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: Rangers 7, Pirates 2
Starting Pitcher: Christian Henriquez, LHP (0-1, 3.13) – 3.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Rodney Polonia, 2B (.260) – 1-for-4, 2B
Other Notable Performers:
Julio de la Cruz, DH (.212) – 0-for-4
Jherson Esqueda, RHP (2.51) – 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
Carlos Esqueda, 3B (.213) – 1-for-3, BB, 3 SB
Johan De Jesus, SS (.167) – 0-for-2, RBI
Game Notes: The Pirates lost to the first place Rangers today and they had one of their worst games at the plate, despite scoring two runs. The Pirates batters had just four hits and struck out 16 times, including the last nine batters they sent to the plate. Christian Henriquez made his first start of the year, after pitching eight times in relief. He gave up five runs in 3.1 innings. As a reliever, he gave up three earned runs in 19.2 innings. The Pirates used four pitchers and didn’t issue a single walk, while striking out just two batters. Carlos Esqueda stole three bases in the game. He came into the game with two steals this year. Shortstop Johan De Jesus committed his 13th error of the season. Both Pirates DSL affiliates are off on Sunday.
Result: Nationals 1, Pirates 0
Starting Pitcher: Omar Basulto, LHP (0-2, 3.08) – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Carlos Munoz, 1B (.406) – 1-for-3, 2B, BB
Other Notable Performers:
Michael de la Cruz, DH (.294) – 0-for-4, 3 K
Jhoan Herrera, 3B (.265) – 2-for-4
Horelbin Ramos, LHP (1.06) – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
Yoel Gonzalez, C (.145) – DNP
Game Notes: The Pirates were shutout for the third time this season.They left nine runners on base today and went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. The one hit was a single by Jhoan Herrera, that followed a Carlos Munoz double. Munoz was thrown out at the plate, ending the first inning. The game ended with the tying run on third base. Three Pirates pitchers combined to allow just four hits, didn’t walk a batter and the only run of the game was unearned. Michael de la Cruz returned to the lineup after missing two days with a shoulder injury that occurred during Tuesday’s game. He played DH and ended up having his worst game of the season, striking out three times. Jhoan Herrera is batting .300 against right-handed pitchers this season, while lefties are holding him to a .136 average.
Player Of The Day
Left-handed pitcher Christian Henriquez is now 21-years-old, so his chances of being a legit prospect are getting slim. He signed in July of 2010 and made his debut the following season. Henriquez pitched almost exclusively in relief in 2011, making one start among his 15 appearances. In 37 innings, he had a 4.52 ERA and 26 strikeouts. He had some problems, giving up too many baserunners and he had a very poor 0.46 GO/AO ratio.
Henriquez returned to the DSL in 2012 and saw more time on the mound. His stats improved dramatically, posting a 3.03 ERA in 59.1 innings. He also had a 1.37 GO/AO ratio and cut down his walks allowed from 17 in 2011, down to 14 in 22.1 extra innings. This year, Henriquez pitched in relief before getting his first start on Saturday. The start didn’t go well, but he was looking good in the relief role, with a low ERA(1.37) and high groundball rate. It will be interesting to see if the Pirates continue to give him starts, or let him go back to the bullpen where he was having some success.