Before Wednesday night’s Bravos de Margarita game in the Venezuelan winter league, Jose Osuna met with the local press and discussed his winter plans. Wednesday was the first day he worked out with his team this off-season. He told the local media that he feels he could be game ready within the next 7-10 days.
Osuna laid out his plans for playing time, including defense and how long he expects to play. He said that he will likely play third base four days a week, followed by splitting the rest of his time between the outfield and first base. Osuna also noted that the Pirates are allowing him to play for four weeks only, although he will ask to play in the playoffs if Margarita gets a playoff spot.
That seems like a short time, but as of today, there are only 50 days left in the regular season in Venezuela. The team has four days off in a row at Christmas, before playing the final three games. So he would be playing most of the remaining schedule once he starts playing.
I assume the Pirates will want him to attend the voluntary winter mini-camp at Pirate City in Bradenton, which is usually held during the second week of January. They can’t require him to go, but I’m sure they would like to get a look at his progress at third base. Osuna left the playoffs in Venezuela last year to attend the four-day camp, so he will likely be there.
Osuna took ground balls at third base during Spring Training this year and for most of the season, although the Pirates never used him there in a game. He has never played the spot in the minors or winter ball, so when he debuts at third base this winter, it will be his first game action.
Bravos de Margarita also announced that Elias Diaz could begin play a week after Osuna, which would be around November 22nd.