The regular season of the Venezuelan League finished on December 30th. Five of the eight teams advanced to the post-season: Anzoategui, Caracas, Lara, Magallanes and Zulia move on while Aragua, La Guaira and Margarita go home.
Stats are through the games of December 30th.
Caribes de Anzoategui –
The Caribes went 3-1 to finish with 35-28 record, one game off the lead.
- Ildemaro Vargas: Vargas appeared in two games for the period. He pinch ran in the top of the ninth on the 28th and scored the eventual winning run. Vargas started at second base on Sunday, singling twice in four at bats with a base-on-balls, two runs scored and another knocked in.
Season: 20 G, 28 AB, 7 R, 8 H, 1 2B, 1 3B. 4 RBI, 3 BB, 3 SO, .286/.355/.393/.748, .320 BABIP
Tigres de Aragua –
Aragua went 2-2 for a 23-39 mark. They finished in last place, 12 ½ games off the pace.
- Jorge Rondon: Rondon was left off the active roster for the last four games of the season.
Season: 4.40 ERA/5.12 FIP, 18 G, 0 GS, 28.2 IP, 28 H, 17 R, 14 ER, 3 HR, 4 HB, 13 BB, 19 SO, 1.43 WHIP, .248 BAA, 272 BABIP
- Eduardo Sanchez: Sanchez finished a winner in his last appearance on Saturday. The right-hander faced the minimum in the eighth and was the pitcher of record when the Tigres plated four runners in the bottom of the frame to take a 6-5 lead. A single to left was followed by a swinging strike out as Sanchez notched his first out. The base runner was eliminated via a 6-4-3 double-play ball.
Season: 5.00 ERA/3.53 FIP, 17 G, 0 GS, 18 IP, 17 H, 11 R, 10 ER, 1 HR, 2 HB, 9 BB, 20 SO, 1.44 WHIP, .270 BAA, .364 BABIP
Tiburones de La Guaira –
The Tiburones finished with a 29-33 record, 6 ½ games in back of Magallanes and 4 1/2 behind Lara for the final play-off spot.
- Kender Villegas: Villegas was added to La Guaira's active roster on December 27th but did not appear in any of the team's three remaining contests.
Cardenales de Lara –
Lara went 2-2 for the period for a cumulative record of 34-29, two games back. That mark earned them the fifth and final play-off slot.
- Richard Castillo: Castillo began the week by absorbing a loss on the 27th. He got off on the right foot by slipping out of an inherited mess of runners at the corners when he coaxed a fly out to left to finish the fourth. A base-on-balls with two outs did not do any damage in the fifth due to Castillo's pick off of the runner at first. That kept Lara's deficit to three runs which they made up in the bottom of the frame. Castillo yielded a single to lead off the sixth and he was charged with the loss when two subsequent hurlers combined to allow the runner to score on a wild pitch and a single.
His outing on Sunday did not go much better. Castillo allowed an inherited runner on first to score in the eighth that cut the Cardenales' lead to 5-3 in a game they went on to win. The righty loaded the bases on a single and a base-on-balls then saw the runner cross home via a 6-3 ground out. He limited further injury when the opposition's five batter lined out to short. His stats for the week: 4.50 ERA/5.20 FIP, 2 G, 0 GS, 2 IP, 2 H. 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 1 SO, 2.00 WHIP, .286 BAA, .333 BABIP, 3 IR/2 IRS
Season: 4.50 ERA/5.34 FIP, 26 G, 0 GS, 24 IP, 28 H, 14 R, 12 ER, 2 HR, 1 HB, 14 BB, 13 SO, 1.75 WHIP, .286 BAA, .313 BABIP
- Deryk Hooker: Hooker was the eighth and final pitcher on the mound for Lara on the 27th, the game in which Richard Castillo took a loss. Hooker entered the eighth with two out and a runner on first and recorded the last out via a 5-4 force at second. Three consecutive singles with two outs produced a tally in the ninth before Hooker fanned the last batter swinging.
On Saturday, the right-hander did not retire any of the three batters he faced. Hooker came into the game needing just one out to strand the runner at third but could not deliver. Two successive singles and a walk brought in one tally, jammed the sacks full and ended the reliever's day. His successor recorded the out that eluded him. Hooker's roster spot was taken by another pitcher during the Venezuelan League's play-off draft so his time there is over.
Season: 1.29 ERA/2.63 FIP, 6 G, 0 GS, 7 IP, 9 H, 1 R/ER, 4 BB, 8 SO, 1.86 WHIP, .300 BAA, .409 BABIP
Navigantes del Magallanes –
Magallanes finished the regular season by going 3-1 for a 36-27 mark, good for first in the league.
- Victor Marte: Marte's debut for Magallanes on the 30th was a rocky one. The right-hander, who was scored upon in three of his last five appearances while in the Dominican (Winter) League, gave up two tallies in just a third of an inning for the Navigantes. With his squad already down 8-5, the first batter reached on a single, stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and raced home on a grounder up the middle by the next batter. He moved up a base on a ground out, the only out Marte recorded. A single by his replacement brought in the second run charged to Marte.
Bravos de Margarita –
Margarita dropped all four contests and ended on an 0-7 skid. Their 23-38 record put them in seventh place, 12 back and 1/2 game out of last place.
- Silfredo Garcia: Garcia has been shut down for the balance of the season as of December 19th. His last appearance came on the 13th.
Season: 2.25 ERA/3.50 FIP, 20 G, 0 GS, 20 IP, 21 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 5 BB, 11 SO, 1.30 WHIP, .273 BAA, .308 BABIP
Related article: Part one of this report covered Cardinals prospects' results the past week in the Australia, the Dominican, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
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