In the Dominican on Wednesday night, three Pirates players saw action for Aguilas Cibaenas. Willy Garcia went 1-for-4, with his fourth home run of the season. He is second in homers to Sebastian Valle(five) among Pirates in winter ball. He is having a winter season very similar to his regular season for Altoona, hitting .269/.314/.462 in winter VS .271/.311/.478 for Altoona.
His BB/SO numbers aren’t good in winter, though they have improved over Altoona. During the regular season, he struck out once every 3.03 at-bats, compared to once every 3.82 at-bats in winter. He has walked nine times in 140 plate appearances(once every 15.6 PA), compared to 24 walks during the year in 474 plate appearances(once every 19.8 PA). The Dominican league as a group issues more walks than the Eastern League, so that could explain the improvement in the latter, but the league also records more strikeouts than the EL, so that makes his current strikeout rate look a little better.
There is also the matter of the competition in the Dominican being slightly better than the Eastern League. He occasionally will see lesser pitchers, but a survey of the pitchers from last year showed that the average pitcher in the league would be closer to AAA than AA.
Edwin Espinal played his second game, going 0-for-2 after pinch-hitting for Manny Ramirez in the seventh inning. Espinal’s only other appearances was as a defensive replacement at first base nearly a month ago. Back in September, Espinal was one of four Pirates players that were drafted into the Dominican league. So far, he is the only one to see any playing time.
Nate Baker threw a scoreless sixth inning, retiring the side in order on three grounders. He has five appearances, giving up one run over 2.2 innings.
Josh Wall also retired the side in order in the eighth inning for Aguilas. Since joining winter ball, he has made three appearances in the last six days. Wall pitched for Indianapolis this year and he is currently a minor league free agent.
Another pitcher from Indianapolis who is a minor league free agent, saw action on Wednesday. Rafael Perez made his sixth start. He has also made nine relief appearances. Perez threw five innings, giving up three runs(one earned) on six hits and two walks, with five strikeouts.
Mel Rojas Jr. went 1-for-4 with a single and a strikeout. He is hitting .242 through 38 games, with nine doubles, a triple, no homers and two stolen bases in three attempts. Wednesday was his first start in ten days.
Gustavo Nunez went 1-for-5 with a run scored and two strikeouts. He is hitting .279 through 36 games.
In Venezuela, Junior Sosa was the only Pirates player to see action. He went 1-for-3 with a HBP. Sosa is making up for lost time during the regular season, when he played just 12 games for Altoona. In 25 winter games, he has a .267/.353/.387 slash line.
In Australia, 18-year-old Sam Kennelly played his second game of the season. He was a defensive replacement at third base in the seventh inning. He singled in his only at-bat and scored a run.
In Panama, Edgar Munoz went 1-for-3 with a single and a walk. He also struck out twice and made his second error. He is 3-for-10 with two walks in three games.
Ashley Ponce went 0-for-2 with two walks.