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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Winter Leagues: Big Night for Jose Osuna in Playoff Victory

Wednesday night was a light day for action in winter ball, so we have two days worth of recaps, starting with the playoffs in the Dominican.

On Wednesday night, Jason Rogers went 2-for-4 with two singles in his team’s 5-0 loss.

Eury Perez was on the other side of that 5-0 game and he went 2-for-5 with a triple and two runs scored.

In Colombia, they played a doubleheader on Wednesday night. Francisco Acuna played shortstop in both games and batted lead-off in the opener. He had a tough day (the type you would expect from a 16-year-old playing in a league with the same competition level as High-A ball). Acuna went 0-for-4 with an error in the opener and 0-for-4 in the nightcap.

Sandy Santos went 0-for-3 with a strikeout in the first game, then hit his first homer of the winter in the second contest. He finished 1-for-3 and drove in two runs. The season wrapped up for Santos and Acuna on Thursday night. We will have that recap in the next winter article, along with their final season stats.

In Nicaragua, Anderson Feliz finished the regular season on Wednesday night and his team made the playoffs. Feliz played all 48 games and hit .305/.391/.465 in 200 at-bats. The playoffs begin on Friday night.

In Puerto Rico, Danny Ortiz went 0-for-3 with two walks and a run scored. He went 1-for-6 in the playoff opener on Tuesday.

Thursday

In Venezuela, Jose Osuna had a big day at the plate during his team’s 9-8 win. He went 4-for-5 with four singles and a run scored. He drove in a run with a ground out in the first inning, then followed that with RBI singles in each of his next two at-bats. Osuna also picked up an outfield assist out in left field. He is batting .538 in the playoffs.

Elvis Escobar pinch-ran in the ninth and scored a run in his team’s loss against Osuna’s club. He hasn’t had a chance to bat in the playoffs yet.

In the Dominican, Jason Rogers went 0-for-4, and split the game between left field and first base. Despite having seven players with Major League experience in the lineup, his team picked up just three hits. Rogers is hitting .318, with five walks in six playoff games

Eury Perez went 1-for-5 with a two-run single. His team attempted a comeback down 6-0 in the bottom of the ninth, but they fell a run short. Perez is hitting .345 in the playoffs.

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz went 1-for-4 with a single. He has gone 1-for-4 in all three playoff games so far, including Tuesday night when he hit a three-run homer.

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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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dr dng

Ok, I just have one more question on a cold, lonely, snowy day.
Does anyone want to comment on what the roster would look
like if a certain 3rd baseman is not available for the first day
of the season?

Bruce Humbert

if this was the NFL with Goodell in charge i might understand your concerns.
The players association would vigorously oppose anything more than 30 day suspension based on what is currently known.

And even that would not happen if Kang.
1. Enters a treatment protocol on his own.
2. Agrees to not drive in the US or Korea for at least 5 years.

if he preempts a MLB finding by doing these two things he gets a pass and will be in the opening day lineup.

Hoptown

I dont think much chgs. Freese plays 3rd most days. Bell plays 1st most days. Jaso gets a few more ABs. Hanson or Frazier get a few more ABs. Front office would prob look for a true 4th OF as Bell prob wouldnt play there often.

Bruce Humbert

The 4th outfielder should be Osuna

piraterican21

I wonder if he will be, they could slide Bell once again to the outfield and Jaso at 1b. I know they keep saying that Bell is gonna be strictly a 1b, but I’m not sold!
Pedro is learning to play the outfield, bring back Pedro! (I kid).

dr dng

Can John or someone explain what happens next week.
Tim had implied that it is something like “optional off
season workouts.” Remember, I am new to this.
What does this involve? Are they public or private.
Who is invited and who is involved? Where are
they held?

dr dng

Ok, if Tim is reading. Here are things I would like to know about
1) Is Cole there and how is he doing. (from what I have read
from John, I would think he may not be there)
2) Is Diaz there? What is his condition? (Maybe we already
know with the signing of another minor league catcher.)
3) Has the coaching environment/dynamic changed with
the significant changes in the coaching staff. (It seems the
most significant change from last year to this year may
be in the coaching staff)

Bruce Humbert

In the good old days teams would have brought Bell and Osuna into the office right before Spring Training and said “we have one roster spot for the two of you…
Each of you will have the opportunity to compete for the position – may the best man win!”

Things are different today – lots of money invested in Bell and lots of PR.

Meanwhile Osuna just hits. Great recovery from a horrible Winter start which had many (including Tim and John I think) feeling that he was a wasted spot on the 40 man.

I hope the young man gets a chance at everyday ABs for some MLB this year.

NMR

And this is why any coach dumb enough to actually give that job to a player as inferior to Bell as Osuna currently is has lost their own job to someone much smarter.

Bruce Humbert

and you know Osuna is inferior how?
if you look at how they did last year at Indy the only huge difference in the two on offense was walk rate.
Osuna can play both corners and first base better than Bell so he gets the edge on defense.

stating that Osuna is “inferior” is either silly or stupid. Bell may in your opinion be better – but neither has enough ABs in the majors to support any opinion on which one is “better”

rburgh

You mean that you think that Osuna’s .787 OPS spliting time between Altoona and Indy is more impressive than Bell’s .775 in the majors? Or that we can discount the act that Bell never had an OPS below .800 in the minors in any season where he played more than 15 games?

And RH hitting 1B have a tough time getting much more than platoon jobs in the majors.

Bruce Humbert

i think he is a natural hitter. Think his Indy numbers were better than Altoona. Saw several venezuela games last year on the internet and he played a solid corner OF – strong arm. His first base defense can be no worse than Bell’s. Bell would from all i have seen benefit from the competition – and is probably the winner. i just think Osuna deserves a fair chance. If he has a good spring training he could be a valuable trade chip if the Pirates are happy with bell.

piraterican21

It sounds like you are implying that Osuna and Bell have equal or similar talents? If you are I will have to disagree.

lonleylibertarian

And I respect your opinion – but why do you think Bell is much better. If you look at both of their histories Bell clearly has…
1. A better overall track record. Osuna has been more erratic – but seems to have put things together beggining last year in winter ball.
2. A better walk rate – hence higher on base percentage. They both have the same K rate and hit HRs at the same rate.
Osuna is.
1. Able to field both corner OF positions and first base fairly well. Bell seems to still struggle at first base and is probably adequate in RF at PNC.

As I said elsewhere, we won’t know which one is better until they get 350-400 MLB at bats. Until then it is all opinions.

Randy W

And Osuna is a guy that’s really easy to root for. I like the way he handled himself last year.

dr dng

How about Hanson and Osuna?

J Nader

Why would they let a backup middle infielder compete with a 1b/of for a roster spot?

PiratesFan1975

This headline receives the BFSIMd seal of approval.

dr dng

Oh, that is good to hear.

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