Rodny Linares explains absences and how he will handle the infield

The manager of the Dominican Republic for the World Baseball Classic, Rodney Linares, says he feels “happy” to lead a team made up of so many stars.

“When I saw the roster on television I felt happy. And that’s how I still feel because this is not a pressure, but a happiness that I receive with great confidence, “said Linares, in an interview for Actualidad Deportiva of Listín Diario and sports editor Héctor J. Cruz.

Linares explains that the process of forming the team was long and a lot of work, because it was necessary to speak with players and teams.

The interview is available on the entire digital platform of Listín Diario.

Here are details of what was discussed with Linares about the rotation, the way he will handle the combination of Manny Machado and Rafael Devers, the talents he has at short stop and second, the outfielders, the pitching rotation and the relievers.


absences and alternates


According to Linares, relievers Emmanuel Clase, from Cleveland, and Félix Bautista, from Baltimore, did not make the team by decision of their organizations. He said Cleveland and Baltimore argued that they were both overworked last year and couldn’t get their services.

.- Regarding José Ramírez, from Cleveland, and Starlin Marte, Mets outfielder, there was a problem with their insurance company. “They come from surgeries during the break, those players have insurance and it was these companies who would have opposed it. They wanted to participate, but they couldn’t for that reason”.

.- Around shortstop and second base, the Dominican Republic has plenty of talent in Jeremy Peña, Willy Adames, Wander Franco, Ketel Marte and Jean Segura. “I think that’s a blessing and we’ll see how we handle it, but there’s plenty of quality for those positions.” Linares added that Marte could also help out in the outfield.

.- For first base, he points out that Robinson Canó could be a substitute for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. since he has played the position before. Canó will be on the bench, and could play different roles.

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.- He said that Manny Machado will be the third baseman every day, and Rafael Devers will be the Designated. “We’ve always talked to Devers about that situation and he’s very aware of what his role would be,” he said.

.- The pitching rotation has four men: Sandy Alcántara, Johnny Cueto, Cristian Javier and Roansy Contreras. “So far we only know that Sandy is the man of the first game on the 11th against Venezuela. Then, in training we will define who is next”. Dominican plays vs. Nicaragua on Monday the 13th, vs. Israel on Tuesday the 14th and vs. Puerto Rico on Wednesday15.

.- Asked if he has a defined closer, he said that there are eight relievers with the capacity for it. He spoke of the rule for relief, because if you use a pitcher two days in a row, you have to give him two days off.

.- His bench coach will be Tony Díaz, who performs these functions with the Minnesota Twins and in the recent past was manager of the Licey.

.- Linares defended the presence of Nelson Cruz in the 30-man roster, while performing the functions of general manager. ”Nelson is an important piece, he can be a good pinch hitter and he can also open a game against a left-handed pitcher. · He, like Canó, has more than enough merits.

.- When asked about the quality of the United States team, he only said: “they have to get to Miami. We’ll be there when they arrive.”

.- César Valdez, the veteran, is part of a group of six pitchers who will be in reserve in case someone is injured.

.- In Fort Myers, the team will train for three days, starting on the 6th, and then will hold 3 warm-up games against Atlanta, Minnesota and another team.

The Dominican is part of group D in the event that is held for the 5th. occasion, since 2006. The Dominican Republic was champion in 2013 with Tony Peña as manager.

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