The Pittsburgh Pirates announced they signed Gorkys Hernandez and Deibinson Romero on Monday. Both players are taking part in winter ball, with Hernandez playing in Venezuela and Romero seeing time in the Dominican. Neither player is hitting well so far. Hernandez plays for Caribes de Anzoategui and he is hitting .242/.326/.282 in 36 games. Romero is on Leones del Escogido, where he is hitting .222/.243/.278 in 14 games. Fangraphs named him the top minor league free agent.
The only player with ties to the Pittsburgh Pirates to see action on Monday was Carlos Paulino, who went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk. Paulino is currently a free agent.
In the Dominican, the big news was the showdown between Stolmy Pimentel and Joely Rodriguez. They both went five innings and pitched well, but Rodriguez outpitched Pimentel and picked up the win. Pimentel allowed two runs on five hits, two walks and he has two strikeouts. Rodriguez threw five shutout innings, giving up three hits, with no walks and five strikeouts. Pimentel did do better in one regard, posting a 9:1 GO/AO ratio in the game. He has given up three runs over his last 15 innings. Rodriguez threw three shutout innings in his debut last week.
Carlos Paulino caught Joely Rodriguez and went 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored.
Willy Garcia went 1-for-3, with an RBI single and a run scored.
Mel Rojas Jr. pinch-hit in the fifth inning and went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts. He stayed in the game in left field.
Tony Sanchez went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He allowed three stolen bases in three attempts and he’s 2-for-8 in throwing out runners.
The Venezuelan League held their All-Star game and Junior Sosa had an RBI single and a run scored. He also drove in another run with a sacrifice fly. He was the only Pirates player in the game.
In Mexico, Sebastian Valle went 1-for-2 with a walk. He is 11-for-28 with six walks in his last ten games.
Felipe Gonzalez threw 3.1 shutout innings, allowing one hits and one walk. He struck out three batters. It was an impressive outing considering his team’s starter allowed six runs in 1.2 innings. Gonzalez followed him, taking his team through the first five innings. The pitcher that followed him gave up three runs and recorded just one out.
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.