Cuba: P Livan Moinelo Will Return In Elite League Playoffs

Livan Moinelo of Cuba throws in the eighth inning during the World Baseball Classic quarterfinal between Australia and Cuba at Tokyo Dome on March 15, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Kenta Harada/Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

Left-handed relief pitcher Livan Moinelo will return to play in the 2024 Elite League playoffs on Sunday after recovering from an elbow injury, Miguel Rodriguez of Pelota Cubana USA reported on January 6. 

Moinelo, 28, was born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, and will play for the Cazadores de Artemisa for the 2024 Elite League playoffs. 

Moinelo underwent surgery last July for osteochondritis dissecans in the elbow from his throwing arm when he was playing for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Nippon Professional Baseball. 

Dr. Francisco Montesinos and José Manuel Cortina have helped Monielo during his rehab process the last few months. Moinelo rehabbed in Cuba during the second half of the 2023 season prior to him being activated in late December, Rodriguez stated on December 24. 

Rodriguez confirmed with Cortina and Moinelo on January 6 that the left-handed pitcher is a hundred percent recovered from his injury. 

Last season, Moinelo played in 27 games for the Hawks and posted a 0.98 ERA with a 3-0 record, throwing 27.2 innings and allowing 11 hits, three earned runs, five walks, 37 strikeouts, and a 0.578 WHIP. 

The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks clinched third place in the Pacific League during the 2023 NPB regular season, going 71-69-3, and lost a best-of-three first round series to the Chiba Lotte Marines. 

Moinelo pitched for the Cuban national team at the 2023 World Baseball Classic and did not allow an earned run, throwing 4.1 innings in four games and allowed two hits, three walks, five strikeouts and a 1.91 WHIP.

During the 2022 regular season, Moinelo posted a 1-1 record with a 1.03 ERA in 53 appearances, throwing 52.2 innings, recording 24 saves, allowing 22 hits, six earned runs, two home runs, 20 walks, 87 strikeouts, and a 0.797 WHIP.

In seven seasons in NPB, Moinelo has a lifetime record of 19-9 and a 1.95 ERA in 306 appearances with 40 saves, throwing 300.1 innings, allowing 163 hits, 65 earned runs, 16 home runs, 132 walks, 422 strikeouts, and a 0.982 WHIP. 

According to Rodriguez, Moinelo will replace infielder Jonathan Bridón on the Cazadores de Artemisa roster, who suffered apparent ankle injury.

The Cazadores de Artemisa will play the Industriales de La Habana on Jan. 7 in game one of the 2024 Elite League semifinals at 1:30 p.m. EST at Estadio 26 de Julio in Artemisa Province, Cuba. 

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