The regular seasons in winter ball came to an end over the last week.
The Venezuelan Winter League ended its regular season on December 29th.
Shortstop Angelo Castellano played in Margarita’s final two games of the regular season, going 0-for-5 with a walk, two runs scored, and an RBI.
The best-of-seven series began yesterday. Margarita beat Lara, 6-4. Castellano batted ninth and went 2-for-5 with a triple and two runs scored. Paulo Orlando was back in centerfield for Lara, but dropped to seventh in their batting order. He went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
No KC Royals played in the openers of the other two series, as La Guaira beat Caribes, 5-2 and Zulia beat Aragua, 6-3.
In the Clemente League, the playoffs begin tomorrow. Carolina faces Santurce and Caguas faces Mayaguez in the best-of-seven semifinals.
Jack Lopez finished the regular season for Aguadilla going 0-for-8. He played his final game in center field.
Xavier Fernandez caught the final regular season game for Mayaguez, going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Emmanuel Rivera went 0-for-8 with two strikeouts over his final two games for Mayaguez. He committed his third error at third base in their final game on December 30th.
Newly signed Jonathan Sanchez led the CL in wins with five, though he lost his final regular season game with Mayaguez on December 29th (his second loss). He allowed three runs on five hits and a walk over five innings. He struck out five, but allowed a two-run home run in the fourth.
Free agent second baseman Irving Falu went 0-for-5 with a strikeout in his final game with Carolina.
Finally in the Dominican Winter League, the round robin playoffs are in full swing.
Currently, Aguilas leads the way with a 4-1 record. Licey is next at 2-2. Gigantes is 1-2, while Escogido is 1-3.
Jorge Bonifacio has played in two games for Licey. His first was on December 27th and he went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. Last night, his 5th inning solo home run accounted for all of Licey’s runs (2-for-4, though he was picked off) in the loss.
Lefty Tim Hill pitched in relief for Licey on December 29th in a win over Gigantes. He allowed a run on two hits over one inning of work (with one strikeout). Hill entered in the 6th inning and stranded a runner. In that same game, fellow reliever Miguel Almonte pitched a scoreless 8th inning for Gigantes (1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K).
Free agent infielder Angel Franco played third base for Aguilas on December 28th and went 0-for-2 with a sac fly. He pinch ran in the 7th inning the following day and then again last night, scoring the winning run in the eighth.
Free agent pitcher John Lannan took the loss for Licey on December 30th, as he allowed three runs on six hits over three innings. He struck out one.