Cards Venezuelan Winter League Recap: 2012

Regular-season results of Cardinals prospects competing in the 2012 Venezuelan winter League.

Venezuelan League

The regular season of the Venezuelan League finished on December 30th and below is a review of those players from St. Louis' minor league system that played there. Stats for the post-season will appear in next week's report.

Caribes de Anzoategui –
- Ildemaro Vargas: Vargas took part in 20 of the Carbines' 63 contests, most in a supporting role. The first of his seven starts was a month into the season on November 11th. Overall, Vargas made four starts at short, two at second and one as the designated hitter. He was used as either a pinch hitter or runner eight times, sometimes remaining in the game at either short or second. Vargas faced right-handers almost exclusively with only three at bats coming against lefties. 17 of his at bats were with runners on and Vargas came through by batting .412 under those circumstances. His average climbed to .429 when those runners were in scoring position. One interesting item, in very limited numbers, is that Vargas' walks equaled his strikeouts. That is pretty much in line with his career of 75 walks to 88 strikeouts. He has not made a post-season appearance to date.
Season: .286/.355/.393/.748, 28 AB, 7 R, 8 H, 1 2B, 1 3B. 4 RBI, 3 BB, 3 SO, 0 E, .320 BABIP, .071 ISO, 9.1% BB/PA, 9.1% K/PA

Tigres de Aragua –
- Jorge Rondon: Rondon came out of the bullpen 18 times in the Tigres' 52 games. Eleven of those appearances came with runners on base. Of the 19 base runners he inherited, eight of them crossed home covering five appearances. Six of those eight opponents were the result of the right-hander entering a jam of two on with none out. In one instance Rondon issued two base-on-balls with two outs that forced in a run. A double yielded by the 24-year-old allowed the last of the eight to score after Rondon inherited a runner on second with one out. Ten of the 19 runners were in scoring position when Rondon entered and six of them touched home. Five of the righty's six successful appearances with inherited runners were when he had to notch just one out.
Lefties hit .314 against in over 10.1 innings while Rondon held righties to a .214 batting average. He walked an average of 4.1 batters every nine innings and fanned an average of 5.96. Rondon's last game was on December 14th and he was left off Arugua's final active roster entirely on December 27th.
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 tossed three innings in the Venezuelan Parallel League in two late October games before heading over the the Venezuelan League where he debuted on November 7th. Unlike Rondon, Sanchez rarely came in with runners on base as only four of his 17 appearances were under those circumstances. Four of six inherited runners stood in scoring position but only one scored. Despite this success Sanchez struggled with consistency, giving up at least one base runner 10 times. He was scored upon in six outings, one of them unearned, and yielded multiple tallies in three. Sanchez tossed 5.1 innings against lefties, holding them to a .250 average while righties bat .279 against him. While the righty, who turns 24 next month, averaged an impressive 10 strikeouts every nine innings, he averaged an unimpressive 4.5 walks.
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 –
There were glimpses of two of St. Louis' minor league hurlers. Dail Villanueva made one appearance in the Venezuelan League before transferring to the Parallel League while any view of Kender Villegas was of him sitting in the bullpen. Although Villegas was twice placed on La Guaira's active roster, he did not actually appear in a game. Both will be covered in the review of the Parallel League's season.

Cardenales de Lara –
- Richard Castillo: Castillo was Lara's middle-innings fireman, as 17 of his 27 relief appearances were with inherited runners. All but two of those appearances came in the fourth through sixth innings. The right-hander allowed 10 of 29 inherited runners to cross encompassing six of the 17 opportunities. There were less than two outs in five of those six. Twenty of the 29 runners were in scoring position when Castillo entered the game, including six of the 10 who scored. Twice the 23-year-old got the call with the sacks jammed with him recording the final out to depart unscathed once and yielding a grand slam the second time. In the 11 outings in which Castillo stranded all runners, he entered the game four times, covering six runners, in situations of less than two outs. Four of those six runners were in scoring position.
Castillo allowed at least one base runner in 24 of his 27 outings but those often came the inning after he stranded runners. He yielded tallies in nine appearances, two times multiple earned runs. Castillo had a ground-out-to-air-out ratio of 2.14:1 in nine innings against lefties who had a .242 average against him while not scoring a run. Righties hit .308 in 15 innings with a 0.71:1 GO/AO. Castillo has not been scored upon in two post-season appearances through January 8th.
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 arrived in the Cardenales' camp on November 19th but made his first appearance for the Venezuelan Parallel League Lara on the 28th. He tossed five innings in two starts before heading for the big squad where he debuted on December 8th. Hooker relieved six times in Lara's final 16 contests, allowing base runners in each appearance. Although he was charged with a tally in only once, that was more a product of other relievers stranding his runners than Hooker's ability to get out of a jam. Five of the six included inherited runners with the right-hander allowing three of eight inherited runners to cross over two outings. Two of those runners scored when Hooker walked consecutive batters with the bases loaded. Right-handed bats hit .278 against him in 4.1 innings while lefties teed off at a .333 clip in 2.2 innings. Hooker was left off the post-season roster.
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 –
- Victor Marte: Marte's only outing for Magallanes on the 30th was a rocky one. The right-hander, gave up two tallies in just a third of an inning for the Navigantes. Marte had a clean outing on January 3rd and a horrific one on the 7th for a 21.69 ERA/6.81 FIP in 1.2 innings so far.

Bravos de Margarita –
- Silfredo Garcia: Garcia appeared in 20 of the Bravos' first 46 games, all in a relief role. He put at least aboard in 13 appearances but yielded tallies just four times and multiple runs only once. Garcia was almost always in control of his own pitching destiny as he was permitted finish those outings in which he put runners on in nearly every instance. The 21-year-old had an impressive season for Margarita, stranding 14 of 18 inherited base runners that came in 11 of his 20 stints. Two of the four that scored were inherited in his first two appearances of the season then the right-hander allowed only two more inherited runners to touch home for the balance of his season and both scored in the same outing. Twelve of the 18 runners were in scoring position when Garcia entered the contest. Garcia held righty bats to a microscopic .184 batting average in 14.2 innings but lefties hit him at a .429 clip in 4.2 frames. Overall, he compiled a 4.00:1 GO/AO ratio. Garcia was intentionally shut down after his appearance on December 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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