Archive for November, 2013

Venezuelan Update

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

While Alex Cabrera may be raking for Tiburones it is the Caribes that are on top of the Venezuelan League.  Caribes was leading the league last time we did our update in early November.  They are not the only teams to remain stagnate.  The top four teams have not changed positions since the last time myworld did an update. 

Caribes de Anzoatugui 9-7 (27-15)

Cory Aldridge (.393, 9, 29) continues to hit.  He has had multiple hit games in five of his last seven games, raising his average ten points since our last update.  He has also walked 30 times to put his OBA at .500.  Niuman Romero (.267, 5, 15) continues his base on balls pace (31) resulting in a team leading 38 runs scored.  Oscar Salazar (.285, 6, 29) had a two game spree of seven RBIs, tying him with Aldridge for second place.  Jose Castillo (.335, 6, 30) is the team RBI leader. 

Mark Serrano (3-1, 2.95) has only given up two or less runs in seven of his eight starts.  In his last four starts covering 24 innings he only gave up three runs.  T.J. McFarland (1-2, 2.97) has given up a homerun in his last three games and has seen his ERA rise more than a run.  Pedro Rodriguez (5-0, 2.55, 3 saves) and Jean Toledo (3-1, 1.66, 3 saves) have been sharing the closer responsibilities, with Toledo closing out more games.    

Navegantes de Magallanes 9-8 (24-17)

The Caribbean veteran and cousin of Mariano, Ruben Rivera (.353, 2, 5) has smoked the ball early in his arrival.  Six of his 12 hits have gone for extra bases and he has an extra base hit in his last six games.  Mario Lisson (.257, 11, 39) continues to strike out at a high rate (45) but his RBI production is top on the team.  His 11 homeruns are tied for second in the league, four behind Alex Cabrera.

Mitch Lively (6-0, 1.09) has not given up more than two runs in his eight starts.  In four of those starts he has not given up a run, accounting for three of his six victories.  Anthony Lerew (1-1, 2.53) has recently moved into the starting rotation.  In his four starts he has given up five runs in 23 plus innings.  Deolis Guerra (0-1, 1.72, 4 saves) has been their most effective closer to date, though he appears to be now working setup for Jean Machi (1-1, 3.48, 2 saves), their usual closer.

Tigres de Aragua 9-9 (21-20)

Hector Gimenez (.223, 9, 34) drives in the runs despite his low average.  Ronny Cedeno (.329, 1, 11) is a recent addition to take over the shortstop duties.  He has driven in six runs in his last four games.  Alex Romero (.324, 2, 23) has an incredible 23/9 walk to whiff ratio.  Wilson Ramos (.265, 1, 6) recently has joined the team, changing his mind about not playing winter ball this year.  Oswaldo Arcia (.304, 7, 19) had two four RBI games within a five game span of each other.

The best starter is Yohan Pino (4-4, 3.65).  After him all the ERAs are in the five or above category.  Dakota Watts (3-2, 2.84, 3 saves) has taken over the closer role.    

Leones del Caracas 8-9 (20-21)

Jesus Aguilar (.299, 11, 32) has been the big power bat, trailing only Alex Cabrera in homeruns.  Daniel Mayora (.346, 6, 24) has been the most consistent bat.  He is also showing more patience at the plate, drawing 8 of his 11 total season walks in his last seven games, putting together an 8/3 walk to whiff ratio when compared to his season 11/23 total.  

Cuban Yoanner Negrin (4-2, 3.47) has been their most consistent starter.  He pitched five shutout innings his last start and has two shutout performances in his last three starts.  

Tiburones de La Guairá 9-7 (19-21)  

Despite his 41 years of age Alex Cabrera (.407, 15, 4) has put up triple crown numbers.  He has hit 10 homeruns in his last 9 games with one three homer game and two two homer games.  Luis Sardinas (.354, 9, 16) sits behind Andrus and Profar for the Rangers shortstop job, but if he continues to slap eight hits in three games he could win the job.  Only 10 of his 45 hits have gone for extra bases.  Salvador Perez (.341, 0, 4) has recently come over to take over the catching duties.

After a 15 day absence Edgmer Escalona (2-1, 2.29) got a start and only gave up two runs on two hits in five innings.  On the down side he did walk five.  Jesus Delgado (5-1, 2.00, 1 saves) likes the vulture wins.  Chris Reed (1-0, 3.65) threw six innings of shutout ball to pick up his first win.  He is happy to extend his season.   

Aguilas del Zulia 7-11 (19-24)

Aguilas is using Marwin Gonzalez (.375, 0, 6) in a utility role.  None of his 18 hits have gone for extra bases.  Jose Pirela (.309, 3, 25) is poising himself for the second base job should Cano leave the Yankees as a free agent.  He had a five RBI game during a streak in which he drove in a run in five consecutive games.  Ernesto Mejia (.255, 8, 22) is stuck behind Freddie Freeman and could be a good Japanese sign.  He leads the team in homeruns as well as strikeouts (38).  Ender Inciarte (.289, 1, 13) is second in the league in stolen bases with 13 in 15 attempts, but his average has dropped by 100 points since the last update.

Roy Merritt (2-2, 2.52) had given up only one run in his last three starts before getting toasted for five runs in his most recent start.  He has given up a homerun in his last four starts.  Alex Torres (0-1, 8.53) has had two horrid starts.  He has walked six in six plus innings.   

Cardenales de Lara 9-6 (17-22)

Paulo Orlando (.301, 2, 8) can still be the first outfielder from Brazil to make the major leagues.  The veteran Joe Thurston (.313, 2, 13) sparks this offense.  He had a streak where he scored two runs in three consecutive games.  Joc Pederson (.255, 5, 13) has upped his average a couple points compared to last update.

Red Patterson (2-1, 3.35) has had a couple five run games to ruin his ERA.  Chris Jakubauskas (1-1, 3.83) dazzles them with guile.  He had one bad six run outing, but his other eight starts he has not given up more than three runs.  He only has 16 strikeouts in 42 innings and the opposition is hitting him at a .274 clip.  Nestor Molina (2-3, 2.89, 2 saves) has taken a loss in two of his last nine appearances.   

Bravos de Margarita 6-10 (17-24)

Wilmer Flores (.750, 0, 2) has been a hard man to get out, but it still hasn’t stopped the Bravos from dropping to the cellar.  He has six hits in 8 at bats, including two walks.  Carlos Rivero (.304, 8, 24) has shown some pop with his movement from Caracas to the Bravos.  In 14 games with the Bravos he is hitting .347 with six homeruns. 

Henry Sosa (2.25) has recently joined the starting rotation.  The only two runs he has given up were two solo bombs.  Bryan Price (0-1, 1.89, 6 saves) picked up three saves in his last three appearance, but hasn’t been seen in a game since November 16.  Not critical for a bottom feeder to have a closer.  Mark Rogers (0-1, 27.00) got a start and walked four batters, getting the hook in the second inning when he could not find the plate.     

Dominican Update

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

This is our third update of the Dominican Winter League.  Escogido has risen to the top to replace the Licey Tigres.

Leones del Escogido 11-5 (20-12)

This team is led by the Pirates prospect Gregory Polanco (.306, 4, 24) who leads the team in homeruns, runs scored and RBIs and the Twins prospect Jorge Polanco (.336, 1, 14).  Erik Gonzalez (.347, 1, 12) continues to lead the team in batting average, but his 2/36 walk to whiff ratio in just 32 games is a cause for concern.  They hope to get contributions from new additions Pedro Florimon and Melky Mesa (.167).  Bryce Brentz (.105, 1, 8) found the Dominican League a huge struggle with 21 whiffs in 19 games.

The Leones have been getting dominant pitching performances from Edward Valdez (4-1, 1.22) and Jarret Grube (2-2, 0.98).  Edward has not given up more than two runs in any of his six starts and has 35 whiffs in 77 innings.  Grube has not allowed a run in his last 12 innings and has not allowed a run in four of his six starts.  Mickey Storey (2-0, 0.64, 3 saves) has been lights out in the bullpen.  He has not allowed a run in his last nine appearances.  Nelson Payano has not allowed a run in 12 appearances, limiting the opposition to a .067 average.  He has struck out 12 in 9 innings of work.

Tigres de Licey 8-9 (19-13)

Jurickson Profar (.284, 1, 5) and Dee Gordon (.348, 0, 3) have seen their seasons end and now the Tigres must turn to Wilson Valdez (.105) to shortstop.  Ugh.  Yamaico Navarro (.306, 6, 28) still leads the team in homeruns and RBIs, but he has been seeing his playing time in the outfield.  Juan Francisco (.276, 2, 22) has struggled a bit with 34 whiffs in 31 games, including a stretch of 11 strikeouts in 22 at bats.

Yunesky Maya (2-3, 3.44) was recently released by the Nationals and hasn’t been overwhelming in the Dominican.  The ace of the staff has been Chris Narveson (2-1, 1.98) but he has not pitched in ten days so he could be gone.  He had a nice 4/27 walk to whiff ratio.  Hector Noesi (2-1, 2.54) has only allowed one run in his last two starts covering 12 innings.  Jairo Asencio (2-0, 1.13, 11 saves) has been an effective closer.    

Aguilas Cibaenas 9-8 (18-13)

The Mets recently signed centerfielder Chris Young, but Juan Lagares (.356, 1, 14) is hitting like the job is his.  He leads Aguilas in hitting.  Dan Black (.288, 5, 24) has gotten hot, hitting .351 in his last 10 games.  He leads the team in homeruns and RBIs.  Zoilo Almonte (.315, 3, 13) just saw his hitting streak end.  The switch hitter is hitting .342 against righthanders and is looking at that second base opening for the Yankees.  Aguilas has to hope the slugging bat of Hector Luna (.176) can light up.  He has only recently joined the team playing five games.

Angel Castro (4-2, 1.51) has been the staff ace.  He has not allowed more than two runs in any of his seven starts.  The bullpen is led by Adam Reifer (1-0, 0.00, 1 save) who has yet to allow a run in his 13 appearances and Tony Pena Jr. (0-1, 1.42, 3 saves).  Sho Iwasaki (1-1, 3.86) and Hiroki Yamada (0-2, 12.60) are two Japanese pitchers who have struggled.

Gigantes del Cibao 10-8 (17-15)

The Cuban Alexander Guerrero (.429, 1, 3), recently signed by the Dodgers has only been able to play four games because of injuries.  Moises Sierra (.337, 4, 16) has been showing a hot bat.  He leads the team in homeruns and RBIs.  Marcell Ozuna (.317, 2, 10) plays next to him in the outfield.  Maikel Franco (.255, 1, 11) has yet to show the power he is touted for.  He also has a 4/26 walk to whiff ratio showing his impatience at the plate.

Starting pitching has been absent.  Rudy Owens (2-1, 3.44) has probably been their ace, not allowing more than two runs in his last six starts after allowing six runs in his first start.  Recent addition Zach Kroenke (1-0, 1.08) has allowed just one run each in his two starts.  The opposition is hitting him at a .143 clip.  Ramon Ramirez (0-1, 2.57, 6 saves) has been their closer, picking up five saves in his last nine appearances.

Toros del Este 8-7 (11-20)

No real emerging bats here.  Joey Terdoslavich (.300, 0, 2) had three hits and drove in two runs in his first game for the Toros, but hasn’t done much since.  Cesar Puello (.181, 2, 9) has only one hit in his last 17 at bats.  No player has more than two homeruns and Ricardo Nanita (.237, 1, 13) leads the team in RBIs.

They have been getting some excellent pitching from Elih Villanueva (2-2, 1.78) and Raul Valdes (2-1, 2.10).  Elih has not allowed a run in three of his six starts and Raul threw seven shutout innings in his last start.  Finding another starter has been an issue though Chris Leroux threw four innings of one hit shutout ball in his first start.

Estrellas del Oriente 4-12 (10-22)

Estrellas has dropped to the bottom like a stone.  Junior Lake (.342, 2, 11) has been giving them good production with six stolen bases in eight games.  Audy Ciriaco (.280, 3, 14) leads the team in RBIs.  Alex Valdez (.212, 4, 13) has been their most productive bat despite his low batting average, leading the team in runs scored with 19 and triples with 4.  Tommy Joseph (.192, 0, 2) has been seeing some time behind the plate, but his bat has been slow out of the gate.

Evan McLane (1-2, 2.32) has been a reliable starter.  He has yet to allow a homerun in his 31 innings of work.  Marcos Mateo (3-0, 1.13, 5 saves) has closed out eight of the ten Estrellas wins. 

Alex Cabrera Still a Power Source in Venezuela

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Alex Cabrera is a mammoth of a man, with shoulders larger than any myworld has ever witnessed.  He was tied with two other Japanese players with most homeruns in a season at 55 in the NPB until Wladimir Balentien shattered that record in 2013.  He hit 357 homeruns in Japan over a 12 season Japanese career, finally calling it quits in 2012.

At 41 years of age he must have found his fountain of youth in Venezuela.  He is hotter than any player in winter baseball, hitting 10 homeruns in his last eight games.  He has had three multi homer games in that eight game streak.  For the season he is hitting .407 with 15 homeruns and 40 RBIs.  As it stands now, those figures would give him the Triple Crown in the Venezuelan Winter League.

Last year in the Venezuelan League he only played in 37 games and hit just seven homerun.  He has doubled that effort this year in the same amount of games.  He has been so hot the Orix Buffaloes, a team in the Japanese League he played for between 2008-2010 is trying to lure him back into the NPB to replace Korean slugger Dae-Ho Lee.  Lee is a free agent looking at the major leagues for a contract.

Alex Cabrera also has a son playing with the Detroit Tigers in the minor leagues.  He was originally signed by the Pirates but traded to the Tigers in 2012.  Ramon Cabrera is only listed at 5′8″ and doesn’t come close to the homerun pop of his father.  He is 24 years old, making Alex 17 years old when he became a father, if his listed birth date is correct.  

Hermosillo Wins First Half

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

India Baseball Championships

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

The Apollo Rockets won the championship.  They only had one loss during the event, to the Profit Smashers.  They defeated IBA Bengaluru in the finals 5-2.  Interesting the most valuable player was Ramesh from the Profit Smashers, who did not even make the playoffs.  The best pitcher (Sagar) and hitter (Ravi Dutt) were from the Mylan Pirates, who also did not make the playoffs.  G. Sandeep from the Rockets was selected the best catcher.  While it is not clear, this probably means he was the best fielder.

you can see more of the scores here: http://www.ibaf.org/en/news/2013/11/26/apollo-rockets-win-baseball-premier-league-in-indi/0697ae95-4747-4474-949c-31030dc23733.

There is a nice shot of the field they played on, which appeared to be a modified cricket field. 

Hanwha Eagles Use Ryu Posting Money to Enhance Roster

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

The Hanwha Eagles finished in last place in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013 with or without Hyun-Jin Ryu.  The 2013 season was especially embarrassing after finishing 11 games behind even the expansion NC Dinos for last in the KBO.  They took the $25.7 million dollar posting fee they got for Ryu to sign two of the top free agents in the KBO, second baseman Keun-woo Jeong and outfielder Yong-Kyu Lee.

Neither player appears to be a difference maker in a lineup but they signed for the second and third largest free agent contracts in KBO history.  Lee had rotator cuff surgery and is expected to miss the first month of the 2014 season.  Jeong signed a four year deal for $6.6 million while Lee inked a four year contract for a little less ($6.3 million).  That is still only half the posting fee, with the salaries extended over four years so they could still do something else if they haven’t already spent the money on stadium improvements and ownership salaries/bonuses.

You can read more about the signings and the players  http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/culturesports/2013/11/27/6/0702000000AEN20131127006200315F.html    

Japanese End of Season Awards

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

You can see the full list of the awards here: http://yakyubaka.com/2013/11/26/11262013-2013-npb-awards/

Some of the more important ones:

Central

MVP - Wladimir Balentien (Yakult Swallows)

Top Pitcher - Kenta Maeda (Hiroshima Carp)

Top Catcher - Shinnosuke Abe (Yomiuri Giants)

Firstbaseman - Tony Blanco (Yokahama DENA Baystars)

Second Baseman - Tsuyoshi Nishioka (Hanshin Tigers)

Third Baseman - Shuichi Murata (Yomiuri Giants)

Shortstop - Takashi Toritani (Hanshin Tigers)

Outfield - Balentien, Matt Murton (Hanshin Tigers) and Hisayoshi Chono (Yomiuri Giants)

Pacific League

MVP - Masahiro Tanaka (Rakuten Golden Eagles)

Best Pitcher - Tanaka

Catcher - Motohiro Shima (Rakuten Golden Eagles)

Firstbaseman - Hideto Asamura (Seibu Lions)

Secondbaseman - Kazuya Fujita (Rakuten Golden Eagles)

Third Baseman - Casey McGehee (Rakuten Golden Eagles)

Shortstop - Daichi Suzuki (Chiba Lotte Marines)

Outfield - Yuya Hasegawa (Softbank Hawks), Seiichi Uchikawa (Softbank Hawks) and Sho Nakata (Nippon Ham Figthers)

Designated Hitter - Michel Abreu (Nippon Ham Fighters)

Jun Hirose was given a special award by setting a new NPB record of reaching base in 15 consecutive plate appearances.  Both Masahiro Tanaka and Wladimir Balentien also set records for consecutive wins in a season (which got Tanaka in the Guiness Book of Records) and homeruns.  They got special commissioner awards.

Cuban Update

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Myworld has not done a Cuban update yet.  There have been some significant changes to some of the teams and they are already 18 games into their season.  Early results show that there is no dominant team.

Matanzas (11-6)

They have a couple players showing early season pop in Ariel Sanchez (.317, 4, 15), Yadiel Hernandez (.345, 3, 17) and Jose Fernandez (.340, 3, 14).  The four homeruns by Sanchez is one behind the league leaders while the 17 RBIs from Hernandez is also one behind the league leader.  Fernandez has an interesting 13/1 walk to whiff ratio in 61 plate appearances.  Dainer Moreira (.361, 0, 4) leads the team and the league in runs scored with 17.  This is the only team with a batting average over .300 (.301).

Pitching has not gotten them to the top spot.  Their 3.68 ERA is at the lower end of the league.  Joel Suarez (4-0, 3.18) has won all his four starts.  So has Yaniel Blanco (4-0, 3.16).  That accounts for eight of the teams 11 wins.  Felix Fuentes (2.70, 2 saves) is normally the closer but Maikel Hidalgo (1-0, 2.38, 3 saves) has one more save. 

Industriales (9-6)

They inherited the Gourriel brothers from the Sancti Spiritus Roosters, which decimated the roster but helped the team playing in Havana.  Yulieski Gourriel (.250, 2, 11) is the big acquisition but he has gotten off to a slow start.  Despite the slow start the 11 RBIs still leads the team.  Stayler Hernandez (.246, 2, 3) tops the team in runs scored with 12 and has stolen three bases in four attempts.  Another slow starter is Alexander Malleta (.234, 1, 5).  He has been walked 13 times.  Juan Torriente (.364) is the only player on the team hitting over .300, but he has only played eight games with just over 20 at bats.

The Leones leads the league in ERA at 2.14.  Frank Monthiet (3-0, 0.00) has yet to allow a run in his three starts covering 17 innings.  The opposition is hitting only .190 against him.  Ian Rendon (1-2, 2.30) appears to lack offensive support.  David Mena (1-0, 1.69) has also pitched well in his three starts.  Another pitcher who has not allowed a run in his two starts is Ramon Pena, but he has only worked nine innings. 

Pinar del Rio (10-7)

Yosvani Peraza (.323, 2, 16) is the big bat in the early season.  Donal Duarte (.316, 0, 9) leads the team in runs scored with 11 and his 16 walks are one behind the league leader.  He also has stolen three bases in three attempts.  Lorenzo Quintana (.228, 0, 6) has been another stolen base threat with five, two behind the league leader, but he needs to get on base more.  William Saavedra (.270, 2, 13) is the other player with double digits in RBIs.

Erlis Casanova (3-1, 0.61) has a .158 opposition batting average in his four starts.  He also has a 9/21 walk to whiff ratio and is third in the league in ERA.  Yosvani Torres (2-1, 2.45) leads the team in whiffs with 22 and has only walked four batters in his 25 plus innings.  Julio Martinez (2-0, 0.83) has been stingy with the runs.  The bullpen job is shared by Isbel Hernandez (0-1, 1.38, 4 saves) and Jesus Guerra (1.17, 3 saves).   

Villa Clara (9-7)

Yulexis La Rosa (.341, 2, 13) leads the team in homeruns and RBIs.  He also has hit three doubles and one triple.  Ramon Lunar (.269, 1, 6) tops the team in runs scored with 11.  He has also walked 12 times.  Yuniet Flores (.275, 0, 1) has five stolen bases in seven attempts.  Andy Zamora (.413, 0, 4) is third in the league in hitting.

The top early starter has been Yasmany Hernandez (2-1, 0.86).  Robelio Carrillo (1.10) is another stingy starter giving up the runs but he has a poor 12/8 walk to whiff ratio.  Only the ace Freddy Alvarez (2-1, 2.25) is not stingy with the strikeouts with a 4/18 walk to whiff ratio.  He has the team’s one complete game.  

Artemisa (10-8)

They are known for their top of the line pitching staff.  Their .237 batting average and .321 slugging is not going to generate a lot of runs.  No player has double digit RBI totals but Michel Rodriguez (.297, 2, 6) and Dayan Garcia (.282, 2, 7) share the team lead in homeruns.  Michel also leads the team in runs scored with 11.  The six doubles from Osmel Fraga (.269, 0, 7) is one behind the league leader.  No player on the team is hitting over .300 even among the reserves.

The pitching staff is what makes this team with their 2.65 ERA.  Jonder Martinez (2-3, 1.89), Miguel Lahara (3-1, 1.98) and Yulieski Gonzalez (2-2, 2.94) are probably the best trio of starters in the league.  Lahera leads the team in strikeouts with 23, only walking six.  He limits the opposition to a .135 average.  Jose Garcia (1.69, six saves) is tied for the league lead in saves.

Isla de la Juventud (10-8)

The team only has three homeruns in their first 18 games.  Luis Castro (.344, 0, 9) and Michel Enriquez (.422, 1, 10) hit doubles instead with both of them sharing the league lead in doubles.  Michel leads the team in RBIs and is second in the league in batting average.  Luis Rivera (.327, 0, 5) has a league leading 17 walks.  Alejandro Ortiz (.333, 0, 4) is the only other player hitting over .300.  His only extra base hits are the two triples.

Wilber Perez (1-1, 7.23) was one of the best pitchers in the league last year, but this year he is having trouble getting hitters out.  the opposition is hitting him at a .311 clip.  The bullpen of Jesus Amador (2-0, 1.53, 1 save) and Raysel Plutin (2-0, 1.84) and Hector Mendoza (3-0, 0.75, 2 saves) account for seven of their ten wins. 

Mayabeque (10-8)

Yoel Mestre (.255, 4, 8) has shown a little pop in his bat.  His four homeruns are one behind the league leader.  He also leads the team in runs scored with 12.  Dennis Laza (.313, 2, 11) and Yasniel Gonzalez (.262, 2, 11) share the RBI lead.  Danger Guerrero (.375, 1, 8) lives up to his name.  His 13 walks are tops on the team.

Ariel Miranda (3-0, 2.84) is their early ace.  He has five starts and his 31 whiffs leads the league.  He has also given up five homeruns.  The closer is Leinier Rodriguez (1-1, 2.53, 6 saves), who accounts for seven of Mayabeque’s 10 wins.  No other pitchers are worth discussing.  

Holquin (9-8)

They are the last team that would fight for the extended season playoff run.  They have struggled as a team since the departure of Aroldis Chapman.  Maikel Caceres (.388, 0, 5) leads the team in hitting and runs scored with 11.  His six doubles are one behind the league leader.  Yordan Manduley (.282, 0, 10) has the team RBI lead.  Yunior Paumier (.273, 2, 9) is the teams most feared hitter.  He has walked 15 times.

Their pitching has been surprisingly good.  Yusmel Velazquez (2-1, 2.13) and Carlos Gonzalez (1-1, 2.31) have been the two aces early in the season.  Pablo Fernandez (3-2, 0.92, 3 saves) is the closer.  The bridge to get to Pablo has been Daikel Labrada (1.93, 1 save) who leads the team in appearances with nine.  

Guantanamo (9-8)

Giorvis Duvergel (.361, 3, 11) has gotten off to a torrid start but their is no hotter hitter than Robert Delgado (.429, 2, 18), who leads the league in RBIs and batting average.  His 16 runs scored are one behind the league leader.  Leonelkis Escalante (.269, 0, 8) has crossed the plate 15 times.  Other players showing friction with the bat are Andres de la Cruz (.404, 1, 7) and Vismay Santos (.326, 2, 8) .  Andres has not gotten enough at bats to be considered for the batting title.  The five doubles hit by Vismay puts his OPS over 1.000.

The pitching A-Rod (1-0, 1.15) has allowed seven unearned runs, so teams are still crossing the plate when he is pitching.  No pitcher has over one win and ERAs are high. 

Ciego de Avila (9-9)

Despite a lack of homeruns and extra base hits Ruben Valdes (.300, 0, 13) leads the team in RBIs.  Osvaldo Vazquez (.260, 3, 8) leads the team in homeruns while Rudeldis Garcia (.351, 2, 8) tops the team in batting average.  Raul Gonzalez (.313, 0, 6) is another player hitting over .300 with a team leading four doubles.

Vladimir Garcia (1-1, 1.29) should have more wins with that ERA.  The opposition is struggling to hit him, bating only .198 and his 26 whiffs leave him fourth in the league.  Osmar Carrero (2-1, 2.20) is another pitcher thriving in the starting rotation.  Yadir Rabi (2-1, 4.50, 2 saves) needs to gain consistency if he wants to remain as a closer.    

Santiago de Cuba (9-9)

Alexei Bell (.344, 3, 10) is starting to show some pop that has been absence the last couple years.  He is one two players on the team with an OPS over 1.000.  Andres Reyna (.378, 2, 6) is the other.  Luis la O Camacho (.295, 0, 4) leads the league in stolen bases with seven.  He has been caught two times.  Reutilio Hurtado (.274, 4, 14) has the team homerun and RBI lead.  He is also tied with Bell for the team lead in runs scored with 10.  Hector Olivera (.333, 0, 4) has had a quiet bat with his three doubles accounting for his only extra base hits. Edilse Silva (.261, 1, 6) is another bat that needs to get hot for the team to advance to the playoff round.  His 22 whiffs are the most in the league by five.

Danny Betancourt (3-1, 0.65) is fourth in the league in ERA.  Edialbert Valentin (0-1, 2.16) is another pitcher having success in the starting rotation.

Las Tunas (7-8)

They have hit only two homeruns.  Danel Castro (.316, 1, 8) and Yosvani Alarcon (.316, 1, 6) have accounted for both of them.  Andres Quiala (.327, 0, 7) leads the team in walks with 11.  Jorge Jhonson (.302, 0, 5) is the only other player on the team with significant at bats to be over .300.  No player on the team has double figures in RBIs or runs scored which translates into the lowest amount of runs scored in the league.

Yoelkis Cruz (3-0, 0.31) is second in the league in ERA.  Erick Sanchez (1-1, 0.90, 1 save) is the set up man for closer Carlos Viera (1-1, 1.35, 4 saves).   

Granma (7-11)

They have the league leader in homeruns and probably the best hitter in Cuba in Alfredo Despaigne (.343, 5, 15).  His numbers benefit from him playing in a small park.  He has walked 16 times and crossed the plate 14 times.  Sharing the homerun lead with Alfredo is Carlos Benitez (.352, 5, 13).  Other big bats on the team include Luis Ferrales (.333, 2, 10) and Guillermo Aviles (.315, 2, 13). 

Lazaro Blanco (0-1, 2.61) is the only starter to keep his ERA below five.  Alain Tamayo (2.70, 3 saves) and Jose Pena (1-4, 7.41, 2 saves) have been sharing the closers load.  For Pena he has given up 4 homeruns in just 17 innings. 

Sancti Spiritus (7-11)

Without the Gourriel brothers this team is a shell of itself.  Their .306 slugging is ahead of only Cienfuegos, who have absences of their own and Las Tunas.  Frederich Cepeda (.213, 1, 6) is their top hitter but his slow start is not helping the offense.  He does lead the team in runs scored with 10.  Livan Monteagudo (.273, 2, 8) is another big bat the Roosters are counting on to make up for the loss in run production.  Orlando Acebey (.304, 0, 5) is the only hitter who qualifies for a batting title to find his average over .300.

Ismel Jimenez (2-3, 2.51) was the top Cuban pitcher in the league last year.  He has a nice 6/23 walk to whiff ratio.  Angel Pena (2-0, 1.42) has only given up three runs in his four starts.  Yoen Socarras (2-1, 2.08) is a third solid starter the Roosters can throw at you.  Carlos Sierra (2.19, 3 saves) is their closer.  He has struck out 16 in 12 innings of work.  Only Jimenez has more strikeouts than Sierra.  

Cienfuegos (6-12)

They lost their big power hitter in Jose Abreu resulting in a team slugging average that has dropped to .296.  They have also lost perhaps the best shortstop in the league in Erisbel Arruebarruena and Yasiel Puig would also be patrolling the outfield.  Johan Moncada (.231, 2, 5) has two of the teams three homeruns.  He has also stolen four bases in six attempts and leads the team in runs scored with 12.  Pedro Marquez (.313, 0, 10) leads the team in RBIs.  He also has three doubles and a league leading four triples.  Pavel Quesada (.295, 0, 7) has coaxed 13 walks.

Noelvis Entenza (1-2, 2.97) and Yasiel Morales (1-1, 2.60) keep the ERA down.  Duniel Ibarra (1-0, 0.00, 2 saves) has lacked save opportunities with his team languishing in the basement.  He has only made four appearances working three innings.  Danny Hernandez (1-1, 2.83) has started two games but made six relief appearances.                              

Camaguey (6-12)

This is not an unusual spot for them, but they played well last year.  Dary Bartolome (.333, 5, 10) shares the league lead in homeruns.  Marino Luis (.385, 0, 10) has crossed the plate a team leading 14 times.  His six doubles are one behind the league leader and he has been successful on four of his five stolen base attempts.  William Luis (.185, 2, 11) is the big RBI bat despite the lack of hits.  Hector Hernandez (.346, 4, 5) has crossed the plate 13 times but his production with RBIs on his homeruns is lacking.  He also has five stolen bases in six attempts.  Osmel Aguila (.317, 0, 9) is another bat worth mentioning.  His 13 runs scored is second on the team.

Vicyohandri Odelin (2-1, 2.88) and Norge Ruiz (2-2, 2.38) have won four of the six games the team has won.  Norge is third in the league in strikeouts.  Yormani Socarras (0-1, 0,00, 2 saves) has still not allowed a run in five appearances in the closer role.  Dariel Gongora (2.70) has worked well in a setup role.   

Japanese Rookies of the Year

Monday, November 25th, 2013

The NPB announced their rookies of the year, both of them pitchers:

From the Yakult Swallows in the Central League you have Yasuhiro Ogawa (16-4,2.93).  He is listed at 5′7″ and throws right handed so major league scouts would certainly take a disinterest in him.  He beat out two favorites who were first round picks, Shintaro Fujinami (Hanshin Tigers, 10-6, 2.75) and Tomoyuki Sugano (Yomiuri Giants, 13-6, 3.12).

From the Rakuten Eagles in the Pacific League the rookie of the year was Takahiro Norimoto (15-8, 3.34).  At 5′10″ Norimoto is a bit on the small side for throwing right handed.  He may be the ace of the staff next year if Masahiro Tanaka is posted and signs with a major league team.  Shohei Otani (Nippon Ham Fighters), who was mostly used as a position player but pitched a bit towards the end of the season finished a distant second.

There are a number of good young pitchers percolating up to the NPB.

Panama Wins Bolivarian Games

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Panama brought some excellent pitching to the Bolivarian games to win the tournament.  In pool play they went undefeated allowing only two runs in the five games they played.  The second place Venezuelan team (4-1) scored one run in a 3-1 loss and the eventual third place team Ecuador (2-3) scored one run in a 17-1 loss.  You can review the pool play results here:  http://bolivarianos2013.pe/BEI/Pages/Individuales.aspx?Ev=true

Peru (2-3), Guatemala (2-3) and Bolivia (0-5) also participated in the event.

In the playoffs the Panamanian pitching got better.  Navaro Eliecer got his second win, an 8-0 shutout of the fourth seeded Ecuador.  Venezuela slipped past third seeded Guatemala 2-1.

In the finals Acosta Alberto won his second game as the Panamanians did not allow a hit in their 6-0 win over Venezuela.  It was the second no hitter of the tournament.  In pool play Venezuela had beaten Bolivia 11-0 without allowing a hit.  Colmenarz Lugo Juan Esteban started for Venezuela and took the loss, his second of the tournament.  Both of them were against Panama.

Ecuador beat Guatemala 2-1 for third place.