Innings Limits Tight In Venezuela This Winter

With many players from the organization headed to Venezuela for the winter months, the players are often given strict instructions on off-season workload. That is especially the case this winter, with a number of top arms under tight limits for innings pitched.

The instructions from Detroit were clear to the Venezuelans participating in the VWL, keep in shape and continue to improve. Do that and you have nothing to fear.

Michael Torrealba, who is with the Guaira Sharks (Tibronesde la Guaira), received limited restrictions from his country. After pitching 74 2/3 innings in West Michigan, he was limited to just 20 innings in the VWL. In my interview, he said: "I threw a lot this year in the United States and they (Detroit) do not want me to overextend myself here."

Happy with his role in this club in Venezuela, Torrealba ensures to be available when needed. The support of the board, the manager and the coaches make you feel confident and ready for any opportunity. "Everybody is happy with the work I've done so far." The Venezuelan has just gone into action in three games and in 3 2/3 innings pitched, allowed one hit, two runs, two walks and four strikeouts to a 2.45 ERA. The pitcher says he is working on trying to improve his changeup. "It's the pitching that I have not quite right."

Bruce Rondon also was placed on restrictions with his Magelllan Navigators (Navegantes del Magallanes). The right-hander, who aspires to be the closer for the Detroit Tigers in 2013, is set to work just 20 innings in the VWL. "Luis Blasini (sports manager) spoke to Detroit to see if I could extend my work in Venezuela, but it would not be possible. I'll throw my 20 innings and it will be over for me" Rondon said.

After excelling with a 1.53 ERA and 29 saves, Rondon ensures to have had a wonderful experience and great challenges. "I learned to pitch better", he said. The quality of batters I faced helped me become a smarter pitcher and less impatient. My fastball, slider and changeup had unparalleled effectiveness" he explained, as he struck out 66 and walked 26 in 53 appearances in 2012.

Other Notables:

Luis Angel Sanz is being evaluated as a starter with the Caracas lions (Leones der Caracas). Last Saturday he received his first chance in that role this season after an injury absence costing him two starts. In 1 2/3 innings pitched he did not allow a hit, struck out one and kept his perfect ERA 0.00.

Wilsen Palacios entered the roster of 34 players of the Caracas Lions in the third week of competition. Ready to throw on the 16th, he made his first bullpen session and looked comfortable after coming over from the Florida Instructional League. Joining the Venezuelan capitols team, Palacios reported fatigue and will also be limited to only 20 innings.

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