Mayaguez – The third baseman Emmanuel Rivera has good reason to believe that his name will appear on Puerto Rico’s official roster for the next edition of the World Baseball Classic.
“They (the management) already asked me for the measurements and the number of the uniform, and the birth certificate. I think I’m going to be in the Clásico,” said the Indios de Mayaguez player to El Nuevo Día prior to the sixth clash of the winter ball final against Carolina at the Isidoro “Cholo” García Stadium.
Manager Joey Solá already submitted to Major League Baseball (MLB) the preliminary list of 50 players in November and the final list of 30 names must be presented on February 7. Rivera said that he had communication with management a month ago.
The also member of the Arizona Diamondbacks must occupy a space in the Puerto Rican roster as a ‘utility’. The man from Mayagüez has the ability to defend all positions in the infield.
The starting infield is already defined with José Miranda at first base, Javier Báez at second base, Francisco Lindor at shortstop and Carlos Correa at third base.
Rivera, who has two seasons in the Majors, feels privileged with this opportunity.
“I’m coming up now and they are veterans and established players in the Major Leagues, and I know it will be a great experience to be with them and learn from them,” he said.
“It will be a dream come true, because since I was little I have wanted to represent Puerto Rico. You always follow the Classics and support the team, ”he added.
The man from Mayagüez was claimed by the Kansas City Royals in the 2019 draft in round 19. He made his Major League debut in 2021 with the Royals. And last season he was traded to Arizona. There, he had more playing opportunity and drove in 18 runs in 39 games with a .726 OPS.
Looking to settle with Arizona
This season, Rivera, 26, will go to the spring fields with the mentality of establishing himself in the big team. However, the Diamondbacks signed veteran third baseman Evan Longaria in the offseason.
Longoria’s presence, however, does not keep Rivera up at night.
“I am ready to compete, just as I have been my entire career. And I’m ready for it. I’m preparing to earn that position.”