Love For Pedro; Rodriguez Back To Normal; Cedeno’s 9th Homer

Dean Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has talked to Pedro Alvarez about his off-season “boot camp” conditioning program at the Athletes’ Performance Institute in Tempe, Arizona. Alvarez has been doing a lot of work, and it staying at API for most of the winter — much longer than most other players stay there. Also, read all the way down to the end of the article, to see some projections of where the Pirates plan to have some of their prospects begin the 2010 season:

AAA Indianapolis: Brad Lincoln, Danny Moskos, Jose Tabata

AA Altoona: Gorkys Hernandez, Tim Alderson, Ramon Aguero, Chase d’Arnaud, Rudy Owens, Ronald Uviedo, Jeff Locke

A+ Bradenton: Tony Sanchez, Starling Marte, Bryan Morris, Robbie Grossman

Pirates’ players and friends in Saturday’s winter league action:

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

Criollos de Caguas 8, Leones de Ponce 5

Reliever RJ Rodriguez pitched two scoreless innings for Ponce, but a 4-run 3rd inning helped Caguas take the win. Four singles, including one each by former Indy Indians SS Luis Figueroa and CF Luis Matos, plus a bunt and a wild pitch contributed to that 4-run inning. Matos also doubled for Caguas in the 2nd inning, contributing to another run scored. Figueroa’s sacrifice fly brought in yet another run in the 4th. Ponce scored their first 3 runs in the bottom of the 3rd. Caguas began the top of the 6th with a double, a triple, and a walk, and at that point Ponce brought in former Pirate farmhand Jorge Charry from the bullpen (Charry played in the independent Frontier League in 2009). Charry walked Luis Figueroa, then induced a double play, which allowed a second run to score. Charry began the 7th inning by giving up a single, and he was relieved by RJ Rodriguez. Rodriguez erased the single with a double play, then walked Matos, but Matos was caught stealing second base to end the inning. Rodriguez also pitched the 8th inning, allowing a lone single.

DOMINICAN LEAGUE

On Friday night, Los Gigantes del Cibao beat Los Estrellas de Oriente by a score of 3-0. DH Brian Myrow singled twice, and C Robinzon Diaz and LF Maiko Loyola each had a single, which accounted for 4 of Los Estrellas’ 5 hits.

Tigres de Licey 5, Estrellas de Oriente 4

A walk, a stolen base, and a throwing error gave Licey the winning run in the top of the 10th inning. Los Estrellas had a 2-0 lead for most of the game. They scored those two runs in the 2nd inning, on an error by 1B Jake Fox, a double, and a 2-RBI single. In the top of the 8th, Licey finally got going, with a lead-off single by CF Jose Bautista, a triple, and a double. They added two more runs in the 9th, on singles by DH Timo Perez and Fox, and a wild pitch. But Licey came back to tie the score in the bottom of the 9th. DH Brian Myrow led off with a single, followed by another single, and a walk to pinch hitter Maiko Loyola to load the bases. A single by SS Junior Lake brought in two runs, and the score was tied at 4-4. That set up the drama in the top of the 10th, and Licey had the win.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Cardenales de Lara 5, Tigres de Aragua 2

A 2-RBI triple and an RBI single gave Lara 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th, breaking a 2-2 tie. Aragua scored one run in the 2nd inning on a single, a throwing error on a pick-off attempt, and an RBI single by C Raul Chavez. SS Ronny Cedeno gave them their second run with a solo homer to lead off the 3rd inning. Lara scored on a home run in the 5th and a double and an RBI single in the 6th.

Leones del Caracas 5, Aguilas de Zulia 2

Reliever Ronald Uviedo pitched 2 scoreless innings for Caracas. He retired the side in order, including a strikeout, in the 7th. In the 8th, he gave up a single, but erased that batter with a double play that he started himself. Caracas’s 5 runs all came in the 3rd inning, on three singles, a 3-RBI double, and an RBI single.

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE

Tomateros de Culiacan 5, Algodoneros de Guasave 4

Culiacan came from behind with three runs in the last two innings to take the win from Guasave. DH Jorge Vasquez homered in the 8th inning, and two more runs came in on four singles in the 9th. 2B Luis Cruz brought in Culiacan’s first run in the 1st, when he walked with the bases loaded. He also doubled in the 8th after the homer. Vasquez also had a solo homer in the 6th. 3B Yurendell de Caster went 3-for-4 for Guasave. He walked and scored in the 2-run 1st inning and hit an RBI single in the 2nd. He tripled in the 4th but was left on base, and singled in the 9th but was out in a double play.

Yaquis de Obregon 4, Mayos de Navojoa 1

Both teams recorded 7 hits, but Obregon was able to take advantage of 7 walks in the game. Navojoa scored one run in the 2nd inning on three consecutive singles. Obregon came back with one in the 4th on a walk, a double, and a sacrifice fly. Single runs in each of the last three innings gave Obregon the win. RF Chris Snelling went 0-for-3 for Obregon.

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Wishing it was baseball season

Wishing it was baseball season here at BUCCO Fans.com Headquarters.  Maybe then my wife’s car would be visible: I probably spent more time shoveling from the door to the back of the cars than I did on the entire Going Cheap series this week: Two feet of snow here, although from what I hear it’s less up north in the Pittsburgh area.  At least we’ve got some Pirates-related news and rumors to hold us over...

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