Cards Winter League Notebook 2: VL and VPL

The second of two weekly notebooks focuses on the Venezuelan League (VL) and Venezuelan Parallel League (VPL). David Oca is pitching well.

Stats are through October 21st.

Venezuelan League

The Venezuelan League consists of eight teams competing in one group. Opening Day was October 7th and the regular season ends on December 29th.

Bravos de Margarita -
Current Record: 3-8
Standing: Eighth, 5 ½ back

Ismael Brito (Johnson City): Brito has tossed 2 2/3 innings covering six appearances, giving up two runs, one earned, on two hits and a walk. The lefty struck out four and committed two errors, one fielding and one throwing. He has a 3.86 ERA, 1.05 FIP, 1.29 WHIP and the opposition is hitting just .200 off him, .333 BABIP. Brito has twice entered the game with runners on. He escaped a two on/two out jam on Opening Day but did not retire his only batter with one on Wednesday, the runner crossing under his successor’s watch.

Kender Villegas (State College): The righty has not been effective in either of his relief efforts, yielding five tallies on six hits, including one long ball, over 2 2/3. Villegas has fanned two and not issued a free pass. He has a 19.31 ERA, 9.64 FIP, 2.58 WHIP and his opponents pounded him for a .545 batting average, .625 BABIP. Villegas stranded both runners inherited in his season debut on the 10th, recording the last out of the frame.

Breyvic Valera (Springfield): Valera started 10 games for the Bravos, mainly in center, batting either lead off or ninth. He has gone 6-for-39 with four doubles, a triple and three walks against two strikeouts - .154/.209/.308/.517 with a .158 BABIP. Valera scored five times, knocked in four and committed one error.

Caribes de Anzoategui –
Current Record: 7-4
Standing: Second, 1 ½ back

Jeremy Hazelbaker (Memphis): Hazelbaker is swinging a cold bat in 11 games, 10 starts, as the Caribes’ corner outfielder. He has eight hits in 37 at bats with two doubles, three triples and four walks and 11 strikeouts - .216/.293/.432/.725 with a .308 BABIP.

David Oca (State College): Oca has been impressive out the bullpen so far, allowing just one run in 4 1/3 innings over five games and that run scored after the southpaw’s departure. Oca has permitted just one hit and a base-on-balls while striking out six for a 2.08 ERA, 1.12 FIP, 0.46 WHIP with a .125 BABIP. On the 17th Oca handled his first inherited runner situation of the season, retiring his only batter faced for the first out and leaving a runner on.

Venezuelan Parallel League

The VPL is the developmental arm of the Venezuelan League with its own regular season, play offs and championship. 14 teams compete in the league and St. Louis has four players currently active on four of the squads.

Bravos de Margarita -
Current Record: 5-6

Carlos Torres (Gulf Coast League): Torres is swinging a scorching hot bat in limited action, the outfielder going 6-for-14 in five starts primarily in left. The 23-year-old has doubled once with one bomb and two walks while scoring four times and driving in six. He stuck out twice - .429/.471/.714/1.185 with a .417 BABIP.

Caribes de Anzoategui –
Current Record: 7-5

Ronnierd Garcia (State College): Garcia still cannot hit despite getting plenty of opportunities to prove the contrary. The 22-year-old appeared in 11 of 12 games, seven starts, compiling a line of .179/.281/.286/.567, 5-for-28 with a double, triple and four free passes. Garcia has scored once, knocked in two and fanned six times and has a .227 BABIP. He has committed three errors.

Leones del Caracas –
Current Record: 9-3

Gerwuins Velazco (State College): Velazco is back in the VPL this season but this time as a pitcher, starting three games, the first starts of his professional career. He went three innings on the 8th, increased that to four frames on the 13th and five on the 19th, taking a loss in his latest effort which was his poorest of the three. The righty has allowed six tallies, five earned, on 14 hits and four walks in 12 innings for a 3.75 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 1.50 WHIP. Opponents are batting .318 off him, .333 BABIP. Velazco has three strikeouts.

Tiburones de La Guaira –
Current Record: 5-7-1

Anderson Gerdel (Johnson City): Gerdel was La Guaira’s Opening Day starter on the 7th, one of three games in which the righty has appeared. He started on the 12th before coming in out of the bullpen in a three-inning stint on the 17th in which he received his first win. Gerdel has given up six runs on 14 hits – including one home run, and one walk in 12 1/3 while fanning 10 and hitting one. He has a 4.38 ERA, 3.12 FIP, 1.22 WHIP with a .311 batting average against, .371 BABIP.

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