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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Winter Leagues: A.J. Morris Has His Best Winter Outing, Rojas Picks Up Two Hits

From Thursday’s action in Dominican winter ball, Willy Garcia walked as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning, then finished the game in center field during his team’s 12-1 win. The walk was his fourth of the season and his only plate appearance of the game.

Rafael Perez was on the other side of the 12-1 loss. He managed to pitch two shutout innings, allowing one walk and no hits. He has given up four runs over 6.1 innings this year.

Catcher Carlos Paulino played his third game, coming off the bench to play defense in the eighth inning. He collected a single in his only at-bat.

In Venezuela, Junior Sosa went 2-for-5 with a double. He batted lead-off and played center field.

Julio Vivas threw two shutout inning, allowing one hit and striking out two batters. He has pitched six times in relief, throwing a total of five shutout innings. Vivas has allowed two hits and hasn’t walked a batter. It’s an impressive showing so far from him, as he spent the majority of this season pitching in the GCL. During the regular season, he had a 1.01 ERA in 26.2 innings.

Ramon Cabrera singled as a pinch-hitter for the third straight game. Before losing his starting job, he went 7-for-45 and all seven hits were singles.

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz pinch-hit for the fourth time and flew out to left field. It was a small victory for Munoz, who struck out in each of his first three at-bats this winter.

Eduardo Vera had a rough inning, giving up four runs on two hits and two walks. As a pitcher that spent the season in the GCL this year, the Mexican winter league is a huge step up in competition.

Friday’s Action

In the Dominican League on Friday, Mel Rojas Jr. went 2-for-4 with his third double of the winter. He is hitting .241 through 15 games.

Willy Garcia went 1-for-4 with a single. He biggest issue popped up for the first time all winter, as he struck out three times. Coming into the game, he had just five strikeouts in 31 at-bats.

Wirfin Obispo pitched a scoreless inning of relief, retiring the side in order. He struck out two batters. In eight appearances, he has throw 6.2 innings without allowing an earned run.

Carlos Paulino went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts before being pinch-hit for in the ninth inning.

In Venezuela, Junior Sosa went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a double. He is hitting .325 through 12 games. Sosa played just 12 regular season games for Altoona this year and hit .360, with an .865 OPS.

Jhonathan Ramos threw a scoreless inning. He walked one batter. In eight appearances, Ramos has thrown six shutout innings, giving up just two hits and two walks.

Matt Nevarez had his first tough outing of the winter, giving up four earned runs while recording just one out. He allowed two hits and two walks and picked up the loss. We found out on Friday that Nevarez signed with the Pirates for the 2015 season.

A.J. Morris threw 1.2 scoreless innings, allowing just a walk. It was his longest outing since throwing two innings during his first game on October 9th and just his fourth appearance since his winter debut. Morris has allowed four earned runs on seven hits and three walks in six innings.

In Mexico, Felipe Gonzalez picked up the loss for Mazatlan. He gave up one run on a hit and three walks in 1.2 innings. He has a 4.15 ERA in 13 innings over 11 appearances.

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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.

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C.Feb

John: I am sure you have already explained this many times ,so my apologies. I can see certain differences in the different fall and winter leagues.. How is it decided which players are assigned to which leagues? i.e , Stetsen Allie seems to match more with our personnel in Arizona rather than Mexico.

C.Feb

Man , I think I have smart things to say. Thanks for keeping me humble. That was more info off the top of your head than I could have hoped to get. Very enlightening. I grew up in sight of the AAA field for the Scranton / Wilkes Barre affiliate , then The Red Barons , for the Phillies. My dad owned a used car lot and we had season tickets. We had AAA all-stars working for him as salesmen in the off season. It was like a fantasy for a 12 year old… But I know now , those guys were in their late 20’s and married with children ,and they were broke. Not to mention , tho AAA all- stars , they were what you guys call organizational players and they new it. One left us the following year to return to Reading , the AA affiliate city, and jumped off his used car sales to selling insurance , carving out a successful career . I hadn’t thought of that in over 20 years. Thanks for the memory John.

rickster

Thanks john.. I don’t know of a forum to ask you questions other then these, so once again I apologize for asking a question out of scope.. with all the discussion on qo and compensatory picks, I was curious on your thoughts on connor joe after his first year? Did you get a chance to see him at all

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