Washington Nationals catching and strategy coach Henry Blanco communicates with Keibert Ruiz during a game against the Baltimore Orioles on June 21, 2022 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by John McCreary/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Former Major League Baseball catcher Henry Blanco has been hired by the Cardenales De Lara for the upcoming 2023-24 Liga Venezolana De Beisbol Profesional regular season.
The Caracas native played 16 seasons with 11 Major League organizations during his career.
Blanco has brought his knowledge from the catcher position to his coaching career over the last 10 years with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, and Washington Nationals, along with being part of the Venezuela coaching staff in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Blanco began his coaching career with Bravos De Margarita in Liga Venezolana De Beisbol Profesional during the 2014-15 winter league season. Last winter, he managed Tiburones De La Guaira to the Liga Venezolana De Beisbol Profesional championship series, losing in six games to Leones Del Caracas.
Cardenales De Lara is the last LVBP organization to reach back-to-back Caribbean Series appearances, doing so in 2019 and 2020. Cardenales general manager Carlos Miguel Oropeza, stated to the media via the LVBP website, “We are happy that someone like him, with his profile and track record, is in charge of the team. The group dominance that he will show will be very interesting.”
Oropeza is the son of Cardenales owner Humberto Oropeza. The Oropezas led the franchise to modest success, with six Caribbean Series appearances in 1991, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2019, and 2020, but no titles to date.
Blanco remains the Washington Nationals catching and strategy coach. He’ll head to Venezuela and join the Cardenales de Lara when the LVBP season begins in October.