This morning the news broke that two Cubans had been elected to the Series of Stars, the Nippon League’s version of the All-Star Game. These two players are from battery mates with the Chunichi Dragons Ariel Martínez and Raidel Martínez.
Raidel Martínez is the most dominant closer in the Nippon League this the season with the Chunichi Dragons.The flamethrowing right-hander from Pinar del Río, Cuba has yet to allow a run in 27 innings pitched and is tied for the league lead in saves with 18.
— Yusseff305 🇨🇺🇺🇲 (@yusseff305) July 5, 2023
Ariel Martínez of the Nippon Ham Fighters makes his first game in the Japanese circuit has slugged a career high nine longballs despite only having 207 at-bats this season. The native of Matanzas, Cuba has also stroked nine double and has posted an OBP of .357 on the campaign. In fact 18 of Martínez’s hits have been for extra bases.
One surprising omissions from the Pacific League’s roster is that of the other Pinar del Río, Cuba native in the league, Liván Moinelo. The diminutive hurler is arguably the best lefty in the Pacific League. On the season the southpaw has 3 wins, 13 holds and five saves all as SoftBank’s setup man. In 27 ⅔ he has also fanned 37 batters. Not having the Cuban on the JPL’s roster is an egregious miscarriage of justice.