Jason Karnuth, the Mud Hens' reliever who also made a few appearances with the Tigers, has continued his success in the Mexican Winter League. Playing for Hermosillo, Karnuth has sported a 1.80 ERA in 18 appearances. Karnuth has also recorded eight saves as the team's closer. It's been a very solid year for Karnuth, as he's also posted 13 strikeouts in 20 innings of work. That overlooks the fact that Karnuth refused his assignment to AAA Toledo when he was taken off the 40 man roster, and is currently a free agent.
The Tigers have a few more members of the organization playing down in Venezuela, starting with Wilfredo Ledezma. Ledezma, who was originally expected to play a vital role for the Tigers in '05 had a big letdown year, and spent the latter half of the year battling his way back with Toledo. Now down in Venezuela playing for Leones, Ledezma has struggled a bit with his control but hasn't allowed an earned run. In his three innings of relief work, Ledezma has walked three and struck out just one batter.
Mike Bumatay is another reliever getting work in for the organization, pitching for Tigres. Bumatay has been a workhorse as a lefty specialist, already appearing in 21 games while posting an ERA of just 1.00. Bumatay has often just come in for a batter or two, as he's amassed just nine innings thusfar. But Bumatay has nine strikeouts and just four walks, so he's been largely successful in his role.
Finally on the pitching side, Orlando Perdomo has been getting work in down in Venezuela as well, pitching for Caribes. Perdomo has struggled some while being moved between the rotation and the bullpen, sporting an ERA of nearly 13 (12.96). In 8 1/3 innings, he's allowed 13 runs (12 earned), with 10 strikeouts and five walks. Needless to say, not the success Perdomo was hoping for.
The Tigers have a pair of middle infielders playing down in Venezuela; Juan Francia and Omar Infante. Francia has been used largely as a defensive replacement for Caribes, appearing in nine games but getting just five at bats. Francia has a pair of hits in those five at bats, but just singles.
Infante has once again put together a very strong winter campaign, carrying a .277/.340/.457 line for Caribes. With eight doubles and three home runs in 94 at bats, Infante has seen a resurgence of the power swing he displayed in 2004 as a rookie for the Tigers.
Stats haven't been easy to come by out of the Dominican, despite it being such a popular destination for players looking to refine their game, or just simply looking to stay active while at home for the winter months, considering the large Dominican population in baseball. TigsTown will have a complete report on the Dominican players in the next winter league update.