.
“Jova has a lot of experience directing and coaching a baseball game. I think it’s a great opportunity for him because he’s going to learn a lot from Jova and the entire management team,” added Pestano Sr. on the subject.
It is still too early to make comparisons. Pestano Jr. barely adds four National Series and less than 200 times at bat in his record. His father, who has played 22 seasons and started the Cuban team for many years, is a baseball legend on the Island. Jr.’s challenge is great if he tries to balance himself with his father, but if he chooses to follow his rabbits and those of the current manager of Villa Clara, he can develop as a receiver and stand out among the best in the country. Talent he has, the rest must prove it.
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PESTANO SPOKE about his son’s return to Villa Clara: “It’s good to give him the support he needs”