Saturday, November 6, 2010


Although perennial Mexican Pacific League contenders Mazatlan and Culiacan have broken slowly out of the gate this season, they can’t be accused of not making moves to right their respective ships.

The Venados, who reaped immediate dividends from recent signee Tim Raines, Jr. when the ex-Baltimore outfielder singled in the game-winning run in his first contest for Mazatlan Tuesday, have brought in another former big leaguer, Jolbert Cabrera. A versatile player who can perform anywhere on the field but pitcher and catcher, Cabrera was sixth in the Mexican League with a .364 average last summer for Oaxaca. He spent eight seasons in the majors and two more in Japan before coming to Mexico.

Meanwhile, Culiacan has added ex-Cincinnati Reds outfielder Norris Hopper to the club. The 31-year-old Hopper spent the 2010 season with Milwaukee’s AAA affiliate in Nashville, hitting .286 and stealing 22 bases in 119 games for the Sounds. An eighth-round draft pick by Kansas City in 1998, Hopper hit .316 in 168 games for Cincinnati between 2006 and 2008, including a .327 average in 121 in 2007.