Winter League Wrap-up: 1/31

With spring training now just a few weeks away, the winter leagues are now wrapping up, in anticipation of players resting up for the start to the big league season. Take a look inside to see how all the Tigers finished up their winter league campaigns.

Alexis Gomez, who was just recently out-righted to AAA Toledo, chipped in with Aguilas of the Dominican League. In 93 at bats, Gomez hit .258 including 3 Home Runs and 12 RBI. Gomez picked up the pace when the playoffs rolled around, hitting for a .340 average, and posting an impressive .540 slugging percentage. Gomez will try and carry that over and prove the Tigers he can still push for a major league roster spot.

Another offseason waiver claim, Byron Gettis split time between two different teams. In the Puerto Rican League, Gettis tore apart the competition, hitting .347 with 2 Home Runs and 15 RBI. Once he moved on to Estrellas in the Dominican League, Gettis didn't have the same success, hitting just .115 in 26 at bats in the playoffs.

Moving on to Leones in the Dominican League, Franklyn German once again gave hope that he's finally ready to realize his potential. In 13 appearances, German carried a 2.12 ERA, including 10 strikeouts to just 3 walks over 17 innings. German will need to take the success and build on it, because he may very well be facing his last shot with the Tigers.

Playing for Licey in the Dominican, Carlos Pena tore up the opposition in the regular season, showing great patience as well as power, and it showed in his final stats, especially his OPS, where Pena broke the 1.000 barrier at 1.004. Pena seemed to tire once he reached the playoffs (finishing up just 1-for-22), but nonetheless is hopeful that he'll truly be ready to break out in '05.

Roberto Novoa played with Pena for Licey, struggling as the season wore on, but rebounding with a strong playoff showing. Novoa carried a 5.04 ERA in 19 appearances, but still had 22 strikeouts to just 10 walks. In his 3 playoff appearances, Novoa showed well with just a 2.08 ERA over 4 1/3 innings.

Finishing up in the Dominican League, Gilberto Mejia started off hot then slowed down, but still carried a respectable .254 average, with a .394 slugging percentage.

Moving on to the Venezuelan League, 2B Omar Infante impressed once again this winter. In 168 at bats, Infante hit .310, including a slugging percentage well over .500. Infante's playoff performance again wasn't as strong, hitting .194 in 67 at bats. The only true concern was his K:BB ratio, where he took 15 strikeouts with just 2 walks. Hopefully, it was simply an aberration and Infante will move back to the U.S. ready to improve on his strong season in '04.

Wilfredo Ledezma also pitched in the Venezuelan League for Magallanes, just to work on a few things in his break. His numbers weren't impressive (0-2, 14.29 ERA in 3 starts), but no one within the organization was at all concerned, leading many to believe Ledezma might have been working on a new pitch. In any case, Ledezma still has the inside track on the final spot in the rotation for the Tigers.

Little-talked-about Rick Palma surprised many with a solid winter ball campaign. The left-hander went 6-2 with a 2.02 ERA in 12 starts, including just a .249 average against. Palma wasn't quite as impressive in his 5 playoff starts, but his 1-3 record wasn't quite indicative of how well he pitched. Palma is one that could certainly surprise some in 2005.

With the season's coming to an end, it's now time for the Tigers that participated in winter ball to take a few weeks off to rest and get ready for an important 2005 campaign for many of them, as many of the group from winter ball will either be relied upon to produce for the big league club, or expected to battle for a position and will need to be at their very best.

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