Winter Leagues: Polanco Homers, Marte Leaves After Getting Hit By Pitch

In the Dominican on Thursday night, Escogido fans saw something very good and something that looked possibly very bad from their two Pittsburgh Pirates players. Gregory Polanco hit a solo homer in the third, his fifth of the season, but Starling Marte was the big news. He was hit by a pitch on his left hand in the first inning, and while he stayed in the game to run the bases, he was taken out of the game at the end of the inning. Marte looked to be in pain after being hit and was seen by the trainer before running down to first base. Marte was also hit by a pitch in his debut.

After the game, reports were that Marte was okay and could possibly play in Friday night’s game. There was no damage on the hand and he was removed as a precaution, so they could get a look at it.

Andrew Lambo reached base four times on Thursday (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Andrew Lambo reached base four times on Thursday (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Gregory Polanco didn’t last the entire game either, getting thrown out by the umpire after striking out in the seventh inning. He finished 1-for-4 with the solo homer and a strikeout.

Mel Rojas Jr. struck out as a pinch-hitter in his only at-bat. He is 5-for-18 at the plate in eight games.

Michael Martinez went 1-for-4 with a double. He is hitting .237 through 16 games.

Andy Vasquez went 0-for-2 after coming into the game as a pinch-runner in the eighth inning. He remained in the game in right field.

Carlos Paulino came into the game on defense in the tenth inning and caught the last two innings. He did not get to bat.

In Venezuela, Andrew Lambo went 2-for-3 with two walks. In his four previous games, which included a make-up game from early November, Lambo went 0-for-12.

Junior Sosa went 4-for-5 with two runs scored, two RBIs and a walk. He is hitting .386 through his first 14 games.

Elias Diaz came in as a pinch-runner in the eighth inning and stayed in the game on defense behind the plate. He went 0-for-1 and is now hitting .286 in 35 at-bats.

From Puerto Rico, Benji Gonzalez went 0-for-5. He is hitting .325 with an .841 OPS in 13 games. He has not made an error this Winter.

Ivan De Jesus Jr. went 0-for-3 with a walk. He is hitting .277 through 33 games.  De Jesus led the league last Winter with a .364 average. De Jesus signed with the Orioles yesterday, so he will no longer be part of the Winter updates.

From Friday in Australia, Sam Kennelly had a game he would like to forget, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and two errors. The 17-year-old prospect came into the game without an error.

Nick Hutchings made his season debut and threw a scoreless inning, getting two ground outs and a strikeout from the three batters he faced. He is one of the few players in the league younger than Sam Kennelly. Hutchings pitched five times in the ABL last year, giving up one run over six innings, with ten strikeouts. While playing at the MLB Australian Baseball Academy earlier in the year, Hutchings was the best pitcher in the league, leading the circuit with an 0.70 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 25.2 innings

Danny Arribas went 1-for-4 with an RBI in his team’s 6-2 loss. He is hitting .186 through 19 games, with three doubles, five RBIs and eight walks.

From Colombia on Wednesday night, Harold Ramirez went 1-for-5 in his team’s 2-0 win. He is hitting .330 through 24 games, with seven extra base hits and seven stolen bases. Tito Polo made his first start in weeks. He went 0-for-4 and is now hitting .235 through 15 games.

Oderman Rocha pitched for the first time in over a month and struggled. He faced just two batters, walking one and hitting the other. Both runners scored after he was removed.

One final note on a Pirates free agent, Felix Pie recently signed to play in Korea.

Author: John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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