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Veteran slugger Despaigne confident he can produce for Marines

Kyodo

Alfredo Despaigne said Thursday he was ready to play and eager to contribute to the Chiba Lotte Marines, who recently acquired the slugging Cuba international.

“Because I’m being given this chance, I want to do my best to contribute,” he told a news conference at the Marines’ home park, QVC Marine Field.

The 175-cm, 104-kg Despaigne has hit 220 career home runs and is a three-time MVP in Cuba’s domestic league, the Serie Nacional. He is set to receive ¥70 million for the remainder of the season.

“I hit the ball hard to all fields,” he said. “I think I’ll be able to react and that it won’t take time to adjust.”

He will take pregame practice with the first team on Friday at Seibu Dome although his schedule after that has yet to be decided.