Winter Leagues: Alen Hanson Makes a Brief Return to the Lineup, Valle Leaves With Hand Injury
Dec15

Winter Leagues: Alen Hanson Makes a Brief Return to the Lineup, Valle Leaves With Hand Injury

On Sunday night in the Dominican, Alen Hanson returned after missing seven weeks due to a right hand injury suffered when he was hit by a pitch. His return to the lineup didn’t last long though. After playing second base in the first inning(handling one grounder) and then grounding out to third base in the bottom of the inning, Hanson was replaced on defense to start the second. I was told during the game that he was under the...

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Winter Leagues: Sebastian Valle Collects Three Hits, Harold Ramirez Named to All-Star Team
Dec14

Winter Leagues: Sebastian Valle Collects Three Hits, Harold Ramirez Named to All-Star Team

In Mexico on Saturday, Sebastian Valle went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI. When the Pirates signed him three weeks ago, he had a .534 OPS through his first 20 games. Valle has now played 18 games since signing and he has raised his season OPS 330 points during that time. While his plate appearances fall short of qualifying for league leaders, his OPS would rank him eighth best in the league. Valle actually played well in winter...

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Winter Leagues: High-Priced International Signing Among Pirates Playing in Panama
Dec13

Winter Leagues: High-Priced International Signing Among Pirates Playing in Panama

The final winter league to start play this year(and every year) is the Panama League. The rosters have been released and three Pittsburgh Pirates players are on the active rosters, while another is listed as a reserve. There is one very interesting name among this group, 17-year-old right-handed pitcher Brian Sousa. He signed for $160,000 on July 2nd, as soon as the international signing period began. That total might not seem very...

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Winter Leagues: Sam Kennelly Makes Debut in Australia, Julio Vivas Impressing in Venezuela
Dec12

Winter Leagues: Sam Kennelly Makes Debut in Australia, Julio Vivas Impressing in Venezuela

In Australia on Friday, Sam Kennelly made his season debut and went 0-for-2 before being pinch-hit for in the eighth inning. He played second base and handled all three chances in the field cleanly. Kennelly signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012 for $225,000 and at 18 years old, he is one of the youngest players in the Australian Baseball League. What stands out about that is that this is his third year playing in the league....

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Winter Leagues: Elias Diaz Homers, Alen Hanson Takes Batting Practice
Dec11

Winter Leagues: Elias Diaz Homers, Alen Hanson Takes Batting Practice

The biggest news from winter ball happened in Bradenton, where Alen Hanson took batting practice and looked good as he recovers from a hand injury suffered during a game back in late October. Hanson was hit by a pitch on his right hand and immediately removed from a game six weeks ago. He needed to come back to Pittsburgh for an evaluation and while nothing was broken, Wednesday was the first real good test of the hand. If all goes...

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Winter Leagues: Tony Sanchez Sent Home From Dominican, Stolmy Pimentel Gets Hit Around
Dec10

Winter Leagues: Tony Sanchez Sent Home From Dominican, Stolmy Pimentel Gets Hit Around

Monday was a very slow day for winter league action. There were only two games on the schedule and one Pittsburgh Pirates player saw action. There was big news however from the Dominican. Tony Sanchez was sent home due to poor performance. That isn’t surprising as he was hitting .100, having issues on defense, and in his last game, he batted ninth and was pinch-hit for in the seventh inning. While we consider winter leagues as...

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