Winter Leagues: Strong Weekend For Rojas, Florimon Breaks Slump

In Venezuela, Elias Diaz started behind the plate for Bravos de Margarita, while Junior Sosa and Jose Osuna both came off the bench in the ninth inning. Diaz went 0-for-3 and drove in a run. He went 4-for-8 in his first two games this winter and 0-for-7 in his last two games. Osuna picked up a single as a pinch-hitter, then left for a pinch-runner. Sosa came in as a pinch-runner, though not for Osuna, who raised his average to .351 through 31 games.

Gorkys Hernandez went 0-for-3 with a walk.

In the Dominican, Mel Rojas Jr. went 1-for-4 with a double, walk and two RBIs. He had a double and drove in two runs in Saturday’s game as well.

Willy Garcia and Edwin Espinal both came off the bench for Aguilas Cibaenas in their 9-8 loss. They actually trailed 7-0 in the fifth inning, mostly due to committing three errors in both the first and fifth innings. They tied the game, then lost it in ten innings. Garcia came on as a defensive replacement in center field in the eighth and popped out to first base in his only at-bat. Espinal went in at first base in the ninth inning and grounded out to shortstop to end the game. Garcia is 6-for-38 in 13 games, while Espinal batted for the first time since October 30th. He is 3-for-14 in ten games.

Pedro Florimon came into Sunday with just three hits in his first eight games this winter. He doubled his season total by the end of the night, going 3-for-5 with a run scored. He also picked up his first stolen base.

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz went 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. It’s his first walk in 12 games, which is very unusual for him. He had 13 walks in his first 17 games. Munoz ranks tenth in the league with a .925 OPS and everyone ahead of him in that category is at least two years older than him.

Felipe Gonzalez pitched a shutout inning, giving up one hit, while picking up one strikeout.

In the Premier 12 tournament, Jin-De Jhang went 1-for-4 with a double. If you missed it from yesterday, we included video of him throwing out all three runners who attempted to steal in the game against Cuba.

Adam Frazier went 0-for-4 in a 3-2 win over South Korea. He scored a run, dropped down a sacrifice bunt and stole a base.

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I used the “off-day” to see why Alen Hanson is only used on a part-time basis. The Toro’s team has 3 young middle infielders including Hanson, and the other two already have MLB experience. Christhian Adames is 24 and is the SS – we saw him at SS for the Rockies after they traded Tulo, and he looked VG, especially on D. The other is Jose Ramirez who is also playing 2B for the Toro’s and has about a year of service for Cleveland. He was the SS for Cleveland before Lindor came up this year, and he is also an excellent 2B except that Kipnis plays that position for Cleveland. So, in 2015 he played 46 games at SS (.972), 33 games at 2B (.983), and 13 games at 3B (.958). Excellent defensive numbers, but he is supposed to be stronger at the plate and he too is a Switchhitter.

Hopefully, that type of competition for playing time will be a good experience for Hanson heading into ST.

Travis P

A very “meh” report overall. Nothing too flashy by the young Buccos yesterday.

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