Winter Leagues: Playoffs Begin in the Dominican

Three days worth of action in winter ball, including a game in Mexico on Christmas day. We also have some news from the Dominican, as teams in the playoffs stocked up for a run at the league title.


In Mexico, Carlos Munoz went 1-for-4 with his fifth double in his team’s 2-1 loss.

In the Dominican, the playoffs were set, as four teams will compete in a round robin tournament consisting of 18 games for each team. Two teams were eliminated from the playoffs, which means that the season is done for Alen Hanson and Willy Garcia. The four playoff clubs hold a draft, in which they select players from the two teams that didn’t make the playoffs. Not every player chooses to continue their season, so it’s unknown whether Hanson and Garcia were passed up, unavailable, or didn’t have intentions of continuing.

Between the draft and two eliminated teams, that left Nefi Ogando, Edwin Espinal, Jason Rogers, Lisalverto Bonilla, Yunior Montero, Miguel Rosario, Jason Stoffel, Eury Perez, Pablo Reyes and Eric Wood as eligible Pirates for the playoffs. Obviously, not all of these players will see playoff time, either because they aren’t active right now, or because the playoff rosters are tougher to crack than the regular season roster. Eric Wood isn’t on the weekly roster submitted for his team, though that doesn’t necessarily mean his season is over.


In Venezuela, Jose Osuna went 2-for-4 with his 14th double, a walk and an RBI.

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz went 2-for-5, with a single and a two-run homer, as his team lost 5-4 in 13 innings. After an extremely slow start that got him benched, Munoz is now hitting .216/.304/.309 through 50 games.

In Colombia, Sandy Santos went 0-for-4, with a walk and a run scored. He is 6-for-21, with one walk and one stolen base in six games.

Francisco Acuna went 0-for-1. He is 3-for-13, with three walks and two stolen bases in seven games. At 16 years old, Acuna is one of the youngest players in any of the winter ball leagues. He was signed on July 2nd and will make his pro debut in the DSL in 2017.


The playoffs opened up in the Dominican, though one of the two games was rained out. Jason Rogers went 0-for-4 in his team’s 4-1 victory. While his team won, he missed out on some big chances. Rogers had a runner on second base in all four at-bats, and three times there was also a runner on first base. During the regular season, he batted .194/.390/.355 in ten games, posting an OPS that was 126 points over league average. We should find out soon about Roger’s status after he was designated for assignment on Friday.

Nefi Ogando made his first appearance since being picked up off waivers by the Pirates. He was on the opposing side of Rogers, the player who the Pirates dropped from the 40-man roster to add Ogando. The two did not face each other in this game. Ogando pitched a scoreless eighth, allowing a single, while another batter (Mel Rojas Jr) reached on an error. He also picked up a strikeout.

In Venezuela, Jose Osuna went 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored, an RBI and a walk, as his team exploded for 15 runs on 14 hits and 11 walks. He is hitting .276 through 58 games, with 15 doubles, three homers and 25 walks.

Elvis Escobar went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He’s hitting .266 through 46 games, with nine doubles, three triples and one homer.

In Puerto Rico, Danny Ortiz extended his hit streak to 12 games, going 2-for-4 with a run scored. His .364 average leads the league. Ortiz is still a free agent.

  • Not at all saying this would happen but who would be okay with NH sending prospects not named Bell to the Sox for Quintana then trading McCutchen and flipping the prospects to pick up dozier? Move J-Hay to right

  • Why is Ortiz not pursued he’s hit well for two years now?

    • That’s a good question. He’s a nice depth option due to his strong defense in center field and power in his bat. He’s probably not a fourth outfielder, but more like a Gorkys Hernandez type, where if you have an injury, he could come up and not cost you anything on defense, while possibly hitting a few homers. As your 5th or 6th outfield option, it’s not a bad fallback plan.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    December 28, 2016 12:06 pm

    Other than Eric Wood in the AFL, has any other Pirate performed at a high level this off-season? It seems like everyone listed in these updates have poor numbers – whether a pitcher or position player….did I miss anyone?

    • These poor performances matter just as much as the good performances of the past by the likes of Osuna, Munoz, and Willy Garcia. Little to nothing.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        December 28, 2016 12:45 pm

        That is a silly comment…I assume it is preferred that they do well than the other alternative?

        • In the same exact context as one would rather hit .300 in Spring Training as opposed to below the Mendoza line. Time and time again we’ve seen these small samples against lesser competition rarely signal a real change in talent or skill, for better or worse.

          If a player changes mechanically or adds/loses a pitch, then you pay attention. Otherwise, this is developmental noise.

  • What are the odds that Rogers clears waivers?

    If he does, can we send him to Indy or is he
    eligible for free agency?

    Besides that, do we really need him?

    • If he clears waivers, he will be sent outright to Indianapolis. I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t want to keep him. He’s one year removed from being a player they liked enough to trade two players for. The 2015 version of Rogers would be a nice bench piece, and great depth if he can’t make the Opening Day roster.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        December 28, 2016 12:07 pm

        If he clears waivers, and I think there is a decent chance he does, the Pirates might as well keep him to play in Indy in 2017 – just to get some little return on him….

      • I didn’t like the trade, but I thought Rogers had potential….then the team kept signing players that bumped him down the line and, eventually, off the ML roster.

        If we had the crystal ball and knew the Pirates were going to finish below .500, I would’ve liked to have handed him the 1B job out of spring training and see what developed.

        Hopefully they’ll be able to hold onto him.

    • BuccosFanStuckinMD
      December 28, 2016 12:05 pm

      If he clears waivers, what does that say about NH’s already bad judgment in trading Broxton and Supak to get him?