Chicago Cubs left handed relief pitcher Roenis Elias of Guantanamo, Cuba and Chicago White Sox infielder Yoan Moncada of Cienfuegos, Cuba play in the same city in Major League Baseball for different teams. At the present time, their focus is to help their native country win its first World Baseball Classic in the history of the tournament. Cuba is the first country to reach the semifinals after their 4-3 win over Australia in Tokyo, Japan on Wednesday. Cuba’s other two wins in the tournament came in Pool A action as they trounced Panama 13-4 and Taiwan 7-1.
This is the first time out of the five World Baseball Classics that Cuba is using Major Leaguers. In the tournament to date, Elias and Moncada have been Cuba’s two most effective Major Leaguers.
Roenis Elias WBC Statistics
Elias has pitched seven innings, and only given up two earned runs. He has had three strikeouts, and given up only four hits, two earned runs and one walk. Elias’s most effective game was five shutout innings in a 6-3 extra inning loss for Cuba against Italy on March 9 from Taiwan.
Yoan Moncada WBC Statistics
Moncada is batting .421 with eight hits in 19 at bats. He has scored three runs, with three doubles, one home run, five runs batted in and four walks. Moncada has an on base percentage of .522 and a slugging percentage of .737. Moncada’s home run came in Cuba’s 7-1 win over Taiwan.
Major League Baseball Careers
Moncada had his rookie season in 2016 with the Boston Red Sox, but has played the last six seasons with the Chicago White Sox. In 2022, he batted .212 with 12 home runs and 51 runs batted in. During 104 games, 433 plate appearances and 397 at bats, Moncada scored 41 runs, and had 84 hits, 18 doubles, one triple, two stolen bases, 32 walks, 140 total bases, one sacrifice bunt, one sacrifice fly, an on base percentage of .273, and a slugging percentage of .353.
Moncada’s sacrifice bunt came in a 4-2 White Sox win over the Colorado Rockies on September 13. His stolen bases in 2022 came in the same series. Moncada got a stolen base in a 4-3 White Sox win over the Detroit Tigers on September 17, and then another stolen base in an 11-5 White Sox win over the Tigers on September 18.
Elias has pitched seven Major League seasons with the Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, and Washington Nationals. In 2022 with the Mariners, he pitched seven and two thirds innings, did not have a decision, and had an earned run average of 3.52. In seven games, Elias gave up seven hits, three earned runs, and three walks, to go along with six strikeouts, and a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 1.30.