Venezuelan Winter League
The reports are true: Rick Guttormson has finally given up a run in Venezuela. Fortunately, it is now a week later and the sky has yet to come crashing down.
The event in question occurred on December 4th, in what was otherwise a
typical victory over the Caribes. The eighth inning started out without
incident, as Guttormson struck out Detroit's Omar Infante looking, as he had
done with many other batters over the course of the season. But then came a
most shocking turn of events: with his team down 9-8, Washington outfielder
Ron Calloway hit a home run to deep center field, tying the game. Unfazed
and giving the crowd little time to react, Guttormson went after Colorado's
Luis Gonzalez and free agent Randall Simon, striking both out looking. The
27-year-old would go on to win the game, as the Cardinales rallied back in
Given his record thus far, it's hard to imagine the first run on Guttormson
could have come any other way than a solo shot. He's only given up 14 hits in
his 25 innings, good for a .163 batting average. It's not as if batters
have been reaching base by any other means either; Guttormson has only
walked seven, hasn't hit a batter yet, and has struck out 33. Now, if
Calloway had scored due to a bases-loaded walk… then we'd have another story
entirely, and a lot more to worry about.
While Guttormson is still the hottest reliever in the league, Jose Lopez is
suddenly rising to the top amongst the batters. The 21-year-old spent the
past seven games batting .320 and slugging .800, in no small part due to
three doubles and three home runs. This brings up his season line to
The majority of the damage Lopez did came on December 5th and 6th. In the
9-2 thrashing of the Navegantes, he hit two-run home runs in consecutive
innings, the first coming off of Detroit's Wilfredo Ledezma and the second
via Houston prospect Paul Estrada, sparking the offense and leading the
Cardinales to 6-0 lead by the end of the third. For leading this attack,
Lopez was plunked in the seventh, preventing him from driving in a runner on
But a little soreness hardly slowed Lopez down. The next day against the
Leones, he hit two doubles and scored the only run for the Cardinales in the
seventh. The Leones, unfortunately, had four runs of their own by that
time, but woes of the rest of the lineup can hardly be attributed to the
young shortstop, who went on to make the reserve list in the division's
Puerto Rican Winter League
Fifth-year senior shortstop Erick Monzon signed a contract with the Mariners
just before this season's draft. It wasn't long before he caught the eye of
prospect fans by hitting .339/.381/.591 in 31 games with Inland Empire. Now
back playing in his homeland, Monzon is garnering even more attention for
himself with the local crowd.
Batting .438/.471/.688 through his first eight games, The Monsoon had
pitchers off guard early on and was quickly named one of the league's most
promising prospects. Though he's cooled off a bit to a .296/.345/.444 line,
he remains one of the most exciting young players in the league and one of
the top hitters on his team.
Though Monzon was primarily a shortstop with Inland Empire, playing one game
each at second and third, he has moved to the other side of the bag in
Puerto Rico and has taken over as one of Mayaguez' second baseman. Whether
he remains at that position through spring training with the M's is
uncertain, but if he does, he has the potential to rise to the top of a
relatively thin group.
Drafted by Colorado in 1997, then released by them in 2003 without getting
any higher than advanced-A, Melvin Rosario looked to be in need of a career
change. Despite posting a career batting average of .223 and a slugging
percentage that wasn't much better at .267, Rosario didn't believe he was
quite done yet, and took to roaming the outfields of the independent
Though his offense slightly improved with the change of scenery, the
Mariners came to him this fall with a different idea: a switch to the mound.
So far, it seems like the Seattle scouting department had the right idea,
as Rosario is looking like a natural in early play with Mayaguez.
The 26-year-old lefty has made five appearances thus far, totaling nine
innings and has given up three runs and held opponents to a
.267 average. It could be worse, though, batters have worked him for six
walks compared to four strikeouts, and Rosario has still kept the damage
relatively under control.
One could consider his play in Puerto Rico as a bit of a test run to see
what he's capable of and allow the M's scouts to figure out exactly what
they have in him before assigning a team out of spring training. For now,
it looks like Rosario made the right decision and will be able to continue
his baseball career for a while longer.
Mariners Winter League Update
Seattle Clubhouse Top Stories
MLB Postseason Schedule ReleasedThe 2016 MLB Postseason schedule has been released.
Indians Baseball Insider08/23/2016
Braves acquire Collmenter, WielandThe Atlanta Braves are making an effort for next season as they have acquired two decent quality starting pitchers.
Griffey officially joins the Hall of FameMariners' great Ken Griffey, Jr. officially entered the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday and paid tribute to his first organization in a stirring speech.
Mariners trade Wade LeBlanc to the PiratesOn Tuesday, a veteran lefty was traded from the Seattle Mariners to the Pittsburgh Pirates, that veteran being Wade LeBlanc.
Mariners swing a trade for prospectsThe Mariners swung a trade mid-game today, dealing from the big league roster to add minor league pieces. But the trade doesn't exactly signal a "direction" for the M's, who remain…