Archive for the 'Dominican Republic' Category

Puerto Rico Site of 2020 Series del Caribe

Monday, November 25th, 2019

Puerto Rico will be the site of the 2020 Series del Caribe. The last time it was held in Puerto Rico was in 2015. Myworld was there to witness Cuba’s first participation in the event. They ended up Series del Caribe champions that year. Hiram Bithorn stadium will again host the event. The dates are from February 1-7, with the first five days being pool play and the last two days playoffs. Three games will be played each day with the first game starting at 10 AM and the last starting at 8 PM. Usually when you buy one ticket it will allow you to attend all three games that day.

Panama returns after winning the event last year in their first ever participation. There was some thought of Nicaragua and Colombia also participating but that is expected to happen in 2021. The teams participating in the event are Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Each of those countries has their winter league season and the winning team from those winter leagues advances to the Series del Caribe.

Baseball America’s Qualifier

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

The America’s is another opportunity for the United States to qualify for the Olympics in Japan in 2020. The next to last qualifier will be played in Arizona from March 22 -26. The last qualifier will be played in Taiwan. The second and third place teams from the America’s qualifying round will be eligible to participate in Taiwan. Below are the pools from that group.

Group A

United States, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua

Group B

Cuba, Venezuela, Canada and Colombia

The United States would be the favored team in this group.

United States Prevails Over Dominican Republic to Advance to Super Round

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

It appears the secret to success for this United States team is to out slug their opponents. They hit four homeruns yesterday to defeat the Dominican Republic 10-8 and advance to the Super Round in Tokyo. Leadoff batter Mark Payton started the game off with a homerun and Alec Bohm bombed a three run homer in the third to lead the offense.

Charlie Valerio hit a three run homer for the Dominican Republic in the bottom of the fifth to close the gap to 9-7. The United States turned to its bullpen to shut out the Dominicans for the next three innings. In the 9th Brandon Dickerson retired the first two hitters, but two singles put the tying run Carlos Peguero at the plate. Dickerson was able to strike him out to secure the save.

Erik Kratz had a solo homerun and three hits in the game. He batted .625 for the tournament with two homeruns. Alec Bohm also had three hits in the game. Robert Dalbec drove in a run for the third consecutive game and tied for the lead in RBIs with six. Charlie Valerio was a perfect 3 for 3, falling a triple short of the cycle. Edwin Espinal drove in three runs for the Dominicans with his two singles and finished the tournament with 6 RBIs.

On the pitching front Wyatt Mills was a savior with his two shutout innings. Noah Song struck out three hitters in the eighth, giving up a single.

Mexico Upsets United States to Advance to Premier 12 Super Round

Monday, November 4th, 2019

Mexico continues to be a thorn in the United States side by upsetting them yesterday and advancing to the Super Round in Tokyo in a couple weeks. Roman Solis slugged a three run homer to end a five run fifth and the Mexican bullpen shut down the United States bats for the final six innings to finish off an 8-2 win.

Mexico got off to a fast start in the first inning on a two run single by Christian Villanueva off Tanner Houck. The United States bounced back in the third and fourth innings on solo homeruns from Erik Kratz and Robert Dalbec. For Dalbec it was his second homerun of the series.

Kratz allowed the go ahead run to score in the fifth inning on a passed ball. Noah Perio and Jonathan Jones had started the inning with singles to put runners on first and third and no out. Houck struck out one and Daniel Tillo struck out both hitters he faced, but with two out Kratz let a pitch slip by him to score Perio, which proved to be the winning run.

Mexico put the game away in the 8th with five runs. Efren Navarro drove in two with a single and Solis put the dagger in the heart with a three run homerun.

The Mexican bullpen did not allow a runner to second after the Dalbec homerun. Jesus Cruz and Carlos Bustamante each pitched two perfect innings, striking out five of the six hitters they faced.

In the other game the Dominican Republic blasted Netherlands 14-4. The Dominican Republic did not score in the first inning, but scored in the next six to put the game away. Ex-major leaguer Jair Jurrjens gave up five hits and three runs for the Netherlands.

The Dominicans turned to Ervin Santana. He also gave up five hits in just 2.1 innings of work, serving up a leadoff homer to Roger Bernadina and a two run homer to Chadwick Tromp in the first inning to give the Netherlands an early 3-0 lead.

A six run sixth inning by the Dominicans put the game out of reach. Alfredo Marte’s three run double was the big hit of the inning. Marte finished the game with four RBIs. Gilberto Cestino drove in the go ahead run with a double in the fourth. He also made a game saving catch in centerfield in the bottom of the fourth to prevent the tying run from scoring and possibly shifting the momentum in the game.

The United States will face the Dominican today to determine the second team to advance to Tokyo for the Super Round. The winner advances to Tokyo and the loser goes home.

United States and Mexico Win Premier 12 Openers

Sunday, November 3rd, 2019

The long ball was popular yesterday in the openers of the first round of the Premier 12s. The United States used it in their 9-0 win over Netherlands. Veteran changeup artist Rob Cordemans got the start for the Netherlands but he did not fool enough people with his changeup. He lasted just three innings and gave up two long balls to put the Netherlands in an early a hole.

Drew Waters sent his first pitch over the right field wall to give the United States an early lead. The United States scored another run on a sacrifice fly infield popup in the second inning. Juremi Profar caught a popup with his back to the plate and Jacob Cronenworth had the speed to tag up from third and score. Jo Adell took Cordemans deep in the third inning to make it 3-0.

Lars Huijer tried his luck in the fourth. He held the United States scoreless in that inning but in the fifth the Netherlands walked Daulton Varsho to load the bases to face slugger Bobby Dalbec. Dalbec blasted a pitch deep over the centerfield wall for a grand slam homer and a 7-0 United States lead. Brent Rooker finished the homerun derby with his two run shot in the eighth off Jim Ploeger.

The Netherlands could not solve Cody Ponce, who pitched five shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out five. Four different relievers followed Ponce, each working one inning without giving up a hit.

Mexico got a grand slam from Esteban Quiroz in the third inning to beat the Dominican Republic 6-1. Efren Navarro and Matt Clark punctuated the win with back to back jacks in the sixth. The game lasted only six innings with Humberto Castellanos throwing the last two innings and getting the win.

The Dominican Republic got their only run in the first inning on an RBI single from Carlos Peguero. Ex-major league reliever Enny Romero got the start for the Dominican Republic and faltered in the third inning after pitching two solid innings. Other than the third inning when he gave up three of his five hits Romero was strong. He struck out 10 hitters in just 4.1 innings. Luis Perez gave up the back to back homers in the sixth.

Mexico will play the United States today with the winner guaranteed of advancing to Japan for the second round. Mexico has always been a thorn in the United States side. They eliminated them from appearing in an Olympic in the past. The Dominican Republic plays the Netherlands with the loser being virtually eliminated from advancing to Japan for the second round. The Netherlands has been a thorn in the side of the Dominican Republic in World Baseball Classic events.

Dominican Winter League Players to Watch

Friday, November 1st, 2019

The major league season is over. With that comes the winter leagues in Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, where prospects go to improve their craft. The Dominican Republic usually gets the bulk of the prospects. Below are the top prospects to watch from each winter league team.

Leones del Escogido (11-4)

Josh Naylor - Josh is a slugger for the Padres whose best position may be designated hitter. It appears he’s playing outfield for the Leones. His bat is working for a .341 average, but for a slugger only one of his 14 hits has gone for extra bases. That was a homerun. He is making excellent contact with just five whiffs in 13 games.

Daniel Johnson - An outfielder with the Nationals who fell under the shadow of Victor Robles and Juan Soto. He is with the Indians now. He leads the Leones in RBIs with 10 but is only hitting .240. He is showing a lack of plate discipline with a 3/17 walk to whiff ratio and only a .276 OBA.

Frankie Montas - After his drug suspension last year denied him an opportunity to pitch in the post season Frankie is getting in some innings in the Dominican. He is 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA in his four starts with 22 whiffs in just 20 innings. He has pitched five innings in each of his four starts, three of those starts he has not given up a run. In his opening start he had not given up a hit after five innings.

Toros del Este (9-6)

Jorge Mateo - His time is now. In the past he has struggled in the winter leagues. A .214 average and .277 OBA smells of more struggles. It is still early. He is 3 for 3 in stolen bases and has scored seven runs, third on the team.

Darion Blanco - His less heralded ex-teammate is tearing up the league. Blanco was the fastest player in Cuba when he defected in 2017. He will turn 27 in April so he is an older prospect. For Toros he is hitting .373, but only one of his 19 hits has gone for extra bases, a double. He is 5 for 7 in stolen bases with ten runs scored but needs to improve on his contact ability after a 37/137 walk to whiff ratio in AA. The Royals traded for him mid-season.

Aguilas Cibaenas (8-7)

Leody Taveras - A gold glove centerfielder is whacking the ball in the Dominican to the tune of a .370 average. None of his ten hits have gone for extra bases and he has only stolen one base in three attempts. The centerfield job with the Rangers is his if he can continue to hit.

Edmundo Sosa - Edmundo Sosa showed a little pop last year with 17 homeruns in AAA. For Aguilas he is hitting .367 with three homeruns. His 10 RBIs are second on the team and his 14 runs scored leads the team. Sosa will be looking for a utility role with the Cardinals in 2020.

Robel Garcia - Robel is an interesting player because the Cubs grabbed him from the Italian national team. He made his major league debut last year. He has hit two homeruns but is only hitting .174.

Tigres del Licey (7-8)

David Paulino - Once a top prospect with the Astros, he was released by the Blue Jays mid-season. He is trying to get his mojo back in the Dominican. In two relief appearances he has yet to give up a run. Of course, it has been a week since he last pitched.

Gigantes del Cibao (6-9)

Wander Franco - Perhaps the top prospect in baseball. He is only hitting .192 but one of his five hits carried over the fence. At 18 years of age he may be a little over matched in this veteran league. Richard Urena will see most of the shortstop duties but he will get his at bats.

Greg Bird - If he could have stayed healthy the first base job for the Yankees would be his. Now he is trying to make up for lost time, getting some at bats to prepare for spring training. If he continues to hit .125 he won’t last long in this league.

Rogelio Armenteros - The Astros will be losing Gerritt Cole so someone has to eat up those innings. Rogelio is hoping it will be him. In four starts the Cuban defector has only given up two runs for a 1.00 ERA. His best starts were his first two starts. Last year he made his major league debut with five appearances and two starts.

Estrellas Orientales (4-11)

Lewin Diaz - Diaz got on the Twins now Marlins prospect radar with his 27 homeruns last year at two different levels. He has added two more homeruns for Estrellas, driving in ten runs. For a power hitter he makes solid contact. Six of his 15 hits have gone for extra bases.

Domingo Leyba - A good season from him in the winter league could earn him a utility spot for the Diamondbacks. His 9 RBIs are second on the team with four of his 13 hits going for extra bases. His .232 average is low but he has a 7/8 walk to whiff ratio, making solid contact.

Premier 12 Dominican Republic Roster

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

There are some ex-major leaguers on the pitching staff that can do some damage such as Ervin Santana, Enny Romero and Neftali Feliz, a KBO star in Mel Rojas Jr, and a couple bright prospects with the Cardinals in Elehuris Montero and the Twins in Lewin Diaz. It will be a lineup that could pull some upsets but will be short of making the top two spots, which would qualify it for an Olympic berth.

Pitchers

Enny Romero, Ervin Santana, Neftali Feliz, Carlos Pimentel, Ariel Hernandez, Carlos Espinal, Carlos Sano, Christopher Sanchez, Dalbert Siri, Henry Henry, Samuel Adames, Christopher Ogando, Bryan Valdez, Kelvin Gonzalez, Luis Perez

Catchers

Charlie Valerio, Jose Mena

Infielders

Edwin Espinal, Geraldo Perdomo, Lewin Diaz, Jeison Guzman, Elehuris Montero, Jonathan Guzman, Otto Lopez

Outfielders

Mel Rojas Jr., Oscar Gonzalez, Gilberto Celestino, Alfredo Marte

Puerto Rico Wins Pan Am Games

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

Puerto Rico won the Pan Am Games, defeating Canada 6-1 in the finals. The United States did not participate in the games, choosing to focus on the Premier 12 games to be played in Tokyo. Other teams that participated in the Games - The host Peru, Argentina, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Colombia and Nicaragua. For Puerto Rico it was their first Pan Am Gold, defeating the two time defending champs Canada. The poor hosts, Peru, were the only team that did not win a game.

Giovanni Soto got the start and the win for Puerto Rico in the gold medal game. Chris Leroux took the loss for Canada. Jorge Padilla drove in the first run for Puerto Rico with a double. Brahiam Maldonado went deep with a solo shot in the sixth and Edwin Gomez closed out the scoring for Puerto Rico with a two run single in the seventh.

Nicaragua, Colombia, Canada and Puerto Rico all qualified to play in an Olympic qualifier. Cuba had a rough tournament, only winning one game. They had a tough 10 inning loss to the Dominican Republic that was tied 1-1 after regulation time. When they scored 8 in the 10th it appeared they had the game won, but the Dominican Republic scored nine in the 10th to win it.

Puerto Rico won a tight 2-1 game against the Dominican Republic that went 10 innings and then two days later they beat Colombia 2-1. They finished the tournament undefeated.

Nicaragua shutout Colombia in the bronze medal game 6-0. During pool play Colombia had defeated Nicaragua 11-1.

Bucketlist Reviewed

Monday, June 24th, 2019

Myworld is in Omaha to watch the last two games of the college world series. First we will enter into Papillion for a day game for the Storm Chasers, which will be a DHer of sorts, i.e. a finish to the second game that was suspended last night and a new game. Then we will travel down to Omaha for the first game of the finals of the College World Series. That will be a first, three games in one day.

Since this college world series was on my bucket list myworld thought we would summarize some of our bucket list accomplishments since 2011 after we first wrote of our bucket list down. At the end we will identify those adventures still on the list. These are only our baseball bucket lists. We have plenty of non-baseball adventures we would still like to capture.

October 2011 - Went to Panama to watch the last Baseball World Cup. The event is not quite as strong as the soccer World Cups. Attendance was sparse. Netherlands went on to upset Cuba for their first World Cup win. Lots of rain at the event. The third place game was not played because of rain but Canada was awarded the bronze. The gold medal game was delayed by about five hours. This would be the last World Cup before a major reorganization.

November 2011 - Visited Taichung, Taiwan for the Asian World Series. This is another event that was discontinued. Another upset as the Samsung Lions defeated the Softbank Hawks to become the first non-Japanese team to win the Asian Series.

February 2012 - Traveled to the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to see the Series del Caribe. Cuba had yet to be allowed to participate. This is another event that is struggling for survival. At the time the teams played pool play and the team with the best record was declared champion. This event was anticlimactic as the Dominican Republic won it easily. On the last day, win or lose the Dominicans had won the pool. They added Cuba later and went to a pool play and playoff format to make the finals or last day more meaningful.

September 6-11 2013- Japan trip. This was my fourth trip to Japan to watch baseball so not really bucket list material. Some of the events were. Witnessed Wladimir Balentien hit his 54th homerun on his way to a record breaking 60 for the year, smashing the record of Sadaharu Oh and Randy Bass, who each had 55. Also saw a pitcher’s duel between Masahiro Tanaka and rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani, won by Tanaka 3-2. Tanaka would go on to break a baseball record of 25 consecutive wins and then went on to play for the New York Yankees the next year. Ohtani is now with the Angels.

November 7, 2013 - Visited Arizona and watched the Arizona Fall League for the first time. Aaron Sanchez and Travis Shaw were two players who impressed me during that visit.

July 8th 2014 - Traveled to Dyersville Iowa to see the Field of Dreams. Also around that time went to Durham, North Carolina to see the old stadium that was used for the Durham Bulls movie. Myworld loves the Durham park and we have visited there at least three times.

November 11 2014 - Revisited Taichung, Taiwan for the 21 and under World Cup. Taiwan won it, upsetting Japan. Chun Lin Kuo pitched seven shutout innings in the 9-0 rout. Myworld was strangled in blue confetti after the win.

June 20th 2015 - These bucket lists can not be predicted. Witnessed my first no hitter, Max Scherzer doing the honors in Washington D.C.. The only previous no hitter I had seen prior to that was a seven inning minor league no hitter. I never really counted that since it was only seven innings.

June 23 2016 - Did not see a Little League World Series but I did go to Williamsport and visited the park. Went to a minor league game in Williamsport and watched Triston Mackenzie pitch for the Indians minor league team. The minor league park is located next door to the first field where the Little League World Series was played. They are still playing Little League games at that field.

July 2016 - Went to Haarlem, Netherlands to watch the Honkball tournament. It was my first experience of European baseball. The facility where they held the tournament is pretty impressive. I do believe Japan may have been the winners of that tournament, upsetting the Netherlands in the finals but I could be wrong. I did not see the finals preferring to enjoy some of the sights of Haarlem instead.

February 8 2017 - Witnessed my second Series del Caribe, this one in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico beat Mexico in the championship match. This was the first Series del Caribe that Cuba was allowed to play.

March 12, 2017 - Travelled to Miami, Florida to watch a World Baseball Classic game and it was wild. The Dominican Republic beat the United States and the crowd was probably more entertaining than the game. Also saw a couple World Baseball Classic games in Miami in 2013. Kenley Jenson was a catcher for the Netherlands.

July 7-9, 2018 - This was my first Futures game. The United States defeated the World. Talk is that they will be changing that format for this year. The homerun derby and the All Star game followed after that. The experience was awesome. The only downside is I had to leave early because the game went into extra innings and Metro was closing.

June 24 2019 - In Omaha to see the College World Series

November 2019 - Hope to return to Tokyo to watch the Premier 12

2020 and beyond.

The Olympics is on the agenda. I’ve already been to an Olympic event when they were in Los Angeles but watched the volleyball. The prices for these events seem a little steep.

World Series game is still a must see. I may have to travel for that since the Nationals and Orioles may never give me that opportunity.

Been to every ball park in Japan but Hokkaido. That is on the list. Will be going to Saint Louis after the College World Series leaving Tampa, Seattle, Oakland, Chicago White Sox, Detroit, Arizona, Toronto and Colorado as the only major league parks I have not visited. Went to the old Seattle park and if I don’t hurry the Oakland and Tampa parks may no longer be available. Still lots of minor league parks to visit.

Hope to see a European championship tournament. On my bucket list is a visit to Italy so seeing a game there and visiting Italy would fulfill two accomplishments.

Myworld has seen games in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Panama and Dominican Republic so going to another country to see a game would be cool. We’ve also played softball in Australia and Sweden.

Myworld has also been to Cooperstown, but it might be cool to visit it again to see how time has changed it.

That is it for now.

Dominican Republic Still Leads in Foreign Major Leaguers

Monday, April 1st, 2019

According to a major league baseball press release there are 251 foreign players from 20 different countries or areas who appear on 25 man major league rosters, or are on restricted or disabled lists. That accounts for 28.5% of the players. The Dominican Republic again leads in the most major league players outside the 50 United States. Below is a breakdown of where all those foreign players are from;

1. Dominican Republic (102)
2. Venezuela (68)
3. Cuba (19)
4. Puerto Rico (18)
5. Mexico (8)
6. Japan (6)
7. Canada (6)
8. Curacao (5)
9. South Korea (5)
10. Colombia (4)
11. Aruba (1)
12. Australia (1)
13. Brazil (1)
14. Germany (1)
15. Lithuania (1)
16. Netherlands (1)
17. Nicaragua (1)
18. Panama (1)
19. Taiwan (1)
20. U.S. Virgin Islands (1)