Not many Pittsburgh Pirates players saw action on Saturday night, but it is interesting to note the struggles of Tony Sanchez on both offense and defense during his first ten games of winter ball and compare that to how Sebastian Valle has performed since signing with the Pirates on November 20th. A small sample size won’t do much to change their status going into the regular season. Sanchez still seems like the third string catcher for the Pirates and the replacement option early in the season. Valle will probably start at Altoona and hope to regain his prospect status. Not long ago, he was considered a much better prospect than Elias Diaz and the two players are the same age, so it’s still possible that Valle ends up to be a strong under the radar signing that cost the Pirates nothing.
On Saturday night in the Dominican, Tony Sanchez went 0-for-2 before being pinch-hit for in the seventh inning. On defense, he made his second throwing error and allowed two stolen bases in two attempts. Sanchez is batting .100 and he’s 2-for-12 in throwing out runners.
Willy Garcia struck out twice in three at-bats, but he had a two-run single his first time up. That hit put his team up 2-0, on their way to a 4-0 victory. Garcia is hitting .252 and has a 6:29 BB/SO ratio in 103 at-bats.
Gustavo Nunez went 1-for-4 with an RBI, run scored and two strikeouts.
In Mexico, Sebastian Valle continued to get on base at a high rate. He went 1-for-3 with a double, walk and HBP. In his last ten games, he is batting .483/.595/.862, with three homers. During that span he has driven in ten runs and scored ten runs as well. Perhaps the most important part of his recent success is his 6:3 BB/SO ratio. Valle walked just nine times during the regular season and he has struck out over 100 times in a season twice in the past.
In Venezuela, Jhonathan Ramos faced one batter for the second day in a row. He picked up a strikeout, lowering his ERA to 0.71 through 18 appearances.
Radhames Liz still hasn’t officially signed with the Pirates yet, but they have shut him down for the winter. He made five starts for Estrellas de Oriente, posting a 1.90 ERA in 23.2 innings, with a .195 BAA, 1.16 GO/AO ratio and a 5:29 BB/SO ratio.