Havana, April 16 – Cuban players Alexei Bell, Ismel Jiménez, Yordan Manduley and Yunieski Gurriel signed their contracts today with the Capitals Québec of the Canadian Pro Independent League, where they will play next season.
Bell, Jiménez, Manduley and Gurriel should join the club on upcoming May 9, in the middle of the preparation for the Canadian tournament,although they would arrive in the country two or three days before that date.
According to statements by Patrick Scalabrini, manager of the team Quebec, the selection resulted from the interests of the team on the needed personnel – “we were looking for great players, but also for good people” – they monitored Cuban baseball and, “of course”, they used the criterion of some technical coaches.
“We dedicated much time studying Cuban players and follow the Cuban National Series. You may say I’m a fan of the Cuban Baseball Series myself. I talked to several coaches; Lourdes Gurriel helped me a lot. I am very pleased with the players we chose,” Scalabrini said here at the protocol on which the contract.
Gurriel, center fielder with the Industriales from Havana, is the only contracted Wednesday with baseball experience in Canada , since 2014 and played for the Capitals, with which he paid a 321 batting average.
Bell, also an outfielder, plays for Santiago de Cuba; Manduley, a shortstop, belongs to Holguin, and Jimenez, principal staring pitcher for Sancti Spiritus, just won the title of the 54th National Series as a reinforcement for the Tigers of Ciego de Ávila.
The Canadian competition, with regular schedule between May 21 and September 15, will not prevent the convening of any baseball for the selection of Cuba to participate in the tournament of the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, scheduled to be played from JUly 11 to 19.
They will be available to the national team if called by technicians. The contract is clear and the parties had no objection to agree, told Prensa Latina Higinio Velez, president of the Cuban Baseball Federation.
The preparation process prior to the continental includes training in Havana and the Cuba-US stop the first July 6, located in the state of North Carolina.
The Can-Am, name of the professional league in Canada, has no affiliation with Major League Baseball (MLB), but maintains a relationship with the leadership of Major American Leagues called.
“We will play ten preseason games in the US and we do not expect any difficulty for Cubans participate. We have relationships of mutual respect with the MLB and this includes the four Cubans belonging to our club, like the rest of the players from other nations who are on the team,” said Scalabrini.
With the talent of Cuban players, Capital Québec aspires to contend for the title of 2015 after finishing in third place in the last tournament with negative mark of 46-50.
Source: Prensa Latina