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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Two Cubans dream with the Cardinals

Por Feco

They are both young and talented. They are both from Cuba, played the National Baseball Series there and got contacts in Japan. On their way home, they decided to come to the United States in search of the dream of every baseball player: to play in the big league. The opportunity starts with San Luis Cardinals.

Hector Mendoza is one of the Cubans who has gone through many stages and will barely turn 24 on March 5, when he is immersed in fulfilling a new dream: to throw in the Majors with the San Luis Cardinals. The tall, six-foot-and-three-inch pitcher signed with San Luis halfway through last year, after he decided to deviate on his return to the island from Japan and come to the United States.

In 2018 he is for the first time in the spring training camp of the Cardinals as a guest, but always with the dream of earning a place in the big team. "Yes, of course, for you to achieve important things you have to dream big." This is a fabulous organization, with many stellar players, but we are working hard here in search of a spot. I played four National Series in Cuba and two years in Japan, which helped me a lot to gain confidence in the mound and improve control, it also helped me a lot to improve the mental aspect, which has allowed me to get where I am today". When he was asked about Japanese baseball, the player from Isla de la Juventud said: "That one from Japan is a very fine baseball, where the players give a very little margin of error, although there are not as many power hitters as here in MLB."

So far, in two outings as a reliever in the Grapefruit League, Mendoza has two clean innings, with great management of his fastball and his secondary throws. "Being in my first 'spring training' is something big because I feel like I've already reached half of my road towards fulfilling my dream. The other thing that remains now is to fight for the goal of the big leagues, but for the moment I'm enjoying every minute and learning. '' His compatriot Jose Adolis Garcia, whose brother Adonis Garcia played for the Atlanta Braves, is another that seeks to cement his way to the Majors through hard work and absorbing as a sponge all the knowledge that can provide the star veterans of the organization. "They see it that you feel comfortable, like family, they try to get you to do the right thing, to teach you everything they've lived and achieved in the big leagues, both inside and outside the field."

A year older than Mendoza, Garcia will turn 25 on March 2 and like his partner, signed with the Yomiuri Giants, but escaped after a year in Japan, on the way back to the island. "This is my second spring training, last year I was a newcomer and everything seemed new and different, not to mention that I joined after the training had started." Both of them continue to dream in MLB form.