Ismel Jimenez to Start WBC III Game One for Cuba against Brazil

HAVANA TIMES — Cuban pitcher Ismel Jimenez will start the first game for the island’s team in the upcoming World Baseball Classic on March 3 in Japan, reported the Prensa Latina.

“For me, to be the opening pitcher for Cuba is something huge, it’s something I’ve worked for since I started playing baseball,” said Jimenez during a recent game between his team, Sancti Spiritus, and the Villa Clara lineup.

According to the note, the effectiveness of the central Cuban player against Asian teams in the recent tour by Cuba team was what motivated this choice by manager Victor Mesa.

Jimenez is considered the best pitcher in Cuba today, the leader in strikeouts and second in ERA in the current Cuban League season, which is nearing the halfway mark.