Cardinals Winter League Notebook: Wk 12, Pt 1

Results from St. Louis Cardinals prospects competing last week in Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Nicaragua. Luis Mateo swung a hot bat in the Puerto Rican finals.

The report includes results through January 27th.

Nicaraguan League

Regular-season champions Boer faced Rivas in the best-of-seven championship series. Boer took the first game 3-1 before dropping the next four to the Gigantes. Jhonny Polanco did not participate.

- Jhonny Polanco: The 21-year-old appeared in 14 of the Indios' 48 games, often facing one or two batters. Polanco made back-to-back appearances five times, totaling 10 of his 14 relief efforts. The righty took part in the season opener on October 25th and last pitched on December 15th. Polanco did not miss many bats, yielding 12 hits in 11 2/3 frames for a .400 batting average against. Only three of those 12 hits went for extra bases, all doubles. Control was a major issue for him with 10 free passes issued, an average of 7.7 walks every nine innings pitched.
Season: 3.86 ERA/4.57 FIP, 3-1, 0 SV, 14 G, 0 GS, 11.2 IP, 12 H, 8 R/5 ER, 0 HR, 1 HB, 10 BB, 10 SO, 1.89 WHIP, .400 BAA, .571 BABIP, 7.7 BB/9 IP, 7.7 SO/9 IP, 1:1 K/BB

Puerto Rico League

The championship series went six games with Mayaquez topping Caguas four-games-to-two. The squads split the first four games with each team taking their home contest in a series with a one-game rotating home-and-away format. Game five proved to be the turning point as Mayaguez broke through with a 2-1 triumph at Caguas. They headed home for a championship-clinching 5-1 win on Sunday.

Criollos de Caguas –
Final Round Robin Record: 7-5
Championship Record: 2-4

- Luis Mateo: Mateo's bat really heated up in the finals as the 23-year-old went 8-for-19 with a double, run scored and four driven in. Despite these results he was pinch hit for in the ninth inning of two tight contests twice and his replacement failed to produce both times. The shortstop remained in his usual nine hole in the batting order. Defensively, Mateo committed two errors, one throwing and one fielding.
Round-Robin Stats: .167/.194/.167/.360, 9 G, 30 AB, 1 R, 5 H, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 6 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, 2 E, .208 BABIP
Championship Series Stats: .421/.421/.474/.895, 6 G, 19 AB, 1 R, 8 H, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, 2 E, .500 BABIP
Cumulative Postseason Stats: .265/.280/.286/.566, 15 G, 49 AB, 2 R, 13 H, 1 2B, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 9 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, 4 E, .325 BABIP

- Iden Nazario: remained on Caguas' reserve list.

Venezuelan League

Magallanes won its final game of the round-robin tournament to clinch first place, advancing to the finals versus Caribes. The Navegantes took the first two at home, 5-4 and 6-5 then trounced the opposition 11-2 on the road in game three. The visitors pushed across three runs in the top of the 10th to break a scoreless duel but Magallanes went to their closer, San Francisco's Jean Machi, one too many times. Appearing in his third game in four days, Machi was touched for four tallies on three hits and a walk without retiring a batter. The last two runs crossed via a three-run bomb served up by his successor, righty Orangel Arenas (LAA).

The series resumes on Tuesday at the Caribes' park with the Navegantes leading the best-of-seven 3-1.

Navegantes de Magallanes –
League Championship Series: Up three games to one

- Jorge Rondon: After an unimpressive debut for Magallanes on the 17th, Rondon has yet to appear in the league finals.

Coming next: Look for part 2 of this report, with a recap of Cardinals prospects' results from the Dominican Winter League season.

La Serie del Caribe (Caribbean Series) 2014 will open this Saturday, February 1 in Porlamar, Isla Margarita, Venezuela. The winter champions from Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba will participate.

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