16-year-old Cuban outfielder Lazaro Armenteros is getting a lot of attention these days, but a countryman twice his age is also busy making his case for a contract with an MLB team.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that 13 teams attended the showcase for Cuban outfielder Alexei Bell today in Mexicali, Mexico. He was able to identify all of the clubs in attendance:
Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com has more details on the three-hour showcase, as Bell slugged 15 home runs during batting practice and against live pitching. He also made throws from right field and did some running. He could begin private workouts for teams in Florida and Arizona soon, but he’ll need to be approved for a visitor visa first.
Listed at 5-foot-7 and 187 pounds on Baseball Reference, the 32-year-old Bell batted .319/.417/.547 over 14 seasons in Cuba’s Serie Nacional. He spent last season with Capitales of Quebec in the Canadian-American Association while batting .317/.363/.424 over 59 games. It was reported last month that Bell left Cuba legally to seek an opportunity in MLB. While he might not be the player he was a few years ago, he’s still drawing plenty of interest.
As opposed to Armenteros, Bell is not subject to MLB’s international bonus pool limits.
The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.
The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.
Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.
The matchups for Tuesday’s action:
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.