After 10 years out of baseball, 33 year old righty Reinier Roll returned to the mound this season in the Nicaraguan Professional Winter League in 2021-22 with the Tigres de Chinandega. But the odd thing is that he did not play as a foreign player, he was a native of Nicaragua due to his naturalization earlier that year.
He also had something to say about making the club when I spoke to him in a phone conversation before that season,” First of all I want to thank God for giving me health and Chinandega’s management for giving me the opportunity to fight for a roster spot. I also want to thank the coaching staff for having the confidence in me to give me a bullpen spot. I feel confident I can be an asset to the ball club out of the bullpen. “
Roll is did a splendid job out of the pen with Tigres de Chinandega in his first trip to the mound in a decade considering the circumstances and the rust. In the game against the Gigantes de Rivas, he entered the game with a bases loaded no out jam in the ninth inning and nearly got out of it. In a ballgame that was 0-0, he got ex-big leaguer Denis Phipps to pop out and struck out Jonathan Loáisiga. But Iván Marín ended it all and won the game with a line drive to right field.
@ReinierRoll quien tiene una efectividad de 2.45 y Yunior Paumier quien batea .357 en la postemporada son dos de la razones más grande porque los @tigreschi lideran el Round Robin nicaragüense con un récord de 5-2.#pelotacubana #beisbolcubano #tigresdechinandega #lnbp pic.twitter.com/jPBbUOmyJp
— Pelota Cubana (@pelotacubanausa) January 4, 2021
That season as a short reliever he was pretty good considering he took a decade off from the game. In 25.1 innings pitched in the season, he struck out 24 batters and posted a 5.33 earned run average. His last season in the Nicaraguan Winter League was 2022-23. During his two seasons in the circuit he posted a 2-0 record and a 5.33 earned run average.
I spoke to him during the campaign on how he adjusted to his return to the game and he had this to say about it,” The main thing I’ve tried to do is pound the strike zone and keep the ball low. Also, I always tried to maintain a rhythm while on the mound.”
The last time he pitched before those two campaigns in Nicaragua was in the 2008-09 Cuban National Series with Havana’s Industriales. Roll had to have an impressive camp with Chinandega to even make the club, that in itself makes what Roll had done an incredible feat. He was originally supposed to be a long reliever but his impressive pitching in jams has won him a short reliever role with the club. During his time in the Serie Nacional primarily as a back end of the bullpen guy, he posted a record of 13-17 and 5.89 ERA.