Winter Leagues: Joely Rodriguez Makes Debut, Stolmy Pimentel Throws Gem

Three days worth of winter ball below, as the first two days this week were slow. Action picked up Wednesday, as Stolmy Pimentel had his second straight strong outing and Joely Rodriguez made his winter debut.

Monday’s Action

In the only game in the Dominican on Monday, Gustavo Nunez went 2-for-5 with an RBI and three strikeouts. Two other players that spent time in the Pirates organization in 2014, also played in the same game. Rafael Perez started and allowed one run over five innings, giving up six hits, with one walk and four strikeouts. Carlos Paulino went 1-for-3 with a walk and run scored. Both Paulino and Perez are still free agents.

In Puerto Rico, Yhonathan Barrios had a tough outing in his third game. He faced five batters and gave up four hits and two runs. He also allowed four hits and two runs in his last game, though he pitched two innings that day.

In Venezuela, Deolis Guerra threw a scoreless inning, allowing one hit while issuing one walk and picking up two strikeouts. He has five straight appearances in which he has thrown one scoreless inning.

Tuesday’s Action

In the Dominican, Joely Rodriguez was supposed to make his debut in relief, but his team had their game rained out after play was stopped in the fifth inning. Gustavo Nunez had two hits and two runs scored before the game was called. Those stats will not count.

Tony Sanchez went 0-for-2 with an RBI, sacrifice fly and sacrifice bunt. In five games, he is 2-for-14 with two singles.

Mel Rojas Jr. went 1-for-4 with a run scored. It was his first start since last Tuesday. Rojas came into the game with a .237/.327/.344 slash line in 26 games. He played left field and picked up an outfield assist on Tuesday.

Willy Garcia came on as a defensive replacement, taking over in center field in the eighth inning. He did not get a plate appearance.

Pedro Florimon went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

In Mexico, Felipe Gonzalez pitched a scoreless inning, with one walk, no hits and two strikeouts. He has a 2.70 ERA in 18 relief appearances, with a 1.26 GO/AO ratio and a .219 BAA.

Wednesday’s Action

On Wednesday night in the Dominican, Stolmy Pimentel threw five shutout innings, giving up two hits, one walk and he struck out six batters. In his last game, Pimentel gave up one run over five innings, marking the beginning of what looks like a nice turnaround from a rough start. In his first four games combined, he allowed ten earned runs over 9.1 innings.

Joely Rodriguez got to make his debut one day late and he he carried over his AFL success into winter ball. He threw three shutout innings, giving up two hits, while walking none and collecting three strikeouts. According to those at the game, he hit 95 MPH. Rodriguez was able to pitch to a familiar catcher, Carlos Paulino. He went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Willy Garcia went 2-for-5 with a solo homer and his eighth double. He also picked up an outfield assist. It was a nice game from Garcia, who hit .200 over his previous 11 games, with an 0:13 BB/SO ratio in 40 at-bats.

Pedro Florimon went 1-for-3 with a strikeout and his third error. He is hitting .217 through 21 games.

Wirfin Obispo threw a shutout inning. He gave up a hit and a walk. Obispo is still a free agent. He has a 2.51 ERA in 14.1 innings.

In Venezuela, Junior Sosa played his first game in nearly three weeks. He struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning. He is hitting .317 in 41 at-bats.

Deolis Guerra extended his scoreless streak to six straight games. He retired the side in order, picking up one strikeout.

In Mexico, Sebastian Valle went 2-for-4 with two singles. He reached base five times in his previous start.

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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Where is the angry mob of Stolmy haters who wanted to lynch me and run him outta town bc he had a few tough outings? Must be sleeping off the turkey…. He has got stuff…


It is nice to see Stolmy and Joely picking it up. The Bucs obviously see something in Stolmy. We never saw him pitch in the Burgh last year and his lack of use may be a result of this “dead arm” issue Y2J is talking about.??

Thanks to all the guys at P2 for doing what they do. Makes snow seem so much more tolerable.


Pie Rat

Stolmey finished strong at the end of 2013 in AAA. Was there a reason he was out of form in 2014?


dead arm injury early in the year, lack of use on a consistent basis when he was healthy and that lack of use was based on his lack of velocity……so it goes round and round


Happy Thanksgiving John . I really enjoy your updates since I get a kick following the career of these kids .


John- in regards to Stolmy, I don’t really care how he pitches, i’m concerned about his stuff. Any reports on his velocity? Because with so-so control, only a 95MPH fastball and wipeout slider are going to allow him to have any value


I just asked since there was mention of Joely potentially hitting 95.


John (or Tim or anyone): Assuming that Pimental and Liz continue to do good work in the winter leagues, would either or both of them be viable rotation options for 2015?


Realistically I think Joely could have a shot too. He’s not quite good enough of a prospect to consider the Super two deadline so he’s more of a spring rotation option than Kingham…or a healthy Taillon. Being a LHP he could make quick work of certain LHH heavy NL lineups.


Thanks. I probably shoudla asked more specifically: do they project more as starters or relievers? Do the Pirates see them as having starter stuff and makeup and whatnot, or do they seem like they’d make better relievers? And why– if you know?

Again, thanks. And Happy Thanksgiving!


Stolmy’s projections are all over the map due to the drop in his fastball speed last year, if he doesn’t get that back, he realistically will be cut. His offspeed pitches and lack of control don’t play in the majors without the velocity he showed in 2012-2013


If this trend continues, by Christmas Valle will have also passed Tony on the depth chart.

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