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Humberto Mejia Named Panama’s Starter for Opener at World Baseball Classic

 Matt Tallarini  |    Mar 6th, 2023 2:09pm EST
Humberto Mejia of Team Panama pitches during Game Four between Team Argentina and Team Panama at Rod Carew National Stadium on October 1, 2022 in Panama City, Panama. Mejia will start Panama's opener at the 2023 World Baseball Classic. (Photo by Tito Herrera/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Pitcher Humberto Mejia will start in Panama’s first game of the World Baseball Classic on March 8 against Pool A host Chinese Taipei at 6 a.m. EST on Fox Sports 2.  

Mejia was signed by the Miami Marlins on Sept. 16, 2013 as an international free agent and pitched his way through the ranks in the Marlins system before making his debut on Aug. 7, 2020 against the New York Mets, throwing 2.1 innings and allowing one run.  A

 few weeks later, Mejia was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks with Caleb Smith and Julio Frias in exchange for Starling Marte. Meija went 0-3 with a 7.25 ERA with the Diamondbacks during the 2021 season. 

Mejia was designated for assignment on April 7, 2022 shortly after opening day and the end of spring training and eventually a few days after was sent outright to Triple-A with the Reno Aces.  Mejia pithed in eight game for the Aces, going 1-1 through 15 innings and recording six strikeouts, before he was released during the late part of May.  

A few days later, he signed with Guerreros de Oaxaca of the Liga Mexicana De Beisbol, where he made three starts, going 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA before being released on June 24. Mejia pitched in Mexico for most of last season with the Mariachis De Guadalajara and the Toros De Tijuana in Liga Mexicana De Beisbol.  

Mejia pitched over the winter for Leones De Escogido in the Liga de Beisbol Profesional De La Republica Dominicana, going 4-3 in 10 starts with a 2.15 ERA through 50.1 innings and posting 45 strikeouts.  

Mejia should match up well with a Chinese Taipei lineup that will feature players from the Chinese Professional Baseball League that is based in Taiwan. If Mejia can get quick outs and throw first pitch strikes he can help his case on filling a great role for the Panama pitching staff during pool play of the World Baseball Classic.

Mejia pitched in the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers last October on home soil at Estadio Rod Carew against Argentina, going four innings with no earned runs, allowing two hits, no walks, and striking out five batters en route to helping Panama make their second World Baseball Classic appearance.