Get To Know Your Imports: The Uni Lions

Source: sports.ltn.tw

The Uni Lions are the only team to welcome three new faces to start the 2018 CPBL season. What the
trio of Martinez, Roenicke, and Verdugo will accomplish on the field remains to be seen but that
doesn’t mean we have to wait to learn more about them away from the diamond.

CPBL English presents fans with Get To Know Your Imports: The Uni Lions.


#36 RHP David Jose Martinez
Born: August 4, 1987 -- Venezuela
Height: 188 cm
Weight: 99 kg

Who has been your biggest influence as a baseball player? For me, it was my father. He didn’t
play professional baseball but when he played he helped me out a lot.

How about as a person? For me, I say Johan Santana. I saw how he pitched, he pitched really well.
I saw a lot of players play in the big leagues, like hitting against him. He helped me a lot too.

What has been the most satisfying moment of your baseball career so far? I say in 2013 when I
played in the big leagues, when they called me up, the Houston Astros.

What are some expectations you have for yourself this season? For me, I just want to help the
team. You know, it’s a new year, I want to help as much as I can. I want to have a good year and
maybe come back next season.

What’s the most difficult part of playing overseas? It’s my family. I have my wife and two
daughters, and you know, it’s hard when you’re apart from your family. I hope they will be able to
come here.

What are your first impressions of Taiwan? Well, Venezuela is very far from here. I flew for two
days to get here. Coming here it’s a different culture, different people, and right now, I really like it. I
feel like it’s [Tainan] a great city and great people.

If you weren’t playing baseball, what do you think you would be doing? I think I would continue
studying as a student. All I’ve done is baseball so yeah, I would be a student.

Do you have a secret talent? I like to cook. Yeah, I’m a good cook!

What do you like to do during your free time? I like to watch movies. My family is far away so I
watch a lot of movies.

Favorite place you’ve played? Houston

Favorite food? Chicken and rice and beans.

Favorite movie? It’s a Christian movie -- Joseph.

Favorite song or band? I like a lot of different Christian music.

Favorite book? The Bible.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Ooo, for me right, now, you know Dragon
Ball Z Goku? You know his teleportation? You go from here to there? Yeah!

What is your dream vacation spot? I want to go to Paris. I want to see the Eiffel Tower.

Tea or coffee? Coffee

Rice or noodles? Rice

Mac or PC? Mac

Avengers or Justice League? Avengers

Hot weather or cold weather? Cold weather

Morning person or night person? Morning

Do something alone or go to a party? Alone time

Read a book or go hiking? Read a book

Run or lift? Lift

Amusement park or museum? Museum



#30 RHP Josh Roenicke
Born: August 4, 1982 -- United States
Height: 190 cm
Weight: 92 kg

Who has been your biggest influence as a baseball player? I would say my father, Gary Roenicke. I was born into professional baseball. He was playing when I was born in Baltimore, playing for the Orioles so that was always a part of my life. And when he got out of the game he was a scout and I was still playing baseball at the younger levels and then I got into pro ball after college. Now I’m 35 years old and baseball has literally been a part of my whole life. He’s the person I always talk to after games, he keeps track, comes out when he can during my whole career. Him being a hitter and me being a pitcher, there’s feedback from him with us going back and forth, strategizing and all that.

How about as a person? Probably my dad as well, him and my mom. God’s a big cornerstone and
backbone of our family and they introduced me to Him and to our Savior Jesus Christ. I’ve been
growing in my faith as I’m more of an individual now and have gotten older and they raised us in a
Christian home and that was a big factor in how we grew up; priding ourselves in making good choices
and my dad on that area as well, not forcing me to play just baseball but to play all the sports I could
growing up and I had a big passion for a lot of those growing up so he’s been a big influence both of
those ways.

What has been the most satisfying moment of your baseball career so far? I still remember the
day after the playoffs, 2008 in AAA, I didn’t think I was going to the big leagues, I wasn’t on the roster,
and it was only my second full season. Then I got called into the office for our exit meetings and I
remember it was our assistant GM, Terry Reynolds, and our pitching coach telling me that I was going
to the big leagues, making my debut in Arizona in front of all my family and friends. That and I would
say 2012, my first full season in the big leagues from start to finish. It was my first time making
opening day and I always told myself if I could have a full year and let the numbers play themselves
out that I could be successful. And then I had my best year that year.

What are some expectations you have for yourself this season? I always expect to have a good
year and this is my third year starting. I had a good year last year and I know this is a hitter’s league
with only four teams so I’m going to need to make some adjustments as I get to know the hitters.
Hopefully that will help me out. I was excited to come out here and experience a different culture and
play on a different continent and I’d like to keep going to as many different places as I can. I expect to
maximize my abilities, get as sharp as I can in the spring, get my mechanical issues down, be
aggressive, and go from there.

What’s the most difficult part of playing overseas? Definitely every year it gets harder to leave my
family. We have three kids now and as they get older they realize that I’m going to be gone for a while
so it’s sad when I leave but they forget right away because they can see me on Facetime, so to them I
guess it’s not as hard. Like I said, I grew up in it, without technology, so my dad retired early and that
was a factor. But it’s definitely hard leaving them just knowing that my wife is going to be by herself
with the three kids without my help. Luckily she’s from there [Arizona] so she has friends and family
and help when needed.

What are your first impressions of Taiwan? I like it so far. The time change obviously is a little
different. The long flight and getting used to a new sleeping pattern and letting your body adjust, that
was hard. But we walked around and found some good food by the apartments we live in and that’s
obviously an important thing. The baseball has been good so far, I like the coaches, so it’s been really
good so far.

If you weren’t playing baseball, what do you think you would be doing? If it was up to me? I’d be
playing basketball. That was always my favorite sport. I made a joke when I got here that I could play
for the SBL (Taiwan’s professional basketball league) and be the first import to ever do that!

Do you have a secret talent? Ping pong might be my secret talent. I love competition and ping pong
might be one of my best sports.

What do you like to do during your free time? That’s maybe one of the things that has been easier
for me, being away from the family I can be a homebody when I need to and just relax, watch Netflix
and movies. I’ve also picked up reading the last couple of years so I enjoy doing that.

Favorite place you’ve played? I would say...well, fun fact is that I’ve pitched in all 30 major league
stadiums with the last one being in 2013, but I would probably say Busch Stadium against the
Cardinals. It’s an unbelievable atmosphere.

Favorite food? Mexican food.

Favorite movie? Good Will Hunting.

Favorite song or band? Genuine and Tupac Shakur.

Favorite book? The one I read last year was Pillars of the Earth.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Definitely to be able to fly. I always think
about that watching birds, just any downtime you have or you’re bored just take off and see ya!

What is your dream vacation spot? Europe. No specific country but I would love to go with my wife
and spend a couple of weeks there.

Tea or coffee? Coffee

Rice or noodles? Rice

Mac or PC? Mac

Avengers or Justice League? Avengers

Hot weather or cold weather? Cold weather

Morning person or night person? Night

Do something alone or go to a party? I enjoy both. I enjoy being around people but I can be by
myself too.

Read a book or go hiking? Go hiking

Run or lift? Lift

Amusement park or museum? Amusement park



#26 LHP Ryan Verdugo
Born: April 10, 1987 -- United States
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 90 kg
Who has been your biggest influence as a baseball player? It’s probably [Ken] Griffey. I grew up in Seattle, going to all of those games, so Griffey is definitely the guy that when I was younger I would try to model my game after being left-handed. He was the guy I kind of gravitated towards. So you hit? Yeah, I used to. I used to not like pitching at all!

How about as a person? Definitely my parents and my sister. My family has always played a very
important part of my life so it’s definitely them.

What has been the most satisfying moment of your baseball career so far? Definitely getting
called up. When you’re little that’s what you dream of and then finally to reach that -- my start didn’t
really go that well -- but still, the chance to get up there and experience it, that was pretty cool.

What are some expectations you have for yourself this season? I just want to come in here and
put together as many quality starts as I can and keep the team in as many games as I can and
hopefully get some wins out of it.

What’s the most difficult part of playing overseas? The most difficult part is definitely the language
barrier, just simple things you take for granted like being able to go in to a restaurant and order food.
That is tough and obviously being away from family and friends.

What are your first impressions of Taiwan? So far I like it a lot. Everyone has been really nice to all
of us and the food has been really good.

If you weren’t playing baseball, what do you think you would be doing? When I was younger I
had aspirations of being a physical therapist. Being in college and playing baseball wasn’t in the cards
for that but I’ve always wanted to do something along those lines.

Do you have a secret talent? No. I’m pretty boring. I have not talents no nothing. I can’t sing, I’m a
below average cook...I got nothing!

What do you like to do during your free time? I used to play a lot of video games but I’ve kind of
grown out of that. I’m a big Call of Duty fan. That or work out or Netflix.

Favorite place you’ve played? Probably Nashville (AAA). That was a cool place to play. There was
always something going on, live music, just a cool experience.  

Favorite food? Mexican food.

Favorite movie? That’s a tough one. I have a three-way tie between Hook, The Goonies, and Big
Daddy.

Favorite song or band? That’s a tough one too...all-time favorite I’d probably have to say Eminem all
the way. I’m a rap music kind of guy.

Favorite book? Any of the Harry Potter’s.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? I don’t know if it would be a superpower but I
would want to be a wizard like in Harry Potter, that’s pretty legit. But if I couldn’t do that I guess being
able to fly or teleport would be no. 2.

What is your dream vacation spot? I would want to go check out Bali. I think that would be really
cool.

Tea or coffee? Coffee

Rice or noodles? Noodles

Mac or PC? Mac

Avengers or Justice League? Avengers

Hot weather or cold weather? Hot

Morning person or night person? I’m definitely a night guy.

Do something alone or go to a party? Now I’m probably an alone guy. When I was younger,
definitely go see people and socialize.

Read a book or go hiking? I’d rather be outside so go hiking.

Run or lift? Lift

Amusement park or museum? Amusement park. I just went to Harry Potter World, that was legit!

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