After an absence of nearly two decades, the Mexican Pacific League will hold a midseason All-Star Game this Sunday at Obregon's new ballpark. The contest will be a Norte-Sur affair with players and coaches from Hermosillo, Mexicali, Navojoa and Obregon forming the North squad under Yaquis manager Eddie Diaz while Culiacan, Los Mochis, Jalisco and Mazaltan comprising the South team headed by Culiacan manager Lino Rivera.
Here are the rosters for both 25-player teams, as selected by fan balloting:
Pitchers (8) - Raul Barron (HMO), Carlos Fisher (OBR), Esteban Haro (NAV), Arturo Lopez (OBR), Ozzie Mendez (NAV), Jake Sanchez (MXI), Javier Solano (MXI), Manuel Valdez (HMO).
Catchers (2) - Xorge Carrillo (MXI), Fernando Flores (NAV).
Infielders (8) - 1B Jose Amador (HMO), 1B Yuniesky Betancourt (MXI), 3B Jesus Castillo (NAV), SS Jorge Flores (HMO), 2B Carlos Gastelum (HMO), 2B Yosmany Guerra (NAV), 3B C.J. Retherford (MXI), 2B Carlos Valencia (OBR).
Outfielders (7) - Randy Arozarena (NAV), Leo Heras (OBR), Quincy Latimore (NAV), Efren Navarro (HMO), Chris Roberson (MXI), Olmo Rosario (OBR), Corey Wimberly (OBR).
Manager - Eddie Diaz (OBR).
Pitchers (8) - Julian Arballo (MOC), Roberto Espinosa (MAZ), Julio Felix (JAL), Daniel Guerrero (JAL), Alexis Lara (MOC), Derrick Loop (CUL), Hector Daniel Rodriguez (CUL), Alfonso Sanchez (MAZ).
Catchers (2) - Hector Paez (MAZ), Sebastian Valle (MOC).
Infielders (8) - 1B Japhet Amador (JAL), SS Jose Guadalupe Chavez (CUL), 1B Cyle Hankerd (MAZ), 3B Brian Hernandez (MAZ), 3B Agustin Murillo (JAL), 2B Isaac Rodriguez (MOC), 2B Jose Rodriguez (JAL), SS Amadeo Zazueta (JAL).
Outfielders (7) - Jason Bourgeois (MAZ), Leandro Castro (MOC), Yadir Drake (MOC),Sebastian Elizalde (CUL), Bryan LaHair (CUL), Joey Meneses (CUL), Ronnier Mustelier (CUL).
Manager - Lino Rivera (CUL).
There will be three notable absences from the rosters. Navojoa pitcher Hector Velazquez, who is tied with Mexicali's Solano for the LMP lead with 6 wins while topping the loop with 57 strkeouts in 48 innings, will be held out by the Mayos to save his arm for the regular season's stretch drive, as will fellow hurlers Edgar Gonzalez of Culiacan and Hermosillo's Juan Pablo Oramos.
Sunday's 5:15PM PT game will be preceded by a home run derby featuring one player representing each of the MexPac's eight teams: Ricky Alvarez (MXI), Japhet Amador (JAL), Jose Amador (HMO), Yadir Drake (MOC), Cyle Hankerd (MAZ), Quincy Latimore (NAV), Ronnier Mustelier (CUL) and Carlos Valencia (OBR).
The All-Star festivities will be held at the LMP's newest ballpark (and the third such facility inaugurated in the past four MexPac seasons), the 16,500-seat Nuevo Estadio Yaquis. The Yaquis christened their new digs on October 10 after spending more than four decades at Estadio Tomas Oroz Gaytan.
The last Mexican Pacific League All-Star Game was held November 24, 1997 at Navojoa's Estadio Manuel "Ciclon" Echeverria.