The regular seasons in the Caribbean Leagues are winding down, as the Dominican Winter League ended its regular season and began their round robin format of their playoffs last night.
The top four teams in the DWL began play last night, with Licey beating Aguilas. Escogido and Gigantes were rained out. In Licey’s win, right fielder Jorge Bonifacio went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts while batting sixth.
Bonifacio ended the regular season hitting just .248, as he ended the week going 1-for-3 with a double as the DH.
Also with Licey, lefty Tim Hill pitched twice out of the bullpen to end the regular season. On December 20th, he hit a batter in 1/3 of an inning. That runner came around to score in the 8th inning. The following day, Hill allowed a hit in the sixth while recording an out.
Reliever Kevin McCarthy ended his play with Escogido by pitching back-to-back games last Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday, he earned his second win, but also blew his first save, allowing two runs in the 8th inning to score. KMac allowed a hit and walked two while striking out one over 1.1 innings. The following day, he allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits and a walk in one inning. KMac struck out two.
Fellow reliever Malcom Culver saw his winter league season come to an end with Estrellas. In Wednesday’s game, he stranded two runners in the 4th inning en route to 1.1 hitless innings (BB, K).
Infielder Ramon Torres (Gigantes) was hit by a pitch in the hand last Tuesday in the first inning and was pinch run for. He has not played since.
Moving on to the Venezuelan Winter League, whose regular season comes to an end tomorrow. Already, Lara, Caribes, and Zulia have clinched playoff spots.
Paulo Orlando played last Tuesday in Lara’s doubleheader. Overall, he went 3-for-8 with two doubles, two runs scored, and four RBIs (all came with two outs). That was Orlando’s last game in the VWL.
Christmas came early for free agent Carlos Garcia, as he signed with the SF Giants (joining Orlando Calixte). He played mostly right field last week for Margarita (28-33, nine games out), though he did play one game at second base. Batting in the second spot, Garcia went 4-for-17 with a double, a walk, a run scored, and four RBIs (three came yesterday). He is now hitting .287 with 24 RBIs and still leads the VWL in stolen bases with 11.
Best of luck to Carlos!
Also with Margarita, Angelo Castellano has begun to play every day. In three games (plus one as a pinch runner), he went 3-for-11 (though all three hits came yesterday). Castellano doubled, scored two runs, and drove in three yesterday. He played both third base and shortstop.
Shortstop Humberto Arteaga entered on defense twice last week for Magallanes (28-33, nine games back).
Finally to the Clemente League, where the regular season ends on Friday. The playoffs are already set, with the top four teams in the five team league making the playoffs.
That means Aguadilla, who finally has ten wins (10-27), is left out. Second baseman Jack Lopez had a much better week. He went 7-for-20 with a triple, a run scored, and four RBIs (three came with two outs). Lopez did not commit an error.
Newly signed starter Jonathan Sanchez earned his league leading fifth victory on Thursday, as he allowed two runs on five hits and three walks over five innings for Mayaguez. Sanchez struck out five.
In that same game, Xavier Fernandez caught Sanchez. He went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI at the plate. That was the only game Fernandez played last week.
Also with Mayaguez, third baseman Emmanuel Rivera continues to play every day. Last week, he went 6-for-18 with two doubles, two walks, two runs scored, and an RBI. Rivera stole his first base yesterday.
Free agent Irving Falu continues to play second base and bat ninth for Carolina. Last week, he went 3-for-13 with an RBI.
Reliever Jake Newberry pitched three times for Caguas. He stranded three inherited runners over a combined 3.2 innings. Newberry allowed five hits and struck out four while not allowing a walk or a run.