For the first time, Cuba will be allowed to use Major League players on their World Baseball Classic roster, and the club will have two dynamic stars on the field thanks to a powerful duo of Chicago White Sox.
The roster, released on Thursday, includes White Sox outfielder Luis Robert and third baseman Yoán Moncada.
Robert was limited to 380 at-bats with the White Sox during the 2022 season, hitting 12 home runs, driving in 56 RBI’s and stealing 11 bases. He slashed .284/.319/.426 in 401 total plate appearances for the White Sox.
He’ll be joined on the Cuban roster by Moncada, who was limited to 104 games in the 2022 season, hitting 12 home runs and driving in 51 RBI’s.
Moncada batted just .212 and struck out 114 times in 397 at-bats.
Yoenis Cespedes will be among the other players on Cuba’s roster when they take the field.
In previous iterations of the World Baseball Classic, Robert and Moncada would have been eligible for the Cuban squad, as both were born on the island, but the country did not permit players who had left the country to appear on their national team rosters.
This year, the Cuban Federation announced that they would allow players from the U.S. and other international markets to compete, though Robert and Moncada will not be allowed back into the country to practice with their teammates prior to the start of the World Baseball Classic.
Cuba will actually play the first game of the tournament, as they have been assigned to Pool A in Taichung.
The Cuban squad will open against the Netherlands on March 8, and will also play Chinese Taipei, Italy and Panama in round-robin games.