Winter Leagues: Elias Diaz is Shutting Down the Running Game in Venezuela

In the Dominican on Wednesday, Alen Hanson had his third straight 0-for-3 game. Prior to this mini slump, he was on a 7-for-12 stretch. He is hitting .268 through 25 games.

Mel Rojas Jr. went 1-for-5 with a single and run scored. He still leads the Dominican league in home runs, hitting his sixth one last Friday.

Willy Garcia went 1-for-3 with a single and his third stolen base. He is hitting .170 through 17 games and his only extra-base hit is a double.

Pedro Florimon at shortstop and Gustavo Nunez at second base, made up the double play combo for Estrellas de Oriente. If you missed it from yesterday, Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor will take over the managing job for Estrellas on Saturday from Mendy Lopez, who is the manager of the DSL Pirates. This was Lopez’s fifth game and he led them to their fifth straight win with some help from Nunez, who went 3-for-5 with a run scored and two stolen bases in the 3-2 victory. Florimon went 0-for-2 with two walks and picked up his second stolen base.

In Venezuela, Jose Osuna went 1-for-5 with a run scored and his first stolen base, as his team won 4-3 in 12 innings.

Elias Diaz went 1-for-5, leaving for a pinch-runner(which happened the be the recently departed Junior Sosa) in the 11th inning. As mentioned yesterday, Diaz has shutdown opposing base runners in his 11 games, going 4-for-5 throwing out runners. The opposition didn’t attempt a steal in this contest and they have run on him just once in the last six games. During the regular season, he threw out 30% of runners, going 14-for-46 in 60 games.

Deolis Guerra threw a scoreless inning in his second appearance, retiring the side in order. He retired both batters he faced in his debut on Tuesday.

Gorkys Hernandez went 3-for-6 with three singles, giving him a .311 average through 40 games.

In Colombia, where the day-by-day stats are still not being posted, Harold Ramirez went 1-for-4 with an RBI on Tuesday and Tito Polo went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Through eight games, Ramirez is hitting .310/.382/.379 in 29 at-bats, while Polo is hitting .263/.364/.263 in 19 at-bats.

In Puerto Rico, Danny Ortiz went 0-for-4 with a run scored in his team’s 5-2 win. He also threw out a runner at home plate, recording the final out of the second inning and keeping the score 1-0 at the time. An interesting side note from Ortiz’s team on Wednesday, the first three pitchers all played for the Pirates’ organization at one time. Jonathan Sanchez started, followed by Tyler Herron and Jonathan Albaladejo.

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz went 0-for-4, leaving him 3-for-20 with no walks or extra-base hits in his last five games.

Sebastian Valle went 2-for-4 with a double and run scored. He’s hitting .255 in 14 games, with five doubles.

Felipe Gonzalez retired all four batters he faced. He has a 7.15 ERA in 11.1 innings over 16 appearances.

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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Wasn’t Gorkys Hernandez released? Are we still covering him since he might be reacquired?



Let’s see how many runners Diaz can throw out when he’s catching Cole and Morton. If he can do as well as Russell Martin, we have a winner. But it’s hard for me to get excited over an 80% CS rate in winter ball.


Elias Diaz was voted the top defensive catcher in the GCL in 2013, the EL in 2014, & the International League this past season. In addition, he won the Captain’s Catcher’s award this past season as the top defensive catcher in MiLB. If that is too hard for you to get excited about, you had better sit down and learn a few things about professional baseball.


I get excited for his overall throwing for his career in the minors. I really don’t see how by this July Stewart will be ahead of him on the depth chart. He’s at least as good at the plate as Stewart and almost certainly will be better and he’s such a dynamic defensive player. Great to have 3 catchers but I think it’s very possible the 2nd best one will be playing in the minors most of 2015. If someone gets hurt early he may take the backup role outright.

Bill W

Poor Alen Hanson! He was cursed by Lee Foo. Please take the curse off and I will never speak ill of Lambo again.


I don’t know what happened, Bill. Most of the time when I say a player is gonna be bum (see Cole, A.J., et al) they do just the opposite.

I am not sure why my ‘curse’ isn’t working in this case.

In Lambo’s case, I still haven’t foogiven you for driving him away. All I have left is a picture of his girlfriend.

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