Cards Winter League Notebook 4: VL and VPL

The second of two weekly notebooks focuses on the Venezuelan League (VL) and Venezuelan Parallel League (VPL). Breyvic Valera is swinging a hot bat.

Stats are through October 30th.

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: 3-15
Standing: Eighth, 8 ½ back

The Bravos lost all seven games played this week, dropping another three games off the pace set by the Leones del Caracas

Ismael Brito: If you looked very carefully this week, there was a Brito sighting - but it did not happen until Thursday and it was brief. The southpaw entered the fifth with runners at the corners, three runs already across and two outs. He issued a free pass to lefty batter Mike Freeman (AZ) but got Magallanes’ switch-hitting designated hitter to ground out, 4-3. His cumulative line: 7 G, 2 1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, 3.37 ERA, 2.45 FIP, .182 BAA, .286 BABIP

Kender Villegas: Villegas did not appear in a game, either in the Venezuelan League or Venezuelan Parallel League. Villegas has been touched for five runs on six hits, including a two-run home run, in just 2 1/3 innings over two games. He has struck out two with no bases-on-balls permitted.

Breyvic Valera: Valera’s bat was smoking in five starts, as he went 7-for-15 with a double, walk, two runs scored and two knocked in. That gave the 22-year-old a mark of .467/.500/.533/1.033 with a .467 BABIP. It is not likely to be a coincidence that he rose in the batting order from ninth at the week’s start to third by the game on the 29th. He attempted three stolen bases but was nailed each time. Overall, Valera has 13 hits in 54 at bats over 15 starts with five doubles, a triple, four walks, seven runs scored, six RBI and a .245 BABIP. He has fanned just two times and committed one error.

Caribes de Anzoategui –
Current Record: 9-8
Standing: Fifth, two back

Caribes won two and lost four, dropping from second to fifth but only losing a half of a game overall.

Jeremy Hazelbaker: Hazelbaker’s bat heated up in five games, four starts, as he moved between the outfield and the designated hitter role. The Indiana native went 6-for-19 with a triple and home run, scored twice and drove in nine, .316/.316/.579/.895 with a .417 BABIP. He struck out six times and committed an error. To date, Hazelbaker has a line of .250/.300/.482/.782, 14-for-56 in 16 games with two doubles, four triples, a home run, nine runs scored and nine knocked in. He has worked four bases-on-balls, fanned 17 times and stole three bases.

David Oca: Oca has gotten the job done in very limited action, coming out of the bullpen twice for a total of 1 2/3 innings. On the 24th, he handled his second inherited runner situation of the season, entering the seventh with a runner on first and none out, his squad down 2-0. Oca got Texas’ Eduard Pinto, a lefty hitter, to ground into a force, retiring his only batter faced. On Wednesday, the 20-year-old began the sixth of a tie game, working a one-two-three frame with a 5-3 ground out, fly out to right and swinging strikeout. Oca retired his first batter of the seventh on a line out to right but departed after allowing a single to James Jones, who spent last season with the Mariners’ Triple-A team. Oca’s cumulative line: 1-0, 6 G, 1.50 ERA, 1.37 FIP, 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 7 SO, 0.50 WHIP, .100 BAA, .154 BABIP.

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: 8-7-2

Carlos Torres: Torres has cooled off after scorching the league for a .429 mark last week, this period managing just three hits in 14 at bats over four starts in the heart of the Bravos’ batting order. One of his three hits was a triple to go with two free passes and a strikeout. His cumulative line: .321/.394/.536/.930, 9-for-28, with a double, triple and home run, four walks, three strikeouts, five runs scored and six driven in. Torres swiped his first two bags this week.

Caribes de Anzoategui -
Current Record: 10-8

Ronnierd Garcia: Garcia’s offensive struggles continue, as the first baseman mustered just two hits in 11 at bats in four games, three starts. He scored twice with two bases-on-balls and two strikeouts - .182/.308/.182/.490 with a .222 BABIP. His mark to date: .179/.289/.256/.545, 7-for-39 in 15 games and 11 starts, with a double, triple, six walks, eight strikeouts, three runs scored and two knocked in, .226 BABIP. He has committed three errors.

Leones del Caracas –
Current Record: 11-7

Gerwuins Velazco: After starting three of his team’s first 12 games, Velazco did not pitch in any of their six most recent contests. His overall mark: 0-1, 3 G/GS, 3.75 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 12 IP, 14 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO, 1.50 WHIP, .318 BAA., 333 BABIP.

Jhohan Acevedo: Acevedo made his 2015 VPL debut on Tuesday, starting in left and batting seventh. He was hitless in four at bats, striking out once. The next day Acevedo entered in the fifth, taking over in left and going 0-for-2 with a strikeout.

Tiburones de La Guaira –
Current Record: 8-10-1

Anderson Gerdel: Gerdel relieved once, coming in Friday’s contest with a runner on third and two outs. The righty notched a swinging K for the final out but surrendered a solo shot in the eighth. His line to date: 1-0, 4 G, 2 GS, 4.61 ERA, 3.79 FIP, 13.2 IP, 15 H, 7 R/ER, 2 HR, 1 HB, 1 BB, 12 SO, 1.17 WHIP, .300 BAA, .351 BABIP.

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