Winter Leagues: Munoz Homers, Dodson and Lambo Struggle

In the Dominican on Tuesday, Andrew Lambo went 0-for-4 with an RBI. He played left field, his third different position this winter, previously starting games in right field and at first base(plus starts at DH). Lambo is hitting just .088(3-for-34) through ten games, with a home run, two singles and two walks.

Alen Hanson pinch-hit with two runners on in the eighth inning and his team trailing 4-0 at the time. He couldn’t come through in the big spot, popping out to shortstop in his only at-bat.

In Venezuela, Zack Dodson made his fifth start and he’s going to have trouble sticking around in the league if he doesn’t turn things around quick. He started off great, allowing one run over 13 innings in his first two starts. Since then, it’s been a disaster. In his last three starts combined, including Tuesday night, Dodson has given up 16 earned runs on 16 hits and seven walks in seven innings.

Julio Vivas pitched one inning, though that was just because he couldn’t get any outs in the seventh inning. After retiring the side in order in the sixth, Vivas gave up four straight hits to start the seventh inning. Three of the runs scored before he was removed and the other scored afterwards. One of the hits he allowed was a triple to Gorkys Hernandez.

Speaking of Gorkys Hernandez, he was the only player of note from Monday night, which is why there was no winter article on Tuesday morning. He went 1-for-5 on Monday, then followed it up with a double, triple and two RBIs in five at-bats on Tuesday night.

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz went 1-for-3 with a three-run homer and a hit-by-pitch. The homer(see video below) is his third of the winter and helped his team to a 7-2 victory. He is batting .320 through 19 games, which is the fifth best average on his team.

Early rosters are out for Colombia and both Tito Polo and Luis Escobar are on the Tigres roster. This will be the first year for Escobar and he’s young for the league, where the level of play is about what you would see in High-A ball. Polo has played each of the last two seasons, seeing slightly more playing time last year. He was young for the league in 2013-14, but he should see a lot of time this year, assuming he plays. I talked to him last week and he still wasn’t sure if/when he was reporting. The league begins next Friday.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    November 4, 2015 11:04 pm

    Munoz keeps producing – with power and average. He just absolutely crushed that ball….doesn’t look like he gets cheated at the plate or at the dinner table! 🙂
    Yes, he could stand to benefit in the field and on the bases from better conditioning, but the weight doesn’t seem to hinder him at the plate.

  • Munoz’ front foot pivots over kind of violently on the HR. I wouldn’t think that is part of his normal swing? If it is it is a strange looking follow through. After he plants he completely pivoted the foot around.

    • If he can hit homers from the 1B position with good plate discipline and a decent average and not completely butcher the position…I dont care if his front foot flies off and hits the pitcher when he homers! (As long as he is able to reattach it before taking the field!)

    • Stiff hips, possibly weak core. Lead leg can’t take the stress from energy being transferred from the back leg and rotational muscles.

      You’ll see Pedro doing that when he’s not right.

      • Thanks NMR. I was thinking not enough strength to stop the weight shift from his large midsection. I’d like to see more swings.

      • I see him I can’t help but think of Randall Simon a little…but in body only. Munoz has an eye and is patient…Randall Simon would swing at everything including foam rubber sausages. Randall Simon with eye and patience sounds like a pretty good hitter doesn’t it?

  • Any more news on whether Harold Ramirez winds up playing somewhere in Colombia?

    • Nothing yet. He’s still on the reserve roster in Mexico, so I don’t believe he could play anywhere else. He might be still with his team down there. It’s hard to tell with the wording of some stories. Some say he was let go, others say reserve roster, or he spot was taken

  • “He is batting .320 through 19 games, which is the fifth best average on his team.”

    “…which is the fifth best average on his team.”

    “…*fifth* best average on his *team.*”

    Buncha Cy Young’s down there, eh?

    If he proves he can yoke swings like that against pitchers who actually know what they’re doing I don’t care how many years he spent in Rookie Ball.

    • High offense parks. Ball flies in Mexico. During the summer, the best team ERA in the Mexican Pacific League was 3.77 and a .320 average would have ranked him 29th. Compare that to the California League, which is the big offense league in the states and 3.77 would rank 5th best and a .320 would rank him fourth

      • Balls also tend to fly well off of belt high 90mph fastballs that miss over the heart of the plate. 😉

        • Well that pitcher he homered off last night is definitely low-end for that league, no sure how he gets any mound time. He’s not only very young for the league, but at 19 with no MLB team even giving him a shot, that says a lot. The Mazatlan opposing pitcher at that same time was Manny Del Carmen, so that’s a huge difference in talent. Like I said, the average pitcher is older than Munoz and has much higher pro experience

  • C’mon Andrew!!!!

  • Ive drank the Munoz kool-aid

    • piraterican21
      November 4, 2015 8:53 am

      It’s impressive even if it is a sss.

      • SSS, but when he has been able to play he’s hit. Dreker keeps pointing out his stamina and weight issues…but if he can keep his weight in check and play he can hit. Really impressive stuff after the season he just had.

        • He really just needs to keep in shape and he could end up being something. The pitchers he’s facing in Mexico now are much better than what he saw during the regular season. Granted it is a high-offense environment as the ball travels well down there, and the pitcher he homered off of last night just turned 19 and he’s never signed with a pro team, but most pitchers in the league aren’t that bad. A lot of guys with AA/AAA experience, older pitchers and even some with MLB experience. Munoz still has terrific plate patience and he’s driving the ball well.

          • That was a nice quick compact swing too. Looks like he’s got some very good hands. Makes me think of Cutch if he were built more like me.