In Winter League action last night, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco played outfield together for the first time, with Marte moving over to right field to make room in center for Polanco. Batting third in the lineup, Marte went 1-for-3 with an RBI, a walk and a strikeout. Polanco went 0-for-3 and was pinch-hit for in the 9th inning, as the Leones manager(former Pirate Ken Oberkfell) went to former major league Willy Aybar with his team down by two late. Polanco is batting .200(6-for-30) with no walks and nine strikeouts.
On the other side of the field, two other Pirates farmhands also took part in the game. Felix Pie led off and played CF, going 1-for-4 with three RBI’s. After driving in two runs with a seventh inning single, Pie stole second, but was thrown out trying to steal third, to end the inning. Alex Valdez batted right behind Pie in the order and went 0-for-3 with a walk. His average dropped just below the .300 mark.
In Puerto Rico, Benji Gonzalez went 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored. He has played six games so far this year, going 3-for-10 with three walks.
In Mexico, Jovany Lopez had his seventh straight appearance in which he faced just one batter. He allowed a single, which brought in an inherited runner. His own runner came around to score as well, giving him his first earned run in 11 appearances.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.