MLB‘s decision to expand the World Baseball Classic from 16 to 20 teams provided some countries without the kind of baseball tradition the usual powerhouses have with a chance to participate.
Nicaragua took advantage of that chance and will now play in their first WBC next spring.
Their star pitcher is ready for prime time, even though the action won’t actually take place for a few more months.
“Jonathan Loáisiga is already prepared to pitch for Nicaragua in the World Baseball Classic,” Talkin’ Yanks tweeted, with a picture of Loaisiga’s cleats.
Jonathan Loáisiga is already prepared to pitch for Nicaragua in the World Baseball Classic 🔥
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) December 2, 2022
The cleats have the logo of the WBC, Loaisiga’s number 43, some religious images, and Nicaragua’s coat of arms.
They are actually really cool and show the things that matter the most for the talented New York Yankees reliever.
Nicaragua will play in Pool B, with the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Israel.
Nicaragua’s Pool Is Extremely Tough
Two teams will advance to the next round, so Nicaragua will have a hard time doing it against some of the best baseball countries in the world.
They will give it a shot anyway, and who knows, maybe they will shock the world.
As for Loaisiga, he is the heart and soul of the Nicaragua national baseball team.
This season with the Yankees saw him start on the wrong foot, with command issues and a shoulder injury.
He bounced back big-time in the second half and finished with a 4.13 ERA in 48 frames with the Yankees.
Loaisiga takes his country very seriously, and will give his all when the WBC starts next March.