In Mexico on Sunday, Carlos Munoz had a big day, collecting three hits and driving in three runs. He picked up his fifth double. Munoz gave an interview to the local paper(link is in Spanish) that had some good news for his biggest issue, his conditioning. Munoz said that his coach Mark Weidemaier told him that he is a future Major League player and that has really motivated him to work harder this winter. Weidemaier has been scouting, managing and coaching in baseball since 1982, so he has a good idea of what a Major League bat looks like after 33 years.
The Pirates also have him on a strict workout program to lose weight and be more athletic. You have to take it with a grain of salt still, because this is something that has gone on with him since he signed in 2011, but maybe it’s finally dawning on him that he needs to get serious.
In the Dominican, weather played havoc with the schedule again. Just one game has been played over the last two days. On Sunday, Willy Garcia went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He’s had a very poor winter so far, with a .147 average and high strikeout rate, plus a minor injury that cost him three games. Just for an interesting note, the opposing pitcher was former Pirates’ farmhand Joely Rodriguez, who threw 4.1 shutout innings with seven strikeouts.
In Venezuela, Jose Osuna went 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. In 26 games, he has a .372/.417/.511 slash line. He’s hitting well off lefty pitchers in limited time, going 9-for-17 with two homers. Osuna is second in Venezuela in batting and fifth in OPS. He is younger than the four players ahead of him in OPS and also the five player behind him in the top ten OPS.
Francisco Diaz went 2-for-3 with a walk and run scored. He was one of 19 Pirates’ minor league players who became a free agent on Friday, but last year he was one of the free agents who re-signed with the Pirates during the off-season. Diaz works well with young catchers and pitchers, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them sign him again.
Another recent free agent made his debut on Sunday. Wilfredo Boscan was called up three times by the Pirates this season and yet he still hasn’t made his Major League debut. He had no trouble making his debut in Venezuela though, allowing one hit over three shutout innings, with no walks and three strikeouts.
Gorkys Hernandez went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a sacrifice bunt.