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Cuban sluggers Despaigne, Gracial ready to join NPB champions Fukuoka

Cuban sluggers Despaigne, Gracial ready to join NPB champions Fukuoka
08/07/2020
Despaigne and Gracial will both face a two-week quarantine as they arrive in Japan and will be available to play in early August.

Sluggers Alfredo Despaigne and Yurisbel Gracial, two of the powers in Cuba's lineup during the WBSC Premier12 2019, will return to Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) in Japan during the summer, according to reports from the Associated Press.

Despaigne (34 years old) and Gracial (35) left Japan in March to represent Cuba in the Americas Olympic Qualifier and couldn't return to the country since then. According to NPB's guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, they will face a two-week quarantine once they land in Japan. They will be available to play in early August.

Alfredo Despaigne and Yurisbel Gracial are both under contract with the three-time NPB defending champions Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.

Gracial (pictured above) appeared in 54 games in 2018 and in 103 in 2019, connecting for 28 home runs. He was the Japan Series MVP in 2019.

Despaigne, who helped Cuba earn a silver medal in the Beijing 2008 Olympics, appeared in 140 games in 2017, 116 in 2018 and 130 in 2019. He has hit 96 home runs during his career in Japan so far.







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