The Dominican Winter League opened up this past week and there are quite a few KC Royals minor leaguers participating. Three of them made their winter league debuts.
There was just one game on opening night and second baseman Ramon Torres was in action for Gigantes (4-1). In that game, he went 2-for-5 with a run scored. Torres played in all five of Gigantes’ games (at second base) and batted leadoff. Overall, he went 10-for-24 with six runs scored (just once did he not have a multi-hit game). Torres doubled twice, tripled, and drove in one. He only struck out once and stole his first base yesterday. He did commit an error on Saturday.
Right fielder Jorge Bonifacio started all four games for Licey (1-3). He batted fifth, going 3-for-4 in their first game. However, he does not have a hit since (0-for-11 with three strikeouts). Bonifacio also committed errors in back-to-back games (Sunday and Monday).
Catcher Tony Cruz caught three of Licey’s four games. Batting towards the bottom of the order (seventh or eighth), he went 4-for-10 with two runs scored, an RBI, and three strikeouts. Base stealers are 1-for-2 against Cruz.
Three pitchers made their winter league debuts for Licey and all three are Rule 5 eligible. Reliever Andrew Edwards debuted on Saturday and it was ugly. He started the 8th inning and did not record an out. Edwards allowed four runs on three hits and a walk. His inning went like this: triple, walk, RBI single, RBI single, and he was pulled. The next reliever wild pitched one of Edwards’ runs in and then allowed another inherited run to score on a single.
Lefty Jonathan Dziedzic made the start for Licey on Sunday. He allowed two hits and a walk over four scoreless innings. He struck out six in getting the no decision. Luke Farrell made the start for Licey on Monday. He allowed an unearned run on two hits and three walks over four innings. He struck out one. Cruz caught both Edwards and Farrell.
Lefty Daniel Stumpf made his DWL debut on Friday for Toros (1-3). He pitched the 7th inning, walking one and striking out one in a hitless inning. Stumpf pitched again on Sunday, walking one in 2/3 of an inning.
Moving on to the Venezuelan Winter League, where two Royals minor leaguers debuted. Both of those players debuted with Magallanes (6-8).
First up was Samir Duenez, fresh off his time in Arizona for instructional league. In his debut on Wednesday, he grounded out in the 9th inning as a pinch-hitter. Duenez pinch-hit again on Saturday, flying out in the 7th inning (he stayed in the game to play first base). He started on Monday as the DH, batting fifth. Duenez went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored, and a strikeout.
Reliever Yender Caramo pitched on Friday, going 2/3 of an inning. He induced an inning ending double play in the sixth, but allowed a single and a double to open the seventh (those two inherited runs did not score).
Newly re-signed Luis Villegas caught four games for Aragua (7-9) last week. Overall, he went 1-for-13 with a solo home run. He struck out five times and hit into two double plays. Villegas allowed a stolen base and was called for catcher’s interference.
Utility man Carlos Garcia made two starts last week for Margarita (8-5), though one of the games was suspended until November. He went 1-for-2 with an RBI on Saturday, while playing third base. He pinch ran in the 8th inning on Wednesday and scored a run.
Finally in the Mexican Pacific League, where reliever Benino Pruneda is the only Royal.
With 3-8 Mazatlan, Pruneda pitched twice last week. On Thursday, he earned his first save, as he walked two and struck out two in an inning of work. On Sunday, he struck out one in a perfect inning of relief.
On Thursday, the Clemente League opens up in Puerto Rico.