Winter Leagues: Polo Shutdown, Osuna Injury Update

In the Dominican league playoffs on Tuesday night, Mel Rojas Jr. struck out as a pinch-hitter in his team’s 4-3 win in 13 innings. He has yet to pick up a hit in the playoffs.

Pedro Florimon went 0-for-2 and committed his second error of the playoffs.

Gustavo Nunez was used as a pinch-runner and didn’t get a chance to bat or play in the field.

Wilkin Castillo went 2-for-4 with a triple, RBI and run scored. He had just three hits during the regular season. More on that last stat below.

In Venezuela, the regular season wrapped up on Tuesday night, but that wasn’t enough to decide the playoff teams, so there were two games on Wednesday. The only player to see action on Tuesday from the Pirates was Jorge Rondon, who threw a scoreless inning, allowing one hit. He needed just eight pitches to retire the side, with all eight going for strikes.

On Tuesday, we mentioned that Jose Osuna injured his right arm and had to leave Monday’s game early. Tests came back negative and he may be available when the playoffs start on Saturday. He injured his wrist making a sliding catch.

In Puerto Rico on Tuesday, Danny Ortiz went 1-for-4 with an RBI and run scored.

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz went 2-for-4 with two singles in the last game of the regular season. He hit .241/.341/.377 in 60 games, finishing 21st in OPS among the 31 batters who had enough plate appearances to qualify as the league leaders.

In Colombia, Tito Polo said he has been shutdown by the Pirates in advance of his arrival at winter mini-camp in Bradenton on January 11th. He hasn’t played since a few days prior to Christmas. Polo is hitting .307/.407/.493 in 75 at-bats this winter. It is unclear if he will return to winter ball afterwards, but it may not matter as his team is currently in fourth place with a week to go in the regular season and only the top three teams make the playoffs. Harold Ramirez stopped playing two weeks ago, finishing with a .371/.452/.500 line in 62 at-bats in Colombia. He hit .245/.268/.321 in 53 at-bats in Mexico earlier this winter.

Wednesday’s Action

In the Dominican playoffs, Gustavo Nunez and Wilkin Castillo were the only players of note to see action on Wednesday night. Nunez went 2-for-3 with a triple, RBI and run scored. Castillo started for the fourth straight day and went 3-for-5 with a walk, RBI, run scored and a stolen base. He had just 25 at-bats all winter, and 40 at-bats during the regular season with Indianapolis, so this is the first chance he has had to play consistently all year and he is really making it count.

In Venezuela, Yoervis Medina allowed his first run in quite awhile, running off seven scoreless appearances before Wednesday. He pitched the eighth inning and gave up a run, which tied the score. In the ninth, after his team took a 5-2 lead in the top of the inning, Medina allowed two singles before being removed. Both runs came around to score and his team lost 6-5.

In Puerto Rico, Danny Ortiz went 1-for-4 with a triple and run scored. He is hitting .217/.301/.290 through 42 games. The lack of power(no homers) is a bit surprising considering he had 50 extra-base hits during the regular season, including 17 homers. Puerto Rico is a low offense environment, but it’s also not as good as the competition Ortiz saw all season in AAA.

  • Today is the feast day of ST. Clemente. You will always be remembered.

  • Wow, things have changed so much from the days when stars such as Roberto Clemente played winter ball!

    • The difference is that back then, the stars played because they could use the money, while they don’t play now because they could lose a lot of money if they got hurt. This year has been slow compared to the recent past though and there probably won’t be too many winter articles left because there aren’t many Pirates still playing now. Probably a lot more like this one with multiple days, although there is already something good for tomorrow

      • Another factor I believe is that there were players like Clemente who felt an obligation to play as a kind of patriotism.

        • That still happens, but it’s more on the back-end of careers, rather than prime years for stars.