HAVANA, July 21 (Xinhua) — The Cuban Baseball Federation (CBF) Monday unveiled a 27-man lineup that will play an annual five-game series against a U.S. university team from July 23-27 in two provinces of western Cuba.
The lineup features three catchers, nine infielders, five outfielders and 10 pitchers, according to Cuban sports news website Jit, and includes many young players who got outstanding results last season, such as first baseman Yasiel Santoya, shortstop Lourdes Gourriel and outfielder Roel Santos. Experienced players, such as catcher Frank Camilo Morejon, are also on the team.
Technical director Alfonso Urquiola said the squad has a good defense and an inexperienced, “but very talented” pitching squad.
The team has trained “intensively,” Urquiola said, but lacks experience in competing against foreign teams to measure its “technical, strategic and especially psychological skills, while the Americans will arrive on the island enriched by their international experience.”
The U.S. squad was expected to land in Cuba on Monday, after winning Baseball Week in Haarlem, the Netherlands.
The first two games of the series will take place July 23-24 at the Victoria de Giron Stadium in Matanzas city, about 100 km east of Havana.
The action will then move to Captain San Luis Park, in the western-most province of Pinar del Rio, for three games from July 25-27.
This will mark only the third time Cuban and U.S. baseball teams face off since resuming Collegiate National Team competitions in 2012. So far the U.S. has seven wins.
Cuba won 3-2 at home in 2012, but lost 5-0 in the following year during the trip to the United States.