Cuba Baseball Team Set for Asian Tour

Holguin shortstop Yordan Manduley made Team Cuba for the Asian tour after being the top Cuban batter during five exhibition games in Mexico during October.

HAVANA TIMES — The Cuban Baseball Federation has named the 29 players selected to travel to Chinese Taipei and Japan in November as a prelude to the upcoming World Baseball Classic III to be held in March 2013, reported Ray Otero of

The latest addition to Team Cuba is Holguin shortstop Yordan Manduley, rewarded for his stellar performance in five exhibition games in Mexico during October where he hit a team leading .500.

The squad leaves in the coming hours for Taiwan where they will play three games against an all-star selection of the country’s professional league on November 10, 11 and 13.

The Cubans will then travel to Japan for games on November 16 and 18  to play against a team managed by Koji Yamamoto, who will also manage the Japanese in the coming WBC.

Japan won the first two Classic’s, defeating Cuba in the final game in 2006 and South Korea in 2009.

Here’s the Cuban squad heading to Taiwan and Japan for the tune-up games. Right-hander Yadier Pedroso was a late scratch from the list due to discomfort in his pitching arm.

Pitchers (11): Odrisamer Despaigne, Ismel Jiménez, Pablo Millán Fernández, Freddy Asiel Álvarez, Norberto González (L), Vladimir García, Leandro Martínez (L), Yoannis Year (L), Darién Núñez (L), Dalier Hinojosa and Félix Fuentes.

Catchers (3): Ariel Pestano, Frank Camilo Morejón y Yulexis La Rosa.

Infielders (9): José Dariel Abreu (1B), Alexánder Malleta (1B), Juan Carlos Torriente (2B), José Miguel Fernández (2B), Erisbel Arruebarruena (SS), Yordan Manduley (SS), Yulieski Gourriel (3B), Michel Enríquez (3B) and Yurisbel Gracial (3B)

Outfielders (6): Alfredo Despaigne, Frederich Cepeda, Rusney Castillo, Guillermo Heredia, Yasmani Tomás and Alexei Bell.

The manager of Team Cuba is Victor Mesa backed by a staff of coaches and trainers headed by Jorge Fuentes.