Puerto Rican Playoff Participants

The poor play of the new team Tiburones de Aguadilla has created an atmosphere where the four round robin playoff teams had already been decided by midseason. In the five team league four of the teams advance to the round robin to determine the Series del Caribe representative. Only two of those four teams have winning records. Below are the teams who will be playing in the round robin playoffs:

Cangrejeros de Santurce (28-12)

Their top hitter has been Ivan Dejesus Jr, who is the only player on the team with an average above .300 (.302). His .778 OPS is also tops on the team. With 14 RBIs and 17 runs scored only Juan Silva is ahead of him in run production. Silva leads the team and the league in RBIs with 19 and homeruns with five but his batting average prevents him from any Triple Crown contention with an ugly .192. Neftali Soto with his four homeruns and 13 RBIs matches Dejesus in run production with 18 runs scored. Hector Olivera, the former Cuban superstar has vanilla numbers with a .250 average with one homerun and 14 RBIs. Hector is only slugging .344.

Adalberto Flores has been putting up pinball machine numbers with his pitching going 4-0 with a 0.95 ERA in 11 starts. A WHIP of 0.88 is indicative of his 8/43 walk to whiff ratio in 57 innings. The opposition hits him at a .210 clip. He has not given up a run in six of his 11 starts. The Cuban Reiner Roybal has been just as impressive with a 3-2, 1.87 line with an opposition batting average of .237. Last year he stunk up AAA (6.65) and AA (7.43) for the Phillies, allowing the opposition to hit him at a .318 clip. Corey Black has accumulated 12 saves with his 0.43 ERA with an opposition batting average of .147. He hopes to fit himself in the Cubs bullpen in 2017. The most impressive pitcher is probably 40 year old setup man J.C. Romero who has yet to give up a run in 22.1 innings. The lefty pitcher has limited lefthanded hitters to a .071 average.

Indios de Mayaguez (26-14)

Jesmuel Valentin is shining playing under his dad with his 18 RBIs tied for the team lead with slugger Kennys Vargas. Valentin is hitting .257 while Vargas has been struggling with a .179 average, taking solace in the fact he has walked a league leading 24 times. The bat to fear has been Danny Ortiz who is hitting .340, tops in the league. His 19 runs scored is second to the 20 for Valentin. Half of Jonathan Rodriguez 26 hits have been doubles giving him the league lead in that category. Eddie Rosario has been a bust in his seven games (.179).

The top pitcher has been Hiram Burgos (4-1, 2.05) who has four shutouts in his 10 starts. Another Brewer Jorge Lopez hopes to bounce back from his disappointing 2016 (3-11, 5.78). The Puerto Rican hitters are not having much success with a .145 opposition average as Jorge has gone 1-1, 1.56 in his nine starts. He has not given up a run in six of his nine starts, though many of his starts have been in the two to four inning variety. The used to be wild Jonathan Sanchez seems to have his control together (19/39) to rack up a league leading five wins (5-2, 2.75).

Criollos de Caguas (19-21)

Rusney Castillo has provided some spark to the Criollos offense after joining them mid-December. He is raking at a .392 clip fueled by a streak of three consecutive games in which he produced three hits. The extra base hit production has been lacking with only three doubles out of his 20 hits. He is hitting .500 against lefthanded pitching. The big RBI man has been Rey Navarro, who has driven in 16 with his .290 average and 8 RBIs contributing to the cause. Andrew Velasquez leads the team in runs scored and the league in stolen bases with 14 in 17 attempts.

Ricardo Gomez (0-1, 1.66) has picked up saves in 15 of the Criollos 19 wins. Otherwise the pitching has not been awe inspiring.

Gigantes de Carolina (16-24)

Carlos Corporan (.321, 1, 17) is their top hitter. He would have the Triple Crown in hitting on the team if it was not for the two homeruns hit by J.J. Fernandez (.253) and Irving Falu (.201). Ozzie Martinez (.248) and Anthony Garcia have each slashed 10 doubles.

Mario Santiago (4-1, 1.85) and Giovanni Soto (4-3, 2.05) have been the Gigantes top starters. Santiago has a complete game seven inning shutout to his resume while Soto has not given up runs in five of his nine starts. He picked up wins in four of those five starts. The closing duties have been assigned by a committee with Kevin Herget (2-0, 1.86, 8 saves) and Chasen Bradford (1-1, 1.83, 6 saves) getting most of the opportunities. Raul Rivera has moved from the starting rotation to the closer role where he has picked up saves in his last three appearances. He is 1-3 with a 4.26 ERA as a starter but 1-0 and has yet to give up a run in his 8 relief appearances. The opposition is hitting him at a .176 clip when he comes out of the bullpen but a .273 clip as a starter.

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