Cuban baseball player Misael Siverio says he has defected to the United States. Siverio was part of the Cuban national team that has games scheduled this week in Iowa and Nebraska.
The Cuban team is in Des Moines for an exhibition game Thursday night against Team USA, a collegiate all-star team. The two teams play again at Werner Park in Sarpy County Friday and Saturday nights.
The pitcher tells El Nuevo Herald in Miami he made the decision to leave his country "for my future and my family." Siverio was not listed when Team USA released an updated roster for Cuba on Wednesday.
Team USA CEO Paul Seiler tells The Associated Press that, from Cuba's perspective, Siverio is no longer a member of their delegation. Seiler and Antonio Becali, the head of the Cuban delegation, declined further comment.