The Cuban Baseball Federation this afternoon released a list of 45 players eligible for its 28-man final roster, which is slated to be revealed on February 13. The list contains no real surprises and is headed by the full lineup that earned an Olympic silver medal last August in Beijing. This coming Monday www.baseballdecuba.com will publish its own projected final 28-man Cuban team roster, with full player-by-player anaylses and statistical summary boxes (international tournament stats) for the ballplayers we have projected. The Spanish-language analysis will be written by website host Ray Otero; the English-language article will be my own. In the meantime, here is the list of eligible players as released by the Cuban Federation earlier today. Members of the 2006 Cuban WBC squad are marked with an astericks (*).
Catchers: Ariel Pestano* (Villa Clara), Yosvany Peraza (Pinar del Rio), Yenier Bello (Sancti Spiritus), Rolando Merino (Santiago de Cuba), Eriel Sanchez* (Sancti Spiritus).
Infielders: Yulieski Gourriel* (Sancti Spiritus), Hector Olivera (Santiago de Cuba), Alex Malleta (Industriales), Michel Enriquez* (Isla de la Juventud), Eduardo Paret* (Villa Clara), Yadil Mujica (Matanzas), Yoandy Garlobo* (Matanzas), Luis Miguel Navas (Santiago de Cuba), Rudy Reyes* (Industriales), Yorelvis Charles (Ciego de Avila), Jose Daniel Abreu (Cienfuegos), Donald Duarte (Pinar del Rio).
Outfielders: Alfredo Despaigne (Granma), Yoandry Urgelles (Industriales), Frederich Cepeda* (Sancti Spiritus), Alexei Bell (Santiago de Cuba), Leonys Martin (Villa Clara), Giorvis Duvergel (Guantanamo), Yoelvis Fiss (Ciego de Avila), Leslie Anderson* (Camaguey), Yoennis Cespedes (Granma), Osmani Urrutia* (Las Tunas).
Pitchers: Pedro Luis Lazo* (Pinar del Rio), Jonder Martinez* (Habana Province), Luis Miguel Rodriguez (Holguin), Aroldis Chapman (Holguin), Norge Luis Vera (Santiago de Cuba), Yunieski Maya* (Pinar del Rio), Yulieski Gonzalez (Habana Province), Miguel Lahera (Habana Province), Norberto Gonzalez* (Cienfuegos), Vladimir Garcia (Ciego de Avila), Yadier Pedroso* (Habana Province), Ismel Jimenez (Sancti Spiritus), Maikel Folich* (Ciego de Avila), Reinier Roibal (Santiago de Cuba), Vicyohandri Odelin (Camaguey), Yaumier Sanchez (Santiago de Cuba), Yolexis Ulacia (Villa Clara), Wilber Perez (Isla de la Juventud).