Winter Leagues: Big Last Game For Rojas, Polanco Returns to Field

From Friday night in the Dominican, Gregory Polanco made just his second start since December 30th and it was his first start in the field since returning. Polanco was back in center field in Escogido’s 6-1 loss. He went 1-for-4 with a double and he drove in his team’s only run. Polanco hit .174 with three RBIs in the playoffs, but his team still advanced to the finals with an 11-7 record in the round robin tournament. The Dominican Winter League finals begin on Sunday.

Gregory Polanco played center field on Friday night

Gregory Polanco played center field on Friday night

Graham Godfrey started the game for Escogido and took the loss, lasting just 1.1 innings before being knocked out. He gave up four runs on seven hits. Godfrey is still a free agent.

From Puerto Rico, Benji Gonzalez went 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored in his team’s last playoff game. He batted .317 during the regular season and .220 in 12 playoff games.

Mel Rojas Jr. finished his Winter season strong. In brief playing time during the Dominican League regular season and then four games in Puerto Rico, Rojas went 7-for-34 at the plate with 13 strikeouts. In the playoffs prior to last night, he was 1-for-13 in five games. On Friday, he went 3-for-4 with a double, walk, stolen base, run scored and an RBI.

Eliecer Navarro started and pitched three innings, giving up one run on a first inning solo home run. That hit turned out to be the only hit his team allowed the entire game. Navarro gave up one earned run in 14.1 playoff innings. He also finished the regular season with three shutout innings in his last start.

The Puerto Rico League season is over for all Pirates players involved. None of them made the finals.

The Colombian League playoffs start tonight. A short preview of the series and Pirates players in it can be found here.

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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