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Winter Leagues: Lisalverto Bonilla Update; Luis Heredia Continues His Recent Success


The Pittsburgh Pirates signed 26-year-old right-handed pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla on Tuesday, placing him on the 40-man roster. We covered his career and scouting report last night, but saved his winter league stats for this morning. He is pitching for Leones del Escogido in the Dominican League. Bonilla joined the league in late October and has made seven appearances out of the bullpen.

The stats on Bonilla from the regular seasons show that he is a ground ball pitcher, who also racks up strikeouts. He had a nice return from 2015 Tommy John surgery and is continuing to add on innings in winter ball. I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see him cut back in the winter for a few reasons. The main reason is that he threw 111 innings during he regular season, after zero in 2015, so that is quite a jump. The second reason is that he signed a contract for next season, so there is less incentive to continue pitching.

The third reason is that he just hasn’t been that good this winter. He has thrown 5.2 innings over seven appearances, allowing runs in five of those outings. He has just three strikeouts and an 0.44 GO/AO ratio, which is as bad as you’ll see. His team has used him just twice over the last three weeks and he’s combined for two runs on four hits, while recording one out. He clearly didn’t get signed based on his winter ball performance.

Due to rain outs and two straight off-days in Venezuela, the action over the last two days has been slow in winter ball.


In the Dominican, Eric Wood was the only Pirate to see action on a slow day all around winter ball. He went 2-for-3 with a single and an RBI double. I mentioned on Monday morning that Wood had played third base twice and first base twice in his first four games. He went to left field in this game, so he continued seeing time at all of the same positions he played in the AFL. Despite two hits, Wood left for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning.

In Puerto Rico, Danny Ortiz went 2-for-3 with two singles and a walk. He is currently a free agent.


In the Dominican,  Willy Garcia went 1-for-4 with a single, run scored and two strikeouts. He played center field. Garcia is hitting .208 through 11 games, with no extra-base hits, and eight strikeouts in 24 at-bats.

Eric Wood went 1-for-3 with a single, walk and a strikeout. He started the game in left field, before playing the last two innings at first base. Wood is 4-for-16, with a double and three walks through six games.

In Mexico, Luis Heredia pitched in relief, coming into the game in the second inning with the bases loaded and two outs. He stranded all three runners to keep his team’s deficit at 2-0 at the time. He would pitch another 3.2 innings, allowing one unearned run on a hit and two walks. Heredia struck out three batters and had a 3:3 GO/AO ratio. He lowered his ERA to 4.73 through 26.2 innings. He has allowed just two earned runs over his last 13.1 innings.

Carlos Munoz went 1-for-3 with a two-run single and a walk, leaving for a pinch-runner in the eighth. He is hitting .164 through 28 games, with a .452 OPS.

In Puerto Rico, Danny Ortiz went 1-for-3 and drove in two runs. He is batting .378 through 19 games.

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John Dreker
John Dreker
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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