HAVANA TIMES — Cuba lost its second pitcher this summer when left-hander Misael Siverio abandoned his team on shortly after they arrived in the USA on Monday for a five game series.
Silveirio, 24, was a promising hurler for the recently crowned champion Villa Clara in the Cuban league. In fact it was the combined effort of Siveiro y Jonder Martinez that gave their team the win in the fifth and decisive game of the league championship, won by VC four games to one over Matanzas.
Siverio was the only left hander on the Cuban squad that traveled Monday to the Des Moines, Iowa for the first game of five game series against a US university team of young prospects.
His loss to Team Cuba follows that of right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne (Industriales) who abandoned his team in Rotterdam, Holland earlier this month before the World Port Tournament, won by Cuba.
Siverio told Café Fuerte that he hopes to play Major League Baseball and that his idol is New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia.
The lefty should be eligible to be a free agent under the new MLB rules, after he normalizes his status in the United States, which welcomes any Cuban who manages to touch its territory with a fast-track to permanent residency.
“It wasn’t easy, but it was a decision I spent a lot of time considering”, Siverio told the Miami Herald newspaper by telephone from Des Moines.
“Of course my dream is to play in the Majors and from now on I will take the first steps towards that becoming a reality,” he added.
Antonio Becali, the official in charge of the Cuban baseball delegation, refused to comment on the loss of Siverio.
The first game between Cuba and the US university squad takes place this evening in Des Moines. Havana Times will bring you a report on the action thanks to Peter C. Bjarkman who is on hand for the series.
Here is the Cuban team that to play the five-game series in the USA from BaseballdeCuba.com
|#||Player||Position||Age||Bats/Throws||Team in the Cuban league|
|77||Lorenzo Quintana||Catcher||23||R-R||Pinar del Río|
|55||Edilse Silva||First Base||31||L-L||Santiago de Cuba|
|8||José Miguel Fernández*||Second Base||25||L-R||Matanzas|
|10||Yulieski Gourriel*||Third Base||29||R-R||Sancti Spíritus|
|30||Andy Sarduy||Second Base||29||R-R||Villa Clara|
|47||Yurisbel Gracial||Third Base||27||R-R||Matanzas|
|1||Yunior Paumier||Tercera Base||28||R-R||Holguín|
|62||William Luis Campillo||Outfielder||29||R-R||Camagüey|
|23||Ismel Jiménez*||Pitcher||27||R||Sancti Spíritus|
|15||Freddy Asiel Alvarez*||Pitcher||24||R||Villa Clara|
|26||Raciel Iglesias*||Pitcher||23||R||Isla de la Juventud|
|34||Vladimir García*||Pitcher||25||R||Ciego de Avila|
|43||Diosdani Castillo*||Pitcher||25||R||Villa Clara|
|29||Norge Luis Ruíz||Pitcher||18||R||Camagüey|
|Manager and coaches|
|32||Victor Mesa||Manager (Matanzas)|
|9||Lázaro Lopez||Coach (Villa Clara)|
|64||Alexis Garro||Coach (Matanzas)|
|16||José Ramón Riscart||Pitching Coach (Matanzas)|
|28||Jesús Manso||Trainer (Villa Clara)|
|5||Ramón Moré||Technical director (Villa Clara)|