Winter Leagues: Strong Outing For Heredia, Ortiz Provides Offense in Win

In the Dominican, Alen Hanson was the only player from the Pirates to see action on Monday in all of winter ball. He went 0-for-3 in that game, then followed it up with another 0-for-3 on Tuesday, though he drove in the winning run in a 2-0 victory. Hanson is hitting .278 through 24 games.

Pedro Florimon had his best game of winter ball, going 2-for-4 with two triples and a walk. His team won 11-1 and he drove in two runs.

Mel Rojas Jr. was used as a pinch-runner on Tuesday and didn’t get a chance to bat.

Wilkin Castillo played for the first time in 11 days and went 0-for-3, dropping him to 1-for-19 on the season.

According to the article, both Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco have expressed desire to play winter ball this season for Leones del Escogido. Neither of them played last winter, but both played for Escogido the previous two off-seasons. However, Polanco’s agent told me on Tuesday night that the reports were untrue and Polanco is “Focused on getting his knee 100% and having a big 2016”. I was told from a source that Marte hasn’t done any baseball activities since the season ended, plus it’s unlikely the Pirates would give him permission to play, so it sounds like the article is just providing false hope for fans of Escogido.

Indianapolis Indians manager Dean Treanor has taken over managing Estrellas de Oriente, where he has managed the past few years. He replaces interim manager Mendy Lopez, who is the manager of the DSL Pirates during the regular season. Treanor returning is significant in that he provides an extra set of eyes for possible free agents to sign. In the past, the Pirates have signed multiple players from his team over the off-season.

In Venezuela, Elias Diaz went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and an RBI. Diaz threw out the only runner who attempted to steal and he has shutdown the opposing runners all winter to the point they’re barely attempting steals. Opponents are 1-for-5 in steals against him through ten games.

Jose Osuna went 1-for-4 with a run scored and two strikeouts. He split the game between left field and first base, something that has happened a lot recently. He is hitting .336/.401/.463 in 38 games.

One last Junior Sosa update, as he has signed as a minor league free agent with the Marlins after spending his first eight seasons of pro ball with the Pirates. Sosa moved to left field on defense when Osuna moved to first base. He didn’t get to bat. As with all players who sign elsewhere, he now gets dropped from the winter coverage.

Elvis Escobar was used as a pinch-runner on Tuesday and finished the game in center field on defense without an at-bat. He had an impressive exhibition game at Marlins Park over the weekend if you missed it live on MLB Network. He showed excellent speed and hustle, a strong arm and gap power on a triple.

Gorkys Hernandez went 1-for-3 with a HBP. He has a .757 OPS through 39 games.

A.J. Morris faced three batters, allowing one unearned run on two hits, while picking up a strikeout for his only out.

Deolis Guerra retired the only two batters he faced, one by strikeout. This was his first official game this winter, though he pitched in an exhibition game over the weekend at Marlins Park.

Wilfredo Boscan got hit hard in his 4.2 innings, allowing six runs(four earned) on ten hits, with two walks and two strikeouts. In four starts, he has a 5.74 ERA over 15.2 innings.

In Puerto Rico, Danny Ortiz went 1-for-6 with an error during a doubleheader, though he drove in three runs during a 4-1 victory in game two on Tuesday night. If you missed it and you’re wondering who Danny Ortiz is, he signed as a minor league free agent this week.

In Mexico, Luis Heredia faced eight batters over 2.1 innings and the ball never left the infield. He walked one batter and gave up a steal, but he needed just 23 pitches to get through his outing. Heredia got five ground outs, a pop out to second base and a liner to shortstop for his seven outs. In his last outing, he walked two of the three batters he faced. In the prior game, he threw three shutout innings, and before that he had two straight appearances in which he walked or hit every batter he faced. He is facing tougher competition than he saw in Bradenton this season, but in 15.1 innings, he has a 4.70 ERA and 13 walks, with just six strikeouts.

Sebastian Valle recently returned to the lineup after playing just once in the previous 33 days. He went 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly. He is hitting .235 in 13 games, though he’s driven in a run in four straight games.

  • Heredia’s performance chart has to look like an EKG of an embolism.

  • What’s wrong with Polanco’s knee?

    • He suffered most of the year with it. I believe he jammed it. I assume that since it was a sprain he did not have it scoped or surgically repaired.

  • NMR

    Would you recommend Baseball Prospectus as a sub site? I’ve been wanting to try it. I like BA, but it costs too much for all I get out of it. What does BP have?

    • I signed up for both a few years ago, and my subscriptions ran out with me hardly ever checking in except when someone posted a link to something there that was behind the pay wall. YMMV.

    • Whew, that’s a tough one…I’d say yes, and that’s because I get a lot out of it and don’t even care for a bunch of work they put out. They’re extremely heavy on SABR research stuff, honestly to the point where an admitted nerd like myself finds limited value in the work. I don’t use PECOTA or many of their own proprietary metrics. But they do have fantastic prospect coverage, both by their own scouts and those in the industry, and also do great mechanics features for both hitters and pitchers. Their writers are always getting poached by big league clubs, too, which seems like a good sign to me.

      • I just noticed that you use NMR but have a photo of NRM. Wow that was a business that was run over by the digital age. Although my son collects vinyl. I have told him of all the vinyl I have tossed over the years. He does still speak to me.

        • Ha! I love stories like that…keeping all my old cassettes just in case. 😉

          The NRM picture is compliments of Foo and an old Pirate blog friend from other sites. Seemed fitting.

    • I subscribe to both sites, and visit BP daily and BA a couple times a week. Couple them with Fangraphs and you get a lot of great baseball coverage; BA solely on the minors / international, BP and FG on all aspects. It’s amazing the different viewpoints you get from the 3.

  • I wonder if the Bucs will challenge Heredia and move him to Altoona and tell him to ‘sink or swim’?

    What do they have to lose?

    • Also feels like time has come to give up on starting. Absolutely nothing of value there.

      Get him into relief, see if velo spikes, and hope his command/control issues can be mitigated in short stints.

  • re: Hanson…

    “The switch-hitter continues to struggle right-handed—an ongoing issue for him all season—though he still shows as a player who maximizes his below-average raw power. His reads and releases have improved enough as he’s climbed the ladder to where he now profiles as a solid if unspectacular second-sacker who can steal some bags, flash occasional pop, and man his position. It’s not a sexy profile, unless you’re the Pirates’ accountant.”

  • Pedro Florimon had his best game of winter ball, going 2-for-4 with two triples

    That HAS to be a misprint!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Fair Warning to Bill W

    I finalized my air and hotel (thanks to Marriott points) and am scheduled to be in ST from Feb 28th thru Mar 3. Total cost under $500 (incl rental car)!!!!

    No more hemming and hawing…..

    I am sad that a friend of mine who lived near there (after retirement) died this past summer. I was looking forward to seeing him again. That’s what I get for procrastinating.

    • Eddie transfer 30000 points to my Marriott account and I’ll come down and stay a week. That’s a pretty good deal. You flying out of PIT? I am sorry to here about your friend. I have enjoyed all the spring training’s I attended. I have also tied this into golf.

      • I live near Harrisburg. I moved out there in 1979 when I got my job with the Fedl Govt.

        I am flying into Punta Gorda on Allegiant airlines (as Tim mentioned in his excellent ST writeup). I will be staying in North Sarasota.

        20,000 points a night. I am just about out of points. I was driving back and forth to Annapolis while on a project with the Navy for about 5 years. It was a hassle but I got a NICE promotion out of it and LOTS of Marriot points.

        The only bad part was that they expected me to work!!

        As for my friend, I’m at that age where it seems one a year goes. Us living ones sing “Glory Days” a lot when we get together. 🙂 🙂 🙂

        I quit golf. I was tired of hiking in the woods.

        • I usually stay in St. Pete Beach. I always spend an inordinate amount of time in Ybor City due to a love of cigars and LATIN FOOD. I think Tim mentioned Columbia in his ST report which was an excellent article. One of my good friends also a great bucco fan also recently passed away and he would go to ST.

  • Do we still have Florimon ahead of Gift on the depth chart for spring?

    • For now he definitely is, as Ngoepe has played 21 games at AAA with a .625 OPS and then missed the last six weeks, plus playoffs with an injury. I wouldn’t rule out the Pirates signing someone who jumps ahead of both of them on the depth chart and possibly pushes Florimon off the 40-man roster. They both play strong defense and Florimon can really run when he gets on base, but it shouldn’t be tough to come up with someone better than both of them