Cardinals Winter League Notebook: Wk 7, Pt 2

Results from St. Louis Cardinals prospects competing last week in Venezuela. Anderson Gerdel finished strongly in the Parallel League.

This report includes stats through December 18th.

Venezuelan League

Caribes de Anzoategui –
Record for the Week: 3-4
- Jose Godoy: Although he was placed on the Caribes' active roster on December 4th, Godoy has yet to see any action.
- Ildemaro Vargas: Vargas has not played since November 30th and was hitless in 19 at bats covering 16 games.

Tigres de Aragua –
Record for the Week: 3-5
- Jorge Rondon: Rondon relieved in five games since the last report. The righty got a quick hook on the 10th after his first two batters reached via a single and hit batsman. Rondon rebounded on the 11th, picking up his first win by tossing 1 1/3 scoreless frames, including freezing an inherited runner at third with two outs. The only run he gave up during the period came in a one-inning stint on the 14th on a lead-off triple and ground out. The next day Rondon yielded a single that permitted one of two inherited runners to cross before he recorded the inning's final out. Rondon retired all five batters faced on Tuesday in a pitching duel that his squad ended up losing in walk-off fashion 1-0. For the period he gave up one run on four hits and three base-on-balls over 4 1/3 while fanning three. Rondon's cumulative stats: 19 2/3 innings in 21 games, 20 hits, 11 runs/earned, 12 walks, 12 strikeouts, 5.03 ERA, 4.62 FIP, 1.63 WHIP, .270 BAA, .311 BABIP.

Bravos de Margarita -
Record for the Week: 4-4
- Ismael Brito: Both of Brito's relief appearances were for Margarita's Venezuelan League squad. On the 12th the southpaw entered the ninth with five runs already across, runners at first and second and his team trailing 8-2. Brito got his first batter to pop out to first, thus triggering the infield fly rule, but plunked the next batter to jam the sacks full. A 4-3 ground out ended both the threat and frame. His stint on the 17th was far less dramatic as he got his sole batter to pop out in foul territory to end the seventh and keep his team up 2-1. Brito has relieved five times since being called up to the big squad in late November, hurling 3 2/3 innings with two hits, two free passes issued, one hit batsman and has yet to give up a run, including stranding three inherited runners.
- Silfredo Garcia: Garcia had two excellent outings and one poor one since the last report. He set down four straight on the 12th to keep his team's deficit to two runs and leaving two of his predecessor's runners on. The righty followed that up with a clean frame on the 14th, inducing a 6-3 double play that erased a lead-off walk and maintained the Bravos' 2-0 advantage. Garcia took the loss the next day after allowing two runs in the top of the 11th. The 22-year-old was undone by a walk, single, wild pitch and two-run single that all came with two outs. Garcia has fanned 15 in 17 2/3 spanning 21 appearances with eight base-on-balls, 20 hits, 11 runs/eight earned for a 6.62 ERA, 5.24 FIP, 1.58 WHIP, .278 BAA and .315 BABIP.
- Joshua Lopez: did not play
- Breyvic Valera: Valera's offensive numbers are up for the second straight report. A starter in seven of Margarita's most recent eight games, the center fielder went 7-for-25 with two triples, three walks, three runs scored and three knocked in for a line of .280/.323/.440/.763. The 21-year-old was one-for-two in stolen base attempts and fanned twice. To date, Valera has gone .276/.325/.378/.704, 51-for-185 in 53 games with five doubles, seven triples, 15 base-on-balls, 18 strikeouts and a .297 BABIP.

Venezuelan Parallel League

The league's regular season ended on December 14th with the top two squads in each division advancing to the play offs. Caracas (31-11) finished a game ahead of La Guaira (32-14) in Division A while Detroit (25-22) finished atop Division B, 2 1/3 in front of Toronto.

Both the semi-finals and finals are a best-of-three in which the regular season champion took on the other division's second-place squad with the winners facing off in the finals. Caracas and Detroit swept their semi-finals, two-games-to-none, and will meet for the league championship beginning December 19th.

This report focuses only on the regular season. Post-season performances will be addressed, as needed, in the next notebook.

Bravos –
Record for the Week: 2-2-1
Final Record/Standing: 28-18, tied for fourth in Division A, five games back
- Ismael Brito: Pitched exclusively in the Venezuelan League the entire period.
- Carlos Torres: Torres played in two games, one start, over the Bravos' last five contests. The starting right fielder went 1-for-4 with a walk and run scored on December 10th and finished his season the next day. On the 11th he sacrificed a runner to second as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning before taking over in left. Torres singled up the middle with one out in the 11th, stole second which prompted an errant throw that allowed him to move to third but was left there in a game that ended in a tie.

Caracas –
Record for the Week: 2-2-1
Final Record/Standing: 31-11, first place in Division A, one game up
- Leobaldo Pina: Pina did not appear in any of his team's last five regular season games.
- Gerwuins Velazco: Velazco was the starting catcher on the 10th and turned in a 1-for-5 performance in a 9-1 victory. He pinch hit in the sixth inning of the regular season finale before taking over as designated hitter, going 0-for-1 with a walk.

Caribes –
Record for the Week: 5-0
Final Record/Standing: 24-20, sixth place in Division A, eight games back
- Ronnierd Garcia: All three of Garcia's starts were as the designated hitter, a role at which he went 2-for-12 with a double, run scored and three strikeouts, .167/.167/.250/.417 with a .222 BABIP.
- Jose Godoy: Godoy did not play in the Venezuelan Parallel League after being activated on the Caribes' Venezuelan League roster on December 4th.
- Cesar Valera: Valera finished his winter league season hitting at a torrid pace, 11-for-19 in five starts at short. The 21-year-old doubled twice, homered once, drew three free passes against just two strikeouts, crossed six times and drove in five, batting second. He was successful in both of his stolen base attempts and had a line of .579/.652/.842/1.494 for the period.

Detroit –
Record for the Week: 2-2
Final Record/Standing: 25-22, first place in Division B, 2 1/3 in front
- Jesus Ustariz: St. Louis selected the 20-year-old in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft on December 12th. Ustariz appeared in 23 games for Detroit, 22 starts, including two starts at first on the 11th and 12th prior to him leaving the Tigers' system. His departure leaves a big hole in Detroit's line-up since he compiled a line of .390/.456/.636/1.092, 30-for-77 with 10 doubles, three home runs, eight walks against six strikeouts while touching home 16 times and knocking in 16.

La Guaira –
Record for the Week: 4-1
Final Record/Standing: 32-14, second place in Division A, one game behind Caracas, ½ game in front of Lara
- Anderson Gerdel: La Guaira's team leader in innings pitched took the mound for the final time in his squad's last regular-season game, one they needed to win to ensure a play-off slot. Gerdel took over in the fifth inning with the score knotted at zero and retired 11 in a row before yielding a single. The righty finished his four-inning stint by notching his fourth strikeout of the day and picked up the win. Gerdel was not available to pitch in La Guaira's brief play-off run.
- Kender Villegas: did not pitch

Related article: Part one of this report covered Cardinals prospects' results the past week in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Nicaragua.

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