More winter ball
Well I believe it’s time for another tour of a winter league. First an update on Revs currently in other leagues that we had looked at previously…
Corey Thurman has had a rough couple of appearances his last two starts, touched for 6 runs in 2.2 innings and 3 runs in just a third of an inning, dropping to 2-3 with a 7.00 ERA in Mexico. Clearly it’s a hitter’s league, but here’s hoping that Thurm gets things straightened out and pitches like he had been. No doubt it’s been a very long season for him, still going without a break since April. One of his teammates with Navojoa, Kraig Binick (Long Island) is hitting a team-best .350 with 13 stolen bases.
Val Majewski was hitting .225 in 11 games for Hermosillo but hasn’t played since November 2.
And in Venezuela, Ramon Castro has climbed to a team-best .324 average for Aragua. Also in VZ, former Revs outfielder Erold Andrus is batting .262 for Magallanes.
Now shifting our focus to another league and surveying things in Puerto Rico. I chose this one today after texting back and forth with Matt DeSalvo who is in Carolina, PR pitching for the Gigantes. Our conversation was mostly about Fantasy Football and his acquisition of Michael Bush which helped him shellack my fantasy band of misfits this past weekend, but on the mound DeSalvo’s been good… no record, but a 2.92 ERA through his first 3 starts. He’s joined on the team by Blue Crabs closer Jim Ed Warden (two saves) and Patriots third baseman and Atlantic League Hall of Famer (if there was such a thing) Jeff Nettles (.214). Former Bluefish Hiram Bocachica and Riversharks catcher Rene Rivera who went from Camden in 2010 to the majors with Minnesota in 2011 are also teammates of DeSalvo.
One of the great successes involving a Revs player in last year’s winter action was R.J. Rodriguez who was dominant for Ponce. He’s back there again this year, and results-wise, he’s outstanding again. In 5 appearances, R.J. has 4 saves, has not allowed a run in five innings, and has only given up two hits. Former Revs hurler Juan Padilla is his teammate and has allowed just one run in six innings with a 2-0 record in relief. Bluefish lefty Luis Gonzalez is on Ponce’s pitching staff as well. There’s also a heavy Long Island flavor with that team… catcher Robinson Cancel who played for the Ducks in 2010 and made it back to the big leagues last season is on the squad but hitting just .185. John Rodriguez, a big member of this year’s Liberty Division championship club, is also in Ponce but batting only .160. And Freddie Thon, who DeSalvo retired for the final out of this year’s Championship Series, is with Leones de Ponce as well.
The team in Caguas (the Criollos) has a few Atlantic League names in Joe Newby (Southern Maryland ’10) who is 1-0 through a pair of starts, the always entertaining and flamboyant Eddy Ramos (reliever for Bridgeport and the Road Warriors) who has allowed just one run through seven innings, and big league vet Saul Rivera who pitched for the Road Warriors this season and currently has three saves in Puerto Rico.
Andy Gonzalez, who would have been York’s opening day shortstop this year had the Brewers not come calling in spring training, has played in four games with Caguas going 4-for-13 at the plate thus far. He was the first of eight players to leave York for affiliated ball in 2011, a stat that makes the Revs’ 73-win season even more impressive. Edgard Clemente is also on the team… he played with York late in 2008 and while he’s a relative of the late, great Roberto Clemente, he was also especially known for sporting some rather tight pants. George Sandel once said that Clemente picked up a new pair of pants at Baby Gap. Clemente is hitting .273 in his first 6 games this winter. Other names of note are MLB veteran Alex Cora (.231) who was in the majors with Washington this season, outfielder Adrian Ortiz who was with the Road Warriors this season, and Pudge. Yes, Ivan Rodriguez is on the team… he’ll be 40 in a couple of weeks and is only 2-for-31 at the plate. He was also in the majors with the Nats this season and hit .218.
Elsewhere in Puerto Rico, the Indios de Mayaguez roster features first baseman Koby Clemens, son of Roger. He is 3-for-16 at the plate. 6’7 righty Raymar Diaz who pitched well for Bridgeport this season is also with Mayaguez and is in their starting rotation.
That’s what’s going on in the Puerto Rican Winter League. There will be one last stop on our tour which is the Dominican Republic. Lorenzo Barcelo is pitching quite well there this winter, and we’ll take a closer look at that league in our next post.