Ciro Silvino Licea

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Ciro Silvino Licea
(El Indio)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 2", Weight 209 lb.

Biographical Information[edit]

Ciro Silvino Licea was an ace of the Granma team. He twice led the Cuban Serie Nacional in ERA. He is known for his control and his fastball (which has reached the high 90s).

Licea led the 1996 Copa de la Revolucion in games pitched (15, tied for the lead). In the 1996-1997 Serie Nacional, Ciro tied for the most starts (17). In the 1997 Copa de la Revolucion, he tied for the most complete games (3). He pitched for Cuba in the 1997 Intercontinental Cup, he went 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA, striking out 14 in 12 1/3 IP. He dazzled the Nicaraguan national team, striking out 10 in a one-hit shutout as Norman Cardoze got the lone safety. In the Gold Medal game, though, he bombed, allowing 5 hits and 4 runs in 1 1/3 IP, with the big blow being a 3-run homer by Yoshinobu Takahashi. Licea took the loss, Cuba's first time failing to win a major international event in 15 years.

Licea had a huge season in 1998-1999, going 16-4 with a 1.85 ERA. He led the Serie Nacional in ERA and set aluminum bat era records for complete games (16) and shutouts (7). He lost Pitcher of the Year honors to José Ibar, who beat out Licea for the win lead with 18. He was with Cuba for game one of the 1999 Baltimore Orioles-Cuban National Team Exhibition Series. Licea's struggles on the international front continued in the 1999 Pan American Games, when he had a 0-1, 12.47 record and fared poorly against both Team Canada and Team USA.

Licea went 2-0 with a 2.05 ERA in the 1999 Intercontinental Cup, looking much sharper. He walked just 3 while fanning 26 in 22 innings. He struck out 13 in a 5-hit shutout of the USA. He led the tournament in strikeouts. He also tied for second in wins, even with Faustino Corrales, Hiroki Kuroda, Steve Falteisek, Adrian Meagher, Masanori Sugiura and Chung-Nan Tsai and trailing Shayne Bennett by one.

In the 1999-2000 Serie Nacional, Licea led in innings (194 2/3) and tied for the most starts (25). He went 12-6 with a 3.68 ERA in 2000-2001 but allowed 174 hits, most in the league. He pitched for Cuba in the 2001 Baseball World Cup, going 2-0 with no runs allowed in 9 innings of work as Cuba won Gold. Licea tied Yuya Ando, Kyu-soo Cho, Jose Contreras, Miguel Gomez, Ming-Chieh Hsu, Pedro Luis Lazo, Cairo Murillo, Hayato Nakamura, Jason Phillips, Erik Remmerswaal, Jason Stanford and Norge Vera for 2nd in the Cup in wins, behind leader Chih-Chia Chang. It would be Licea's last major international event for at least 7 years.

Licea went 13-6 with a 3.28 ERA in 2001-2002, walking only 24 in 167 1/3 IP, leading the league in innings pitched and finishing two wins behind Lazo. In the 2002 Super Liga, Ciro led in innings (43 1/3). Licea had a 11-8, 3.83 record during the 2002-2003 Serie Nacional. He tied Luis M. Rodríguez and Yosvani Aragón for the most complete games (10).

The Granma ace went 12-7 with a 2.65 ERA in 2003-2004 and led in shutouts (4). In 2004-2005, the right-hander was 13-6 with a 3.15 ERA and 19 walks in 148 2/3 innings. He led in hits allowed (164) while tying Lazo for the most wins.

Licea's record in 2005-2006 was 9-8 with a save and a 3.82 ERA. For the first time in 8 seasons, he failed to lead the Serie Nacional in any department, either positive, negative or neutral. In 2006-2007, he had a resurgent season, going 9-3 with a miniscule 1.15 ERA. In 132 2/3 innings, he gave up only 100 hits and 20 walks. He led the league in ERA by .25 ahead of Yuniesky Maya and Jonder Martínez.

Licea pitched for Cuba in the 2007 World Port Tournament, going 1-0 with a 0.96 ERA. He went 2-8 with a 3.89 ERA in 2007-2008 for his first losing record of the 21st Century.

Through 2007-2008, Licea's career record in Cuba is 157-115 with a 3.46 ERA. He was third among active Cuban pitchers in career wins behind Lazo and Carlos Alberto Yanes, first in shutouts (39) and 3rd in strikeouts (1,524) behind Lazo and Yanes. He ranked 6th all-time in Cuba in shutouts.

Licea was a late addition to Cuba's roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic and got a start against Mexico. He allowed 3 baserunners to reach in 1 1/3 IP and was quickly yanked in favor of Luis Miguel Rodríguez.

Licea finished 2008-2009 with a 9-6, 4.25 record. He tied Luis Miguel Rodríguez for 4th in complete games (5). He had a 9-4, 4.27 campaign in 2009-2010. He tied Odrisamer Despaigne, Ubisney Bermudez and Yoelkis Cruz for the league lead in starts (20), tied Despaigne for second in innings (128 2/3 IP, behind Yulieski González), was second in hits allowed (150, 8 behind Cruz), led in doubles allowed (32), ranked 9th in winning percentage and tied for 7th in wins. In the 2010 Haarlem Baseball Week, he pitched two games and was torched for six runs in 1 1/3 IP in a start against the Dutch national team; in his other game, he got one out and allowed no runs.

Licea went 11-5 with a 4.43 ERA in 2010-2011, walking 25 in 130 innings. He was among the league leaders in starts (20, tied for 5th), wins (tied for 4th with Noelvis Entenza), innings (tied for 6th with Despaigne), hits allowed (146, 6th), runs allowed (74, tied for 4th, earned runs allowed (64, tied for 9th), doubles allowed (32, 2nd to Bermudez), hit batsmen (16, tied for third) and winning percentage (5th, between Ismel Jiménez and Cruz). He had a 9-4, 5.00 record in 2011-2012.

Ciro started 2012-2013 5-3; on April 9, 2013, he won his 200th game in Cuba (against 140 losses), the 7th pitcher to reach that mark. He got his 200th victory with a 7-inning, 3-hit shutout over Holguín. He was 7-4 with a 3.30 ERA for Granma but they were eliminated after the first-half and he moved to Matanzas, going 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA for them. He fell to 2-6, 7.24 for Granma in 2013-2014. That left his Cuban record at 204-148, 3.69 in 496 games.

He played in France for the 2014 Templiers de Sénart, joining fellow former Cuban national team player Rolando Meriño. He was 1-1 with a 0.84 ERA in the 2014 European Cup, losing in relief to Ukraine's KNTU Elisavetgrad but beating host Draci Brno with a 14-K gem. He finished 5th in the event in ERA (behind 0s by Mike Ekstrom, Misja Harcksen, Orlando Yntema and Justin Kuehn) and third in whiffs (16, two behind Mike Bolsenbroek and Wilson Lee). The 38-year-old was 4-2 with a 2.40 ERA and 57 K in 56 2/3 IP in the French Division I regular season, finishing 5th in strikeouts and just missing the top 10 in ERA. He then was MVP of the finals, allowing 7 runs in 14 IP in wins over the Paris Université Club in games 1 and 3 of the best-of-5 series. He struck out 17 and walked one in the two games. That gave the Templiers their first title.