Havana, Wednesday 19 de December de 2018 10:25 am

Cuban baseball players renew contracts with Japan´s Chunichi Dragons

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HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 14 (acn) Cubans Raidel Martinez (pitcher) and Ariel Martinez (catcher) renewed their contracts with the Chunichi Dragons, team of the Japanese Professional Baseball League (NPB).

This was confirmed today to JIT sports publication by Shigekazu Mori, general director of operations of the Japanese squad, in dialogue with Martha Lidia Ruiz, director of international relations at Cuba´s National Sports Institute (INDER by its Spanish acronym).

"The catcher is requested by our pitchers because of the way he guides and encourages them. The boy is eager to learn, even our language, "said Mori in presence of former Cuban ace player Omar Linares, who serves as coach in that team.

Ariel played most of the season on the Dragons development team, which ranked fifth in the Central League with 63 wins, 78 losses and two draws, and ninth in the Interleague tournament with 7-11 balance.

The 2018 NPB season was won for second time in a row by the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, club that has Cubans Alfredo Despaigne, Livan Moinelo and Yurisbel Gracial on its roster.

Regarding Linares, Mori said that he is in charge of the Latino players, to whom he transfers his experience, especially batting, the same that made him one of the best amateur players in the world of the previous century.

"He also helps us a lot in relations and communication with Cuba," Mori stated.

The former Japanese pitcher also had words of praise for Raidel, whom he considered a great promise for the near future.

"He has everything to shine in baseball, he just needs a little time and more training, "the distinguished visitor noted.

Raidel pitched 27.2 innings in seven games, with one win and three losses and ERA of 6.65.

On the other hand, the INDER official highlighted the good relations prevailing between the Chunichi Dragons and the Cuban Baseball Federation.

"We have always had a fluid channel to carry forward the common interest and develop our players," said Ruiz shortly before inviting Mori to watch a match of the 58th Cuban National Baseball Series.

It is expected that in the coming days, executives of the current NPB champion will visit Havana to deal with the contracts of Despaigne, Moinelo and Gracial.

 

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