Monday was a very slow day for winter league action. There were only two games on the schedule and one Pittsburgh Pirates player saw action. There was big news however from the Dominican. Tony Sanchez was sent home due to poor performance. That isn’t surprising as he was hitting .100, having issues on defense, and in his last game, he batted ninth and was pinch-hit for in the seventh inning. While we consider winter leagues as off-season leagues, this is the regular season in the Dominican, so if you don’t perform well, you don’t play. In his last game, Sanchez committed his second error and he allowed two stolen base in two attempts, leaving him 2-for-12 in throwing out runners.
Sunday’s winter recap got lost Monday morning with the news and rumors from the winter meetings. Joely Rodriguez made his third start, Sebastian Valle collected another extra-base hit and Willy Garcia had two doubles and a walk. In case you missed it, here’s the link. With the poor performance from Sanchez and Valle possibly regaining his prospect status(he’s two years younger than Sanchez), you have to wonder if Sanchez’s days in Pittsburgh are numbered. Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart will be on the Opening Day roster and Elias Diaz could be a mid-season option if he is able to carry over his 2014 success at the plate.
Julio Vivas was the only Pirates player that saw action Monday. He threw a scoreless inning, retiring the side in order on two ground balls and a strikeout. Considering that Vivas spent most of this year in GCL, making two late season appearances for Bristol, what he is doing in Venezuela is outstanding. Seeing sporadic work, he has allowed one run on five hits and no walks in nine innings. During the regular season, he posted a 1.01 ERA over 26.2 innings, so he is matching his regular season performance against much tougher competition.
One other bit of news. Andy Vasquez moved from the Dominican league to the Colombian league. So far, he is 4-for-20 with a double and triple. Vasquez is a minor league free agent after spending eight seasons in the Pirates system.
On Tuesday in the Dominican, Stolmy Pimentel gave up five runs on six hits in 1.2 innings. He walked none and picked up two strikeouts. Pimentel started the winter slow, then went on a three-game streak in which he allowed three earned runs over 15 innings. He now has a 6.23 ERA in 26 innings over eight starts.
Pedro Florimon went 1-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and he drove in two runs. He is hitting .333 in his last ten games.
Willy Garcia went 2-for-4 with his 11th double and a run scored. He is hitting .333 in his last ten games, with four doubles and two homers.
Nate Baker made his third appearance and struck out the only batter he faced.
Carlos Paulino went 1-for-4 with a two-run homer. He is hitting .302 through 22 games.
In Venezuela, Elias Diaz went 1-for-3 with a walk and run scored. He is hitting .167 in seven games.
Junior Sosa went 2-for-3 with a double, triple, RBI, walk and two runs scored. He is batting .293 through 20 games.
Matt Nevarez pitched a scoreless eighth inning, retiring the side in order. In 22 innings over 23 appearances, he has a 3.68 ERA, a .143 BAA and 24 strikeouts.
Deolis Guerra allowed one run on three hits and a walk in his only inning of work. He has a 7.71 ERA in 11 appearances.
In Colombia, Harold Ramirez went a combined 3-for-4 with a double, walk and HBP in his last two games. He is 4-for-14 with four walks and four HBP, giving him a .545 OBP.
In Mexico, Sebastian Valle went 2-for-4, raising his average to .287 through 34 games. He is hitting .419 in his last ten games.