World Baseball Classic: Yoenis Céspedes misses Cuba’s quarterfinal game against Australia

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According to’s Matt Monagan, former major league outfielder Yoenis Céspedes will not be with Cuba’s World Baseball Classic team when they face Australia in Wednesday’s quarterfinal round. Céspedes said he has to return to the United States for personal reasons but that he hopes to rejoin the team if they win and advance to the semifinals.

Céspedes, 37, played in Cuba’s first two games of the tournament but has since been relegated to reserve duty. He went 0 for 6 with two walks in those early contests, both Cuban losses. Manager Armando Johnson has since rolled with Roel Santos, who has five hits in 11 at-bats and two runs.

Céspedes has not appeared in an MLB competition since 2020. In eight games with the New York Mets this season, he recorded 5 for 34 with 15 strikeouts. Given his age and distance from MLB play, it’s safe to assume his big league career is probably over. If that turns out to be the case, Céspedes hit .273/.327/.497 (125 OPS+) with 165 homers. According to Baseball-Reference estimates, he amassed 21.6 wins over backup and played for four teams: the Mets, Oakland Athletics, Detroit Tigers, and Boston Red Sox.

Incidentally, Cuba recovered from this 0-2 start and finished the pool game 2-2. With every team involved in Pool A having a 2–2 record, promotion was due to the WBC’s complicated multi-team tiebreaker. Our Mike Axisa explained exactly how Cuba and Italy were viewed as the top two teams in this pool on Sunday:

However, the tiebreaker rules are quite complicated for anything involving three or more teams, and we need to deal with them in order to break the five-team tie in Pool A. Here are the tiebreaker rules for a tie involving three or more teams:

  1. The lowest ratio of the fewest runs allowed divided by the number of defensive outs recorded in games between two evenly ranked teams.
  2. The lowest quotient of the fewest runs earned divided by the number of defensive outs recorded in games between two tied teams.
  3. Highest batting average in games this round between the tied teams.
  4. A raffle.

If Cuba advances to the semifinals, the remaining games will be played in the United States.

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