Winter league action has slowed down, at least for news concerning the Pittsburgh Pirates, so we have results from the last four days here.
In Colombia, shortstop Francisco Acuna saw his first action in the playoffs, coming off the bench to go 0-for-2 in a one-sided loss. Acuna lost his starting spot when the regular season ended and his team was able to add reinforcements for the playoffs. One of the players added to his roster was Harold Ramirez.
The only player to see action on Monday was Anderson Feliz, who went 1-for-3 with a single before leaving for a pinch-hitter.
Francisco Acuna got his first playoff start and went 0-or-3 with a walk, while handling nine chances in the field cleanly.
In Venezuela, Engelb Vielma went 1-for-4 with an RBI single, as his team dropped a 4-3 decision.
In the Dominican, Richard Rodriguez had a shaky inning of work, but he extended his streak of appearances without an earned run to 17 games. He gave up a single and two walks, but recorded two strikeouts to get out of the inning. Rodriguez had a total of three walks this winter (regular season and playoffs) prior to this contest.
Anderson Feliz went 1-for-4 with a single and a stolen base.
Engelb Vielma went 1-for-4 with a run scored and his third double of the playoffs. His team’s season is over now, though he was eligible for the draft, but did not get picked as a reinforcement for the next round. Vielma went 7-for-24 (.292) with a walk, four runs scored and two RBIs in seven playoff games.
Anderson Feliz went 1-for-3 with two walks, giving him a .268 average through 11 playoff games.
In Australia, Robbie Glendinning continued his hot start as his third week began with a big game. He went 3-for-4 with his second home run, driving in three runs. He also scored twice, walked and stole his third base. Glendinning is hitting .389/.500/.583 through his first nine games. He has scored 13 runs and picked up 11 RBIs.
Michael Suchy was in the lineup, which is good news after he left Sunday’s game following a beaning. Suchy went 2-for-5 with his eighth double on Thursday, extending his on base streak to 16 games. He also scored a run and picked up an RBI. The beaning on Sunday looked bad, with Suchy down on the ground for about three minutes, then still looking the worse for wear when he was shown sitting on the bench a few minutes later. Suchy is now hitting .279/.364/.490 through 28 games. He has been playing center field recently, a position he has played seven times over four season with the Pirates.
In Venezuela, the second round of the playoffs started with Elvis Escobar as the lone remaining player from the Pirates. He ended the first round on a hot streak, and it carried over into game one, where he went 2-for-4 with a double, run scored and an RBI in a 6-1 victory.
In the Dominican, Anderson Feliz came into the game as a defensive replacement at second base in the top of the 11th and hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 12th, for the 6-5 win.
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.
Very surprised there have been no contracts signed to avoid arbitration this week. Deadline is later today and with the Pirates “file and trial” stance….
I felt like suchy was playing solid baseball late in the season last summer: less k’s, hitting a few more homers, although the results weren’t incredible. It’s good to see those improvements translating into some good results. He is a physical specimen, looking a little like Mike Trout to me.
Guys like Hughston and Suchy definitely pass the look test as far as having superior athletic ability – power, speed, arm, etc. If one or both of them can improve their patience and approach at the plate, the Pirates could find themselves with another Robbie Grossman type of prospect – one that just needed more time in the minors to develop. Lets hope Suchy can continue his improvement in AA and AAA this year….