Winter Leagues: Ngoepe to Play in WBC Qualifier, Holdzkom Sits This One Out

A day-by-day recap of the action across winter ball over the last week.

Sunday

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz went 2-for-4 with two singles, a walk and an RBI in his team’s 6-3 win.

In Venezuela, Jorge Rondon faced one batter and got a ground out to end the inning, stranding an inherited runner.

Monday

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz went 1-for-4 with a single, before leaving for a pinch-runner in the eighth inning. His team won 2-1 and won their series, moving to the finals.

In Puerto Rico, Danny Ortiz went 1-for-3 with a single.

In the Dominican, Wilkin Castillo came in on defense behind the plate in the eighth inning and had an RBI single and a run scored in his only at-bat.

There was no action on Tuesday.

Wednesday

In Venezuela, Wilfredo Boscan took the loss, as his team was eliminated from the playoffs. He went four innings, allowing three runs(two earned) on five hits and a walk, while striking out three batters. Boscan posted a 5.19 ERA in four playoff starts.

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz did something he has never done in five seasons in the minors. He struck out three times in one game. He went 0-for-4 and his team lost 8-1 in the first game of the finals.

Thursday

In Australia, Sam Kennelly went 0-for-3. He was the only Pirates’ player to see action.

Friday

In Australia, Sam Kennelly went 1-for-4 with his ninth double of the season. He had seven doubles during the regular season in the GCL, and that was in 159 at-bats. He has 125 at-bats this winter.

In Puerto Rico, Danny Ortiz went 0-for-2 with two walks, a run scored and his second stolen base of the playoffs.

In Venezuela, Jorge Rondon went 1.2 innings, allowing a run on two hits and a hit batter. He had no walks and one strikeout. Rondon has a 10.38 ERA in the playoffs.

Saturday

In Australia, Sam Street threw three shutout innings, allowing three hits, no walks and he had one strikeout. He allowed six runs this winter during one 1.1 inning appearance. In his other nine games combined, he gave up two runs over 16.1 innings.

Sam Kennelly started at third base and went 0-for-3 as his team managed just two hits in a 9-0 loss. He had been starting at shortstop every game for the last three weeks.

Live baseball from Australia will be on MLB Network tonight at midnight, as Sam Street and Melbourne, take on Sydney. Street likely won’t pitch due to the work he put in on Saturday, but his team does have a doubleheader and it’s the last day of their season, so he may be available for an inning. Either way, it’s still live baseball in January.

Jon Morosi noted that Gift Ngoepe will play for South Africa in the World Baseball Classic qualifiers, while John Holdzkom won’t pitch for New Zealand due to time missed with his 2015 injuries. The qualifiers are February 11-14 and also include Australia(which could have Street and Kennelly on their roster) and the Philippines, who are of course, extreme underdogs. There are three other qualifiers for the 2017 WBC this year, with two taking place in March and one in September.

Unless something big happens during the week, the next winter update will be next Saturday. Feel free to use also this as a discussion thread for anything Pirates.

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