Winter Leagues: Two Homers For Solis, Jerry Sands Added to Roster

With the Dominican Winter League off on Thursday, it was a slow day for Pittsburgh Pirates news in Winter ball.

Arribas is expected to see regular action behind the plate in the ABL
Arribas is expected to see regular action behind the plate in the ABL

The Australian Baseball League started on Thursday for two teams, but the only two teams with Pirates players began their season today by going up against each other. Danny Arribas was in the starting lineup batting sixth and catching for the Sydney Blue Sox. Arribas batted .308 with the DSL Pirates in 2012, then moved up to the GCL and hit .307 this year. He lost playing time behind the plate when the Pirates signed Reese McGuire, so the ABL season will allow him to catch regularly. On Friday, he went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his team’s 10-0 loss.

In the ABL, teams set their roster for each series, so some players will be listed as reserves. Shortstop Sam Kennelly is not on the Perth Heat active roster for this series, so he won’t make his debut this weekend. An interesting note with the Heat roster is the fact all three of Kennelly’s brothers that play pro ball, are also on the reserve roster this weekend. One of the brother’s is getting married this weekend, which leaves the Heat roster down a total of six players.

In Venezuela, David Bromberg made his fourth start and struggled for the third time. In his one quality start, he pitched great, giving up one hit and one hit batter in six shutout innings. On Thursday, he went four innings, allowing two runs(one earned) on seven hits and three walks. Despite not making it through five innings in three starts, he still has a respectable 2.95 ERA. Bromberg took his second loss on Thursday.

In Mexico, Ali Solis hit his second homer of the Winter season in the second inning, then four innings later, he hit his third homer, a three run shot. He finished the game 2-for-2 with two walks and four RBI’s. Solis had a tough day on the defensive side, allowing opponents to go 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts and he also made an error.

In the Veracruz League, Carlos Esqueda went 0-for-4 with a walk and run scored. He has had a tough time so far, going 2-for-26 at the plate.

In Nicaragua, Adolfo Flores retired the only two batters he faced. In two appearances, the hard-throwing righty has allowed two hits and no runs in two innings.

The Puerto Rican Winter League starts tonight. On Thursday another Pirates player was named to the league. Ivan De Jesus Jr and Benji Gonzalez will play for Leones de Ponce, while Jerry Sands has been added to the Indios de Mayaguez roster. The final rosters came out Friday morning and the only other Pirates player in the league is left-hander Dan Cevette, who was signed as a FA during the 2013 season and appeared in games at Bradenton, Altoona and the GCL.

The Colombian Winter League starts next Friday. Outfielders Tito Polo and Harold Ramirez will both take part in the league.

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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