Five days worth of winter league action covered below. The five players mentioned here are the last five Pittsburgh Pirates still playing winter ball.
In Venezuela, Elvis Escobar played the last two innings on defense in left field without getting an at-bat.
In the Dominican, Nefi Ogando returned from the winter mini-camp in Bradenton from last week and rejoined his team in the playoffs. He threw a shutout inning, retiring the side in order on two ground outs and a strikeout.
In the Dominican, Jason Rogers played for the first time in four games and went 0-for-4. He’s mostly been playing left field in winter ball, though this game he was at first base.
The round robin tournament ended on Tuesday night, as two of the four teams advanced to the finals. That left just Jason Rogers and Nefi Ogando as the last two active Pirates in the Dominican.
In Venezuela, Elvis Escobar played the last two innings on defense in left field without getting an at-bat. If that sounds familiar, well you just read the same thing under Monday’s results.
In Puerto Rico, Danny Ortiz went 0-for-4. He did not play on Wednesday or Thursday night, and Friday was an off day.
After no Pirates saw action on Wednesday in winter ball, the finals of the Dominican league began on Thursday night. Jason Rogers went 1-for-4 with a double, as his team lost 4-3. He scored a run in the second inning, then added an RBI ground out in the fifth.
In Australia, Sam Street recorded the final out in the top of the ninth during his team’s 4-3 loss. He picked up a strikeout, throwing four pitches, and he stranded two inherited runners. The Australian league still has two games this weekend and one more full weekend of action before their playoffs start.
In Venezuela, Elvis Escobar played the ninth inning on defense in center field without getting an at-bat. While he saw a lot of time during the regular season this winter, Escobar is taking on a similar role in the postseason to what he had last year. In 12 games, he is 2-for-6 at the plate, with four runs scored as a pinch-runner.
Each round of the playoffs, the rosters get better in Venezuela (and elsewhere) because the teams add the best players from the teams that got eliminated in the previous round. Escobar is seeing the amount of playing time you would expect from someone his age (22) with only a month of Double-A experience.
In the Dominican, Jason Rogers went 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored, before leaving for a pinch-hitter in the eighth (which happened to be Mel Rojas Jr.). Rogers played left field and committed his second error of the winter.
Nefi Ogando retired the final two batters of the eighth inning in his team’s 4-2 loss. He gave up an inherited run on a sacrifice fly (happened to be Rojas scoring the run) and got a grounder to shortstop for the final out. Ogando has a 0.00 ERA in limited playoff action. I’ve included video of Ogando from mini-camp.
In Australia, Sam Street allowed two runs over two innings, giving up two hits, two walks and he had two strikeouts. Both runs scored on a home run. In five appearances, Street has allowed five runs on eight hits and four walks in 4.1 innings this winter.