In the Dominican on Monday night, Starling Marte went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He picked up an outfield assist, throwing a runner out at home plate in the fifth inning to keep the game scoreless. Marte is now 3-for-20 through five games. His first three at-bats on this night, which included a strikeout, ground out and fly out, were against former Pirate pitcher Radhames Liz.
On the night he officially reached minor league free agency, Edwin Espinal went 2-for-4 to give him a .356 average through 14 games. He leads the Dominican with a .463 OBP. As with all minor league free agents, we cover them during the entire winter, unless they sign elsewhere. That’s because we have seen multiple players over the years re-sign with the Pirates, including Danny Ortiz last year.
Jung-Ho Kang went 0-or-4 with a walk and a strikeout, continuing his rough winter. Through 17 games, his .214 OBP is last among players with enough plate appearances to qualify for league leaders. His 21 strikeouts are three more than any other player in the league.
Anderson Feliz also became a minor league free agent on Monday. He went 0-for-3 with a walk. He’s hitting .364 through 22 at-bats.
In Venezuela, Elvis Escobar went 1-for-3 with a triple, walk and two runs scored. The triple was his first of the winter. Escobar is batting .286/.340/.352 in 23 games this winter.
In Mexico, Eumir Sepulveda allowed two runs on eight hits over five innings. He’s pitching in a lower level version of winter ball than the one that we normally cover from Mexico. Sepulveda pitched there last year as well and went from someone who was going to play summer ball in Mexico, to playing in the GCL. He had spent three seasons in the DSL for the Pirates and didn’t get a Fall Instructional League invite in 2016, but pitched well enough in winter ball that the Pirates brought him to the U.S. instead of releasing him. The 21-year-old righty finished his season up by allowing one run on two hits over his final 9.2 innings.