Venezuela is going the route of Mexico with two seasons to determine playoff participants. Tiburones La Guairá and Tigres de Aragua had identical 19-13 records but Tiburones won the tie breaker winning the first half.
Tiburones la Guairá (19-13) 8-5
The ageless 43 year old Alex Cabrera (.343, 6, 19) still swats the ball over the fence, tying for the team lead with Brian Burgamy (.287, 6, 21). The Royals rewarded Jose Martinez (.299, 2, 15) with a 40 man roster spot after hitting .382 last year in the minor leagues, despite his 27 years of age. A little slump has dropped his average below the .300 mark in the Venezuelan league. Cuban Ronnier Mustelier (.380, 1, 14) is their top hitter for average.
Alexis Candelario (3-0, 0.76) has been tough to hit with the opposition hitting him at a .153 clip. He has yet to give up more than two runs in any of his eight appearances, five of them starts. At 33 it would be difficult for a major league team to take an interest in him. Junior Guerra (4-1, 3.12) has been the ace of the staff leading the team in whiffs (37).
Tigres de Aragua (19-13) 9-5
Hernan Perez (.264, 3, 12) recently signed with the Brewers. Guillermo Quiroz (.237, 3, 15) and Alex Nunez (.304, 0, 15) share the team lead in RBIs. Alex has yet to hit one over the fence and Quiroz has 31 whiffs in 32 games played. Perez and Quiroz share the team homerun lead.
Vidal Nuno (5-1, 2.13) and Austin Bibens-Dirkx (4-2, 1.80) have been the aces of this staff. Freddy Garcia (1-2, 5.14) should be back after his Premier 12 performance with Team Venezuela that failed to make the playoffs to share the ace responsibilities. Ronald Belasario (1-0, 1.53, 9 saves) has been the team closer. His whiffs (10) and hits given up (23) to innings pitched (20) have not been impressive, but he’s getting the job done.
Navegantes del Magallanes (17-15) 8-6
Adron Chambers (.516, 0, will be facing a drug suspension when he returns to the summer league. He is raking in the winter league with multiple hits in six of his first 10 games. Ronny Cedeno (.304, 4, 18) has been the big bopper but Mike Freeman (.272, 2, 19) leads the team in RBIs. Adonis Garcia (.267, 2, 6) is a little guy but he has popped two over the fence in just eight games played.
Hassan Pena (1-1, 2.12, 13 saves) has been closing out games for the Navegantes.
Cardenales de Lara (17-15) 7-7
Rangel Ravelo (.420, 5, 23) has been difficult to get out. He has a 24/10 walk to whiff ratio. It appears he is enjoying the pitching in Venezuela. Carlos Rivero (.286, 5, 25) leads the team in RBIs. Jairo Perez (.316, 6, 23) leads the team in homeruns despite making good contact (12/8 walk to whiff ratio). Maikol Gonzalez (.258, 2, 11) leads the team in stolen bases with 9, assisted by a .402 OBA (23/13 walk to whiff ratio). He is tied with Perez for the top spot in runs scored (19).
Raul Rivero (4-1, 2.16) has prevented the opposition from scoring. James Hoyt (1-2, 2.25, 8 saves) is the closer with Tiago da Silva (5-0, 2.50) playing setup and leading the team in wins. Hoyt has 22 whiffs in just 16 innings of work.
Leones del Caracas (17-15) 5-8
Felix Perez (.356, 4, 20) leads the team in RBIs and has slashed 12 doubles. He is also tied with Henry Urrutia (.275, 3, 14) and Dixon Machado (.295, 4, 14) in runs scored with 20.
Luis Diaz (1-1, 1.27) has not given up more than one run in his seven starts. The opposition is hitting him at a .205 clip with two ground balls for every fly ball. Cory Riordan (4-2, 3.46) has picked up more victories despite a higher ERA. Joe Gardner (3-2, 2.16) has also been effective despite a less than stellar 12/9 walk to whiff ratio in 33 innings. Loiger Padron (0.52, 2 saves) has only given up one earned run in 18 appearances limiting the opposition to a .107 average. Despite that success Mark Montgomery (5.91, 7 saves) is still the primary closer.
Aguilas del Zulia (15-17) 7-7
Alex Romero (.385, 1, 12) leads the team with 21 runs scored. A .465 OBA with a 16/10 walk to whiff ratio makes him a tough out. David Adams (.274, 5, 15) has been showing some pop, leading the team in homeruns. Lane Adams (.273, 3, 16) is the team leader in RBIs. Franklin Barreto (.164, 2, 13) has been getting a lot of playing time but has struggled to put up any offensive numbers. Jose Pirela (.373, 1, 12) has been another big bat for Aguilas.
Matt Lujan (2-1, 1.97) has been the most consistent starter. Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez (0-4, 4.88) is hoping to carry his winter league performance into a starting spot with the Phillies. The early returns do not look good. Tyler Sturdevant (0.77, 4 saves) has been difficult to hit in a closer’s role.
Caribes de Anzoátegui (15-17) 6-9
Gorkys Hernandez (.319, 0, 5) has been hitting but is only 4 for 9 in stolen base success.
Patrick Johnson (1-1, 1.15) puts the ball over the plate with only 5 walks in 31.1 innings. Pedro Rodriguez (1.13, 9 saves) has come in to close out more than half of their victories.
Bravos de Margarita (9-23) 5-8
The Bravos may be struggling but Jose Osuna (.351, 2, 13) is raking. He is hitting .500 against left handed pitching. Elias Diaz (.235, 1, 3) just arrived and will get an opportunity to catch. Their other catcher Eliezer Alfonzo (.286, 3, 17) leads the team in RBIs.
Andres Perez (2-1, 0.56) is doing pretty good in a setup role. P.J. Francescon (1-1, 2.45, 5 saves) takes over and closes out the games.