By Yusseff Díaz
Despite a decade out of baseball, Reinier Roll is making a comeback in the Nicaraguan Professional Winter League.
After 10 years out of baseball, 33 year old righty Reinier Roll returned to the mound this season in the Nicaraguan Professional Winter League. But the odd thing is that he isn’t playing as a foreign player, he’s a native of Nicaragua now due to his naturalization in the recent year.
He also had something to say about making the club when I spoke to him in a phone conversation before the season,” First of all I want to thank God for giving me health and Chinandega’s management for giving me the opportunity to fight for a roster spot. I also want to thank the coaching staff for having the confidence in me to give me a bullpen spot. I feel confident I can be an asset to the ball club out of the bullpen. “
Roll is doing a splendid job out of the pen with Tigres de Chinandega considering the circumstances and the rust. In yesterday’s game against the Gigantes de Rivas, he entered the game with a bases loaded no out jam in the ninth inning and nearly got out of it. In a game that was 0-0, he got ex-big leaguer Denis Phipps to pop out and struck out Jonathan Loáisiga. But Iván Marín ended it all and won the game with a line drive to right field.
This season as a short reliever he has been pretty impressive especially after a decade off from the game. In 6.2 innings pitched in the season, he has struck out four batters and posted a 1.96 earned run average. I recently spoke to him on how he adjusted to his return to the game and he had this to say about it,” The main thing I’ve tried to do is pound the strike zone and keep the ball low. Also, I always try to maintain a rhythm while on the mound.”
The last time he pitched was in the 2008-09 Cuban National Series with Havana’s Industriales and had to have an impressive camp with Chinandega to even make the club, that in itself makes what Roll had done an incredible feat. He was originally supposed to be a long reliever but his impressive pitching in jams has won him a short reliever role with the club.
During his time in the Serie Nacional primarily as a short reliever, he posted a record of 13-17 and 5.89 ERA.