On Thursday, Tigres del Licey of the Dominican winter league announced that right-handed relief pitcher Michael Feliz did not receive permission from the Pittsburgh Pirates to continue pitching in the round robin playoffs that begin tonight. Feliz made five appearances this winter, allowing one run on two hits, with no walks and five strikeouts in 5.1 innings. The lone run he allowed was a solo homer by former Pirate catcher Ronny Paulino. Licey also lost the services of Pablo Reyes over the weekend.
Feliz agreed to a 2019 deal with the Pirates last month, avoiding arbitration. He will be battling for a bullpen spot in Spring Training, though he can be optioned to the minors if necessary. The 25-year-old Feliz posted a 5.66 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP in 47.2 innings over 47 appearances with the Pirates this year. He had a 23:55 BB/SO ratio and a .261 BAA. His 10.4 SO/9IP was well off the 13.2 rate he had over the previous two seasons with the Houston Astros.
Only two players in action on Thursday. In Venezuela, Jose Osuna played right field for the seventh straight game (there was actually a game at DH in the middle), after starting at first base and left field in his first two games. Osuna went 2-for-5 with his first triple. He picked up his 11th RBI and scored a run. Through 12 games, he has a .391/.440/.609 slash line.
In Puerto Rico, 19-year-old second baseman Rodolfo Castro played his second game and collected two hits for the second time. He batted second and drove in a pair of runs. Castro is 4-for-9 with four singles, though that also comes with four strikeouts.+ posts
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.