Around The Farm: 2016 Winter Regular Season

The 2016-2017 winter ball season is winding down as the regular season is over and the playoffs are in full swing. The IBI's Arthur Kinney recaps the regular season action in Venezuela and Puerto Rico involving Indians players...


The Playoffs start today with three first round series.  The three winners advance to the semifinals along with the winner of a wild card game between the two first round losers with the best regular season records.  The two semifinal winners advance to the Championship Series.  All rounds, with the exception of the wild card game, are best-of-7.

Cardenales de Lara (39-24, Qualified for Playoffs)

IF Yonathan Mendoza - .273/.385/.364, 11 G, 11 AB, 3 R, 3 H, 1 2B, 1:2 K:BB - Mendoza hit relatively well in limited playing time, bot in terms of numbers of appearances and the length of those appearances.

LHP Hoby Milner - 0-1, 10.13 ERA, 5 G (all relief appearances), 0-for-1 SV opportunities, 2.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (all earned), 2 HBP, 2 BB (1 intentional), 2 K, 2.63 WHIP, .455 opponents' BA -Milner struggled in a few relief appearances early in the season (early to mid-October) and has not seen the mound since.  I am not sure if the Indians recalled him from his assignment to Venezuela since drafting him in the Rule 5 Draft, but he is still listed on the Cardenales' roster.

Caribes de Anzoategui (34-29, Qualified for Playoffs)


Aguilas del Zulia (33-30, Qualified for Playoffs)

IF Giovanny Urshela - .337/.352/.485, 43 G, 169 AB, 23 R, 57 H, 16 2B, 3 H, 33 RBI, 16:5 K:BB, 1-for-1 SB, 4 Sac Fly, 1 HBP, 6 GIDP - Urshela had a stellar regular season and his offseason isn't over yet as the Aguilas are headed to the playoffs.

Bravos de Margarita (30-33, Qualified for Playoffs)

RHP Nick Pasquale - 0-0, 5,59 ERA, 4 G (2 starts) 9.2 IP, 15 H, 6 R (all earned), 1 HBP, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 GIDP induced, 1.66 WHIP, .366 opponents' BA - Pasquale allowed all six runs and 13 of his 15 hits in 7.0 IP in his first two outings (both starts), but improved (2 hits in 2.2 shutout innings in two appearances) after being moved to the bullpen, where he will likely spend the postseason.

LHP Randy Valladares - 0-0, 3.86 ERA, 14 G (all relief appearances), 4.2 IP, 10 H, 5 R (2 earned), 2 BB (1 intentional), 3 K, 2 WP, 2.57 WHIP, .400 opponents' BA - Yes, the aforementioned stat line looks crazy, but keep in mind that his role with the Bravos is LOOGY and that he gave up three unearned runs in one outing (11/14 against the Aguilas del Zulia).

Tiburones de La Guaira (30-33, Qualified for Playoffs)


Tigres de Aragua (30-33, Qualified for Playoffs)

C Guillermo Quiroz - .170/.291/.170, 18 G, 47 AB, 5 R, 8 H, 4 RBI, 16:4  K:BB, 2 Sac Bunts, 4 HBP, 2 GIDP - Between his sparse playing time and poor performance, I do not expect to see much of Quiroz in the LVBP Playoffs.

Navegantes del Magallanes (29-34, Did Not Qualify for Playoffs)


Leones del Caracas (27-36, Did Not Qualify for Playoffs)

IF Yhoxian Medina - .250/.300/.321, 27 G, 28 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 1 3B, 4:1 K:BB, 1-for-1 SB, 1 Sac Bunt, 1 HBP - Given that his AB total is barely above his games played total,  Yhoxian seems unlikely to be picked up as a refuerzo by one of the playoff teams.

IF Yandy Diaz - .371/.451/.510, 40 G, 151 AB, 24 R, 56 H, 9 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 26:20 K:BB (2 BB intentional), 1-for-4 SB, 2 HBP, 9 GIDP - Yandy's regular season numbers speak for themselves.  He was even better in his last ten games before the New Year, batting .400/.488/.514.  With stats like these, the only way I see him not being picked up by a playoff team is if the Indians want him back Stateside for the rest of the offseason.

IF Jesus Aguilar - .314/.432/.586, 42 G, 140 AB, 27 R, 44 H, 8 2B, 10 HR, 22 RBI, 27:27 K:BB (2 BB intentional), 2 HBP, 2 GIDP - Despite a rough start,this was an impressive and important winter season for Aguilar.  He not only returned to his prior RBI Machine form, he also combined that power with better plate discipline than we have seen from him before, either in summer or winter ball.


The Playoffs start tomorrow with two best-of-7 semifinal series.  The two winners advance to the best-of-9 Championship Series.

Cangrejeros de Santurce (28-12, Qualified for Playoffs)

RHP Joseph Colon - 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G (relief appearance), 1 IP, 1 K, 0.00 WHIP, .000 opponents' BA - As I said when Colon debuted in the regular season finale, my assumption is that Colon was signed for the postseason and that his regular season appearance was a warm-up for the Playoffs.

Indios de Mayaguez (26-14, Qualified for Playoffs)


Criollos de Caguas (19-21, Qualified for Playoffs)


Gigantes de Carolina (16-24, Qualified for Playoffs)

C Gian Paul Gonzalez - .000/.182/.000, 6 G, 9 AB, 3:2 K:BB, 0-for-1 SB, 1 GIDP - He didn't play much and didn't hit well when he did. Not much else to say about Guillermo's winter regular season other than not to expect to see much (if any) of him in the Playoffs.

Tiburones de Aguadilla (11-29, Did Not Qualify for Playoffs)

OF Taylor Murphy - .222/.383/.250, 13 G, 36 AB, 4 R, 8 H, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 15:9 K:BB, 1-for-1 SB, 1 Sac Fly, 1 Sac Bunt, 1 HBP - Murphy has not played since November 25 and was not particularly impressive when he did play this offseason.  He's probably already back in the United States.

IF Alexis Pantoja - .314/.339/.384, 30 G, 86 AB, 8 R, 27 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, 6 RBI, 12:1 K:BB, 2-for-3 SB, 6 Sac Bunt, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP - Pantoja was a solid everyday shortstop and bottom of the order hitter for the expansion Tiburones.  Had Aguadilla made the playoffs, he would certainly have played a major role, but his lack of both power and plate discipline make him an unlikely refuerzo for any of the Playoff teams.

RHP Leandro Linares - 0-2, 24.00 ERA,  G (all relief appearances), 3 IP, 5 H, 8 R (all earned), 1 HR allowed, 5 BB (1 intentional), 3 K, 1 WP, 3.33 WHIP, .357 opponents' BA - Linares had four rough outings in late October and early November (including allowing 3 ER without allowing an out on October 31 against the Cangrejeros de Santurce) and has not pitched since.


NOTE:  Unlike the other players profiled in this article, Michael Choice is not under contract to the Indians and is currently a free agent.  Between the presence of only one 2016 Indian in the league and the circuit's convoluted playoff qualification format, the format for the LMP section of this column will differ somewhat from the other leagues covered.

OF Michael Choice (Charros de Jalisco) - .223/.312/.362, 29G, 94 AB, 6 R, 21 H, 4 2B, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 34:11 K:BB, 0-for-1 SB - Choice put up some solid power numbers early in the season but hasn't played since November 30 and is now listed as being on Jalisco's reserve list.  I don't know if he left the team in order to stay healthy and thus more attractive as a free agent or if he got injured, but either way, with Jalisco's season over, he is unlikely to play again this offseason.

Now, about that convoluted playoff qualification format.  Six of the league's eight teams qualify for the playoffs via a split season.  However, unlike other league with split season, qualification is based on a points system.  Points are awarded at the end of each half.  The six teams with the most points at the end of the season qualify for the Playoffs.  Points are awarded as follows:

1st - 8
2nd - 7
3rd - 6
4th - 5
5th - 4.5
6th - 4
7th - 3.5
8th - 3

Here are the standings

Tomateros de Culiacan - 22-13 - 8 points
Naranjeros de Hermosillo - 20-15 - 7 points
Caneros de Los Mochis - 19-16 - 6 points
Yaquis de Obregon - 18-16 - 5 points
Aguilas de Mexicali - 18-17 - 4.5 points
Mayos de Navojoa - 18-17 - 4 points
Charros de Jalisco - 15-19 - 3.5 points
Vanados de Mazatlan - 9-26- 3 points

Mayos de Navojoa - 21-12 - 8 points
Venados de Mazatlan - 20-13 - 7 points
Caneros de Los Mochis - 19-14 - 6 points
Aguilas de Mexicali - 19-14 - 5 points
Naranjeros de Hermosillo - 14-19 - 4.5 points
Tomateros de Culiacan - 14-19 - 4 points
Charros de Jalisco - 14-19 - 3.5 points
Yaquis de Obregon - 12-21 - 3 points

Mayos de Navojoa - 12 (Qualified for Playoffs)
Caneros de Los Mochis - 12 (Qualified for Playoffs)
Tomateros de Culiacan - 12 (Qualified for Playoffs)
Naranjeros de Hermosillo - 11.5 (Qualified for Playoffs)
Venados de Mazatlan - 10 (Qualified for Playoffs)
Aguilas de Mexicali - 9.5 (Qualified for Playoffs)
Yaquis de Obergon - 8 (Did Not Qualify for Playoffs)
Charros de Jalisco - 7 (Did Not Qualify for Playoffs)

The Playoffs begin today with three first round series.  The three winners and the loser who wins the most games in their first round series advance to the semifinals.  The two semifinal winners advance to the Championship Series. All rounds are best-of-7.


LIDOM is in the Round Robin phase of its postseason.  The standings as of the New Year's break are:

Aguilas Cibaenas - 3-1
Tigres del Licey - 2-1
Leones del Escogido - 1-2
Gigantes del Cibao - 0-2

The Round Robin consists of 18 games for each team.  The top two teams advance to the best-of-9 Serie Final.


One spot in this year's Serie del Caribe is already spoken for as the Cuban Serie Nacional sends its prior season's champions due to the Cuban season running long past the Caribbean Series. The 2015-2016 championship was won by the Tigres de Ciego de Avila.

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