Winter Leagues: Michael Suchy Homers in Australia Debut; Kang Reaches Base Three Times

For the second game in a row in the Dominican, Leones del Escogido saw their day shortened due to rain. They played six innings on Tuesday, then had Wednesday’s game rained out. So the played on Thursday, which was a scheduled off-day. Starling Marte went 2-for-3 with two singles in the six inning game. Both of those hits were against veteran Esmil Rogers, who has seen action during seven seasons in the majors. The rest of the Escogido lineup had two hits and seven strikeouts against Rogers, who threw a complete game shutout. Marte is hitting .178/.224/.378 through 12 games.

Jung-Ho Kang got help from the rain on Tuesday night. He was 0-for-2 through three innings when that game was called. Those stats were wiped away and he started fresh on Thursday during the makeup game. Kang went 2-for-3 with two singles and a walk. He is hitting .137/.224/.205 through 21 games.

Edwin Espinal was hurt by the rain from Tuesday, as he was already 1-for-1 with a walk when the game was called. He went 1-for-4 with a single during Thursday’s makeup game. He’s hitting .328/.403/.433 in 21 games, with nine walks and eight strikeouts.

In Mexico, the two young Pittsburgh Pirates saw action in the same game for the first time. Carlos Munoz started and went 0-for-2 with a walk and a sacrifice bunt. His average has dropped down to .266 through 30 games, but he still has an impressive 13:11 BB/SO ratio.

After reaching on a walk in the ninth, Munoz was replaced on the bases by Christian Navarro, who was making his seventh appearance. The July 2nd signing for the Pirates hasn’t made is pro debut yet, but he is getting valuable winter experience this year by training with his winter team. He also attended the Fall Instructional League in Bradenton which ran from mid-September until mid-October.

With Navarro on the bases, Mikell Granberry was used as a pinch-hitter and he struck out. He’s had difficulties in the Mexican league, which isn’t surprising considering that he is barely being used and he played in the GCL this season, with a late call-up to Bristol to cap off his season. That’s a big step up in competition, where winter ball in Mexico is about equal to Double-A play, though he will see the occasional Major League pitcher. Granberry is now 0-for-7 with six strikeouts over four games, with his first game coming on October 18th.

The season began today in Australia and we have results already from Friday night’s game. Michael Suchy hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning off of former Pirate prospect Nick Hutchings. Jin-De Jhang went 0-for-4, but did drive in a run on a ground out. The home run for Suchy was his only hit in four trips to the plate. Sydney won at home 10-1 and scored in all eight innings.