Childhood mishap turned Reyes into a lefty

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Childhood mishap turned Reyes into a lefty

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- If not for a childhood mishap, Dennys Reyes might never have become a major league pitcher. At least not a left-handed major league pitcher.

Reyes is a natural righty. He does everything with his right hand except throw a baseball.

When he was a youngster, about 5 or 6 years old, he was playing with his uncle. His uncle was treating the young Reyes to a favorite, and a childhood staple, for most kids being twirled around by his hands till his feet left the ground and he got dizzy. Theyd done it many times before, but this time something went wrong. His right shoulder blade was injured.

It hurt a lot, Reyes said. I was scared to death. When I was a kid, I was living in a small town and we didnt have any doctors.

I was a kid. I loved baseball. I wasnt thinking about anything else.

I practiced with my dad. I got pictures of that. My dad said I always loved to play shortstop. I got pictures of me throwing right-handed.

Once his shoulder healed, Reyes tried to resume playing as a righty, but it was too painful. His father, a first baseman, bought him a glove for his right hand and taught him how to throw with his left. At first, Reyes would take the glove off and try to throw with his right hand.

It was a slow process, he said. It took me a while to learn, but it worked.

The effects of that mishap are still evident. His right shoulder sits noticeably higher than his left.

He can still feel the effects at times.

Yeah, when I catch a ground ball, he said. If its high and I have to jump, it hurts. And when I do certain moves I feel it then.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.