Pirates Winter Leagues: Roberto Perez Debuts in Puerto Rico

The league in the Dominican was off on Tuesday, so the action in Puerto Rico and Colombia took center stage. We start in Puerto Rico with an interesting debut.

Puerto Rico

Roberto Perez played his first game since his May 7th season-ending injury. The free agent catcher is attempting to prove that he’s healthy before signing with any teams this off-season.

The Pirates have said they are interested in bringing Perez back, and they have a need for a starting catcher. Perez caught seven innings in his debut and he went 0-for-2 at the plate. We will keep tabs on him this winter, unless he signs elsewhere.

Josh Palacios went 2-for-4 with two singles, two RBIs and a walk. He is 5-for-24 with two doubles and four walks in seven games.

Tsung-Che Cheng went 0-for-3. He’s hitting .261 with a .761 OPS in seven games.

Shawn Ross played third base off of the bench and went 0-for-1. He’s hitting .104 with a .390 OPS in 23 games.

Colombia

Andres Alvarez went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and three RBIs. He’s hitting .379 with a 1.139 OPS in 23 games. He’s third in the league in average, second in OPS, first in homers (6) and first in RBIs (30).

Rodolfo Nolasco went 0-for-4. He has a .219 average and a .739 OPS in 22 games.

Francisco Acuna went 0-for-4. He’s hitting .214 with a .694 OPS in 22 games.

Mexico

Fabricio Macias went 2-for-5 with an RBI. He collected two doubles, giving him 14 on the season. He’s hitting .254 with a .671 OPS in 47 games.

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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b mcferren

would trade Colin Holderman or Mike Burrows for Alejandro Kirk

jeffw3000

I doubt the Jays would trade Jansen for Holderman let alone Kirk, unless maybe if we throw in Reynolds. We need Burrows way more than we need someone like Kirk. We have Rodriguez and Davis coming up. We need top of the rotation pitching much more than a catcher right now. Burrows has a chance to be a top of the rotation guy. I am fine with Perez or even Barnhart as our catcher until Rodriguez arrives.

chuck_conner

Reynolds has better #’s than the short stop the Giants just sign and you want him traded 1 on 1 for a catcher SMH.

Wilbur Miller

Jays might be unenthused.

b mcferren

AND instead of OR?

robertkasperski

That would would be putting it mildly 🙂

Mblee24

I’d rather have Barnhart. Perez is an injury waiting to happen.

emjayinTN

Roberto Perez. $5 mil in 2022 for 60 AB, and each hit was worth $357,000! Yep, that would be the crown on this off season.

Play Delay and Heineman and leave the path for the ascension of Endy Rodriguez to MLB wide open.

chuck_conner

Perez says he owes the Pirates. OK, sign for 1 dollar. A couple,of years ago the Pirates (in their quaint kind of was) signed a player, can’t remember his name, that was always hurt. The Pirates thought they could change that. They sure did, he didn’t have 1 at bat the whole year. If they would take,all the flyers, they had on sandlot players, they could have gotten a pretty decent player.

robertkasperski

I believe the path is wide open no matter who they sign to be the starter at the beginning of the season. Will be Heineman or Delay in the #2 hole if it is Perez, Barnhart, or someone else. Endy would bump whoever the #2 guy is off of the roster and he will get plenty of playing time.

Mblee24

Yeah I agree roll with Barnhart and delay/Heineman. Then when Rodriguez is ready he bumps delay or heinemen off the roster making Barnhart the back up.

robertkasperski

I think Endy would be used how he was in the minors. Catch, DH and 2nd Base. Barnhart or whomever will still get work as well. When Davis is ready both he and Endy will both be in the lineup a lot and rotate between behind the plate, DH and the field. Davis has been used the same way in the minors.

chuck_conner

I saw some footage on Davis catching. Not good. He had pitches hitting off his glove, couldn’t catch anything thrown hard. He,needs a lot of work. I hope I’m wrong and I saw a bad clip of him.

emjayinTN

It all sounds so easy on paper, but if the Pirates dig into their pockets for more than the league minimum for a Catcher, that person is there until the trading deadline – it’s just the way things happen in the ‘burgh these days.

Delay and Heineman have a knowledge of the pitchers and I would emphasize that aspect rather than what a $2 – $5 mil Catcher may hit in Apr or May. No putting lipstck on this pig!

robertkasperski

Like I said, the other catcher will not block Endy froim a promotion. Heineman or Delay will be replaced by Endy. Endy will get plenty of at bats and so will the catcher signed from the outside. They have been working both Endy and Davis at Catcher, DH and a field position so that both can be in the starting lineup when they both get to the bigs. Neither will be the go to #1 catcher unless the other one is hurt. Both will play. That is why I say that a catcher from the outside will not hinder Endy’s playing time and at bats when he arrives because he has been groomed to not to catch the majority of the time when he plays.

timbre21

What about Andres Alvarez making the Bucs later this year?

TNBucs

I’m curious to get John’s and others’ perspectives on why they’d send a player who had success in AA to a winter league that is comparable to low A? Is it that hard to find a spot for AA players? Was there a connection between Alvarez and Colombia that the assignment made sense? He’s had a great winter but I’m left feeling like we don’t really know anything more about his potential than we did prior to the winter.

emjayinTN

He truly plays almost everywhere on the field, but behind way too many others in the IF and OF. He played as a 25 year old at AA Altoona, only a .220 BA but did hit 20 HR. He needed for his agent or anybody to get him an invite to play in Puerto Rico or the Dominican this Winter, and do well.

Putting up gaudy numbers in Colombia will not do much for his future, and even getting to AAA could be doubtful when considering the depth of prospects moving into AA and AAA.

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