For a season preview of the Pittsburgh Pirates two Dominican Summer League teams, check out our article here. Throughout the year, we will provide the recaps of both teams, as well as highlight one player each day.
Result: Pirates 6, Mets2 5 in six innings
Starting Pitcher: Jose Regalado, RHP (4-1, 3.30) – 5.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Tito Polo, LF (.330) – 2-for-2, 3B, RBI, BB, 2 SB
Other Notable Performers:
Julio de la Cruz, 3B (.194) – 0-for-1, RBI, SF, HBP
Christian Henriquez, LHP (1.37) – 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 0 HR
Johan De Jesus, SS (.193) – 1-for-3
Pablo Reyes, 2B (.341) – 1-for-2, 2B, RBI, BB
Game Notes: After not playing yesterday, the Pirates1 were able to get in just five full innings and two outs in the top of the sixth, before rains finished the game early. They took the 6-5 win over the Mets2 behind the hitting of Tito Polo, who reached base three times, scored three runs, stole two bases and drove in a run. Jose Regalado picked up his fourth win and Christian Henriquez was credited with the save, despite recording just two outs in the sixth inning. The stolen bases by Polo give him 14 on the year. Luis Benitez stole his 12th base. Both Pirates affiliates were rained out on Monday.
Result: Pirates 5, Reds 1 in seven innings
Starting Pitcher: Julio Vivas, RHP (2-1, 2.60) – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Michael de la Cruz, CF (.316) – 1-for-2, 3B, 2 BB
Other Notable Performers:
Jhoan Herrera, 3B (.247) – 1-for-3, 2 RBI
Carlos Munoz, 1B (.405) – 1-for-2, RBI, 2 BB
Hector Garcia, LHP (3.00) – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 0 HR
Yoel Gonzalez, C (.148) – 1-for-3
Game Notes: The Pirates pushed their record over .500 (13-12) with a 5-1 win in a rain-shortened game against the Reds team known as the Rojos. Julio Vivas pitched well, allowing just one run in his five innings of work. Hector Garcia pitched one inning and was the only other Pirates pitcher used before rains washed away the rest of the game. Top prospect Michael de la Cruz hit his first career triple. He now has 25 hits and 27 walks in his first 23 games. Carlos Munoz raised his average to .405, which leads the entire DSL. He also leads the league with his 1.054 OPS and .510 OBP. De la Cruz ranks second in the league with his .486 OBP.
Player Of The Day
Julio Vivas made his pro debut in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2011, going 1-4, 5.55 in three starts and 14 relief appearances. As a 17-year-old that season, he was one of the bigger players on the team, listed at 6’2″, 227 pounds. When the Pirates closed shop in the VSL and started a second team in the Dominican, Vivas came along and had a terrific season. He went 4-0, 2.36 in 17 appearances, two as a starter. In 42 innings, he had 37 strikeouts and a .194 BAA.
It was a little surprising that he returned to the DSL this year after a season like that, but he is still young and now he is putting in extra innings, already making five starts, plus pitching once in relief. After getting hit fairly hard in his season debut, Vivas has allowed just two earned runs over his last 23.2 innings. He’s also averaging over a strikeout per inning, getting a ton of groundballs and he is showing good control, though walks have never been a problem in the past for him. Vivas at his size, age and current success, is definitely a player to keep an eye on.