For a season preview of the Pittsburgh Pirates two Dominican Summer League teams, check out our article here. Throughout the year, we will provide the recaps of both teams, as well as highlight one player each day.
Result: Rangers 5, Pirates 4
Starting Pitcher: Miguel Ferreras, RHP (0-1, 5.40) – 3.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Pablo Reyes, 2B (.417) – 3-for-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI
Other Notable Performers:
Julio de la Cruz, 3B (.111) – 1-for-3, BB
Christian Henriquez, LHP (1.35) – 3.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
Tito Polo, CF (.294) – 2-for-5, 2 Runs
Johan De Jesus, SS (.222) – 0-for-3, BB, SB
Dennis Hurtarte, 1B (.143) – 1-for-4
Game Notes: Starter Miguel Ferreras gave up one run in the first inning and three in the third, picking up the loss in his season debut. Christian Henriquez pitched for the second time in relief this year. He has now allowed one run in 6.2 innings. Carlos Ruiz also made his second appearance, throwing two shutout innings. Tito Polo picked up two hits for the second straight game. He batted lead-off and played center field today after hitting third and playing left field yesterday. Top prospect Julio de la Cruz picked up his first professional hit, a first inning single to left field. The home run by Pablo Reyes was the second hit by a Pirates player(both teams) in the DSL this year. The Pirates made four errors in the game. They moved to 1-3 on the season.
Result: Nationals 4, Pirates 3
Starting Pitcher: Francis Rodriguez, RHP (3.60) – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Carlos Munoz, 1B (.500) – 2-for-4, 2B
Other Notable Performers:
Michael de la Cruz, CF (.308) – 2-for-5
Yoel Gonzalez, C (.100) – 0-for-3, RBI, BB
Jhoan Herrera, 3B (.231) – 1-for-4
Jesus Paredes, LHP (0-1, 0.00) – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
Game Notes: The Pirates lost their fourth straight game to open the season. Starter Francis Rodriguez threw five solid innings, though he wasn’t able to pick up a strikeout in his no-decision. He made his pro debut last season and threw 33.1 innings over three starts and 13 relief appearances. Jesus Paredes got the loss despite not allowing an earned run. He showed huge strides last season after a terrible rookie season in the Venezuelan Summer League. In 30 innings last year, the 6’2″ lefty struck out 35 batters. Top prospect Michael de la Cruz had his first career multi-hit game. He also batted lead-off for the first time. Edgar Figueroa walked four times in five plate appearances. Carlos Munoz has reached base nine times already. Catching prospect Yoel Gonzalez drove in his first career run.
Player Of The Day
In the Dominican Summer League(as well as Venezuela), players have a maximum of four seasons in the league before they either have to be promoted to the states or released. Very few players that last four years end up making any kind of impact. A player trying to buck that trend this year is submarine throwing righty, Carlos Ruiz. He is an extreme groundball pitcher, who hasn’t allowed a home run yet in four seasons. Last season, he posted a 5.55 GO/AO ratio and he was almost as good the year before. Ruiz is hard to hit, has closed a few ballgames and last year, he improved his control, while raising his strikeout rate. The cards are stacked against him ever advancing far in the pros, due to the fact he is 22-years-old already, but the Pirates1 team will have a steady closer to help finish off games this season as they try to repeat their 2012 title run.
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.