Baseball continues in North and South America, as well as in Asia, as the ‘Azzurri’ (Italian National Team members) play on..
Alex Liddi will be playing with the Tomateros di Culiacan, in the Lega Messicana del Pacifico. "I can’t wait to hit the field" said Alex, who has been practicing with Marco Mazzieri at the baseball academy in Tirrenia, Italy. “It’s great for me to be able to count on Marco when ever I’m back in town. He’s great at helping me to get my swing back on track. Whenever I’m back here it’s also great to be able to count on Massimo Baldi and Gianni Natale, these two guys really take good care of us.” Liddi’s goal down in the Mexican Winter League will to get in the best possible shape for the 2014 season. Liddi split time between two organizations at both the Big League level and in AAA. He played in 8 games with the ‘Big Team’ in Seattle and in 108 games at the AAA level between the Mariners and Orioles organizations. Liddi racked up 15 homers on the year, however he also struck out 144 times. What’s your future look like with the Orioles? “I still don’t know what next year has in store for me. As soon as the World Series is over I’ll know whether or not I’m in their 2014 plans, or if I’ll be headed to new ball club.” (Liddi)
Alessandro Maestri has just a couple more games left with the Orix Buffaloes in the Pacific League (NPB, Japanese Big Leagues). His club will not be making the playoffs this year as the team is sitting at an under .500 mark with the season coming to an end. “It was a long season with many ups and downs,” explained Maestri. The 28-year-old right-hander split time this year between Orix Buffaloes and their minor league affiliate club. He clocked in 74.1 inning with the big club with a 7 and 4 record and a 4.72 ERA, while in the minors he went 1 and 2 in 25.1 innings of work and a 3.91 ERA. Throughout the season Maestri was mainly utilized as a starter, however over the last month of the season he has moved to the pen, a move that he has responded well to. In 2014, Maestri hopes to return to the Orix Buffaloes, however for now the righty will be taking the winter off for the first time in 2 years.
Tiago Da Silva will be making his debut on Friday the 11th in the Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesionali (LVBP) for the Leones di Caracas. “The atmosphere here is electric, and the team is full of talent and experience,” said Da Silva. Playing alongside Da Silva this winter will be two other IBL stars, Calero who played for Novara, and Cubilan who was Da Silva’s teammate in San Marino.
Chris Colabello maybe taking the winter off after 19 consecutive months on the playing field. If Colabello is to take the field it will be in the Dominican Republic’s Winter League.
Finally, two other members of the Italian World Baseball Classic team are currently busy with the 2013 MLB Postseason. Jason Grilli for the Pittsburgh Pirates, a team all tied up at two in their best of five series with the St. Louis Cardinals (Game 5 tonight in St. Louis), and Nick Punto, of the Los Angeles Dodgers who just earned the right to face off in the NLCS.