First some news, then a recap of action around the five winter leagues currently in action. We mentioned in yesterday’s winter article that Starling Marte left Friday’s game early. It turns out that it was actually injury related, although it had nothing to do with his hit-by-pitch earlier in the game. While stealing third base, Marte had his hand stepped on and he received a spike wound. He’s only scheduled to play winter ball until December 21st, so unless that plan changes, we might not see him again this off-season. Marte’s Dominican team said his status is day-to-day.
In Venezuela, Jose Osuna faced former Pirate Wilfredo Boscan on Saturday night. Osuna didn’t have any luck against Boscan, going 0-for-3 with two fly outs and a grounder to shortstop. He picked up a single and a stolen base after Boscan was removed from the game. That single gave him a 16-game hit streak, which is a new team record for the Bravos de Margarita. On defense, Osuna once again had a slow day at third base, fielding just one grounder, which resulted in a force out at third base. He’s hitting .320/.370/.507 through 21 games.
Elvis Escobar went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. He is now hitting .273/.330/.335 through 52 games.
Engelb Vielma moved to the top of the lineup on Saturday. He usually bats ninth in the order. He went 2-for-4 with a single and his second double. Vielma is hitting .253/.322/.329 in 28 games, and he currently has an eight-game hit streak.
Danny Ortiz went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. He’s had a rough first ten games, hitting .067/.176/.100 in 30 at-bats.
In the Dominican, Richard Rodriguez kept his ERA at 0.00 over his last ten outings, but it was not a good game for him. He came into the game in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and a 3-2 lead. He gave up a bases clearing double, then struck out the next batter to end the frame and his night. In those last ten games, he has allowed five hits and one walk, with 12 strikeouts in nine innings.
In Mexico, Carlos Munoz singled as a pinch-hitter to raise his average to .275 through 54 games.
In Colombia from Friday night, Francisco Acuna went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. He’s now hitting .224/.359/.306 through 28 games.
In Australia on Sunday, we saw a match-up of two Pirates. Michael Suchy got to bat against Sam Street, which I believe is the first pitcher-batter meeting between two current Pirates this winter. Suchy won the battle with a single up the middle, but Street won the war with 3.1 scoreless innings on two hits, no walks and two strikeouts. He also stranded two inherited runners. It was his winter debut. Suchy finished the game 2-for-4 with two singles, a walk, a run scored and a stolen base. He’s now hitting .254 through 19 games, with four doubles, three homers and ten walks.
Sydney manager Tony Harris, who is a long-time international scout for the Pirates, was ejected in the third inning after a close play at the plate.