Dominican Update

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. 

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