HAVANA TIMES — History repeats itself again. A Cuban team taking part in a tournament being held in the Netherlands must do so without one of its pitchers. It happened in 2009 and 2011 with lefties Aroldis Chapman and Gerardo Concepcion, both now involved in US Major League Baseball. The latest desertion is Odrisamer Despaigne.
Despaigne, 26, a starter with Havana’s Industriales in the Cuban league and a member of Team Cuba’s squad at international tournaments, left the Cuban team at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, on the stopover in route to Rotterdam, Holland for a tournament that began on Sunday.
Despaigne, who is the son of former Cuban pitcher, Juan Rafael Despaigne, presumably seeks reunion with his father who now lives in Spain, while his real intentions are suspected to be attempting to play professional baseball in the USA.
Odrisamer participated in 8 Cuban baseball seasons with Industriales. In the recently concluded season he had a 10-5 record and a 3.27 ERA while striking out 98 in 143 innings pitched. Despite his good year his team did not make it to the playoffs.
(*) Follow the stories of Ray Otero and Peter C. Bjarkman at Baseballdecuba.com.