Cardinals Winter League Notebook: Wk 11, Pt 1

Results from St. Louis Cardinals prospects competing last week in the Dominican, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Nicaragua. Breyvic Valera is hot in the Venezuelan playoffs.

The report includes results through January 21st, as applicable.

Dominican (Winter) League

The postseason kicked off on December 27th and ran through January 17, 2014. Escogido and Licey, the top two squads, advanced to a nine-game Finals Series that began on January 20th.

Aguilas Cibaenas –
Current Week's Round Robin Record: 1-3
Final Round Robin Record: 7-11
Round Robin Standing: Fourth, Four games back and 2 ½ out of Finals slot

- Jose Almarante: Almarante is not on the postseason roster.

- Angel Castro: Castro followed Carlos Martinez in the rotation, winning Thursday's start, his team's only victory for the period. The only mark against the right-hander in six innings was two fourth-inning tallies, both unearned as a result of two errors that frame. Castro allowed three hits and two base-on-balls with five strikeouts, seven ground outs and five fly outs
Round-Robin Stats: 2.38 ERA/4.83 FIP, 1-1, 4 G, 4 GS, 22.2 IP, 17 H, 10 R/6 ER, 2 HR, 0 HB, 11 BB, 11 SO, 1.24 WHIP, .215 BAA, .224 BABIP, 4.4 BB/9 IP, 4.4 SO/9 IP, 1:1 K/BB

- Jermaine Curtis: did not play
Round-Robin Stats: .091/.286/.091/.377, 7 G, 11 AB, 1 H, 3 BB, 3 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, 1 E, .125 BABIP

- Carlos Martinez: The 22-year-old finished his winter season with a superb outing on Wednesday, tossing seven frames of shut out ball. Martinez faced only 24 batters during that span, erasing one of his four hits yielded as well as his only free pass issued on two double-play balls. Four of his five K's were swinging that supplemented eight ground outs and three fly outs. Neither starter figured in the decision, a 2-0 loss by Aguilas.
Round-Robin Stats: 4.15 ERA/2.85 FIP, 0-1, 4 G, 4 GS, 17.1 IP, 19 H, 11 R/8 ER, 1 HR, 1 HB, 4 BB, 17 SO, 1.33 WHIP, .268 BAA, .340 BABIP, 2.1 BB/9 IP, 8.8 SO/9 IP, 4.25:1 K/BB

- Audry Perez: Perez saw his first action in over two weeks on the 14th when he pinch hit with two out in the bottom of the ninth. His line-drive single to left advanced a runner from second to third in an eventual 6-2 loss. The 25-year-old caught Martinez' start the next day, going 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
Round-Robin Stats: .250/.250/.250/.500, 3 G, 8 AB, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, 0 E, .286 BABIP

Nicaraguan League

Indios del Boer –
Jhonny Polanco's Boer team finished the regular season with a 27-21 record, a game ahead of second-place Rivas. Boar sat idle this past week, awaiting the winner of the semifinals between Rivas and third-place Chinandega. Rivas swept that series three-games-to-none to advance to the best-of-seven finals against Boer, starting on January 15th and running through the 23rd.

Puerto Rico League

With the round robin portion of the postseason winding down on January 17th, Caguas won three of its last four contests to move into sole possession of second place, thus sealing a slot in the league championship series against first-place Mayaguez. On Sunday, Caguas took game one 5-1.

Criollos de Caguas –
Round Robin Record for the Week: 3-1
Final Round Robin Record: 7-5
Standing: Second, one back

- Luis Mateo: Mateo made three starts, two at short and one at second. He went 2-for-4 with a run scored in his first start but was hitless in seven at bats subsequently.
Round-Robin Stats: .167/.194/.167/.360, 9 G, 30 AB, 1 R, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, 2 E, .208 BABIP

- Iden Nazario: remains on Caguas' reserve list.

Gigantes de Carolina –
Round Robin Record for the Week: 2-2
Final Round Robin Record: 3-9
Standing: Fourth, five games back

- Juan Caballero: Caballero recorded the final four outs of the Gigantes' 7-2 loss on Thursday. He wild pitched an inherited runner to second, plunked his first batter faced to put two on but escaped via a 5-4 force at second. The 21-year-old walked the first batter in the eighth before getting a pop out, fly out and ground out.
Round-Robin Stats: 0.00 ERA/6.79 FIP, 2 G, 0 GS, 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 1 HB, 1 BB, 0 SO, 0.60 WHIP

- Anthony Garcia: Garcia started in right on the 14th and 15th but a drop to fifth in the batting order did not break his slump as he was hitless in seven at bats with a walk and strikeout. He finished in the midst of a 1-for-19 slide and sat the last two games.
Round-Robin Stats: .194/.326/.250/.576, 9 G, 36 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 7 BB, 10 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, 0 E, .269 BABIP, 1:6.1 BB/PA, 1:4.3 K/PA

Venezuelan League

Two teams made moves involving St. Louis prospects this week, both replacing injured players. Fifth-place La Guaira added Breyvic Valera while first-place Magallenas brought in Jorge Rondon. The Tiburones have already been eliminated but the Navegantes are just one game up on two teams with one game remaining. The top two squads face each other in a best-of seven, beginning January 23rd.

Tiburones de La Guaira –
Round Robin Record: 5-11
Standing: Fifth, 5 1/2 games back

- Rafael Ortega: Ortega started in center all six games, batting first, and was ice cold, going 1-for-21 with a walk and two runs scored. He finally notched a multi-hit game on Monday, singling twice in six at bats while touching home twice and driving in two. Ortega has a postseason line of .176/.310/.206/.515, 6-for-34 in 15 games with a double, seven walks, nine runs scored, five RBIs, eight strikeouts and two stolen bases in three attempts. He has committed two errors, one fielding and one throwing.

- Breyvic Valera: Valera is swinging a hot bat for his new team, going 7-for-12 in four games, two starts. He has scored six runs and knocked in three. The 21-year-old came through in his first two appearances, both as a pinch hitter. His debut on the 17th saw him post a two-run pinch-hit double off Jorge Rondon and Valera followed that up by singling and scoring a pinch hit tally to open ninth on 18th. He ended the period with starts in right and second.

Navegantes del Magallanes –
Round Robin Record: 10-5
Standing: First, one game ahead of the Caribes and Leones.

- Jorge Rondon: Rondon was thrown directly into the fire in his Navegantes' debut and was unable to come through for his new squad. The righty entered the eighth with the sacks jammed, one out and his team down 8-5. All three runners crossed on consecutive doubles, the latter one by St. Louis stablemate Valera that brought in the first tally charged to Rondon. A 4-6 line-out double play limited further damage. Another run was charged to Rondon in the ninth on two singles and a wild pitch that plated the runner.

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