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Liga Mexicana de Beisbol: News, Notes, and Where to Watch

 Leif Skodnick  |    May 7th, 2024 11:49am EDT

Trevor Bauer of the Diablos Rojos del Mexico pitches against the Guerreros de Oaxaca on May 4, 2024. (Photo Courtesy of the Diablos Rojos del Mexico)

Cano Staying Hot On the Diamante del Fuego 

Veteran infielder Robinson Cano had a hot start to the season for the Diablos Rojos del Mexico.

Nearly a month into the 2024 campaign, Cano, 41, has not only remained hot, he’s sixth in the league in batting average through 16 games with a .393 mark thus far.

Signing the veteran infielder, who is putting up numbers similar to those of his best years in Major League Baseball, has paid dividends for the Diablos Rojos. They lead the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol’s Zona Sur with an 11-5 record, a game and a half ahead of the Leones de Yucatan.

Cano’s slash line, which includes batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, is .393/.486/.557. He has an OPS of 1.043 thus far and has three home runs and 14 RBI in just 67 at-bats.

All Eyes On Bauer As Final Game of Contract Approaches

Trevor Bauer is expected to start Wednesday’s game against Oaxaca for the Diablos Rojos del Mexico.

In four starts thus far this season, Bauer is 3-0 with 34 strikeouts in 23 innings of work and has been dominant in his last three outings, including a 14-strikeout effort against the Bravos de Leon on April 21.

On May 4, Bauer threw six innings against the Guerreros de Oaxaca, allowing two runs on four hits, striking out nine and walking one as the Diablos cruised to a 12-2 win. Bauer’s 1.97 ERA is good for seventh in the LMB, and he leads the circuit in strikeouts.

Bauer’s deal with the Diablos Rojos is for five games, though he is open to staying with the club if a deal in Major League Baseball doesn’t materialize.

When asked if he’d stay in Mexico after the five-game deal expired, Bauer told World Baseball Network in April that it’s “certainly a possibility. I just don’t know. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Obviously, I’d like to play in the MLB. That’s the goal. But if there’s not an opportunity, then I don’t know. We’ll see.

Jerar Encarnacion Clubbing ‘Em At a Crazy Clip

When former Miami Marlin Jerar Encarnacion starts to sweat, many pitchers in the LMB start to sweat, and it isn’t because of the heat.

Encarnacion, who appeared in 23 games with Miami in 2022, has already sent 12 balls over the wall this season for the Guerreros de Oaxaca (9-12). The 12 round-trippers have come in just 62 at-bats, meaning he’s homered in nearly 20 percent of his at-bats this season. Along with the 12 homers, Encarnacion leads the LMB  with 24 RBI.

Coming Up This Week

The best series early this week is the Zona Sur matchup between the third-place Pericos de Puebla (13-8) and the second-place Leones de Yucatan (14-6), which will be played in Merida at Estadio Victor Cervera Pacheco, the temporary home of the Leones while Parque Kukulkan Alamo is renovated. Neither team has announced starting pitchers for the series at press time.

Later in the week, the Leones will host the Diablos Rojos in Merida in a series that will test both clubs. So far, the Diablos have only played six games against teams with a record above .500, and though they’ve gone 4-2 in those games, they’ve indeed feasted on weaker competition at the start of the season. Similarly, the Leones have only played two games against teams with a winning record.

In the Zona Norte, the best series of the week starts on Friday when the second-place Tecolotes de Los Dos Laredos (13-8) visit the first-place Sultanes de Monterrey (15-6). These two clubs finished 1-2 in the Zona Norte in 2023, and they’re atop the division once again, though just 2.5 games separate the top five teams in the Zona Norte.

Liga Mexicana de Beisbol games can be streamed on Jonron.tv and LMBenvivo.