LIDOM: Agent Says Bolaños Headed to Aguilas, Avoiding Venezuela

Roland Bolaños of Team Cuba pitches in the bottom of the first inning during the World Baseball Classic exhibition game between Cuba and Rakuten Monkeys at Douliu Baseball Stadium on March 05, 2023 in Douliu, Taiwan. (Photo by Gene Wang/Getty Images)

By Julian Guilarte
World Baseball Network

Cuban right-handed pitcher Ronald Bolaños, 27, will not be playing with Caribes de Anzoategui in the Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional this winter. The news was reported by Pelota Cubana reporter Yusseff Diaz on September 5.  

Bolaños signed a minor league contract with the Miami Marlins on April 8, 2023.

Bolaños was released by the Miami Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, on August 3. The next day, ESPN reporter Enrique Rojas tweeted that Bolaños agreed to play with Aguilas Cibaenas in LIDOM this winter in the Dominican Republic.  

On August 19, Yusseff Diaz of Pelota Cubana reported that Bolaños would play for Caribes de Anzoátegui in the Liga Venezolana Beisbol Profesional, but then reported that Bolaños wouldn’t be headed to Venezuela two weeks later.

The Caribes sports manager, Otto Padron, had no comment on reports that Bolaños would not play with the Caribes. 

Bolaños was represented by Lisette Carnett of Lenoa Sports, but changed agents and is now represented by Gladys Alonso of A&F Sports Agency based in Miami. Alonso explained Bolaños’ decision not to play for the Caribes in Venezuela.

“He did not want to go to Venezuela for safety reasons. Venezuela is a very dangerous place right now,” Alonso said. “He will play for another team.”

Alonso also stated that she still has the contract with Aguilas for this winter and that it’s valid. 

Bolaños represented Cuba in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Team Cuba lost 14-2 in the semi-finals to Team USA in Miami, Florida at Loan Depot Park.

Bolaños played in the Cuban Serie Nacional in the 2014-15 season with the Huracanes de Mayabeque, throwing 29 innings with 15 strikeouts and an ERA of 4.97.

The San Diego Padres signed Bolaños as an international free agent on August 11, 2016. 

Bolaños started his 2017 season with the Padres Low-A affiliate, the Fort Wayne TinCaps. In 2018 he began the season with the Padres High-A affiliate, the Lake Elsinore Storm. 

He was promoted to the Padres Double-A affiliate, the Amarillo Sod Poodles, on June 4, 2019. He pitched 130 innings at both levels with 142 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.66. Balanos was the Padres 15th-ranked prospect in 2019 on MLB Pipeline. 

He was called up by the San Diego Padres on September 2, 2019. He made his Major League debut against the Arizona Diamondbacks and pitched six innings of two-run ball with four strikeouts in a 2-1 loss. 

“I think I was a little anxious at first,” Bolaños said through interpreter David Longley following the game. “From there on out, I was able to calm down and work pretty well for the rest of the game.”

Bolaños finished out the rest of the season with the Padres making two more starts and three relief appearances. He struck out 19 batters in 19 innings in MLB. 

Bolaños was traded to the Kansas City Royals for left-handed pitcher Tim Hill on July 16, 2020. Bolaños made two appearances for the Royals in 2020.

Bolaños suffered a forearm strain and was placed on the 60-day IL on June 18, 2021. Bolaños pitched 6 innings with 10 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.42 for the Royals in 2021.

Bolaños made eight appearances for the Royals in 2022 and was designated for assignment on June 27. He cleared waivers and was assigned to the Royals Triple-A affiliate the Omaha Storm Chasers on July 4.

Bolaños averaged 93 miles per hour on his fastball, 84 on his slider, 77 on his curveball, and 87 on his changeup in 2022.  

After the 2022 regular season, Bolaños pitched for the Toros del Este in the Dominican Winter League. He pitched 35 innings with 28 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.53.

Bolaños played in MLB from 2019-22 with the Padres and Royals. In parts of four seasons, he pitched 48 innings with 43 strikeouts and an ERA of 5.25. 

Bolaños could represent Cuba in the Premier 12 World Baseball Championship in November 2024. Cuba will likely bring a similar roster to the other players that were playing in MLB with Cuba in the WBC. Such as Cuban players off MLB 40-man rosters and NPB players.

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