Winter Leagues: Playoff Teams Are Set in the Dominican

The regular season in the Dominican Republic wrapped up on Sunday. The league is now off until Saturday(12/27), when the top four teams will compete in the round robin tournament, which consists of 18 games for each team. The two best from the round robin tournament go on to a championship series and the winner of that series will head to the Caribbean Series, where they will meet the best teams from the winter leagues in Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Below, you will find the Pittsburgh Pirates that are on the rosters of the teams competing in the Dominican League round robin tournament. Some players are just reserved to certain teams, so they may not actually appear in the playoffs. There have also been instances of players switching teams in the past from a team eliminated from the playoffs to a team that made it.

Estrellas de Oriente: Stolmy Pimentel, Gustavo Nunez

Aguilas Cibaenas: Willy Garcia, Nate Baker, Edwin Espinal

Toros del Este: Alen Hanson

Gigantes del Cibao: Carlos Paulino(free agent)

The league is going to hold a draft for the round robin tournament, where playoff teams can select players of an approved list of players from the two teams that didn’t make the playoffs. Mel Rojas Jr. and Deibinson Romero are both eligible to be picked.

Due to the Dominican League taking off until Saturday and light schedules in other leagues due to Christmas, there probably won’t be many Winter League articles until action picks back up on the weekend.

Sunday’s Action

In the Dominican on Sunday, Edwin Espinal went 1-for-4 with one RBI. He finished 8-for-18 in six games, which included a four hit game on Saturday.

Mel Rojas Jr. went 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI. He finished with a .254 average in 130 at-bats, collecting ten doubles, one triple and no homers.

Gustavo Nunez went 1-for-5 with a triple and one RBI. He committed his fifth error of the season.

Carlos Paulino went 1-for-4 with a double. He had a little trouble on defense, making his first error, allowing a passed ball and runners were 2-for-2 in stolen base attempts.

In Venezuela, Deolis Guerra threw a scoreless inning and picked up his first win of the season. He wasn’t perfect in the inning, giving up two walks and throwing a wild pitch. Guerra has made seven straight scoreless appearances totaling 6.2 innings.

Jhonathan Ramos retired the only batter he faced, stranding two inherited runners. He has an 0.59 ERA in 15.1 innings over 22 appearances.

Junior Sosa went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He is hitting .179 in his last nine games.

In Panama, 17-year-old pitcher Brian Sousa gave up a run on one hit, while recording two outs. He was signed by the Pirates for $160,000 on July 2nd, right after the international signing period began.

Edgar Munoz went 1-for-4 with a walk. In seven games, he’s hitting .385, with four doubles and six runs scored.

Ashley Ponce went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. He is 5-for-22 in the first seven games.

  • Is Palanco allowed to play after Jan 1st?

    • His team didn’t make the playoffs and I believe that is why he didn’t play at all. They were the worst team in the Dominican this year and by the time he was allowed to play, they were already eliminated from the round robin tournament. They should give him a second MVP award(he won last year) because they returned a lot of the same players as last year, but went from first place 31-19 last year to 17-33 this year without him. He worked out with the team, took batting practice and played minor league games, so he has actually been active this off-season, just didn’t play any games that count.

  • Just a note on the spelling of Brian Sousa’s first name. I had it as Bryan the other day because that’s what the Pirates have. The nameplate on his locker says Bryan. The newspapers in Panama use both versions of his name, but Sousa himself spells it Brian, so that’s what I’m going to use for now. Once he has an MiLB page and a Baseball-Reference page, I’ll go by whatever they use to avoid confusion.