Gregory Polanco played center field on Friday night

Winter Leagues: Polanco Returns With Two Hits

In the Dominican from Sunday, Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte played their third playoff game for Escogido. Polanco left Saturday’s game early after being hit on the knee with a 99 MPH fastball. He returned on Sunday, but he was in the lineup as the designated hitter, while Marte moved from left field to center field. Polanco went 2-for-4 with a run scored and Marte went 1-for-4 with a run scored. Their Escogido team lost 7-5 to drop them to 1-2 in the 18 game round robin tournament.The game included seven ejections and the benches cleared in both the second and the ninth inning.

Gregory Polanco had two hits on Sunday

Gregory Polanco had two hits on Sunday

In Venezuela, Elvis Escobar went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts in his second start of the season. He had two hits on Saturday, including a home run to lead-off the game. Escobar batted lead-off and played center field.

Elias Diaz and Junior Sosa both started game one of a doubleheader for the Bravos de Margarita. Diaz went 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. He is now hitting .256 with four RBIs through 20 games. Sosa went 1-for-4 with a run scored. He also played game two and went 1-for-4 with a double and run scored. He is hitting .338 through 20 games.

Francisco Diaz caught the last inning for the Bravos and he did not get a chance to bat. He made his Winter debut on Saturday, going 0-for-2 with a walk.

In Puerto Rico, Benji Gonzalez went 1-for-4 with a single, run scored and stolen base. Through 19 games, he is hitting .322 and has not made an error.

Mel Rojas Jr. played his third game since switching over from the Dominican League. He went 0-for-3 with a walk and a sacrifice bunt.

In Colombia from Saturday, Harold Ramirez went 0-for-3 with a walk. He has struggled since the All-Star break two weeks ago, going 4-for-27 in his last eight games.

In Australia from Monday, Danny Arribas came on to catch in the tenth inning. He came to the plate in the bottom of the tenth with men on first and third, two outs and his team was down by one. Arribas  was unable to keep the game going, striking out to end the game.

Sam Kennelly came off the bench in the eighth inning and took over defensively at first base. He put down a sacrifice bunt in his only plate appearance.

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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.

Winter Leagues: Escobar Homers, Polanco Leaves Game Early

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Winter Leagues: Marte Reaches Base Twice, Three Hits For Polo

  • Jeff

    Bench clearing brawl in the Dominican League playoff game.
    I will be thrilled when Marte and Polanco are in spring training healthy and ready to go….

    • John Dreker

      I stopped short of calling it a brawl because I only saw pictures before and it didn’t look bad. After seeing the video just now, the benches actually cleared twice, but I didn’t see anything other than finger pointing and talking each time. So while there was no brawl, it was still ugly. The whole thing went down like this:

      In the second inning, Aguilas scored two runs on a single and there was a play at the plate. The catcher and the two runners exchanged some words and the benches cleared.
      In the fourth inning, the Aguilas pitcher threw behind a batter and was ejected along with his manager, who just happens to be Felix Fermin.
      In the ninth inning, two Escogido pitchers were ejected and on the second one, the benches cleared again when he threw well behind a hitter.

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