International Notes: Gonzalez, Despaigne, Jimenez

Japanese baseball is facing a growing scandal over livelier baseballs being used this year, explains Ken Belson of the New York Times. NPB Commissioner Ryozo Kato is under fire after first denying any change to what had been a pitcher-friendly baseball in 2011 and 2012.  Here's the rest of tonight's notes from around the world..

  • The Twins are another team that have interest in Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. Gonzalez was recently declared a free agent, and the Twins have seen the 26-year-old pitch three times in the last month according to Wolfson. 
  • Ben Badler of Baseball America has the story on Cuban slugger Alfredo Despaigne, who is currently plaing in Mexico (Subscription Required).  The Cuban government allowed a special arrangement in which Despaigne can play for the Campeche Pirates of the Mexican League for the summer.  Scouts will likely take advantage of this rare opportunity to see the former home run champion in action, notes Badler. 
  • Eloy Jimenez is adjusting to life as a top prospect in baseball's altered international signing period, reports Jesse Sanchez of  The Dominican native took the No.1 spot on's Top 30 International Prospects for this July 2 signing class. 

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