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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Winter Leagues: Hernandez Stars in Caribbean Opener, Kennelly Going to Finals

A recap of recent winter ball action for Pittsburgh Pirates players, as action begins to wind down in all the leagues. As of Feb 1st, all that remained were the finals of the Latin American Series, the finals in the Australian Baseball League and the entire Caribbean Series.

In the tiebreaker game in Panama, Colombia took on Nicaragua, with the winner going on to face the host country in the finals. Colombia won the game easily, beating them 10-0, with Andy Vasquez contributing an RBI triple and a run scored.

In Australia on Saturday, Sam Kennelly grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, then remained in the game at third base. His team won the best-of-three series with a 9-2 victory and will now play in the finals against Adelaide beginning on Friday. The best-of-three series will be televised live on MLB Network and repeated later. If you plan to watch to see Kennelly play(or just to see live baseball) the 7 PM start time there, is 3:30 AM the same day on the East Coast, so you may want to set up the DVR.

In the one game finals in Panama, Colombia won in the bottom of the ninth on grounder to second base with one out and runners on the corners. Panama was only able to get one out and the pitching duel ended with just seven hits in the game, all singles. Andy Vasquez went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt. Oderman Rocha was also a member of the winning team, though he did not make an appearance in the playoffs.

Monday’s Action

The Caribbean Series began on Monday and this year they have five teams in the series. Cuba joins Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Dominican in the series, with two games each day for the first five days, then semi-finals on Saturday and the two winners face each other on Sunday for the title.

On Monday, Cuba lost to Mexico in game one and game two saw Venezuela defeat Puerto Rico. Gorkys Hernandez went 0-for-2, but he walked twice, scored twice and picked up an outfield assist in the 5-2 victory. Robert Andino went 0-for-3 on the losing side. He is still a minor league free agent.

On Tuesday, Cuba takes on the Dominican Republic during the day, while Puerto Rico plays Mexico at night. Rafael Perez will make the start for the Dominican. He has given up just three earned runs in six playoff starts, yet he is still a free agent.

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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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freddylang

The Australian championship is on the mlb network at I think 3:30am Friday morning. Definitely going to DVR it and check some of it out.

ADLPirate

Or you can keep an eye out for my post game observations. Should be a good series. Weather predicted to be in low 90s and crowds upward of 2500. The park is not big so expect RF bombs. Adelaide have been the standout team this season with big left handed offense and strikeout pitching. but Perth have been building momentum since New Year with their trademark 8th inning rallys. There are players with indy thhrugh to MLB experience in the game and a few with Pirates connections -Lee, Welch, Kennelly. Go Bite!

piratemike

The games are replayed later at 9am.

Brian Bernard

15 days.

Lee Foo Young

Thanks John….without your stuff, we’d have no way of knowing what was going on!

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