Winter Leagues: Alen Hanson Makes a Brief Return to the Lineup, Valle Leaves With Hand Injury

On Sunday night in the Dominican, Alen Hanson returned after missing seven weeks due to a right hand injury suffered when he was hit by a pitch. His return to the lineup didn’t last long though. After playing second base in the first inning(handling one grounder) and then grounding out to third base in the bottom of the inning, Hanson was replaced on defense to start the second. I was told during the game that he was under the weather from a stomach bug, which is good news since it doesn’t relate to the hand injury.

Pedro Florimon hit a triple during what  was otherwise a tough game. He went 1-for-5, struck out twice and made two errors at shortstop.

Willy Garcia went 1-for-3 with an RBI double, a walk and a strikeout. The double was his 13th of the season, which leads the Dominican league.

Mel Rojas Jr. had an RBI double as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning. Earlier in the season, Rojas had a streak of five straight games with a double, which ended on November 15th. The double he hit on Sunday was his first extra-base hit since the streak ended.

Speaking of breaking a long extra-base hit drought, Gustavo Nunez hit his first double since joining the Pirates nearly three weeks ago. He went 3-for-6, scored twice and drove in three runs.

The Aguilas/Tigres game had two pitchers of note, both currently free agents. Wandy Rodriguez started the game, his first start in a game that counts since May 21st for the Pirates. He has been building up his arm against younger players in the Dominican during the last month, preparing to enter the Dominican winter league. He went three innings, allowing one run on two hits, with one walk and three strikeouts. One of the relievers for Rodriguez was Josh Wall, who spent most of the season pitching at AAA Indianapolis this year. It was the second outing for Wall, who allowed a run on two hits and a walk without retiring a batter.

In Venezuela, Deolis Guerra retired all three batters he faced, getting a ground out and two strikeouts. In 12 innings over 14 appearances, he has a 6.00 ERA, though he has also recorded 15 strikeouts.

Junior Sosa went 1-for-5 with a single, as his team blew an early 8-0 lead, losing 14-9 while committing six errors. In that same game, Julio Vivas pitched one inning, allowing a run on two hits. He has a 1.64 ERA through 12 appearances.

In Puerto Rico, Yhonathan Barrios threw two shutout innings, giving up no hits, one walk(which was intentional) and striking out three batters. His only mistake was a wild pitch that allowed an inherited run to score. Prior to Sunday, he really struggled in his first four outings, allowing nine earned runs on 13 hits in four innings.

In Mexico, Sebastian Valle went 0-for-1 before being taken out of the game for a defensive replacement during the bottom of the third inning. He left with a hand injury and the only early word was that there was no fracture. We will post an update in this article if there is any new information during the day.

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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I’d like to see Wandy back. I loved his curve and his command. I wonder if he could be a loogy.

Lee Foo Young

I’d hate to see Valle miss too much time. If his bat can come around, we’ve got a good one, I think. He was once a highly thought of Philly prospect and only his bat was keeping him back.

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