Yurendell DE CASTER returns to the Winnipeg Goldeyes at the right time. Last year he was a critical part of the Goldeyes' playoff push and eventual championship victory. This year, he'll work towards the same result.
"The thing is, I only give 100 per cent every day when I get on the field, you know?" de Caster said. "God decides what's gonna happen, but I'm going to give everything I've got to help the team."
De Caster returns to the Winnipeg Goldeyes after spending this season in the Mexican League playing triple-A baseball for Monclava. His team took an early exit this season, but that opened up a window of opportunity to return to Winnipeg. de Caster arrived in Winnipeg on Friday night and only had one thing on his mind.
"I was so excited. As soon as I landed (Goldeyes general manager) Andrew (Collier) told me if I wanted to go to the hotel or if I wanted come to the stadium, so I told him I'm going to the stadium to watch the game," de Caster said.
Even though de Caster only starts to pick up the bat for the Fish in August, he's benefited the team indirectly. De Caster's little cousin also happens to be fellow Goldeyes player Kevin Moesquit.
"I told him about this place and I called Rick because he got released by Anaheim," de Caster said.
Forney took the advice and it's paid off. Moesquit has secured two walk-off victories for the Goldeyes this month, including Friday night's single to left to bring in the tying and winning runs against the Sioux Falls Canaries.
Goldeyes manager Rick Forney hadn't seen de Caster since their championship win a year ago. As soon as he saw de Caster arrive in the dugout, he gave him a big hug.
"It's good to see him, he looks good and he likes it here in Winnipeg. He had a good time here last year and just enjoys the environment and the atmosphere of the city, so we're glad to have him back," Forney said.
de Caster offers a depth of talent that Forney believes is difficult to come across in the American Association. de Caster's years of AAA experience make him a threat every time he steps up to the plate. However, baseball can be a fickle game, and sometimes that leads to inconsistencies.
"He has the ability to dominate the pitching in this league," Forney said. "You know, expectations are just come in and be Yurendell. Don't be anything more or anything less. Hopefully he'll impact our lineup. I know our line-up is going to be a little deeper with him in it, but we'll see how it turns out."
The Goldeyes have until Aug. 23 to make final roster moves. Forney's not sure if he'll make any more, but wouldn't hesitate if it benefits the team.
"We'll see, I've still got some time to tinker if something comes up across the radar that makes sense to us. But we'll see," Forney said.
But for now, de Caster should do just fine.
"I don't feel no pressure. I know the team, we have a good team. The only thing is we need to play together, like they've been doing," de Caster said. "That's the way we need to keep going."