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Friday, December 2, 2022

Winter Leagues: Gregory Polanco Will Play Winter Ball This Year

On Friday night, Moises Alou announced that Gregory Polanco will play winter ball this upcoming season, joining Leones del Escogido in early December. Alou is the general manager of the Leones club and also mentioned that a decision hasn’t be made yet on Starling Marte. Polanco was the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in the Dominican Winter League last year.

Saturday was a slow night for Pittsburgh Pirates players in winter ball. In the Dominican, Mel Rojas Jr. came on as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning. He played center field and did not have a chance in the field as all three outs were strikeouts.

Wirfin Obispo pitched a scoreless inning. He allowed one hit, walked one and had one strikeout. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in 5.2 innings over seven appearances.

In Venezuela, Junior Sosa went 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored. He is hitting .321 in 28 at-bats, with a .799 OPS.

Matt Nevarez threw a scoreless inning of relief.  He retired the side in order, picking up a strikeout. In nine appearances, he has given up two runs in 10.1 innings.

In Puerto Rico, Bryton Trepagnier had a rough time in his winter debut. He threw two innings, giving up three runs on four hits, with two walks and two strikeouts. During the regular season in Bradenton’s bullpen, he he gave up more than two runs just once this year(June 23rd, 4 ER) in 38 appearances. That same game was the only time he allowed more than three hits as well.

In Mexico, Stetson Allie walked as a pinch-hitter in the tenth inning and scored a run in his team’s 6-4 victory. He missed a couple games earlier this week due to sickness, then went 0-for-2 during his return on Friday night.

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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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Is that at the Pirates Request? or the Gregory makes his own decision. Being that he’s penciled in at RF for next year I believe, I would think the Pirates would be pushing him to play Winter Ball unless maybe they felt there was something to work on.

Also, if that were the case, wouldn’t Pedro Alvarez Benefit in Winter Ball at 3B or 1B or does he have the benefit of saying no based on his playing time?

Who Does make these decisions? Are all players playing Winter Ball there at the request of their respective parent teams?


Pedro wont play winter ball. He was asked to before and refused. rumor has it that he was asked to play this year and work on 1st base. If the rumors are true he again refused. Teams can ask and players can refuse, players can ask and the team might think it’s better for a guy to take some time off. In Pedros case, in my mind it’s another reason to part ways with the guy.
In Polanco’s case I think he needed a little time off. IIRC by the time the AS break rolled around he’d been playing for 16 months straight. Ir may have burned him out a little. Maybe sitting down for a couple months will clear his haed and he can then work on things they need him to work on. The Pirates may have advised him to just take it easy and then see where he was by the time winter ball rolled around. He definitely has a few things to work on. But you can see the kids going to be a special player.


Didn’t know it even exsisted. If there was a case for it Polanco fit the requirements. I think that was clearly the best move for him. He’s one of those guys you watch and can just see that he gets it. To my untrained eye he started having problems when he went away from just trying to put the all in play and started to drive everything. Theres a time and a place for both.

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