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Winter Leagues: Elias Diaz Doesn’t Receive Permission to Play Winter Ball


In Venezuela on Thursday night, Jose Osuna went 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He has collected seven doubles and driven in 13 runs already this winter in just 16 games. Osuna has a .387/.449/.581 slash line. He made his 11th straight start in right field.

Elvis Escobar had his worst outing of the winter, though it wasn’t really that bad. He recorded an out on a fly ball, then gave up two ground ball singles, with one going off the second baseman’s glove. Escobar was then removed and both runners later scored. He had previously allowed just one run this winter, coming back on October 24th.

The Pittsburgh Pirates did not give Elias Diaz permission to play winter ball this year according to his Venezuelan team. Late last month, Diaz met the local media in Venezuela and said he was just waiting on the Pirates before he started playing, but the Pirates recently informed him that he wasn’t allowed to play. No word on whether he can join his winter team when the playoffs start next month (it doesn’t sound like he will), but for now, that’s why he hasn’t shown up this off-season despite announcing his intentions to play.

In Puerto Rico on Thursday, Rodolfo Castro had a nice abbreviated game off the bench in his team’s lopsided win. He went 2-for-2 with two singles and a run scored. Castro came into the game as a defensive replacement at second base in the seventh inning. He is 7-for-23 (.304 average) this winter, with seven singles and a 1:12 BB/SO ratio in six games.

In Colombia, Carlos Arroyo started at second base for the first time in over a week and he went 0-for-4 in the lead-off spot. He has been the DH every game recently, while also batting ninth each day. The 17-year-old Arroyo is hitting .174/.250/.275 in 23 games.

Andres Arrieta allowed one run on a single and a walk in 2.1 innings on Wednesday night. He has now made ten appearances and thrown 12.1 innings this winter. Arrieta has allowed 14 runs on 15 hits and six walks, while striking out six batters. He leads the Colombian league with ten wild pitches.

In Panama, Brian Sousa pitched four no-hit shutout innings, allowing two walks and he struck out four batters. In 13 innings over five appearances this winter, he has allowed five earned runs on nine hits and nine walks, with ten strikeouts.

Our 2019 Prospect Guide eBook is available for download right now and comes with a free update around the start of Spring Training. The top 50 prospects list, with a full report on each player, is currently included in the book. There are also other features already in the book, including tiered rankings, top tools by position and much more. The update will include every prospect in the system, as well as many other features, such as our draft and international recaps. Ordering details can be found here.

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John Dreker
John Dreker
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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