The Australian Baseball League announced their participants for the December 16th All-Star game. Stefan Welch made it for the Australian team, while Zac Fuesser will pitcher for the World team. Welch has struggled recently, going 1-for-13 this past weekend, leaving him with a .205/.311/.385 line through 11 games played. Fuesser has been impressive since his first start, in which he gave up seven runs in three innings. Since then, he has had two outings in which he threw six shutout innings apiece and another start where he allowed just one hit over 5.1 innings.
In Winter League action yesterday, Starling Marte went 1-for-4, with a triple, an RBI and two runs scored. It was the third triple of the DWL season for Marte.
In that same game, Kris Johnson made his Winter League debut, throwing a shutout inning. He allowed a walk and struck out a batter.
Alex Valdez went 2-for-5, with a solo homer and two runs scored. It was the fifth homer for Valdez, who hasn’t played in a week. He has a .304/.366/.569 line after 29 games.
Anderson Hernandez went 2-for-3 yesterday. He has at least two hits in five of his last six games.
Luis Sanz faced the minimum in a shutout inning. He recorded three groundball outs.
In Puerto Rico, Benji Gonzalez went 1-for-3, with a run scored. It was the second straight start for Gonzalez, who was used strictly as a pinch-runner during the previous week. He is 5-for-17 in ten games played.
In Venezuela, Nate Baker made his Winter debut. Baker ran into trouble during his only inning of work. He had no trouble keeping the ball on the ground, giving up three groundball singles, while also recording a strikeout. Due to a fielding error in the inning, Baker allowed two unearned runs before departing.
Ramon Cabrera went 2-for-4, with a home run and two RBI’s. It was the first homer of the Winter League season for Cabrera, who also committed his third error. He now has his average up to .239 after 19 games, recording hits in each of his last five starts.
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.