The Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers will play a Spring Training game in the Dominican Republic that will serve as a Homecoming for several players.
MLB announced today that the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers will face off in a Spring Training game on March 7th in the Dominican Republic. What is going to be special about this game is the amount of Dominican born players that could play in a place they called home.
As the rosters sit right now, there could be 13 players between the two teams that were born or lived in the Dominican. The big-name players that could play include Nelson Cruz(MIN), Jorge Polanco(MIN), Miguel Sano(MIN), Ivan Nova(DET), and Jeimer Candelario(DET).
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This game could be the only chance friends and family of these players have to watch them play for their Major League team. I don’t think the crowd will be as rowdy as they are for the Caribbean Series, but I would expect the game to be a sellout.
The only downfall of the game being during Spring Training is that the players will not have a ton of time to explore the city and interact with fans. I’m sure this game will offer the players with something to look forward to this Spring Training and will break up some of the monotony some of the veterans loathe.
There has not been a game played in the Dominican Republic since the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros traveled there in 2000 for a Spring Training game. With MLB continuing their efforts to grow the game abroad, it will be interesting to see if a game in the Dominican becomes more regular.
I think it would be good for the game if they grew this opportunity similar to the Puerto Rico Series and have meaningful regular-season games in the Dominican Republic. Currently, there are 102 players of Dominican descent on Major League rosters, according to MLB, so obviously there would be a following there.