Winter Leagues: First Pirates See Action in Puerto Rico

A recap of the action from the Pittsburgh Pirates playing winter ball on Sunday.

In the Dominican, Rodolfo Castro played his second winter game on Sunday. He went 1-for-4 with a single. He started at third base again.

In Venezuela, Diego Castillo started at shortstop and he went 0-for-4. He’s hitting .263 with a .664 OPS in his first week of action.

Ali Sanchez went 1-for-4 with a single and a walk. He’s hitting .214 with a .540 OPS in his limited play.

In Puerto Rico, Aaron Shackelford played his first winter game as a second baseman. He went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Brad Case tossed a scoreless inning with no hits or walks and one strikeouts.

Jeffrey Passantino pitched one inning, allowing a run on no hits and one walk.

In Mexico, Jared Oliva went 1-for-3 with his second triple and a walk. He’s hitting .299 with a .714 OPS.

In case you missed it from the weekend, here’s our weekly winter league report.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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I hope Oliva KILLS it this winter; he appears to have been squeezed out of the current FO good graces, and a hot winter might sweeten adding him as a tertiary trade piece. I, for one, think that he will be an excellent 4th OF, but his ship seems to have left the dock in Pittsburgh.


He made it to MLB, but did not do very well. Then in 2022, when he really needed to assert himself at AAA, he experienced a bad first 4 months. That took him off the radar.

He finished 2022 in AAA with .900+ OPS months in Aug and Sep, but while he was struggling at AAA, Jack Suwinski, who can play CF, had already blown the doors off at the MLB level. Other CF’s like Swagg’s, Fraizer, and Head are probably all ahead of him going into 2023.


yep, concur.


Now is leaning to a classic “greener pasture on the other side…” player.

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