VWL Championship Round Approaches

This winter season in Venezuela has been beneficial to the many Tigers and their performance will allow them to arrive in shape come Spring Training. Some will stay with their teams to the semifinals, while others must stop their participation by orders of the organization and the expiration of their permits.

Victor Larez has been the best in the bullpen for the Leones del Caracas and even the league. The righty ended his great campaign with a minuscule ERA of 0.76, the product of only three earned runs in 35 1/3 innings. Larez led the club with 32 appearances, striking out 25, issuing 11 walks and allowing 20 hits. The three runs were via two home runs, numbers that earned him a spot in the league All Star Game. The Leones expect to continue having the services of Larez for the postseason since it has not received the "stop" order.

Wilsen Palacios has also excelled in the bullpen in the capitol of Venezuela. The 23-year-old ended the regular round with a 1-1 record and a 4.95 ERA in 20 innings pitched. Palacios missed 5 innings of his expected limit, so he is expected to continue in the semifinal and finish his schedule.

Ramon Cabrera, one of the newest Tigers, has also gotten plenty of work in as the catcher. Cabrera was in 32 of the 63 games of the season at catcher for the Leones. In 90 at-bats, he only managed 24 hits, three doubles and a home run with 12 RBIs, good for a .267 average.

Hernan Perez managed to stay all year in the big club for the Leones del Caracas, although he participated in 41 games, the infielder was able to show his talent on defense and expects more chance sat the championship in January. Perez, batted .222 going 20-for-90,with 12 RBIs.

Jose Ortega gave an acceptable performance while pitching in 2012-2013 season, with the Navegantes del Magallanes and is available to the team for the semifinal. The righty amassed 22 innings, allowing 27 hits and 15 runs. He finished with a 1-0 record and an ERA of 5.14

Argenis Diaz was not very active in the regular season with Magallanes, but will be on hand in January and seek to find his stroke at the plate. He expects to receive the support of the team, even if full of big leaguers, Diaz has been sacrificed often to the bench for the team and only participated in 17 games and was 4-for-31 (.129).

The Possible absentees for the Finals

Bruce Rondon (the Navegantes del Magallanes) could not be with the team during the Round Robin, and although it'ss not definite, the pitcher seems to have ended his participation in Venezuela. Already the team sought a closer who would fill this vacancy. Rondon finished the regular season with 16 1/3 innings pitched, with a 4-1 record and 4.41 ERA.

The Caribes de Anzoátegui, the other team in the semifinal of the Venezuelan Winter League, and where Avisail Garcia, Omar Infante and Brayan Villareal play, have refused to give an explanation on the future of Omar Infante. He has already recovered from a fractured left wrist, and was expected to make his debut with the team last week. However, it was learned that there was no communication with the player and therefore he was not with the team, which is why his participation in Venezuela is unknown at this point in the season.

For his part, it is almost certain that Avisail Garcia will be absent in the Venezuelan semifinal. The outfielder said earlier this season that he would play until December because he would attend a mini-camp in Detroit prior to Spring Training. The Caribes acquired a power-hitting outfielder in the draft of substitutions for the Round Robin, likely sealing Garcia's departure.

Meanwhile, Brayan Villarreal is still recovering from tendinitis and will depend on Detroit's decision to leave Villarreal postseason for play or let him rest until the spring training.

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