The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Winter leagues moving into the postseason

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 02, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Winter leagues in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Mexico have already concluded their regular season games, and Puerto Rico will do the same in a couple of days. Here’s a quick look at how some of the Yankees finished up the regular season in various winter leagues.

Hector Noesi went to the Dominican Republic to get innings, and he finished with 46.2, the second most in the Dominican Winter League. Noesi made 10 starts, going 3-3 with a 2.70 ERA. He walked 10, struck out 27 and allowed a .251 opponents batting average. He’s pitched 2.2 hitless innings in the postseason. The workload brings him up to 130.1 innings for the year, which basically the same amount as Dellin Betances had this year.

• Rule 5 pick Cesar Cabral faced 48 batters in the Dominican. Seven of them had a hit, three of them walked and only one of them came around to score. He inherited 11 runners, and let one of them score. Cabral finished with a 0.71 ERA and a .159 opponents batting average, while getting both right-handers and left-handers out. He’s struck out the only batter he’s faced in the postseason.

• In Mexico, the regular season just ended on Friday, and Jorge Vazquez finished as the league leader with 60 RBI. He was second with 18 home runs and ranked fourth with a .330 batting average. Vazquez has always raked down in Mexico, which is what led the Yankees to sign him in the first place. He did strikeout 66 times — second-most in the league — but when he makes contact, he does some damage.

• Also down in Mexico, Ramiro Pena finished hitting .246/.317/.369 with four homers and three errors as the regular shortstop for Culiacan. A single on the last day of the season snapped a six-game hitless streak for Pena, who was actually putting up pretty solid offensive numbers before that end-of-the-year slide.

• Getting back on the field after a spring shoulder injury, Colin Curtis finished with a .261/.369/.369 slash line in Venezuela. He was hitting for much more power in the first half of the season, but his production fell off a little bit. He got most of his time in left field, but did play some center and right.

• Finishing with a surprisingly productive winter was Double-A shortstop Jose Pirela, who hit .301/.344/.407 as a teammate of Curtis down in Venezuela. Coming off a not-so-great season with Trenton, Pirela finished eighth in the league in batting average and fourth in hits. He got most of his time at second base.

• Switch pitcher Pat Venditte wrapped up his winter in Mexico by pitching two scoreless innings in his final regular season appearance. He finished with a 2.34 ERA and a .204 opponents batting average while routinely pitching at least two innings at a time. Lefties didn’t do much against him, but right-handers were especially shutdown, limited to a .191/.212/.309 slash line against Venditte.

• Signed to another minor league deal, catcher Gustavo Molina hit .256/.313/.314 in Venezuela while splitting time at catcher with Yankees minor leaguer Jose Gil, who hit .272/.326/.432. Molina got slightly more playing time, but Gil finished with twice as many RBI.

• Season numbers for a few minor league outfielders in the Dominican Republic, none of whom had a ton of playing time: Zoilo Almonte hit .171 with nine strikeouts in 35 at-bats, Abe Almonte hit .154 with two stolen bases in 39 at-bats, and Melky Mesa hit .208 with three doubles and three triples in 48 at-bats.

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