Over the last number of years, the number of Cuban ballplayers has steadily increased. This MLB spring training, a record number of players have taken the field.
HIALEAH,FL– The amount of Cubans in the Majors grows every year, last year 30 Antilleans saw the big leagues tying the record for the greatest amount to see action in a season. This also happened in 2016 and 1967. Between Cubans and Cuban-Americans, more than 70 players have graced the field this MLB Spring Training.
The most talked-about name this Spring Training is that of Luis Robert of the Chicago Whitesox and the young man hasn’t disappointed. The native of Ciego de Ávila, Cuba is hitting .400 this camp and is favored by many to win the Rookie of the Year in the American League.
More from Call to the Pen
- Oakland A’s: Chris Bassitt has names for Reliever of the Year finalists
- New York Yankees: Mickey Mantle fans are fewer and farther between
- San Diego Padres: Luis Campusano’s arrest adds to eventful offseason
- St. Louis Cardinals: Yadier Molina still worth a two year deal
- Texas Rangers avoid bone-chilling scenario at ALCS conclusion
In total, the Whitesox and Astros are tied for the most players of Cuban heritage or birth with eight apiece.
One name that jumps at Astros camp is that of young lefty Cionel Pérez from Matanzas, Cuba. Pérez is battling for a spot in the bullpen and has posted an ERA of 3.00 in two outings.
Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena has also caught everyone’s eye in the uphill battle he’s facing for a spot in the Rays outfield.
Not only is Arozarena hitting .669 this Spring but he’s second of the team with 4 RBI’s and making it real for the team not to keep him around when they break camp.
In a season where the rosters will have 26 players per team, there is a great chance the more than 30 Cubans will see action.
I leave with a recount of all the Cubans and Cuban-Americans who have seen action during MLB Spring Training so far.
American League (38):
- Baltimore (2): José Iglesias (SS), Yusniel Díaz (OF)
- Boston (2): J.D. Martínez (OF)*, Rusney Castillo (OF)
- Chicago (8): Gio González (P)*, Carlos Rodón (P)*, Yasmani Grandal (C), José Abreu (1B), Yoán Moncada (3B), Luis Robert (OF) ,Laz Rivera (IF),Romy González (IF)
- Cleveland (1): Raynel Delgado (IF)
- Detroit: (1) Daniel Pinero (3B)*
- Houston: (8) Rogelio Armenteros (P), Cionel Pérez (P), Aledmys Díaz (IF), Yuli Gurriel (1B), Yordan Álvarez (OF). Lorenzo Quintana (C),Alex DeGoti* (SS),Lance McCullers, Jr*
- Kansas City: (2) Jorge Soler (OF)
- Los Ángeles(2): Orlando Martínez (OF), Luis Avilés, Jr (SS-3B)
- Minnesota (1): Alex Ávila (C)*
- New York (2): Aroldis Chapman (P) Dan Otero (P)*,Armando Álvarez (IF)*
- Oakland (3): Miguel Romero (P),Lázaro Armenteros (OF),Norge Luis Ruíz (RHP)
- Seattle (1): Néstor Cortés (P)
- Tampa Bay (2): Yandy Díaz (1B), Randy Arozarena (LF).
- Texas (2): Andy Ibáñez (1B), Adolis García (OF)
- Toronto (1): Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (IF-OF).
National League (35):
- Atlanta (3): Adeiny Hechavarría (SS),Yonder Alonso (1B),Peter O’Brien (1B-OF)*
- Arizona (3): Yoán López (P), Yasmany Tomás (IF-OF), Jon Jay (OF)*
- Chicago (1): Albert Almora Jr. (OF)*
- Cincinnati (5): Raisel Iglesias (P), Nicholas Castellanos (IF-OF) Vladimir Gutiérrez (P), José García (IF), Alfredo Rodríguez (IF)
- Colorado (3): Nolan Arenado (3B)* Josh Fuentes (3B)*, Chi Chi González (P)*
- Los Ángeles (3): Omar Estévez (2B),Darien Nuñez (LHP),Miguel Vargas(3B)
- Miami (3):Eddy Álvarez (SS)*, Sean Rodríguez (3B)*, Víctor Víctor Mesa (OF)
- New York (1): Yoenis Céspedes (OF)
- Pittsburgh (2): Guillermo Heredia (OF), John Ryan Murphy (C)*
- San Francisco (2): Jairo Pomares (OF),Andrew Suárez (LHP)*
- San Diego (4): Ronald Bolaños (P), Adrián Morejón (P), Michel Báez (P), Jorge Oña (OF),Eric Hosmer(1B)*
- St. Louis (2): Rangel Ravelo (1B) ,Johan Oviedo (P)
- Washington (2): Roenis Elías (P), Yadiel Hernández (OF)