When Lourdes Gurriel and Gabriel Moreno were traded from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Arizona Diamondbacks at the end of last year, they never imagined where they would end up 11 months later: Playing in a World Series.
Gurriel, a Cuban outfielder, and Moreno, a Venezuelan catcher, were traded for utility man Daulton Varsho on December 23. Both have been a fundamental piece of one of the biggest surprises in the history of the Fall Classic.
“When the change was first made, my friends told me that I had bad luck. “Toronto was a good team that was playing in the playoffs and they said Arizona had no future… Now they say they don't remember when they told me that,” said Gurriel, who hit 24 home runs with 82 RBIs for the Diamondbacks in the regular season, laughing. . In the playoffs he has two homers and six RBIs in 13 games.
Moreno seemed like the filler for that change and not the cornerstone that has turned out for Arizona. The Venezuelan went from being the third catcher behind Danny Jansen and the Mexican Alex Kirk, with Toronto, to being the starter and one of the best catchers in the entire Major Leagues, with Arizona.
What would you have thought was more difficult: being a starter or getting the team to the World Series?
“Both were equally difficult. Maybe it was very complicated for the team to get to the World Series here, because no expert put it even close, but I also understood that I was going to be a substitute. I always trusted my talent, I knew I could be a starter, but how fast it was even surprised me,” said Moreno, who is 23 years old.
For Gurriel and Moreno, being able to be together upon their arrival in Arizona was of great importance.
“I didn't know anyone,” Moreno said. “Arriving and having a friend there, at least a familiar voice, I think it was very helpful for both of us to adapt. Today we are all like a family, but he is like my brother,” he said.
“Gaby is my brother,” Gurriel said.
“With him I see things from techniques for the game, seeing pitches, to personal things, family things.”
Gurriel and Moreno help make the Diamondbacks, at 28.3 years old, the third team in the Major Leagues this season with the lowest average age.
In the second...
- The Arizona Diamondbacks won their only title in 2001, in their only previous appearance in the World Series.
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