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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Winter Leagues: Sebastian Valle Reaches Base Five Times, Willy Garcia Continues Slump

Saturday night was a slow night for Pittsburgh Pirates news in winter ball, except for Venezuela. Elias Diaz went 1-for-4 with a run scored and a throwing error in his second game of winter ball. Diaz made his debut on Friday night, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Elvis Escobar pinch-ran in the eighth inning and stayed in the game as the DH. He went 0-for-1 with a run scored. He made his debut on Wednesday as a defensive replacement in left field.

Deolis Guerra threw a scoreless inning for the second straight night. He struck out one and allowed one hit. After giving up three runs in his debut while recording just one out, Guerra has thrown four shutout innings, allowing one hit, with no walks and five strikeouts.

Julio Vivas got the last out in his team’s 8-1 loss. In eight appearances, the 21-year-old has thrown 6.1 shutout innings, allowing four hits and no walks, with four strikeouts.

Ramon Cabrera lined out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, then stayed on to catch the last two innings. He was dropped from the Pirates 40-man roster on Thursday.

In the Dominican, Carlos Paulino was the only one to see action. He came in as a defensive replacement in eighth inning and didn’t get a chance to bat. The opposing team collected two of their five stolen bases(in five attempts) against him.

There is word out of the Dominican that Gregory Polanco will make his winter debut on either Tuesday or Wednesday. He has taken batting practice with his Leones del Escogido team and has taken part in the Dominican Winter League version of the minor leagues, which is called the Parallel League.

In Mexico, Sebastian Valle was used as a pinch-runner during his team’s 2-1 loss in ten innings. The 24-year-old catcher signed with the Pirates on Thursday.

In Colombia, Tito Polo went 0-for-4 and he is now 5-for-30 on the season, with no walks and 12 strikeouts.

All the action in Puerto Rico was wiped out by rain.

Sunday’s Recap

In the Dominican on Sunday, Tony Sanchez made his fourth start behind the plate. He went 1-for-4 with a run scored. He is 1-for-4 in throwing out runners.

Pedro Florimon played his first game since being picked up by the Pirates on Thursday. He pinch-hit in the sixth inning for Pedro Ciriaco and went 1-for-2 at the plate, finishing the game at shortstop.

Willy Garcia played his first game since being added to the Pirates 40-man roster. He missed time with the flu. Garcia went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and is now 8-for-44 in his last ten games, with no walks and 16 strikeouts.

In Venezuela, Matt Nevarez gave up one run on two hits and a walk. He recorded two outs, one by strikeout. Jhonathan Ramos pitched in that same game and also recorded two outs. He allowed one hit and didn’t walk or strikeout anyone. Ramos is still a free agent.

Ramon Cabrera walked as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, then remained in the game to catch the final inning.

In Mexico, Sebastian Valle had three hits and two walks in five plate appearances. He had a double, drove in two runs and scored three times. Prior to this game, he had a .175/.238/.281 slash line in 22 games.

Felipe Gonzalez threw two perfect innings, retiring all six batters he faced. He had three ground ball outs and one strikeout. In 19 innings, he has a 2.84 ERA.

Carlos Munoz went 0-for-2 before being pinch-hit for in the eighth inning. He is 1-for-16 on the season.

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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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Did the Pirates release Ramon Cabrera? Thats what it says on the transaction page.

James Zerfoss

I don’t see this happening. However, Neal Huntington should discuss a Pedro Alvarez for Brandon Belt trade. The Giants need a third baseman. The Pirates would be trade two years of Pedro Alvarez for four years of Belt. Belt has a career .791 OPS. Pedro’s career OPS is .742.


Rojas has probably hit his ceiling and Garcia is a long way from his, power bat and power arms are very rare these days, since they would be giving up a 4th outfielder (if he is taken), that is not much of a loss, but if they don’t protect Garcia and someone takes him and does develop him, the Pirates would never forgive themselves, nor would the fans. The Pirates have enough talent in front of Garcia and behind him to be patient with him. There are other players on the 40 man that they could have moved off of the 40 man that would have made more sense than not adding Rojas.


Really do not get putting Willy Garcia on the 40 man. He’s never played above AA, he doesn’t walk, he Ks way too much, sure he has a strong arm but outside of that his defense is lack luster, I don’t get giving him a spot over Rojas. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Rojas is taken in the Rule 5 Draft, and sticks on a roster. He’s a guy I felt could contribute to the Bucs off the bench this year.


I don’t often find myself in agreement with you Marty, but on this one, I am leaning to your opinion. I watched Garcia all this past season, and I saw two things : power, and a powerful arm. I won’t go into the negatives, you have already touched on them. I could add this : his instincts in the outfield aren’t all that great either, but that can be overcome with a lot of work. I would also be very surprised if Rojas isn’t taken. He really made strides on his 2nd AA go ’round.


This is a move I don’t get at all. I think Rojas would have been a very good option to have if an OFer gets hurt, or if you trade Snider. I’ll be surprised if he survives the Rule 5 Draft.

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