Baseball allowed to have 5 alternates

Posted on Jan 14 2022

CNMI National Baseball Team coach Deron Flores gives candidates of the national baseball training pool a pep talk during their first practice last November at the Oleai track and field amphitheater. (Mark Rabago)

The Saipan Baseball League received some great news recently after the Pacific Games Council informed them that baseball teams can carry as much as 25 players for the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022.

The 25-man maximum roster include 20 in the active list and five serving as alternates.

SBL Jay Santos is overjoyed with the clarification from the Pacific Games Council.

“We did confirm from the [Pacific Games Council] that we will be able to select 25 players for the Mini Games. Five players will be alternates just in case an injury occurs. They will be a part of the team all throughout the Mini Games. They won’t just be able to participate in a number of events,” he said.

What that means for CNMI national baseball team manager Manny Sablan and national coaches Deron Flores and Gary Cruz is five less players they need to cut when they trim the pool to the updated 25-man roster at January’s end.

“We’re excited about these turn of events. We were actually going on with 25 to begin with just to have five guys as backups. Then we were happy to learn from the council that indeed we can select 25. So we got 36 players trying out now and I believe the coaches will make the final cut to 25 by the end of the month.”

Santos also has this advice to the remaining 36 players vying for the 25 remaining roster spots for the CNMI National Baseball Team: “I’m asking them to please trust the process because we’ve had some challenges with internal misunderstanding from the players with the initial cut. This has never been done before and we ask the players to trust the process.”

He added that team manager Sablan and coaches Flores and Cruz know what they’re doing and has the full backing of the SBL.

“We brought in the best manager and best coaching staff to put this team together that’s going to be very competitive in the Games… the more trust they put in the process the more we believe we will be having a winning combination when the Games come around,” said Santos.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at
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