A few days worth of action due to a light schedule all around winter ball. Before I get into that, there is an injury update. Last week, Elias Diaz left Tuesday’s game in the sixth inning due to a side injury, which occurred while he was batting. He was out the next day, then caught five innings the following game. He then played a full game on Friday. On Tuesday, Bravos de Margarita announced that Diaz would be out for at least ten days with an oblique injury. He has been removed from the active roster.

His return to the lineup seemed very quick last week, and looks like he may have rushed back. What stands out about his quick return, followed by him now being out for at least 12 days total, is the fact that he came back when backup catcher (and former Pirate) Francisco Diaz left the team for a couple days to get married. You would assume that Elias Diaz wouldn’t risk further injury by rushing back when his team was short-handed, but he obviously aggravated the injury and is now out longer. The original time-frame had him listed as day-to-day.

In other news, the Pirates have told Venados de Mazatlan that they don’t want Luis Heredia making anymore starts this winter. They only want him pitching in relief. Heredia started once and pitched well a couple weeks ago, but hasn’t started since then. Earlier in the off-season, Mazatlan said that he joined them with no restrictions, so that thinking has changed during the course of the season.


Jason Rogers was the only Pirate to see action. He went 0-for-2 with two walks in his second game. That followed up an 0-for-5 debut.


Eric Wood was the only current Pirate to see action on Monday. He was the DH and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. It was the first game that he didn’t play in the field this winter. Wood is hitting .211/.338/.281 through 17 games. He did not play on Tuesday night, the first time since coming to the Dominican that he wasn’t in the starting lineup.

Kelvin Marte continued his strong winter by throwing seven shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out two batters. Marte had a 10:4 GO/AO ratio. He now has a 1.25 ERA through 50.1 innings. He is still a free agent.


In the Dominican, Jason Rogers played first base and went 1-for-4, with a double. He is now 1-for-11 with two walks through three games.

In Venezuela, Jose Osuna went 2-for-5, driving in two runs with a ninth inning single in his team’s 8-5 loss. He has a .262 average through 49 games, with 11 doubles, three homers and 20 walks.

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz played first base in the ninth inning of his team’s 4-3 victory. He did not get a chance to bat.

In Puerto Rico, Danny Ortiz went 1-for-4 with a two-run single and a run scored. He has a .375 average through 25 games. Ortiz is still a free agent.

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  1. In reading recent articles that Kingham may be a forgotten man, and now with continued catcher injuries- I wonder if Kevin Krause is the sleeper catcher prospect we ignore. I know he played this year after his TJ surgery being old for his team and didn’t show his power, but are hitters typically needing the 2 years to fully regain their strength too (which might explain his lack of ISO)? Anytime someone shows more BB% than K%, I take notice. Has anyone talked to him recently?

    • The main issue with Krause is that he just isn’t that good at catching. He wasn’t that good before the injury and guys ran wild on him this year during his brief time behind the plate. He actually played more right field and the times I saw him out there, it wasn’t pretty.

      He was interesting as a 22-year-old with power and being a catcher. Two years later, you’re hoping the power comes back and he’s no better at catching.

      I also think the Pirates value defense more behind the plate and they have plenty of strong defensive catchers in the minors. Christian Kelley would be the sleeper among catchers, as he looked a lot better at the plate this year than in 2015. Raul Hernandez seems to be a catcher they love defensively and he hit well in 2015 in the DSL, so I wouldn’t rule him out.

    • You can never have too many catchers, so in the abstract I agree; in this particular case, it seems like it was just a matter of coming back too soon and not an indicator of a long-term susceptibility to injury. I’ve had oblique strains and the only thing that makes them better in the near-term is rest – you don’t rest it sufficiently, you’re going to re-injure it. In the long-term, proper therapy and exercise will get it back to full strength and no more likely to be injured than anything else.

    • Remember that the Pirates were strongly against Diaz playing Winter Ball, but gave in. Is this not the most convenient injury for the Pirates? With the injury issues during 2016 and now this, I hope the Pirates and Diaz agree that he needs to take some needed R&R and get ready for early reports of Pitchers and Catchers in February.

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