Winter Leagues Update: Playoff Schedule and Notes
With no Winter League action on the schedule for yesterday or today, it’s time to switch to postseason coverage for four of the five leagues still playing. The lone exception is the Australian Baseball League, which still has four weeks left to it’s schedule.
The League in Puerto Rico wrapped up on Sunday, with Ivan DeJesus taking home the league’s batting crown with his .364 average. He also led the league with 52 hits. The league’s playoff series begins on Wednesday, though no Pirates are on the roster of any team that advanced to the playoffs.
It has been announced that DeJesus(and his teammates) have been suspended for the rest of the off-season for refusing to play Monday night. The players claimed their team was behind on payments and they protested by forfeiting the last day of the season. League rules allow for players from teams that didn’t make the playoffs, to continue on with a new team if they’re wanted. The suspension rules out that possibility for DeJesus, who is also banned from the Caribbean Series in February.
In Mexico, the playoffs also begin on Wednesday. Two Pirates players were on the roster of teams that made the playoffs, though neither has played for awhile. Catcher Ali Solis played for Culiacan, while Jovany Lopez pitched for Mazatlan. Neither player is currently on the active playoff roster.
In Venezuela, playoffs begin on Wednesday as well. That league has a five team playoff system, with one team off each night. As for the Pirates players still on active rosters:
Zulia: Ryan Reid
Anzoategui*: Nate Baker
Caracas: Luis Sanz, Darren Ford
* The Anzoategui roster also has four Pirates players that never appeared in a game. Three were players from the Dominican Summer League, catcher Carlos Marquez and pitchers Carlos Ruiz and Jesus Paredes. The other was Jose Tabata, who the Pirates wouldn’t allow to play Winter League ball.
In the Dominican, the playoffs have already gone on for four days. The league is currently on break due to New Years. Like the other three leagues, they will begin to play again on Wednesday. The Pirates players from the teams still active include:
Escogido: Kris Johnson, Gregory Polanco
Aguilas: Willy Garcia
Toros: Alen Hanson, Andy Vasquez
Estrellas: Alex Valdez, Felix Pie, Stolmy Pimentel
As noted in the recap from two days ago, Anderson Hernandez planned to play for Aguilas after his team was eliminated, but he backed out due to death threats from fans of his own team.
Finally, the Australian League will resume play on Thursday. Zac Fuesser will be on the mound for Adelaide as Quincy Latimore makes his return to the ABL. Latimore hit .313 with five homers and 25 RBI’s during the 2010-11 ABL season for Adelaide.