Carlos Viera, shown here with Cuba, pitches in the bottom of the 3rd inning during the World Baseball Classic exhibition game between Cuba and Rakuten Monkeys at Douliu Baseball Stadium on March 05, 2023 in Douliu, Taiwan. Viera won’t play winter ball this season, citing arm fatigue. (Photo by Gene Wang/Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Cuban right-handed pitcher Carlos Viera will not play in the 2023-24 Liga Venezuela de Béisbol Profesional season with the Caribes de Anzoátegui.
Viera is sidelined with extreme fatigue in his throwing arm after pitching in the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, during the end of October, Miguel Rodriguez of Pelota Cubana reported on Thursday.
The Caribes de Anzoátegui also told Rodriguez that Viera will not be with the team this season, since the injury will most likely keep him shelved through the LVBP playoffs.
Viera will also not play in the Cuban Elite League’s winter league season for 2023-24, which starts November 7.
According to Rodriguez, “his arm will need a lot of rest, in the last four or five years, he has practically not rested.”
Yordana Carmona of Pelota also referenced Viera’s absence from the Caribes pitching staff during the 2023-24 winter league season.
Viera, 34, was born in La Habana, Cuba, and has played in four international senior events this year: the 2023 Pan American Games, the 2023 World Baseball Classic, the 2023 Caribbean Cup in Puerto Rico during the first week of October, and the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games that were held in San Salvador, El Salvador in late June and early July.
Cuba went 1-3 ending up in sixth place at the 2023 Pan American Games losing to the Dominican Republic 5-4 in the fifth place game.
Viera had one appearance and one start at the 2023 Pan American Games, throwing two innings posting a 7.00 ERA allowing seven hits, two earned runs, one home run, one walk, and five strikeouts while facing 15 batters.
Viera helped Cuba reach the semifinals of the 2023 World Baseball Classic in Miami where they lost to the United States 14-2 at loanDepot Park. Viera appeared in three games out of the bullpen along with posting a 6.75 ERA. In the tournament, he threw four innings allowing six hits, three earned runs, two walks, and five strikeouts including a 2.00 WHIP.
During the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games, Viera helped Cuba earn a berth in the gold medal game that was rained out. Mexico was awarded the gold medal due to the overall standings at the event. Viera went 1-1 during the tournament, starting in two games and throwing 8.2 innings, allowing 10 hits, two earned runs, four walks, and four strikeouts with a 1.62 ERA.
Viera also pitched in the 2023 Caribbean Cup where No. 8 ranked Cuba beat No. 28 Curacao 3-1 in the gold medal game and went undefeated at 4-0 during the tournament. Viera pitched four innings against No. 11 Puerto Rico in the pool round and allowed two hits, one earned run, one walk, and two strikeouts.
In 2023, Viera pitched in the Liga Mexicana de Béisbol with the Olmecas de Tabasco, going 5-3 and throwing 56.2 innings with a 3.81 ERA, allowing 60 hits, 24 earned runs, three home runs, 19 walks, 48 strikeouts and a 1.394 WHIP.
Viera has played three seasons in Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, playing from 2021-22 with the Saraperos de Saltillo and this year with Tabasco.
In his three seasons in Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, Viera is 14-11 with a 4.87 ERA, appearing in 45 games and starting in 35. He’s thrown 192.1 innings and allowed 228 hits, 104 earned runs, 19 home runs, 62 walks, 131 strikeouts, and a 1.508 WHIP.
During his winter league career, Viera played his rookie season in the 2018-19 LVBP season with the Tigres de Aragua before spending the last three seasons in Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacifico, beginning in 2020-21 with the Caneros de Los Mochis and during the 2022-23 season with the Sultanes de Monterrey.
In four seasons in the professional winter leagues, Viera has posted a 6-11 record with a 4.03 ERA in 22 starts and 26 appearances out of the bullpen, throwing 111.2 innings and allowing 117 hits, 50 earned runs, five home runs, 46 walks, 62 strikeouts and a 1.460 WHIP.
Viera will be closely watched by staff members of the Federacion Cubana de Beisbol for Cuba’s pitching rotation at the 2024 WBSC Premier 12 tournament next November, which will be the only international senior event on the calendar next year. Cuba is No. 8 in the World Baseball Rankings from World Baseball Softball Confederation, which were updated on November 2.