The Dominican League started play on Thursday night, with Alen Hanson among the seven players on the rosters for the two teams that played on opening night. On Friday night, all six teams were expected to play, but there was one rain out. Mel Rojas Jr. played his first game for Tigres del Licey and went 1-for-3 with a walk and run scored. He played center field and was the only Pirates player that saw action in the Dominican.
In Mexico, Stetson Allie went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. He has hits in all six games so far, but he has also struck out at least once in all six games. Allie has a .962 OPS in 26 plate appearances.
Dean Anna went 2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored during his team’s heartbreaking loss. After scoring two runs in the top of the sixth, they held an 11-2 lead, but two runs in the bottom of the inning, followed by an eight run seventh inning, sent them to a 12-11 loss.
In Venezuela, Jose Osuna went 0-for-3 before being pinch-hit for in the ninth inning. He is 1-for-15 on the season.
Matt Nevarez threw a scoreless eighth inning, retiring the side in order. He was recently named by Baseball America as one of the top independent league pitchers this year.
Ramon Cabrera played all 14 innings in his team’s 4-3 win. As the DH(which he has been playing almost exclusively) he went 0-for-5, though he did walk in each of his last two plate appearances. He is hitting .143 through seven games.
The Extreme Fatigue List
I just got a hold of the Extreme Fatigue lists for players in Venezuela, Mexico and the Dominican. It’s a list of players that teams put on a list, making them ineligible to play winter ball before mid-November and then only after that with the club’s permission. For pitchers, it’s usually due to pitching too many innings or relievers making too many appearances, while hitters it’s based on plate appearances, although it can also be due to injury. In the case of Elias Diaz, he is playing in the Arizona Fall League, so the only way that could happen is if he wasn’t eligible to play in his home country.
Other Pirates players on the list include: Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, Luis Heredia, Gerardo Navarro, Junior Sosa and Emmanuel De Leon. For Heredia, I read recently that he was having problems with his immigration status and once the problems are cleared up, he would likely be allowed to play for 45 days before returning to the United States. He didn’t expect to be with Mazatlan right away, so he may show up in mid-November and play the last six weeks. In other news, Moises Alou, who is the GM of Leones del Escogido, recently said that he expects Gregory Polanco to play this year and Starling Marte is a possibility.
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.
I wonder who gets more time in the Major leagues next season as a 4th/5th outfielder: Tabata or Rojas jr?
Winter ball is great for players and more of them should take advantage of the opportunities to refine their games, IMO winter ball helps to advance the maturation process.