Cuban Alexei Ramirez Makes the White Sox Roster
After weeks of speculation and showing one's worth, Cuban baseball find Alexei Ramirez appears to have won a starting role on the White Sox 25 man roster. Sox manager Ozzie Guillen confirmed his place on the team today, but whether he will start at 2b is another matter all together.
Alexei Ramirez has the possibility of being a real major league star in his first year. He is batting .381 this spring, with tons of runs, RBIs and a home run yesterday. Today he comes off the bench and delivers a clutch 2 out RBI single and went 4/5 in his first game of the year. Alexei led the Cuban league in hits and HR last year and shows good speed, athleticism and ability to make solid contact and hit to the opposite field.
Ramirez was signed by the White Sox in November, months after he left Cuba to gain residence with his Dominican wife. Many other clubs passed on him, including the Cubs, not trusting the Cuban pedigree.
Utiility man Pablo Ozuna is set to start opening day versus left hander CC Sabathia, against who he has had luck. Juan Uribe, last years's 2b, has been placed on waivers, while back-up Danny Richar is opening the year on the DL. Uribe may very well stay on the team after the dust settles, but it appears unlikely at this point.
As someone who watched Alexei slam a line drive off the wall vs. Japan's Dice-K last year in the World Baseball Classic in San Diego, I hoped the White Sox would pick him up. Then, despite the heavy odds of being shipped down to AAA, I hoped he would make the team. Now I just hope he gets the necessary at bats to learn and show his stuff. Alexei is not afraid to have a good time on the field, smile and bring some flash to the clubhouse. His attitude and abilities should be a joy to watch this year. I can't wait.