Nesbitt, Valdez Continue Work in Winter Ball

As is typically the case around this time of the year, participation in the winter leagues is starting to dwindle as rosters get refined and players start to take time off in anticipation for spring training in a couple of months. Despite that, the Tigers still have a few active participants, especially among a few prospects working in relief.

Kicking things off the in Dominican this time around, where the Tigers have limited representation. Jose Valdez had been inactive since mid-November, but just returned to the mound for Gigantes del Cibao earlier in the week on December 17, tossing a scoreless inning of relief, with a pair of strikeouts. He had a rough outing earlier in the fall that ballooned his ERA as he gave up three runs without recording an out, at which point he went inactive for a month. The most recent outing however is an encouraging step for a reliever that still hopes to be knocking on the big league door in the next 12-18 months.

Edgar de la Rosa is the only other member of the organization that has appeared in the Dominican Winter League, but he pitched just one time in early November, and hasn’t taken the mound since.

Moving over to Venezuela, where the Tigers have much more extensive representation. One of those that had been active was Mike Hessman, however, Hessman’s run with the Tigres de Aragua came to an end at the end of November. Hessman is no longer on the active roster and his number was given to another player, so his winter participation is likely done.

Up next, are the Bravos de Margarita, where the Tigers have three organizational members on the roster. Headlining the group is Angel Nesbitt, who continues to pitch well in relief. Over seven outings, he’s allowed just one run in six innings of work. He’s yielded five hits and three walks while striking out four. In addition, Alfred Gutierrez and David Gonzalez remain on the club’s active roster, however, neither have appeared since October.

Next up in Veneuzela is the Leones del Caracas, who started the year with four members of the Tigers organization on the team, but are now down to two – Wilsen Palacios is now a minor league free agent, and Eugenio Suarez was traded earlier this month to Cincinnati. The remaining two players are Harold Castro and Anthony Castro, but Harold still has yet to appear in a game, and Anthony hasn’t pitched since October.

A similar story is the case for the Navegantes del Magallanes, as two former org members are on the team; third baseman Francisco Martinez became a free agent, and the Tigers designated Ezequiel Carrera for assignment earlier in the year. Bruce Rondon remains on the active roster, but has yet to pitch in a game. He continues to work and rehab with the club, but is not expected to appear in a game.

For the Tiburones de La Guaira, lefty Eudis Idrogo and right-handers Yorfrank Lopez and Endrys Briceno are all on the roster. But Idrogo and Lopez haven’t appeared since early November, and Briceno is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery in July.

Finally, for the Aguilas de Zulia, Hernan Perez was active for much of November, but played in just one game in December.’s Wilmer Reina confirmed earlier in the week that Perez’s time with the Aguilas is over as they try and fill his roster spot with a corner outfielder that can hit for power. He hit .200 in 50 at-bats with no extra base hits.

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