The Dominican and Puerto Rican winter leagues open their seasons tonight.� So far, many of the teams in those leagues have only partial rosters or no rosters posted.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes de Carolina — SS Benji Gonzalez (West Virginia Power in 2010), and former Indy Indian (2007) OF Luis Matos.
Criollos de Caguas — former Indy Indian (2004) SS Luis Figueroa and former Pirate INF Ramon Vazquez
Gigantes de Carolina� 4,� Criollos de Caguas� 0 — Of these players, Figueroa and Vazquez were the only ones to get into the game.� They went 0-for-9 between them as Caguas was held to just 6 hits in the shutout.
Aguilas Cibaenas –� C Luke Carlin (Indy Indians in part of 2010) and OF Starling Marte (Bradenton Marauders in 2010).
Toros del Este — managed by Dean Treanor, with C Jason Jaramillo and maybe SS Pedro Ciriaco.
Tigres del Licey� — Three former Pirates: C Ronny Paulino, C Robinzon Diaz, and RHP Denny Bautista.
Gigantes del Cibao� 5,� Aguilas Cibaenas� 1� — C Luke Carlin started the game behind the plate for Los Aguilas.� He walked to open the top of the 3rd but was out in a double play, then struck out in the 5th.� Los Aguilas managed only 3 hits, and they scored their only run in the 6th inning, aided by two errors and a wild pitch.
Bravos de Margarita� 4,� Aguilas de Zulia� 1 – Margarita took advantage of mistakes by Zulia.� They scored a pair of runs in the 5th on a single, a walk, and an error, then two insurance runs in the 9th on two walks, two wild pitches, and another error.� Andy LaRoche started the game at third base.� In three trips to the plate, he flied out, struck out, and walked — and was picked off base.� When the next half inning began, LaRoche was removed from the game.� Los Bravos might be getting a little frustrated with LaRoche, who is hitting .100.
Thursday’s winter league action with Pirates’ players and friends…� the Dominican and Puerto Rican Leagues begin play on Friday.
Bravos de Margarita� 3,� Cardinales de Lara� 2� — 3B Andy LaRoche continued to struggle at the plate, going 0-for-4 for Margarita.� Los Bravos scored one run in the top of the 1st on a double, a stolen base, and a throwing error.� Lara tied the score in the bottom of the 4th with a solo home run.� Margarita took the lead again in the top of the 7th, and another fielding error jump started the inning.� After a walk and a strikeout, LaRoche grounded to third, resulting in a force out at second base, though LaRoche was safe at first.� He scored on a 2-run double by DH Selwyn Langaigne.� Lara scored one run in the 8th on a double and a single, and they had the bases loaded, but Los Bravos got out of the inning without any more runs scoring.� Jhonathan Ramos came on in relief of Margarita’s starter Will Savage in the 6th.� Ramos got the ground out to end the inning, then retired three straight batters in the 7th.
Leones de Caracas� 6,� Tiburones de La Guaira� 4� — Former Pirate C Carlos Maldonado blasted a 3-run homer in Caracas’ 4-run 7th inning, and he also singled earlier in the game.� Caracas posted 13 hits in the game.
Navegantes del Magallanes� 5,� Tigres de Aragua� 1� — Magallanes also had a 4-run inning, then scored another run in the 8th, while holding Los Tigres to just 4 hits and one run.� C Hector Gimenez and DH Raul Chavez were both hitless for Aragua, whose lone run came in the 3rd inning on a single and a double.� Los Navegantes began the 6th with a single and a sacrifice bunt, the SS Argenis Diaz worked a walk.� A wild pitch and a double brought in the first two runs, including Diaz.� Former Pirate LF Mike Ryan singled, plating another run, and he scored on the second double of the inning.
MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE —
Venados de Mazatlan� 3,� Aguilas de Mexicali� 0 — Mazatlan did all their damage in the 5th inning.� They began the inning by loading the bases on a single by 2B Freddy Sandoval, a walk to RF Rogelios Noris, and a hit batter SS Elliot Johnson.� A wild pitch scored Sandoval and moved Noris and Johnson up one base.� A double scored Noris, and an RBI ground out brought in Johnson.� That was all Los Venados needed.� Noris singled in the top of the 9th, but did not score.� Mexicali was held to just 4 hits in the shutout.
Yaquis de Obregon� 5,� Naranjeros de Hermosillo� 3� — CF Jeff Salazar continued his hot hitting, with a single and a double for Obregon.� He opened the game with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a passed ball, then scored on a sacrifice fly in Los Yaquis’ 3-run 1st inning.� Salazar’s double in the 2nd inning drove in another run for Obregon.
A quick look at some winter league games involving Pirates’ players and friends:
VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE
Navegantes del Magallanes� 3,� Bravos de Margarita� 0 — Margarita just couldn’t get anything going in this game.� The only time they had more than one runner on base at a time was in the 1st inning, when CF Frank Diaz and RF Rene Reyes hit a pair of two-out singles.� Diaz had 3 hits in the game.� 3B Andy LaRoche was hitless in 4 trips to the plate, including 3 strikeouts.� Los Navegantes scored 2 of their runs in the 5th, on a walk and four singles.� Former Pirate DH Mike Ryan had one of those singles, and he scored one of the runs.� Jean Machi pitched the 9th inning for Magallanes, earning the save.� He gave up two singles, but got a double play in between then.� Jhonathan Ramos came in to finish up the 5th inning for Margarita, then pitched the 6th.� He gave up a hit but followed it with a double play.
Leones del Caracas� 11,� Tigres de Aragua� 0 — Los Leones devoured Los Tigres, holding Aragua to just 5 hits.� 1B Hector Gimenez had one of the hits, a single in the 7th, but was left stranded. C Raul Chavez also had a single, but he was erased in a double play.� Caracas posted a total of 14 hits, and had two 4-run innings (2nd and 7th).� C Carlos Maldonado doubled, walked, and reached on a fielding error, and scored all three of those times.
MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
Algodoneros de Guasave� 6,� Venados de Mazatlan� 4 — RF Rogelios Noris doubled and scored for Los Venados, and former Pirate 1B Yurendell de Caster singled and doubled for Guasave.� Noris’ double led off the 3rd inning, and two more doubles gave Mazatlan 2 runs in that inning.� Guasave scored 3 times in the 4th inning, and that tipped the scales in their favor for the rest of the game.� De Caster’s RBI double brought in a run in the 5th, and his single plated another run in the 8th.� Mazatlan’s last run came on a homer in the 6th.
The Arizona Fall League begins play today, with seven Pirates’ farmhands on the roster for the Mesa Solar Sox.� Players from the Los Angeles Angels, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Chicago Cubs, and the New York Mets will round out the Solar Sox’ roster. � Pitchers Brian Leach, Aaron Pribanic, and Justin Wilson are all participating, and all are expected to pitch in relief, as other pitchers have the priority for starting roles.� Team USA’s Justin De Fratus (Phillies) is also on the roster, so he must be planning to join the Solar Sox later in the week after the Pan Am tournament wraps up.
Behind the plate, look for C Tony Sanchez, who is trying to make up time after missing much of the regular season due to a fractured jaw.� Sanchez has also been asked by MLB to keep a blog of his experiences in the Arizona Fall League.� (He hasn’t started it yet — stay tuned.)� Phillies’ pitcher Josh Zeid and Angels pitcher Ryan Brasier, both slated as starters for the Solar Sox, have also been asked to write blogs.
Altoona infielders Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer will be sharing some infield time with six other infielders, including Josh Vitters of the Cubs.� Their Curve teammate Andrew Lambo will be sharing outfield duties with four other outfielders, including Phillies’ John Mayberry.
Mexican Pacific League
Los Venados de Mazatlan is the hometown team of OF Rogelios Noris. He got in a little playing time last year as a rookie, and was a bit of a surprise, with some home runs and some very good pinch-hit appearances. The 21-year-old hit .236 with the West Virginia Power during the 2010 season.
Also listed on one Mazatlan roster (but not all) is LHP Jovany Lopez. Lopez is a 19 year old from Los Mochis, who has spent two seasons with the Pirates Venezuelan Summer League team.� This season, he made 18 relief appearances (27.2 innings) and had a 5-0 record with a 3.90 ERA.� He gave up 30 hits and 12 earned runs, but allowed only 5 walks and struck out 21.
Three former Pirates are also playing in the Mexican Pacific League:� Inf/Of Yurendell de Caster is with Los Algodoneros de Guasave, C Humberto Cota is on the roster of Los Naranjeros de Hermosillo, and OF Jeff Salazar will be in center field for Los Yaquis de Obregon.