HAVANA TIMES, February 28 – Cuba will present a formidable World Baseball Classic II team that includes 11 return players from the runner-up first Classic squad in 2006 and 17 newcomers. The following are the stats on the players during the first two-thirds of the 2008-2009 Cuban Baseball League Season, now suspended until after the WBC. Players with an asterisk were on the first WBC team.
While the Classic begins with the Asian group on March 5th, Cuba plays its first game on March 8 against South Africa at the Foro Sol Stadium in Mexico City. To advance to the second round in San Diego, Cuba must finish in the top two of Group B that also includes Australia and Mexico. Cuban baseball expert Peter Bjarkman will be bringing Havana Times readers his on-the-scene WBC diary starting March 1st.