Rangers Winterball Roundup – 12/6

With Nelson Cruz set to join the Gigantes del Cibao this weekend, infielders Hanser Alberto and Leury Garcia appeared for the club on Thursday. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's winterball action in the Texas Rangers' system.

Dominican Winter League

The Aguilas Cibaenas defeated the Gigantes del Cibao, 4-2, in the Dominican Winter League's lone contest on Thursday.

After Aguilas plated two runs in the top of the ninth inning, sidearming right-hander Johan Yan worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to earn his second save.

Yan, who was recently re-signed to a minor league deal by the Rangers, has a 1.93 ERA in 18 appearances during the winterball campaign. Over 14 innings, he's yielded 11 hits, walked three, and struck out 23.

Designated hitter Hanser Alberto batted second for Cibao and went 2-for-4 with a double. Leury Garcia, playing at third base, went 0-for-2 but walked twice, drove home a run, and stole his sixth base in seven attempts.

The 20-year-old Alberto began his offseason by appearing in 17 games at the Arizona Fall League, where he went 25-for-63 (.397) at the plate. He's now hit safely in each of his four Dominican Winter League contests, going 5-for-14 with a pair of doubles.

Venezuelan Winter League

La Guaira lefty reliever Joe Ortiz (4.50 ERA/.250 BAA) earned the victory after he tossed a shutout inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Ortiz's Tiburones club defeated Wilfredo Boscan's Aguilas del Zulia. Boscan, who was traded to the Padres on Thursday, yielded three runs in three innings, raising his ERA to 1.53.

Aragua second baseman Yangervis Solarte (.280/.361/.411) extended his hitting streak to nine games by going 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and an RBI. Through 29 games this season, the 25-year-old Solarte is 30-for-107 (.280) with eight doubles and two home runs. He's drawn 14 walks and struck out 11 times.

Lara's Guilder Rodriguez appeared as a late-inning defensive replacement in left field and singled in his only plate appearance. In 29 games this winter, Rodriguez has seen action at second base, shortstop, third base, left field, center field, and right field. In other words, everywhere but first base, pitcher, and catcher.

Magallanes shortstop Elvis Andrus, batting eighth on Thursday, went 0-for-4 and committed two throwing errors in the field. The 24-year-old Andrus is without a hit in his first eight official at-bats over three games.

Liga Paralela (Venezuela Minor League)

The 29-8 Caracas club swept a doubleheader against the Bravos on Thursday afternoon in Guacara. Four Rangers prospects appeared in the first game: 2B Santiago Chirino, C Tomas Telis, SS Edwin Garcia, and RHP Richard Alvarez.

Chirino led the offense in the first game, going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Telis (1/5) and Garcia (1/4) both singled once.

On the mound, the righty starter Alvarez (2.13 ERA/.209 BAA) worked six innings and allowed two runs. He gave up four hits while walking three and striking out three.

Garcia was the only Rangers farmhand to appear in the second game, and he went without a hit in his two trips.

Tiburones first baseman Jhonny Gomez (.375/.464/.539) doubled for his only hit in four at-bats. He also had an RBI. La Guaira left fielder Alex Gonzalez was 3-for-4 with a walk and a run batted in.

Aragua left-hander Felix Carvallo worked a scoreless inning for his club on Thursday. The 19-year-old Venezuela native made his professional debut this past season with the DSL Rangers, posting a 3.35 ERA in 21 relief appearances. Over 45.2 innings, he yielded 44 hits, walked 13, and struck out 47.

Caimanes leadoff man and centerfielder Diego Cedeno added a single and a walk in five trips.

Mexican Pacific League

No Rangers appeared in Mexico on Thursday.

Puerto Rican Winter League

Ponce earned its second consecutive victory with the help of strong offensive performances from Rangers farmhands Jared Hoying, Zach Zaneski, and Alex de la Cruz.

Hoying, who batted second and played in left field, went 2-for-5 with a double and a walk. He scored three runs, drove home one, and stole his first base. Zaneski, batting sixth and playing behind the plate, singled twice and walked once in five trips.

The right-handed reliever de la Cruz earned his first victory after he tossed 2.1 innings of no-hit, shutout relief. He walked one and struck out one.

The Rangers signed de la Cruz, a Puerto Rico native, as a non-drafted free agent this past June. After performing well in the Dominican Summer League, the 21-year-old hurler has continued his strong performance against more mature competition in winterball––9.2 ip, 7 h, 1 r, 1 bb, 7 k.

Australian Baseball League

As usual, the Australian Baseball League is taking the midweek off before returning to action on the weekend.

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