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LAMP: Cuban P Miguel Romero Will Hurl For Culiacan This Winter

 Leif Skodnick  |    Aug 26th, 2023 7:42am EDT

Miguel Romero of Team Cuba pitches in the third inning against Team USA during the World Baseball Classic Semifinals at loanDepot park on March 19, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

Cuban pitcher Miguel Romero has committed to playing for the Tomateros de Culiacan in the Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacifico for the 2023-24 season, Yusseff Diaz of Pelota Cubana reported on Friday.  

Romero, 29, was born in Guantanamo, Cuba, and was released earlier this season by the Oakland Athletics after recording a 6.60 ERA in 14 games with Triple-A Las Vegas.

Romero began his professional career as an 18-year-old in the Serie Nacional de Béisbol, the primary professional baseball league in Cuba. In four years with the Indios de Guantanamo, Romero appeared in 46 games and had a 4.80 ERA. 

He signed with the Oakland Athletics as an international free agent in 2017 and advanced quickly through their system. Romero was promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas in 2019, but was never called up to Major League Baseball. Romero’s best statistical minor league season came in 2019, recording a win-loss record of 4-1 with 81 strikeouts in 72.2 innings. 

Romero pitched in 10 games in 2019-20 with Indios de Mayaguez of Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente, the winter professional baseball league in Puerto Rico. He recorded a 1.46 ERA and had 13 strikeouts in 12.1 innings. He returned to Puerto Rico in the winter of 2022-23, playing for Gigantes de Carolina. Romero allowed no earned runs and six hits in seven innings. 

The 29-year-old played for Cuba in the 2023 World Baseball Classic and was named one of three pitchers on the All-Tournament Team. The other two were Shohei Ohtani and Patrick Sandoval, both members of the Los Angeles Angels. Romero led the tournament in strikeouts with 13 and pitched in five games for Cuba. No other pitcher in the World Baseball Classic appeared in more than four. Opposing hitters had a combined .219 batting average against Romero at the WBC. Cuba won Pool A of the World Baseball Classic but lost to the United States 14-2 in the semifinals.

On August 15, Romero stated that he would not participate in the Pan American Games with the Cuban national team during late October to focus on focusing for the upcoming winter league season. 

Eight nations will compete at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. The Pan American Games baseball tournament will be held from October 21 to October 27 at the Baseball and Softball Center in Cerrillos, Chile.

The seven countries that have qualified thus far are No. 3 Mexico, No. 6 Venezuela, No. 10 Dominican Republic, No. 11 Panama, No. 16 Colombia, No. 24 Brazil, and the host nation Chile, which is not ranked in the World Baseball Rankings.

Cuba is ranked No. 7 in the World Baseball Rankings and will appear in the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile aiming for their 13th gold medal at the event.

The Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacifico 2023-24 regular season will begin on October 13. 

The Tomateros de Culiacan will open up on October 14 on the road against Algodoneros de Guasave at 9 p.m. EDT at Kuroda Park. 

All Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacifico regular season games will be on https://www.extrabase.tv/home streaming service with a paid subscription through the final out of their championship series in January, right before the 2024 Caribbean Series in Miami at loanDepot Park.

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Leif Skodnick