The Strange Case of Sancti Spiritus Roosters

Marlys Rodriguez Francisco

The 53 Cuban Baseball National Season got to game 24 last Tuesday, and Sancti Spiritus Roosters are placed at the bottom of the general standings with an 8-16 record.

Despite coming from behind a 0-7 first inning score vs. Matanzas, in the final confrontation between the two teams, the club from the central province of the island is left with only mathematical probabilities of entering the second phase of the present championship.

The players led by Yovani Aragon have lost nine games as visiting team and seven as home squad; the main reasons are widely known: unproductive offense (they have only brought over home plate 52 men out ot 333), lousy defense (with 33 errors) and unstable pitching (3. 85 ERA with 117 strikeouts and 81 walks).

On the bright side of individual highlights we have the performance of young infield player Daviel Gomez (ave 389, OBP 423), catcher Yunior Ibarra (with nine caught stealing in 12 attempts) and Carlos Sierra (3 games saved and 16 strikeouts in 12.2 innings).

Experienced Yunier Mendoza, Orlando Acebey and Yoandi Baguet start to get back in track and can help the team to go for more triumphs, as well as ace Ismel Jimenez who sums up four defeats despite his excelent 1.96 ERA.

However, with some positive numbers and renowned names on the staff, it comes as a surprise that Sancti Spiritus Roosters are positioned last, with only two subseries won (vs. Guantanamo and Industriales) up to now, especially when clubs such as Isla de la Juventud, Mayabeque or Holguin (to mention some) have had better results with less mature athletes.

At this time players, managers, trainers, fans and specialists are more than wondering what’s wrong with a team that has talent enough to go for more, a group of athletes who get swept on one occasion and overcome a big difference on the score in another one.

The truth is the only numbers favor Roosters possibilities of classifying for the next stage, and to go along with it, they need to start winning and pray their rivals do the opposite.

Seven three-game series are left in the 53 Cuban Baseball National Season. Let’s time answer our questions.





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