Winter Leagues Recap: Updates on Newest Pirates

With the trade between the Red Sox and Pirates completed, it adds two more names to the Winter League mix. Both Ivan DeJesus and Stolmy Pimentel came over to the Pirates yesterday from the Red Sox as part of the return for Joel Hanrahan and Brock Holt. They have also both played Winter ball this year, although it looks like Pimentel is done for the season.

Ivan DeJesus played last night and his first game while as a member of the Pirates wasn’t pretty. Batting lead-off and playing second base, he went 0-for-5, with a strikeout. Despite the inauspicious start to his Pirates career, DeJesus has actually been doing great so far down in Puerto Rico. In 33 games, he has a .341/.396/.468 line, with ten doubles, two homers and 20 RBI’s. DeJesus ranks second in the league hits, third in average, fourth in RBI’s and fourth in OPS.

As for Stolmy Pimentel, he made six starts and two relief appearances in the Dominican Winter League this year. He has a 1-2, 5.87 record in 23 innings pitched, with 25 hits allowed, seven walks and 23 strikeouts. Pimentel also has an excellent 2.50 GO/AO ratio. His off-season is likely done, as he last pitched on December 1st. That game, he went three innings, allowing one run(solo HR) on two hits, no walks and two strikeouts. In his previous outing, he gave up one run over three innings, walking none and he struck out five batters.

In the only other action from last night, Benji Gonzalez picked up his first base hit in over a week. He went 1-for-3 before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning. Gonzalez drove in a run, but he also committed a first inning error which allowed a run to score. The third inning single by Gonzalez broke an 0-for-23 streak dating back to December 16th.

In Australian League action from today, Adelaide won 9-7 despite getting a shaky outing from Zac Fuesser. He allowed seven runs over four innings of work, though four of those runs were unearned. Fuesser walked five batters and struck out four, while allowing six hits, two of them being home runs. He threw a total of 105 pitches, just 59 for strikes. Stefan Welch was the only Pirates player in the starting lineup. He went 0-for-5, with a run scored and an RBI. Quincy Latimore is scheduled to join the team on Sunday.

The Dominican League starts it’s playoffs today. The best four teams from the regular season now compete in a round-robin tournament, where they play each other six times each. The best two teams will then compete in a nine game championship series. For a list of Pirates players still on active rosters, please check this link which has been updated with the addition of Pimentel.

The Venezuelan and Mexican Leagues both resume their schedule today. This is the last week of each league’s regular season.

  • i will say this….ivan de jesus jr. is a far better defender than holt and he is ripping the cover of the ball in winter league, this kid was a second round pick of the dodgers, he is recovering from a almost carrer ending injury, i think were are not giving the kid a fare chance here, he has some real talent and i think he could stick with the big league club, also why people wanted ciriaco? we never gave him a chance in the first place.

  • I agree with Dreker about Holt. He was the Buc’s best, & maybe the only, true leadoff hitter in their organization. Holt should have been the Pirate’s Leadoff hitter & starting Second Baseman. Neil Walker could have taken over one of the Corner OF spots. These 2 moves would have given the Bucs their best top-bottom Batting Order. Now we will be stuck with a leadoff hitter who will have an OBP between .290-.310.

  • Huntington should have had Ciriaco included instead of DeJesus. He could have gotten DeJesus off waivers. Pirates should have never gotten rid of Ciriaco.
    huntington should have gotten a SS in the Hanrahan trade. In 5 years of drafting near top Pirates still do not have a franchise SS. As one analyst stated the best prospect in this trade is Brock Holt.

    • I had Brock Holt ranked in the top 15(I think 14) and when Tim did the new article ranking DeJesus and Pimentel, I had them 25 and 26 so I agree that Holt is the best. The only thing good about DeJesus already being put through waivers is that he didn’t need a 40 man roster spot when he came over. They can keep him at Indy if he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster and not worry about losing him on waivers.
      I always liked Ciriaco, didn’t think he was anything special, but thought they could’ve used him better/more often

      • Ciriaco proved in Boston he was better than we gave him credit for…proved he could hit (far better than Barmes it would seem) while being just as good defensively…….why DIDN’T we admit we made a mistake and get Ciriaco back? Curious…..really curious…..

        • I’m not sure what Pedro Ciriaco proved in Boston, other than he forgot the Cloak of Invisibility that he wore while in Pittsburgh.

          With PGH, in very limited AB’s, he had a BB rate of 2.9%. With BOS, his walk rate was 2.9%. K rate with PGH was 17.6% versus 17.3% with BOS.

          Slash line with PGH — .303/.324/.424
          Slash line with BOS — .293/.315/.390

          The Pirates traded for him, then proceeded to strand him on the bench. They just didn’t like him, for whatever reason.

    • I put Pimentel at 15 and DeJesus at 34, with Holt at 29. I can’t get excited about DeJesus who was DFA’ed and unclaimed.

      Also not a Holt fan. No defense, no power.

      • I think Holt’s defense is better than what I’ve heard since the trade. He is by no means a Negrych or Cunningham type, he can actually play 2B well and fill in at SS. He’s also a smart player, good runner and obviously a good hitter, even if it without power. I could see him hitting well enough in the majors to stick around for awhile as a Jeff Keppinger type.
        DeJesus seems to be living off an old scouting report of good plate patience. He hasn’t been good in two of the last three years in that department and we shall see this year how much his batting was helped by PCL pitching

  • i was at the de jesus game, 2 bad he had a bad game beacuse this year has been hitting alot, he is also in the preliminary roster for the baseball classic representing puerto rico, this guy was a top prospect before his leg injury, he has been well coach by his dad who played in the majors for over 10 years and also has been a coach in the major leagues. in my humble opinion, de jesus will win a utility spot in the pirates team, he has a better glove than mercer,d’arnau and harrison, he has good speed and he is hitting .341 in the puertorrican league, i hope he sticks on a bench spot with the pirates

    • Thanks for the first-hand account. The possible thing holding him back this year is the fact he isn’t on the 40-man roster while the other three are already. If I had to guess right now, I’d say they keep Mercer and Harrison to start the year. Mercer is the best defensive shortstop of the four, while Harrison can play outfield if needed, plus three infield positions. Harrison was also on the roster all of last season and got at least nine starts at four different positions, plus was used 48 times off the bench. I think Hurdle really likes his versatility.
      Pirates still have to make a roster move to open up a spot for Francisco Liriano, so maybe that opens a door for DeJesus. We shall see