If Ruben Rivera struggles at the beginning of the upcoming Mexican Pacific League season, it won’t be because he’s out of condition. The former major league outfielder was hard at work at home getting into shape prior to reporting to the Mazatlan Venados’ training camp. The Panamanian played for Mazatlan’s Mex Pac champions last winter, hitting .296 with five homers and 21 RBIs.
Rivera said he was happy to be back with the Venados for another season, calling last winter “a great experience” and that he is anxious to win another title in Mazatlan. The 35-year-old right-handed batter added that he’d like another shot to play in the majors (where he has not appeared since 2003) or Japan. In 662 games over nine years, Rivera hit .219 with 64 homers and 203 RBIs for his MLB career.
A cousin of New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, Ruben hit .344 and led the Mexican League with 32 homers this summer playing for Campeche.