2012-2013 Cuban National League

From BR Bullpen

The 2012-2013 Cuban National League season began on November 25, 2012, with the defending champion Ciego de Ávila club winning 1-0 behind 8 no-hit innings from Vladimir García. The league introduced an unusual format due to the 2013 World Baseball Classic (in which Cuba dominated round one but was upset by the Netherlands in round two), with 16 teams playing 45 games apiece before the Classic. Afterwards, the top eight teams were allowed to add 5 players each from the bottom 8 teams and continue on to a second phase. The whole scheme created a lot of confusion.

One thing was done to reduce confusion as the league returned to its historical 16-team format with the elimination of the Metropolitanos after having played with 17 teams for a season. The league now had one team per province for the first time.

A sad note came in mid-March, when Cuban national team hurler Yadier Pedroso, last year's strikeout leader, died in a car crash shortly after returning from the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Two players reached milestones in early April. Joan Carlos Pedroso (no relation to Yadier Pedroso) became the 9th player to 300 career home runs on April 6. Three days later, Ciro Silvino Licea was the 7th hurler to 200 wins.

The finals faced a match-up of Villa Clara and Matanzas, with Villa Clara nearly sweeping to its first title in 18 years. The team had been barely over .500 in the first half but had benefited from its reinforcements to cruise from there. In the finals, Freddy Asiel Alvarez shut down Matanzas in the opener, running his playoff consecutive scoreless inning streak to 33, breaking Pedro Luis Lazo's Cuban record. The next day, June 12, Villa Clara won, 8-1, behind 3 homers and fine pitching from Misael Siverio. After two days off, Matanzas won its lone game, with Jorge Alberto Martínez tossing 8 shutout innings of four-hit ball in a 4-1 Matanzas win.

On June 16, though, Matanzas again had to face Alvarez; he finally allowed a run in the 8th after building his record to 40 2/3 consecutive scoreless postseason innings. Villa Clara won, 4-1. After a rain-out, Villa Clara won the finale, 8-5, thanks to a grand slam from veteran catcher Ariel Pestano in the 6th inning.


Team Classification Phase Secondary Phase Manager
Cienfuegos 30-15 26-16 Iday Abreu
Sancti Spíritus 31-14 22-19 Ruperto Zamora
Matanzas 27-18 25-16 Víctor Mesa
Villa Clara 24-21 26-16 Ramón Moré Flaquet
Ciego de Ávila 24-21 21-21 Roger Machado
Industriales 27-18 18-24 Lázaro Vargas
Isla de la Juventud 26-19 17-24 Armando Johnson
Pinar del Rio 24-21 12-30 Giraldo González
Las Tunas 23-22 N/A Juan Miguel Gordo
Granma 19-26 N/A Indalecio Alejandrez
Guantánamo 19-26 N/A Agustín Lescaille
Holguín 18-27 N/A Felicio García
Santiago de Cuba 18-27 N/A Alcides Sánchez
Mayabeque 18-27 N/A Rigoberto Madera
Camagüey 17-28 N/A Felipe Sarduy
Artemisa 15-30 N/A Esteban Lombillo


  • Semi-finals
  • Villa Clara 4, Cienfuegos 2
  • Matanzas 4, Sancti Spíritus 3
  • Championship Game
  • Villa Clara 4, Matanzas 1

All-Star Game[edit]

On March 24, 2013, the 2012-2013 All-Star Game took place at Estadio José Antonio Huelga in Sancti Spíritus, Sancti Spíritus. The attendance was over 5,000. The Occidentales won, 13-9, with Fiss again putting a show, this time in a losing cause (3 for 5, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI). Yasmani Tomás goes 2 for 4 with a double, homer, 3 runs and 3 RBI for the winners, while José Miguel Fernández scores three times. Vladimir Baños takes the win while Carlos Juan Viera is pounded for 7 runs in 1 1/3 IP in the loss.


Bold indicates either wooden bat record or aluminum bat record (1976-1977 to 1998-1999), Italics indicate Serie Nacional record

Statistics are for classification phase only


Stat Leader Team Number Notes
Batting Average José Miguel Fernández Matanzas .393
Runs Scored David Castillo Pinar del Rio 39
Base Hits Lorenzo Quintana Pinar del Rio 60
Doubles Andy Ibáñez
Alexander Malleta
Isla de la Juventud
Triples Lázaro Rodríguez Cienfuegos 5
Home Runs Jose Dariel Abreu Cienfuegos 13
Runs Batted In Yosvany Peraza Pinar del Rio 42
Base-on-Balls Frederich Cepeda Sancti Spíritus 49
Intentional Base-on-Balls Alfredo Despaigne Granma 16
Hit-by-Pitch Jose Dariel Abreu Cienfuegos 10
Strikeouts Yaisel Mederos Camagüey 39
Sacrifice Hit Roberto Borrero Camagüey 14
Sacrifice Fly Alexander Malleta
Lazaro Herrera
Stolen Bases Lázaro Rodríguez
Marino Luis
Yuniesky Larduet
Las Tunas


Stat Leader Team Number Notes
Wins Ismel Jiménez
Wilber Pérez
Sancti Spíritus
Isla de la Juventud
Win-Loss Percentage Ismel Jiménez Sancti Spíritus 9-0
Earned Run Average Ismel Jiménez Sancti Spíritus 1.06 76 1/3 IP
Innings Pitched Vladimir García Ciego de Ávila 84 2/3
Games Pitched Alexander Quintero
Isbel Hernández
Diosdani Castillo
Pinar del Rio
Villa Clara
Games Started Vladimir García Ciego de Ávila 13
Games Relieved Alexander Quintero
Isbel Hernández
Diosdani Castillo
Pinar del Rio
Villa Clara
Complete Games Wilber Pérez Isla de la Juventud 4
Shutouts Vladimir García
Danny Betancourt
Ismel Jiménez
Maykel Martínez
Ciego de Ávila
Santiago de Cuba
Sancti Spíritus
Hits Allowed Yoelkis Cruz
Frank Navarro
Las Tunas
Strikeouts Ismel Jiménez Sancti Spíritus 60
Base-on-Balls Juan López Isla de la Juventud 40
Intentional Base-on-Balls Alain Dela
Yosvani Pérez
Santiago de Cuba
Villa Clara
Hit Batters Vladimir García Ciego de Ávila 12
Saves Duniel Ibarra Cienfuegos 13

Award Winners[edit]

The Most Valuable Player (Jugadores más Valiosos) was Ismel Jiménez of Sancti Spiritus. Norge Luis Ruíz of Camagüey was the Series' Rookie of the Year (Novatos del Año). Freddy Asiel Alvarez was named Postseason MVP. Elber Ibarra was named Umpire of the Year, while Ramón Moré took home Manager of the Year.

Offensive and Pitching All-Stars were C Lorenzo Quintana (Pinar del Rio), 1B Jose Dariel Abreu (Cienfuegos), 2B José Miguel Fernández (Matanzas), SS Yordan Manduley (Holguín-Villa Clara), 3B Yulieski Gourriel (Sancti Spiritus), OF Alfredo Despaigne (Granma-Pinar del Rio), OF Dayron Varona (Camagüey-Villa Clara), OF Frederich Cepeda (Sancti Spiritus), DH Yosvany Peraza (Pinar del Rio), UT Raúl González (Ciego de Ávila), RHP Joel Suárez (Matanzas), LHP Misael Siverio (Villa Clara) and RP Duniel Ibarra (Cienfuegos).

Gold Glove awards went to C Ariel Pestano (Villa Clara), 1B Joan Carlos Pedroso (Las Tunas-Isla de la Juventud), 2B Andy Sarduy (Villa Clara), SS Yordan Manduley (Holguín-Villa Clara), OF Lázaro Rodríguez (Cienfuegos), OF Dayron Varona (Camagüey-Villa Clara), OF Guillermo Heredia Jr. (Matanzas) and P Alberto Bicet (Santiago de Cuba-Ciego de Ávila).

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