The Cuban pitcher of the Águilas Cibaeñas, Roenis Elías, extended this Tuesday to 37.2 innings his streak without allowing earned runs in the powerful Dominican winter circuit, after completing six episodes immaculate in front of the Eastern Stars.
The Guantanamo lefty retired the first 17 batters he faced to clear 5.2 perfect innings, but in the sixth he allowed a single by Gustavo Núñez and a double by Edward Olivares. However, he managed to finish off Cristian Pache with a groundout to second to kill the inning and finish his work with six scoreless innings.
Elías got 18 outs, seven of them by way of strikes, with which he reached 50 strikeouts this season in Dominican lands, adding his performance in the regular series and the round robin. In that same period, the pitcher has only given away ten tickets and hit 25 hits, for an exceptional average of hitters on base per inning (WHIP) of 0.660.
With 34 years and seven seasons of MLB experience, Elías is showing his best version this winter season, with a 0.68 ERA in nine starts and 53 innings of work. Undoubtedly, his performance has been key in the interest of the Chicago Cubs, who signed him to a Minor League contract just over a week ago.
Roenis Elías pitched 6 innings, including perfect 5 and 2/3 innings. #Rumboala23 #BigTeam pic.twitter.com/qTmvBsaHtj
– Cibaeñas Eagles (@aguilascibaenas) December 28, 2022
This performance is also excellent news for the Cuban national team, which must count on the lefty for the fifth edition of the World Classic next March. Elías gave his approval to be part of the Antillean squad, which for the first time will have professional players without ties to the national sports movement on its payroll.
Presumably, Elías would occupy one of the top two spots in the Caribbean rotation along with Elián Leyva, who has also performed at his best in the Mexican League. They would be in charge of opening the way for the Island in Chinese Taipei, where the squad with the four letters will compete during the first round of the Classic along with the Netherlands, Italy, Panama and the hosts.
Another of the professionals who has said yes to the Cuban Federation and also saw action on Tuesday was Yoenis Céspedes. The slugger from Granma, Elías’s teammate in the Águilas Cibaeñas, returned to the diamonds with the hot wood after several weeks away due to an injury to his right foot.
“La Potencia” hit three singles in four shifts as designated and seventh man in the eaglet shootout, for which he contributed a run scored. Céspedes connected two rockets in front of the Estrellas Orientales starter, Domingo Robles, and added another unstoppable against the shipments of reliever Leuris Gómez in a count of two strikes and two balls.
The good form shown by Céspedes is excellent news for the Águilas Cibaeñas, who did not see the best version of the Antillean in the regular series. In 18 games, the man from Granma left a batting average of .188 and an on-base average of .239, although he hit four home runs, drove in 11 runs and scored eight 64 official appearances.