Winter Leagues: Playoff Teams Are Set in the Dominican
Dec22

Winter Leagues: Playoff Teams Are Set in the Dominican

The regular season in the Dominican Republic wrapped up on Sunday. The league is now off until Saturday(12/27), when the top four teams will compete in the round robin tournament, which consists of 18 games for each team. The two best from the round robin tournament go on to a championship series and the winner of that series will head to the Caribbean Series, where they will meet the best teams from the winter leagues in Mexico,...

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Winter Leagues: Four Hits From Edwin Espinal, Rojas and Diaz Reach Base Three Times
Dec21

Winter Leagues: Four Hits From Edwin Espinal, Rojas and Diaz Reach Base Three Times

On Saturday night in the Dominican, Edwin Espinal had a huge game. Two days earlier, the 20-year-old first baseman started for the first time this winter and collected three hits. He did himself one better in his second start, collecting four hits, scoring twice and he drove in a run. Espinal is 7-for-14 in five games. What he has done the last two starts is fairly impressive considering his age and the fact he spent the season in...

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Winter Leagues: Willy Garcia Homers, Shows Improvements at the Plate
Dec18

Winter Leagues: Willy Garcia Homers, Shows Improvements at the Plate

In the Dominican on Wednesday night, three Pirates players saw action for Aguilas Cibaenas. Willy Garcia went 1-for-4, with his fourth home run of the season. He is second in homers to Sebastian Valle(five) among Pirates in winter ball. He is having a winter season very similar to his regular season for Altoona, hitting .269/.314/.462 in winter VS .271/.311/.478 for Altoona. His BB/SO numbers aren’t good in winter, though they...

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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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