Cardinals Winter League Notebook: 2012 Week 2

Cesar Valera had a 1.018 OPS and five RBI this past week in the Venezuelan Parallel League. Updates on 20 other Cardinals farmhands as well.

There was a great deal of action in the Winter Leagues this week so let's get right down to it.

Dominican (Winter) League
Stats are through games of October 23rd.

Aguilas Cibaenas –
Aguilas played three games this week with a fourth postponed and went 1-2. It was reported on Saturday that catcher Audry Perez is out with a right knee injury. He is expected to miss 10-to-15 days with a mild collateral ligament injury. An update on Wednesday the 24th indicated that Perez could return as early as this Sunday or Monday due to a faster than expected recovery.

Also on Wednesday Oscar Taveras and southpaw pitcher Edward Paredes (Seattle) were named as the "Players of the Week" for the Mameyes River region by the sports chronicle of said region.
- Luis De La Cruz: did not play
- Audry Perez: out with a right knee injury
- Oscar Taveras: started all three of the Cibaenas' games and had an excellent week at the plate. Taveras was the right fielder on Friday and Saturday then moved to center for Sunday's contest. He batted eighth on Friday, seventh and Saturday and fifth on Sunday. Taveras was removed from Friday's victory after four at bats in a three-player defensive switch. He went .400/.500/1.100/1.600, 4-for-10, with a double, two home runs, two walks, two runs scored, three driven in and a .333 BABIP. Taveras struck out twice and stole one base.
Season-to-date: .333/.400/.778/1.178, 18 AB, 6 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 4 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, .333 BABIP

Gigantes de Cibao –
The Gigantes had five games including the contest on the 17th for which the box score was not available for last week's report. Cibao went 3-2 with one postponement.
- Ronny Gil: made his 2012 Winter League debut on Thursday when he was inserted as a pinch runner in the ninth inning during the Gigantes' 8-7 loss. Gil got a start on Sunday as the designated hitter in a 12-5 win. He hit in the nine slot and went 3-for-4 with a run scored and two driven in.

Leones del Escogido –
Escogido went 3-2 this week.
- Starlin Rodriguez: His sole appearance was as a pinch hitter in Friday's 4-3 loss to the Gigantes. Rodriguez pinch hit for the nine hitter in the sixth and struck out swinging with a runner at first and two outs.

Mexican Pacific League
Stats are through games of October 24th.

Caneros de Los Mochis –
The Caneros went 4-2 this week.
- Jermaine Curtis: started at second and led off on Thursday, Friday and Saturday before being placed on the Inactive List. Went .214/.214/.286/.500, 3-for-14, with a run scored, two driven in and three strikeouts.
Season-to-date: .167/.192/.208/.401, 24 AB, 4 H, 1 2B, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 4 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, .190 BABIP

Venados de Mazatlan –
Mazatlan went 2-5 this part week.
- Nick Additon made his second start for Mazatlan on Friday, the 19th and recorded his first win in the Venados' 11-5 triumph. The southpaw allowed three hits and two base-on-balls over six frames that resulted in two runs, earned, with three strikeouts. Two of his three K's came in a perfect first. Additon wiggled out of a jam in the second after he put two runners on via a free pass and a single. A sac bunt advanced the runners but a fly out to shallow center and a pop out ended the threat.

A 1-2-3 third followed before the 24-year-old yielded a tally in the fourth on a lead-off double, ground out and sac fly. He retired the side in order but gave up another run in the sixth when he issued a base-on-balls to begin the frame. That runner eventually crossed home on a one-out double. Additon threw 83 pitches, 51 for strikes, with six groundouts and seven fly outs. He had a 3.00 ERA and 3.20 FIP, 0.83 WHIP with a very low .176 BABIP. Additon held opposing batters to a .158 batting average.
Season-to-date: 3.48 ERA/2.52 FIP, 2 G, 2 GS, 10.1 IP, ;8 H, 4 R/ER, 0 HR, 1 HB, 2 BB, 8 SO, 0.97 WHIP, .276 BABIP, .222 BAA,

Venezuelan League

The Venezuelan League saw one Cardinals' minor leaguer added and another transferred. Pitcher Dail Villanueva (Quad Cities) made his 2012 winter debut this week with the Tiburones (Sharks) de La Guaira while Margarita reported on the 22nd that Breyvic Valera had been sent to the Venezuelan Parallel League. It has also been reported that Eduardo Sanchez (Memphis/St. Louis) is with the Tigres de Aragua where he is rehabbing. He hopes to be ready to go by the first week of November. Stats are through games of October 24th.

Caribes de Anzoategui –
The Caribes went 3-3 for the week.
- Ildemaro Vargas: Although Vargas appeared in four games this week, he has yet to get a start for Anzoategui and had only one at bat. He was a pinch runner on the 19th and entered Saturday's game as a defensive sub at second base in the eighth but was pinch hit for in the 9th. On Sunday the 21st, Vargas was again a late-inning substitute when he came into the contest in the eighth as a defensive replacement at second base. He doubled off Silfredo Garcia to drive in a run for what turned out to be the difference in the Caribes' 11-10 victory in the ninth. Vargas pinch ran in the eighth on Tuesday and remained in the game as the second baseman.
Season-to-date: 5 G, 2 AB, 1 H, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SO, .500/.500/.1.000/1.500

Tigres de Aragua –
Aragua went 3-3 as well on the week.
- Jose Garcia: After starting two games for the Tigres last week, Garcia did not appear in any of Aragua's six contests this week. Coincidence or not, Garcia made three throwing errors in his two starts.
Season-to-date: .000/.250/.000/.250, 3 AB, 0 H, 1 BB, 0 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS,

- Jorge Rondon: Began the sixth inning twice this week. On Thursday, October 18th, he yielded back-to-back singles that put runners at the corners with only one out. Rondon got out of the mess via a fielder's choice out at home and a strike out looking. He was replaced after getting the lead-off batter in the seventh to ground out to first. The righty gave up a lead-off double in the sixth on the 20th but stranded the runner by sandwiching a strikeout around two groundouts. He ran into control issues in the seventh when, after inducing two ground outs, Rondon issued consecutive free passes. His replacement notched a swinging strikeout to finish the frame. Overall, Rondon threw three innings with three hits, two walks, no runs/earned runs, two strikeouts, with a 0.00 ERA/3.87 FIP, 1.67 WHIP and opponents hit .250 against him with a .300 Batting Average for Balls In Play.
Season-to-date: 4.50 ERA/7.20 FIP, 3 G, 0 GS, 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 1 HR, 1 HB, 2 BB, 3 SO, 1.75 WHIP, .308 BABIP, .294 BAA

Tiburones de La Guaira –
As mentioned above, Dail Villanueva appeared for La Guaira this week as the squad followed up an 0-5 start in week one by going 1-5 this week. Pitcher Ramon Ulacio, who was released by St. Louis in early October, is also with the Tiburones.
- Dail Villanueva: Started La Guaira's contest on the 20th and had extreme difficulty finding the strike zone. The lefty immediately loaded the bases on three base-on-balls then yielded a sac fly to right that brought one runner home and advanced another to third. He escaped further difficulties by inducing a 6-4-3 double play. Villanueva's day was done when he walked the first two batters in the second, although neither subsequently scored. He issued five free passes in one plus frames, with one run/earned run and no hits. Villanueva had a 5.00 WHIP and 18.20 FIP.

Cardenales de Lara –
Lara went 1-3 this week with a postponement.
- Richard Castillo: After tossing three innings in as many appearances last week, Castillo had one two-inning outing this week. He began the fifth inning on the 18th, immediately yielding a double to right. The runner advanced to third on a sac bunt where he remained during a 4-3 ground out. Castillo intentionally walked the next batter to set up a force play but negated that strategy by allowing a run-scoring single to left. A fly out to left ended the frame. He gave up a single with one-out in the sixth, but that was it for the opposition's threat. Overall, he gave up a run on three hits with his only base-on-balls being intentional. Castillo did not strike out a batter and compiled a 4.50 ERA/6.20 FIP, 2.00 WHIP and .375 BABIP for the week.
Season-to-date: 5.40 ERA/7.40 FIP, 4 G, 0 GS, 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R/ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 3 BB, 2 SO, 2.00 WHIP, .333 BABIP, .333 BAA

Bravos de Margarita –
Margarita went 3-2 the week. Breyvic Valera made his first appearance for Margarita on the 18th before being sent to the Parallel League.
- Silfredo Garcia: Tossed 1 2/3 innings over two relief appearances. He erased a lead-off single with a double-play ball in the sixth on the 20th then inherited a runner on second with one out in the ninth on the 21st. Garcia yielded a double to Johnson City teammate Ildemaro Vargas that plated the runner for what became the difference in the contest. He induced two more ground outs to finish the inning.
Season-to-date: 0.00 ERA/3.63 FIP, 4 G, 0 GS, 4.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R/ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1.07 WHIP, .250 BABIP, .214 BAA

- Breyvic Valera: Entered Thursday's contest as a pinch runner in the eighth and subsequently scored on a passed ball. He remained in the game at short. Further information on Valera appears in the Venezuelan Parallel League section.

Venezuelan Parallel League

Two new names from the St. Louis organization popped up in the Venezuelan Parallel League this week: Pitcher Alirio Negrette, who pitched in the Dominican Summer League in 2012 and shortstop Cesar Valera (Johnson City). They were joined by Breyvic Valera.
- Ismael Brito: Was the winning pitcher on the 18th for the Bravos. Brito tossed a scoreless sixth and seventh with a double and two free passes allowed. He struck out one for a 5.20 FIP and 1.50 WHIP.
Season-to-date: 0.00 ERA/5.53 FIP, 2 G, 0 GS, 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 3 BB, 1 SO, 1.33 WHIP, .167 BABIP, .143 BAA
- Ronnierd Garcia: Started at third in three games and was the starting designated hitter in another contest. Garcia hit in the five hole once and batted seventh the rest of the games. He is really struggling at the plate right now as he went .143/.133/.143/.276, with a run scored, two driven in and seven strikeouts. Twice he was pinch hit for with one of the pinch hitters being Cesar Valera.
Season-to-date: .100/.152/.200/.352, 30 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 10 SO, 0 SB, 1 CS, .100 BABIP, 2 E
- Anderson Gerdel: He started for La Guaira this week after a relief appearance last week. Gerdel was the winning pitcher on the 18th, tossing five innings with no hits and two walks. He plunked a batter to begin the fourth and the runner eventually scored on a steal, ground out and fielding error that led to the unearned tally. Gerdel fanned six with four ground outs and five fly outs, 0.40 WHIP and 2.60 FIP.
Season-to-date: 0.00 ERA/2.70 FIP, 2 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 1 HB, 3 BB, 8 SO, 0.75 WHIP, .158 BABIP, .111 BAA
- Jose Gomez: Was the starting catcher on the 19th when he went 0-for-2 with a ground out and a strike out. He was replaced at catcher in the seventh inning.
Season-to-date: .375/.444/.750/1.194, 8 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, .400 BABIP, 1 E
- Alirio Negrette: From what can be discerned, Negrette actually started for the Caribes on the 12th but the box score lists him as ‘Andres Negrette' so it was not picked up for last week's report Those stats are now included in Alirio Negrette's overall stats. The lefty started games on the 18th and 24th but did not figure in either decision.
Season-to-date: 2.00 ERA/6.31 FIP, 3 G, 3 GS, 9 IP, 4 H, 2 R/ER, 1 HR, 1 HB, 6 BB, 3 SO, 1.11 WHIP, .111 BABIP, .129 BAA
- Breyvic Valera: He started at short and led off in the Bravos' 11-7 victory on the 23rd. Valera went 4-for-6, scored twice and drove in two more. Twice he was successful at swiping a bag. Valera had a line of .667/.667/.667/1.334 with a .667 BABIP. He committed two errors.
- Cesar Valera: His 2012 Winter League debut was a dandy. Valera appeared in all five of the Caribes' games. He pinch hit on the 18th and struck out then pinch hit for Ronnierd Garcia in the sixth inning on the 19th and remained in the game at short. Valera was the starting shortstop for his squad's final three contests. He batted second on the 22nd and sixth on the 23rd and 24th. For the week, the 20-year-old went .357/.375/.643/1.018, 5-for-14, with two doubles, a triple, three runs scored and five RBIs. He walked once and struck out four times. Valera had a .455 BABIP and committed an error. He was also successful in both of his stolen base attempts.
- Gerwuins Velazco: Appeared in three of Caracas' five games this week, two as a starter. Velazco was the starting catcher on the 18th (batting ninth) and the starting designated hitter on the 24th in the seven hole. He came into the game on the 23rd and played first base. Velazco went 2-for-8 with two runs batted in and a strikeout this week. He hit .250/.250/.250/500 with a .286 BABIP.
Season-to-date: .188/.278/.188/.466, 16 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 3 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, .231 BABIP, 2 E

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