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  • Originally posted by Mischa View Post
    I forgot to mention this above: The above is a very good bio of Gomez from a historical sense, but it seems to highlight the negatives a little more than the positives. It remains to be seen if or what Gomez will do in MLB, but in Cuba he was a very, very good player and likely one of the top 100 or 200 Cuban players of all-time. Without checking the numbers, I believe he's leaving Cuba with a career .330-plus average over 10-plus seasons and a career OBP close to, if not exceeding, .400.

    One thing the bio above didn't mention, and something that has mostly been forgotten about Cuban baseball by now, is that Gomez accomplished the above while making the transition from aluminum to wood right as his National Series career was getting started. This transition also overlapped with his brief time on the National Team, and it wouldn't surprise me if the transition wasn't largely to blame for his struggles in international play. Otherwise, aside from the small-sample nature of such events, it's hard to figure out why a career .330/.400 guy struggled to hit .275 in such events. Aside from Cuba, Japan and U.S., it's not like the Olympics or Intercontinental Cup are chock-full of ML-caliber pitchers.

    Time will tell. As I said above, if they're unable to start playing soon, the whole thing could be moot.

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    • Originally posted by Agente Libre View Post
      ... Without checking the numbers, I believe he's leaving Cuba with a career .330-plus average over 10-plus seasons and a career OBP close to, if not exceeding, .400. ...
      A quick look at Bjarkman's site shows that Gomez leaves Cuba with a career average of .331, the 8th-best career average in the history of Cuban baseball. (Among the seven names above Gomez are Osmani Urrutia, Omar Linares, Michel Enriquez and Antonio Pacheco.)

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      • Originally posted by Agente Libre View Post

        Gomez is an elite, All-Star-caliber hitter with an OBP typically in the .400s. He has a plus arm and glove and it's probably not a stretch to say he's a Gold Glove-caliber defender. (If I recall, Gomez single-handedly saved Cuba a time or two with his glove in the 2000 Olympics.) I'd be shocked if he ever hits more than 5 HR per year in MLB, but I could see him stealing more bases in MLB than he did in Cuba. (Industriales is famous for playing station-to-station baseball, so Gomez's plus speed was never utilized in that way.)
        I had noticed that players steal a lot fewer bases in Cuba and wasn't sure if this was style of the game down there or simply few really good base thieves. From your description, it sounds more like the former. If Gomez can play CF excellently and can steal a fair number of bases, he might be an excellent signing.


        To me, the most important thing is for these guys to get playing ASAP. At 29 (Marti) and 28 (Gomez) years of age, these guys could watch their careers slip away if they miss all of 2009 waiting for papers, etc.
        I think it's especially important for Gomez. A pitcher isn't usually hurt by a layoff to rest their arm, but hitters rely greatly on playing regularly. We'll see when they sign. It didn't take Viciedo very long.

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        • It took Viciedo a little more than six months from defection to contract, but by the time he reports to spring training he will have missed almost 9 months of competitive play.

          Because of the timing of when they left Cuba (six weeks before spring training), it seems like Marti and Gomez need things to happen much quicker, or else they could miss most or all of the 2009 season. January 2009 plus six months takes them to July, and then visa issues could come into play, and then they would assuredly need some minor league time to get up to speed.

          I agree it's less of an issue for pitchers, but Marti just had a long break, and for control/command guys like him, too much downtime can be almost as bad as too many innings.

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          • Dayan Viciedo

            I hope he starts the season in AA so I can see him play in the Southern League. I would think he gets at least one month of minor league ball and they won't just throw him to the wolves.

            Didn't affect Alexei though...

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            • I wouldn't be surprised if Viciedo needs more than a month of minor-league time before he's ready for the majors.

              As for Alexei Ramirez, he was a much more advanced offensive player at the time he left Cuba, and it's tough to tell if he was affected or not. Remember, his stats were *ugly* through the first 4-6 weeks of the season, until he started getting regular playing time. Was it ML pitching, or the cold weather, or irregular playing time? I guess we'll never know.

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              • I see that Holguin's former catcher Ernesto Martinez now plays in France (http://www.baseball-reference.com/bu..._Mart%C3%ADnez). Did he defect? Retire and then continue in Europe a la Fausto Alvarez? Was he "lent out" like Omar Linares was to Chunichi at the end of his career?

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                • According to someone in the spanish forum Jose Iglesias is on the brink of signing with the Tigers, and Noel Arguelles should be signing soon too.
                  Yankees' payroll: $250 millions
                  Marlins' payroll: $50 millions
                  Marlins winning The Series: Priceless

                  "Visiting Americans love going to Cuban games because with no free agency, no franchise movement and no owners blackmailing cities for new stadiums, it all smacks of 1950's America, ignoring the inconvenient fact that such a fantasyland is only possible in a dictatorship"-S.L. Price

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Mischa View Post
                    I see that Holguin's former catcher Ernesto Martinez now plays in France (http://www.baseball-reference.com/bu..._Mart%C3%ADnez). Did he defect? Retire and then continue in Europe a la Fausto Alvarez? Was he "lent out" like Omar Linares was to Chunichi at the end of his career?
                    I'm inclined to believe he probably married an european woman and left the country legally a la Fausto Alvarez.
                    Yankees' payroll: $250 millions
                    Marlins' payroll: $50 millions
                    Marlins winning The Series: Priceless

                    "Visiting Americans love going to Cuban games because with no free agency, no franchise movement and no owners blackmailing cities for new stadiums, it all smacks of 1950's America, ignoring the inconvenient fact that such a fantasyland is only possible in a dictatorship"-S.L. Price

                    Comment


                    • There is a rumor going around that Yoandi Urgelles and Serguey Perez have both left, as always with these rumors, it might turn out to be true, but it might as well not.
                      Yankees' payroll: $250 millions
                      Marlins' payroll: $50 millions
                      Marlins winning The Series: Priceless

                      "Visiting Americans love going to Cuban games because with no free agency, no franchise movement and no owners blackmailing cities for new stadiums, it all smacks of 1950's America, ignoring the inconvenient fact that such a fantasyland is only possible in a dictatorship"-S.L. Price

                      Comment


                      • And yet another one, this one involves Jose Julio Ruiz.
                        Yankees' payroll: $250 millions
                        Marlins' payroll: $50 millions
                        Marlins winning The Series: Priceless

                        "Visiting Americans love going to Cuban games because with no free agency, no franchise movement and no owners blackmailing cities for new stadiums, it all smacks of 1950's America, ignoring the inconvenient fact that such a fantasyland is only possible in a dictatorship"-S.L. Price

                        Comment


                        • I am also a soccer fan and we always joke whenever the Cuba comes to the US for a game, we ask what the over-under on defections will be.

                          At a recent Olympics qualifier, so many Cubans defected that they had only 10 players for one game.
                          Let's go Mets!

                          Comment


                          • cuban lineup

                            There is something that I dont understand and please correct me if im wrong. But why is peraza not in the lineup. I would put Enriquez in third, move Gourriel to second and make Peraza the DH. The guy is a beast at bat, I understand that he is not a good defender, but seriously I would prefer his bat to Nava's. What do you all think?

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by emanuelsaavedra View Post
                              There is something that I dont understand and please correct me if im wrong. But why is peraza not in the lineup. I would put Enriquez in third, move Gourriel to second and make Peraza the DH. The guy is a beast at bat, I understand that he is not a good defender, but seriously I would prefer his bat to Nava's. What do you all think?
                              Gourriel's a shaky enough defender at third and Enriquez is worse; by making this move, you'd gain a bit of net offense (Peraza over Olivera) but you'd lose a lot at defense. I'd prefer to see Peraza instead of Pestano at catcher, but as Pestano is retiring, Cuba doesn't have the guts to bench him during his farewell tour.

                              Comment


                              • I agree with Mischa. I'd rather see Gourriel at 3B, Olivera at 2B and Peraza replace Enriquez at DH (or Pestano at C, although Peraza isn't exactly Pudge Rodriguez defensively) than anything that bumps Olivera out of the lineup.

                                (Anyway, further discussion of this should be in the WBC thread(s), though, and not this one.)

                                Comment

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