Puerto Rican Update

Myworld has stopped in Fort Smith, Arkansas to shield ourselves from the rain.  We were almost swallowed up by the clouds of a cold front in Amarillo, Texas, but managed to arrive in Fort Smith before the rains came.  The temperatures dropped twenty degrees as the cold front swooped in.  Now that we are boarded up it is time to do our first review of the Puerto Rican League.

Gigantes de Carolina (8-4)

This team lacks top prospects in the offense.  The 34 year old veteran Jesus Feliciano (.371, 0, 5) leads the team in hitting and runs scored with 9.  He has walked five times and struck out only once in 40 at bats.  Anthony Garcia (.243, 2, 8) is only 21 and the Cardinal outfielder leads the team in RBIs.  The two homeruns were hit in the first two games he played and he has not homered since.  He also drove in five of his eight runs in those two games.  Shuhei Fukuda (.195, 1, 6) comes from the Softbank Hawks in Japan.  He is finding the Puerto Rican league a challenge in the early going.

The ace of the Gigantes staff has been Hawks starter Yuya Iida (1-0, 1.59).  He has started three games and has given up only one run in each of those three games, going at least five innings in each of his starts.  Opponents are only hitting him at a .161 average.  His teammate Daichi Hoshino (0.90, 2 saves) has been impressive in a bullpen role.  Orlando Alfonso (1-0, 1.98) has had two solid starts for the Gigantes.  The 6′5″ 230 pound 24 year old has not played with an affiliated team since 2011.  Nao Higashihama (2-1, 3.86) is the third Hawks pitcher on the Gigantes roster.  He leads the team in strikeouts with 12.

Indios de Mayaguez (7-5)

Michael Taylor (.378, 2, 4) is providing the big bat for the Indios.  He also has two stolen bases in three attempts.  His two homeruns also came in his first two games played when he also drove in all four of his RBIs.  Jerry Sands (.282, 3, 6) last played in the major leagues with the Dodgers in 2012.  He is now with the Pirates and is drawing some attention as he leads the team in homeruns.  Eddie Rosario (.000) has been suspended for 50 games for a violation of the drug policy.  He has not gotten a hit in 11 at bats.

Steve Smith (4-0, 0.00) has been getting some vulture wins in his eight bullpen appearances.  His victories account for more than half the teams wins.  His bullpen mates Nelvin Fuentes (2-1, 3.00) and Alex de la Cruz (1-0, 2.35) account for the other three wins.  Jeremy Kehrt (0.00) has given up three unearned runs in his two starts.  Tyler Herron (0.00, 6 saves) has saved six of the seven Indios victories. 

Criollos de Caguas (7-7)

Johnny Monell (.286, 3, 10) and Ramon Castro (.302, 0, 10) have been sharing the catching duties as well as the team RBI lead.  Ramon has ripped seven doubles to make up for a lack of homeruns.  The veteran Jorge Padilla (.354, 0, 6) sets the offense up, his 9 runs scored tied with Monell for the team lead.

Michael Nix (1-0, 1.26) has given up a lot of hits but has yet to walk a batter in his three starts covering 14 plus innings.  That ended today when he gave up seven runs in just three innings, walking two.  Saul Rivera (0-1, 2.08, 3 saves) has taken over the closer role for the Criollos.  He has had trouble finding the plate, walking three and hitting a batter in four innings of work.  Shaun Garceau (1-0, 0,00) has yet to give up a hit in five appearances covering seven plus innings, four outs away from an extended no hitter.  Daniel Bard (108.00) has struggled, walking nine, hitting three while only recording one out. 

Leones de Ponce (6-9)

The Dodgers have another prized prospect in Puerto Rican outfielder Jon Garcia (.385, 1, 3).  He has only played five games but three of his five hits have gone for extra bases.  The Tigers added Jordan Lennerton (.333, 3, 6) to their 40 man roster and traded Prince Fielder so there could be room on their major league roster for a first baseman.  Christian Colon (.246, 1, 6) was the fourth pick in the 2010 draft.  Bryce Harper (first) and Manny Machado (third) are major leaguers and Jameson Taillon (second) should be in 2014.  The verdict is still out on Colon.  He has stolen three bases in five attempts.  Ivan De Jesus (.314, 0, 2) is looking for a utility role.  His 11 walks have resulted in 9 runs scored and a .435 OBP. 

Ryuji Ichioka (2-0, 0.00) has not given up a run in his two starts covering 11 innings.  He plays for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan.  Pete Parise (1.08, 2 saves) has gotten the role as the closer.  He last played affiliated ball in 2011 for the Cardinals.  Alex Claudio (0-3, 8.59) is racking up the losses in his six bullpen appearances.  He has given up three homeruns in seven plus innings.

Cangrejeros de Santurce (5-8)

Jonathan Singleton (.279, 3, 4) has been swatting homeruns.  He has a good shot of winning the Astros first base job in 2014.  Billy Hamilton (.158) has six stolen bases in eight attempts.  His inability to get on base (.238 OBP) has restricted his stolen base opportunities.  He still leads the team in runs scored with 8.  Jack Lopez (.278, 2, 7) is causing a lot of scouts mouths to drool.  The Royals drafted the Puerto Rican shortstop in the 16th round of the 2011 draft.

James Houser (2-0, 1.76) was their top starter but he got knocked out of today’s game in the fourth inning.  He last played for an affiliated team in 2010.  Cuban Jorge Martinez (0-1, 1.50) has given up three unearned runs.  He is looking for a major league team to call his own.  He played for the Matanzas Crocodiles in 2011/2012 (11-5, 2.94).  Arik Sikula (1.50, 3 saves) has taken over the closer role.       

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