After being down 2-0 in the best-of-nine Dominican Winter League Championship Series, Gigantes came back to win the title over Estrellas, five games to three on Sunday.
Gigantes won the clincher, 12-5, to move on to the Caribbean Series. That pits all four Caribbean League champions (plus Cuba) against one another. The Caribbean Series begins on February 2nd in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
During the DWL regular season, Gigantes was made up of quite a few KC Royals players, including minor leaguers Miguel Almonte and Scott Alexander, but during the postseason, Gigantes used four Royals.
Right-handed reliever Michael Mariot played a huge role. During the last week, he pitched three times (out of six games). He earned two holds. Mariot entered the game on January 19th with one on in the 7th inning, but left the runner stranded. He did leave the game in the 8th inning with two on and two outs, but former Royal Zach Jackson got out of the inning.
On January 21st. Mariot entered in the 7th inning and got the final two outs of the inning (including a strikeout). On January 24th, he allowed one hit in his scoreless 8th inning.
After Monday’s game, outfielder Moises Sierra did not play another game for Gigantes in the Championship Series.
Though Malcom Culver and Jandel Gustave pitched during the postseason for Gigantes, neither pitched in the last week.
A former Royal did play a key role in Gigantes’ comeback victory of the series. That would be outfielder Carlos Peguero, who hit a solo home run with two outs in the 6th inning on January 23rd. That put Gigantes up 4-2 in the series, as they won that game 1-0. Peguero then went 3-for-5 with another solo homer and two RBIs in the clincher on Sunday.
The MVP of Gigantes’ postseason would have to be Philadelphia Phillies prospect Maikel Franco (despite his seven playoff errors). He hit .337 while predominantly batting third in the order. In the final game of the Championship Series, he went 3-for-4 with two home runs and seven RBIs (including a two out grand slam in the 2nd inning). Franco finished the DWL postseason with 16 RBIs and four home runs.
*Stay tuned for the rest of the Winter League Recap tomorrow!