In order or out of order, the Capitals will rely on Panamanian pitchers Steven Fuentes and Abdiel Saldana to start the first two games of the Frontier League semifinals on Thursday and Saturday.

This is a huge advantage resulting from this division title won in spectacular fashion, Sunday in Quebec, during the last game of the regular season.

• Read also: Dramatic 9th-round Capitals victory that wins division championship

Meanwhile, the next opponent, whether it’s the New Jersey Jackals or the Sus___ County Miners, won’t have time to save their best weapons in Tuesday night’s one-night showdown.

“Fuentes is a happy boy, he often clowns around in the locker room, but on the mound he is a competitor, describes manager Patrick Scalabrini, about the former Washington Nationals prospect. With him, there is no hiding place. He regularly uses his rapid fall to force the opponent into hitting balls on the ground.

Steven Fuentes

Christian Gingras / offered by the Capitals of Quebec

This approach worked well for most of the season, although the 26-year-old Fuentes slowed down a bit in the final stretch. He nevertheless finished the campaign with an excellent 9-2 record and a 2.35 earned run average.

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The 27-year-old and former member of the Houston Astros organization, Saldana is arguably the Capitals’ best starter of late.

“In the case of Saldana, he is a more reserved man, an intellectual, and he is more thoughtful than Fuentes,” said the manager. He’s a good pitcher, he played in the minor leagues and I think his chances of reaching major league baseball may have been less because of his physique. »

Abdiel Saldana

Christian Gingras / offered by the Capitals of Quebec

If he doesn’t display the healthy weight despite being under 6 feet tall, Saldana stands out with some impressive stats. In 20 games, including 12 starts with the Capitals, he went 7-2 and posted an extraordinary 1.72 GAA.

“He throws catches,” Scalabrini simply added.

In 78 1/3 innings, Saldana walked just 19 and also scored 63 strikeouts.

A healthy rest

If the Capitals can confidently approach the playoffs on the mound, offensive support will obviously be essential. Quebec, however, has limited itself to 54 points in its last 14 games of the regular season, scoring four points or less 11 times during that stretch.

“We’ve started less well lately, I know the guys need a little rest,” Scalabrini said. It feels good to live these days before starting the semi-final on Thursday, on the road.

Big weekend in Quebec

The semi-final, which will oppose the Capitals to the winners of the duel between the Jackals and the Miners, is a confrontation 2 on 3. After the first match away from home, the second will take place in the supercharged atmosphere of the Stade Canac, Saturday . In the event of a decisive match, it will also take place in front of the supporters of Quebec on Sunday.

“We have the best supporters in the league, greeted Jesmuel Valentin, author of the hit of the victory, Sunday. It is a very special place to play baseball. »


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