Chinese Taipei hopes it can repeat its surprise success from the 2013 World Baseball Classic in this year’s tournament, but the rising baseball nation has encountered some major hurdles before its first game in South Korea.
This morning, Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura and former big-league infielder Andy Marte died in separate car crashes in the Dominican Republic. Here are a few of the many reactions to and reflections on today’s tragic events. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement about Ventura and Marte earlier today. “Today is a very sad day for our entire game and particularly for the many loyal fans in the Dominican Republic, the home of both Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte,” said Manfred. “Yordano was a key figure in the Royals’ recent success. His electric talent on the mound helped lead the Royals to two American League pennants and the 2015 World Championship.
In 2008, the Kansas City Royals — coming off a decade of baseball so discouraging that all seemed hopeless — signed Yordano Ventura, a 16-year-old kid from the Dominican Republic. There was nothing dazzling about him as a baseball player. There was something about him, though, something almost imperceptible, something about the way he threw a baseball that made a couple of the Royals scouts hope. And dream.
Yordano Ventura, a rising star right-hander with the Royals, died early Sunday in a car accident in the Dominican Republic at the age of 25.
Yordano Ventura was 25. He had one of baseball’s fiercest fastballs. He was a little guy with big stuff, big confidence and big dreams. He died in a car accident early Inconceivably, former top prospect Andy Marte, too, died in a separate Dominican car crash early Sunday.
Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. The tragic news was confirmed by his agency, ISE Baseball, and the Royals. Ventura was 25 years old.
Former major league corner infielder Andy Marte died Sunday morning in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic, according to various reports. He was 33 years old. “Words can’t express the emotions from the loss of our client Andy Marte. Gone too soon. A great person on and off the field,” Marte’s agency, J.M.G. baseball, stated (via Twitter). Marte signed with the Braves as an international free agent in 2000 and quickly became one of the majors’ premier prospects. Baseball America regarded him as a top 40 prospect each year from 2002-05, and he peaked at No. 9 after the 2004 campaign
In 81 years of voting for the Hall of Fame, some positions on the field have been better-represented than others. What follows is a position-by-position rundown of the raw numbers of representation with an eye on what the future holds.
Angels first baseman C.J. Cron has come up as a possible trade candidate in the wake of the team’s agreement with free agent Luis Valbuena on Thursday, but the Halos’ decision to add another corner infielder has more to do with Albert Pujols’ uncertain status, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Pujols could miss the beginning of next season as a result of December foot surgery. In the meantime, the Angels will play the lefty-swinging Valbuena against right-handed pitching and deploy him at Pujols’ positions – designated hitter and first base – as well as third base, writes Rosenthal. When Pujols returns, the club could take advantage of the fact that Cron and Jefrey Marte have minor league options remaining and send either to Triple-A Salt Lake City, Rosenthal notes. Looking ahead a year, third baseman Yunel Escobar could depart in free agency next winter. That would enable Valbuena to take over at the hot corner on a full-time basis in 2018. More from the American League: Right fielder Jose Bautista, who brought an end to a drawn-out saga when he re-signed with the Blue Jays earlier this week, didn’t seriously consider joining the Indians, reports Terry Pluto of cleveland.com. The Indians inquired about Bautista, but it doesn’t seem as if either side was gung-ho about a union. After all, manager Terry Francona declared that the Tribe’s pursuit of Bautista in free agency – which may have included a bid – was overstated.