CUBAN BASEBALL SECOND PHASE 2018
CUBA'S NATIONAL BASEBALL SERIES
SEPTEMBER 24TH -OCTOBER 25TH, 2018
The first phase of Cuba’s 58th National Baseball Series is over, the six teams that will be playing during the second phase are Ciego de Avila, Holguin, Havana, Las Tunas, Sancti Spiritus, and Villa Clara. Havana and Sancti Spiritus won their wild card games to advance, which means there will be baseball in Havana at least until December. The margin between the first-place team and play-off teams is the smallest in history, with first place Ciego de Avila having won 28 games, and fifth place Havana 25 wins, and sixth place Sancti Spiritus 24 wins. The second phase of the season begins on October 26th, all six teams are scheduled to play on opening day.
Batting leaders through the first-phase included Jorge Johnson from Las Tunas with a .419 average, Maikel Caceres (Holguin) .416, and Pedro Leon (Mayabeque) with 15 homeruns. On the mound two pitchers dominated the first phase, Frank Montieth (Havana) and Yoanni Yera (Matanzas). Teams have already chosen their five supplements for the second phase, with most looking to improve on the mound. Industriales has added outfielder Denis Laza from Mayabeque to replace first choice Pedro Leon who is injured.
The second phase of the season, which is forty-five games just like the first phase, runs through December, and in January the play-offs for the championship begin. There is talk in Cuba of doing away with many of the teams of the National Series with the intention of raising the level of play, and we would applaud the move whole-heartedly. Provinces that would lose their Serie Nacional teams would then have a “Cuban version” of AAA teams with a schedule that would run parallel with the National Series .
By Frank Gonzalez