MLB Players: Plenty of Cubans fighting for jobs this Spring Training

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 20: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Yoenis Cespedes #52 of the New York Mets in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 20, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Yankees 7-5. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 20: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Yoenis Cespedes #52 of the New York Mets in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 20, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Yankees 7-5. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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41 Cuban players are set to play for a spot on an MLB roster this Spring Training. Let’s take a closer look at who has a real shot or not.

Approximately 41 Cuban players will be on Spring Training rosters as invited and non-invited this year.

One return that is expected this spring is that of New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Céspedes. The power-hitter is even expected to get some reps at first base to alleviate some of the pressure off his surgically repaired heels and ankle.

Jose Abreu enters the spring as the unquestioned leader in the Chicago White Sox locker room. With Yoan Moncada, Yasmani Grandal, Luis Robert the sox have the most Cubans of anyone on their roster.

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They also have Gio González and Carlos Rodón who are of Cuban descent.

Yuli Gurriel is looking to have a strong spring and build on his career year of last season.  While reigning Rookie of the Year Yordan Álvarez looks to avoid a sophomore slump in his second season for the Houston Astros.

The San Diego Padres will be counting on the talented trio of Michel Baez, Adrian Morejon, and Rolando Bolaños. Look for these young hurlers who are key pieces for San Diego in the future to see plenty of action this spring.

One dark horse to watch is Yadiel Hernández who raked this year in the Mexican Winter League and is expected to be given an opportunity to win a job in the outfield.

Another underdog to watch is Oakland’s hard-throwing reliever Luis Miguel Romero who was lights-out in the Puerto Rican Winter League as the closer for the Mayagüez Indians. With an impressive camp, he could secure a spot in the A’s bullpen.

José Iglesias won a job last spring with the Reds as a non-roster invitee and after an impressive season for the Cincinnati Reds was able to parlay that into a one year three million dollar contract with the O’s. Look for the SS to improve on last season’s success.

Jorge Soler returns this year looking to build on a season that saw him swat 48 round-trippers, a record for a Cuban in the Majors.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr.was establishing himself as a force in Toronto with when injuries derailed his season. The young slugger from Sancti Spiritus, Cuba who is a rising star with the Jays will look to put together a full season and take the next step.

This spring figures to be one full of surprises for the many Cuban players.

Stay tuned and follow I will definitely keep you very informed of all the news surrounding various Antilleans in the junior and senior circuits this spring.

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Invitees on the active roster (28)

  1. Michel Báez (Padres
  2. Ronald Bolaños (Padres
  3. Adrián Morejón (Padres)
  4. Jorge Oña (Padres)
  5. Yoan López (Diamondbacks)
  6. Rangel Ravelo (Cardinals)
  7. Guillermo Heredia (Pirates)
  8. Raisel Iglesias (Reds)
  9. Roenis Elías (Nationals)
  10. Yoenis Céspedes (Mets)
  11. Adeiny Hechavarria (Braves)
  12. Adolis García (Rangers)
  13. Nestor Cortés (Mariners)
  14. Rogelio Armenteros (Astros)
  15. Cionel Pérez (Astros)
  16. Yuli Gurriel (Astros)
  17. Aledmys Díaz (Astros)
  18. Yordan Álvarez (Astros)
  19. Jorge Soler (Royals)
  20. Yasmani Grandal (White Sox)
  21. José Abreu (White Sox)
  22. Yoan Moncada (White Sox)
  23. Luis Robert (White Sox)
  24. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (Blue Jays)
  25. Yandy Díaz (Rays)
  26. Randy Arozarena (Rays)
  27. Aroldis Chapman (Yankees)
  28. José Iglesias (Orioles)

Non-roster invitees (13)

  1. Lorenzo Quintana * (Astros)
  2. Yasmany Tomás * (Diamondbacks)
  3. Rusney Castillo * (Red Sox)
  4. Luis Miguel Romero * (Athletics)
  5. Andy Ibáñez * (Rangers)
  6. Víctor Víctor Mesa * (Marlins)
  7. Vladimir Gutiérrez * (Reds)
  8. José Israel García * (Reds)
  9. Alfredo Rodríguez * (Reds)
  10. Yadiel Hernández * (Nationals)
  11. Omar Estévez * (Dodgers)
  12. Johan Oviedo *(Cardinals)
  13. Yusniel Díaz *(Orioles)