Winter Leagues Recap: Ford Likely Done

In Winter League action yesterday, Darren Ford likely played his last game of the off-season. If he did, he went out in a big way. Ford hit a fourth inning grand slam during Leones del Caracas 7-5 win. According to El Universal(link is in Spanish), the original plan for Ford was to take two weeks off, then return to the team in mid-December. He states in the article that he wants to spend time with family and doesn’t have a set return date, hinting that he likely won’t return.

Ford went 1-for-4, with his first home run of the DWL season. He also scored two runs and stole his tenth base. Assuming he is done, he finishes with a .282/.356/.382 line in 31 games. Ford went 10-for-13 in stolen base attempts. In news related to Ford, the Pirates signed Felix Pie yesterday to a minor league deal. Pie has spent most of his time in pro ball playing center field just like Ford. Both players will almost certainly be in the same outfield for Indianapolis this upcoming year.

The only other Pirates player in action yesterday was Anderson Hernandez. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.¬†Mondays are usually either an off-day or a very light day on the Winter League schedule and Hernandez’s team only played due to a previous rain out.

All the leagues return to a full schedule today with the exception of the Pirates affiliate in the Australian League. Adelaide returns to action on Thursday, playing four games over a three day span. The Bite have forty games left in their schedule, which runs through the end of January. The team never plays Monday-Wednesday during the season, playing a four game series each weekend from here on out.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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