Winter Leagues: Jason Rogers Doubles and Homers in Playoff Victory

During his first playoff game in the Dominican, Jason Rogers heard it from the hometown fans. He batted four times, coming to the plate with a total of seven runners on base and came up empty each time, once hitting into a double play. He was hearing a much better response on Thursday night. Rogers drove in a run with a double in the fourth, then came around to score. In the fifth inning, he hit a sacrifice fly. He then topped off his night with a two-run homer in the seventh inning (shown just below). Rogers’ fate with the Pirates is still undecided.

Eury Perez went 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts in his second playoff game. He had two hits and two walks in the opener.

In Venezuela, Jose Osuna went 1-for-2, with a single and two walks. In what was the last game of the regular season, Osuna attempted his first stolen base of the winter and was thrown out. He finished with a .279/.361/.387 slash line in 60 games. During his breakout winter last year, he hit .330/.395/.519 over 59 games. He slugged nine homers last winter, compared to just three this off-season.

Elvis Escobar went 1-for-5, with a single, run scored and an RBI. He finished the regular season with a .265/.280/.388 slash line in 48 games. I mentioned yesterday that Escobar showed a lot of progress compared to last winter when he was most used as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement. The playoffs in Venezuela begin on Monday night.

In Mexico, Luis Heredia allowed a run on two hits and a walk, while recording the final two outs of the ninth. This game was 1-0 with two outs in the top of the eighth, and ended up as an 11-4 game. Heredia allowed two inherited runners to score. He now has a 5.45 ERA in 34.2 innings over 19 appearances.

Carlos Munoz went 2-for-4 with two singles and an RBI. He is hitting .221/.303/.310 in 52 games.

In Puerto Rico, Danny Ortiz went 0-for-4, dropping him to a .343 average. With one game left in the season, he is tied with his teammate for the batting title. He trails that same teammate by 14 points for the league lead in OPS.

From Wednesday night in Colombia, 16-year-old Francisco Acuna went 0-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch. He is hitting .250/.400/.300 through nine games. Acuna was back at shortstop in this game after playing second base on Tuesday.

Sandy Santos struck out as a pinch-hitter. He is batting .273/.333/.273 through eight games.

  • Off topic, but any thoughts on the Brian Dozier suggestion? Personally I think he obviously beats the hell out of Harrison. Not quite sure what the cost would be but I’m sure it wouldn’t be cheap. I guess I’d rather get Quintana with more years of control but assume he’s also cost more.

  • Decent chance Rogers makes it through waivers but if so, would he want to stay with us? A AAAA bat like his should fetch a decent ringers contract as a minor-league free agent, don’t you think? KBL?

    • Perfect KBL player, great call.

    • If he clears they can send him outright to Indianapolis. It would be the first time that happened to him, so he doesn’t have a choice. He has to accept the assignment. He could ask to be let go of course, but that doesn’t mean it was happen.

  • This is what happens Pirates when you give a man consistent at-bats and don’t ruin the man’s morale & confidence when you pull the man in the 5th AFTER HITTING A TRIPLE! End of story! I’ll ridicule the “down season!”

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    December 30, 2016 9:49 am

    Our lead article today is about a guy, who the club already DFA’d days ago, who had two hits in a Winter League playoff game – which may have raised his average to .200?

    On a different note…is Espinal playing anywhere this Winter?

    • Shame on Tim and John for failing to produce enthralling content on December 30th, when the baseball world is just buzzing with activity.

      I demand a Best-of-2016 article regurgitating previous content and Top 10 listicle like most other outlets are putting out right now.

    • BuccosFanStuckinMD
      December 30, 2016 11:58 am

      No, how about focusing and writing about guys still in the organization…

      • We’ll have to write about Eury Perez, Jose Osuna, Elvis Escobar, Luis Heredia, Carlos Munoz, Francisco Acuna, Sandy Santos, and Jason Rogers, who is, at the moment, still part of the organization.

      • How about you start your own website and write about whatever and whomever you want.

      • Whose to say Rogers isn’t still in the organization? He’s currently trending…that’s all!

    • I believe even sports writers can slow down & plan for New years eve. Maybe the fan base can do the same…

  • Heredia had such upside. What happened? He sure looks like he’s done. What do the Pirates still see in him?


    • When he pitched in State College, he was very good. I thought we really had something there. Hmph.


      • Scouts loved him in State College. They loved his stuff then and potential upside. Talked to four scouts who saw him and they couldn’t say enough great things about him.

        I don’t think the Pirates have given up on him by any means, and they probably saw something this winter they liked. Recently I reported that they told his team in Mexico that he wasn’t allowed to start anymore games. At the beginning of the winter, he had no such restrictions. When a team puts restrictions mid-season on a player, that’s usually a good sign that they like the player.

        I’ve got three reports regarding Heredia this winter and all three said he was sitting 93-96 MPH, so that’s something to like from someone who will be 22 for most of the 2017 season.

        • I read a report somewhere (I think it had to be here) that mentioned people in the industry saying that the Pirates “handled him poorly” by constantly modifying his mechanics (i.e. Overhead vs three quarters, etc.). Was that you guys? And do you get the feeling his delivery is not where it should be at this point?

          • I wrote that article and it was based off of a talk with one of those scouts who loved him in SC. I watched a Heredia start with him two years later and we then had a long discussion about the changes the Pirates made with arm angles and secondary pitches. He didn’t like Heredia half as much at that time and he said the changes aren’t good for the arm. It was when Heredia missed the start of the season with some shoulder soreness.

            I wouldn’t solely blame Heredia’s progress on the changes though. He had conditioning issues over the years and he has never been quick to learn. I noticed he did a head tuck during his delivery in a bullpen session and the pitching coach (I believe it was Jeff Johnson) kept reminding him not to do that. At the end of Spring Training the following season, it was still an issue and he was still being constantly reminded not to do it.

            He also twists his wrist behind him during his delivery, something one scout pointed out that he doesn’t like to see because of the extra unnecessary movement. That went on for years.

            When you add everything up, you go from someone scouts loved, to a disappointing pitcher, who still has potential, but no results to back that up.

  • John … Along with Rogers, who else do you think will be sent through waivers (for Nova). And how long can they keep the roster at 41?

    • This is new to me, I’ve never seen a team given three days to make a roster move that is usually done immediately. If I had to guess, I’d say it will be Ogando