With an extraordinary first half campaign from Dixon Machado both offensively and defensively, he played shortstop for the first time during the winter season with the Leones del Caracas leaving impressive records, which, were it not for the playing limit the Tigers imposed, he would have been a candidate to win "rookie of the year".
Machado, said to the journalist of Líder newspaper, Gabriel Rodriguez, was one of those rare cases which are becoming more common in Venezuela where the Major League player debuts in the country, but his stint with the Leones left him with a great learning experience. "I take everything from here. Playing with public pressure is great. There is very good baseball being played in Venezuela and that makes me a more mature baseball player", said the rookie of the capital, who in 30 games hit 31 singles, eight doubles, four homers and 14 RBI, posting a .279 average.
Another Tiger that was present this year, after two missing the last two seasons was reliever Bruce Rondon, who after being involved in an on-field brawl and conducted himself poorly, was suspended by the league and is not expected to return until the semifinal series for the Navegantes del Magallanes.
According to statements obtained by journalist Antonio Ojeda (Líder) from Valencia City, the sports manager of the club, Roberto Ferrari said: "Rondon had a little problem at the hearing that prevented him from practicing with the team during the week we were off, so he is not in tune to see action this week," adding that to advance in the postseason the pitcher you can still see action. Rondon, who has pitched only four innings with the team so far this winter, was allocated for only 20 innings of action this year, so he’s still 16 innings of work shy of meeting that quota.
Similarly, Angel Nesbitt decided to stop his participation with the Bravos de Margarita, claiming that he wanted to rest this year in the United States and prepare for Spring Training. This season in Venezuela he only pitched six innings with two singles, three walks and five strikeouts.
Meanwhile, the newly acquired Alberto Gonzalez was the hero of the second day of semifinals taking place in Venezuela. González played a key role for the victory of the Tiburones de La Guaira, who, like Magallanes, are leading their playoff semifinal with two wins in the first two games played.