Dominican (Winter) League
Licey, Escogido, the Toros and Estrellas participated in the Round Robin tournament that ran from December 27th through January 18th. Escogido and Licey faced each other in the league finals, won by Escogido. They are representing the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean Series.
Aquilas Cibaenas -
Kurt Heyer (Memphis): Although Licey chose Heyer in the dispersal draft, the righty did not participate in the Round Robin tournament. Heyer’s time in the Dominican Republic ended after three starts. His line: 1-1, 3 G/GS, 2.84 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 13 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 8 SO, .250 BAA, .295 BABIP.
Leones del Escogido –
Jeremy Hefner (Memphis): Hefner tossed 16 1/3 frames in four starts during the Round Robin tournament, giving up eight runs on 14 hits and six walks with five strikeouts, a line of 0-0, 4 G/GS, 4.41 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 14 H, 8 R/ER, 6 BB, 5 SO, .246 BAA, .264 BABIP. Those numbers are very much impacted by one shaky outing in which the righty surrendered five runs in 2 2/3 frames. While he did not go deep in any of his other three efforts, averaging just under five innings in those starts, Hefner permitted only one tally in each of those stints. Unfortunately, he did not pitch well in his game four start in the finals, yielding four runs on seven hits and three base-on-balls in four plus. The Oklahoma native, who turns 30 next month, was unable to retire any of the three batters faced in the fifth, two of whom subsequently scored.
Carlos Peguero (Memphis): The 28-year-old was signed to a minor league contract, announced via Twitter on January 22nd. St. Louis will be his fifth organization, The veteran posted a line of .195/.333/.299/.632, 17-for-87 with a double, triple, two home runs, 15 walks and 31 strikeouts in 25 games for Cibao during the regular season. Escogido picked him up for the playoffs where he improved his offense somewhat, batting .246/.346/.435/.780, 17-for-69 in 19 games with 10 bases-on-balls, four doubles, three home runs and 17 strikeouts during the Round Robin portion of the tournament. Peguero played in the first three games of the finals but missed the balance of the series with a groin pull. The outfielder went 3-for-11 with two doubles, a free pass and three strikeouts - .273/.333/.455/.788.
Heath Wyatt (Memphis): Wyatt’s name does not appear on Escogido’s postseason roster so it appears as if his season is over. That gives the reliever, who pitched for Escogido the entire season, some time off before beginning the 2016 campaign in St. Louis’ minor league camp. His regular season numbers: 2-0, 25 G, 1.66 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 21.2 IP, 21 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 9 BB, 16 SO, .256 BAA, .308 BABIP, 22 IR/9 IRS in 12 chances
Jonathan Escudero's (Johnson City) regular-season champion Barranquilla club received a bye in the semifinal round of the postseason. They faced the Leones (Monteria) for the championship after the latter downed the Tigres in the semis. Caimanes won the first two games at home, 9-0 and 4-2 while Monteria took game three in their stadium by a 3-2 score. Escudero did not pitch in any of the first three contests. The two teams split the next two games, Barranquilla winning game four, 5-2, and the Leones edging Caimanes 2-1 in game five. Barranquilla was victorious in game six, 8-6, - a game lasting five hours and 11 innings - clinching the series, four games to two. Although box scores are not available for the last three games of the series, the championship game write-up lists Escudero as the winning pitcher.
Upon being crowned champions of the Columbian League, Caimanes became Columbia’s representative in the fourth Latin American Baseball Series, this year held in Managua, Nicaragua. The series, comprised of teams from Mexico, Columbia, Panama and Nicaragua, ran from January 26th through January 31st. Barranquilla advanced to the semifinals with a 1-0 win over Mexico before defeating Panama 3-0 in the semis. For the third straight year Columbia found themselves in the finals but, unlike the prior two visits, went down to defeat, losing to Nicaraqua, 12-3. Jonathan Escudero was listed on Columbia’s roster but there was no mention of him in the game write-ups.
Escudero’s regular season mark: 0-0, 2.67 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 27 IP, 22 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 1 HR, 3 HB, 4 BB, 24 SO, .220 BAA, .273 BABIP
Jonathan Rivera's (GCL) Aguilas Metropolitanos team squared off against the Nacionales (Nationals) de Panama in the best-of-five championship finals with the winner representing Panama in the Latin American Baseball Series. The Metropolitanos took the opener by a 6-2 margin but were pounded the next three games – 10-0, 15-2 and 7-0. Rivera started in right all four contests, batting 4-for-15 with a double and five strikeouts - .267/.267/.333/.600. He was charged with two errors.
During the regular season, the 18-year-old posted a mark of .333/.368/.463/.831, 36-for-108 with two triples, two home runs and 19 RBIs. Rivera finished among the league leaders in batting average (fourth), slugging (third), RBI (second), hits (third) and triples (tied for second).
Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Cardinals Winter League Notebook 20: Venezuela and Puerto Rico
© 2016 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.