As we near the end of October, every offseason league is finally underway; with the Dominican Winter League making it's debut this week. While there are numerous Tiger players on the various rosters, only a handful have seen time on the field to this point. Outfield prospect Mike Hernandez has seen action in a few games for Aguilas Cibaenas, going 2-for-10 with 2 RBI in his first action. Hernandez vaulted to AA-Erie by season's end, and a strong off-season could put him in line for a quick promotion to Toledo in 2008.
Jose Capellan, Jordan Tata, and Randor Bierd are also playing in the Dominican; for Gigantes del Cibao. All three have one appearance in league play, though none of them have performed up to their usual standards. Manning the outfield for Leones del Escogido is the newly acquired Jason Perry. Perry is yet another Tiger getting off to a slow start, having only gone 2-for-13 to date.
The trio of youngsters playing for Caribes de Oriente in the Venezuelan Winter League have been generating mixed results. Gorkys Hernandez is struggling to keep up with the older competition he is facing, with only one hit in fifteen at-bats. Omar Infante isn't stinging the ball, but he has managed to work seven walks against just four strikeouts. Two-time TigsTown VSL Pitcher of the Year, Lester Oliveros has tossed two scoreless innings, despite being one of the youngest players in the league.
Guillermo Moscoso has also seen time in the VWL, pitching in two games for Leones del Caracas. Through six innings, he has given up five hits and three runs, while striking out three.
Infielder Max Leon has finally begun to see some time on the field for Culiacan; having played some second, third, and even a little designated hitter. Leon's early returns have not been pretty, but a 2-for-4 outing at mid-week shows some signs of promise.
After a week that saw him go absolutely crazy slugging the ball in the south Pacific, Jeramy Laster has fallen on tough times; going 0-for-9 on the week with seven strikeouts. Whiffs have always been an issue for Jeramy, and the big test will now be to see if he can adjust to the manner in which he is being pitched. Danny Worth hasn't been spectacular at the plate since replacing Cale Iorg, but he has done an admirable job. All indications are that he has fit right in and begun to assume a leadership position while manning shortstop for the North Shore Honu. While playing in four games last week, Worth managed a hit in three of those contests.
The AFL season is getting a little bit crazy, with Cameron Maybin starting to strut his stuff a little more regularly. After a 2-for-3 game with two homers to open the week, Cameron finished the stretch by going 5-for-20 with two stolen bases. Jeff Larish on the other hand has slumped badly this fall; not registering a hit in eight trips to the plate last week. Burke Badenhop picked up a win in relief early in the week, and managed another solid outing at week's end; giving him three innings with only one run allowed and three strikeouts in games against Honolulu and Waikiki.
Quick Hits: Eddie Bonine has left the AFL with a case of right shoulder inflammation. The inflammation is not thought to be serious…..In addition, Mackay McBride has been replaced on the Peoria roster by the newly drafted Noal Krol……Scott Sizemore's debut in the AFL resulted in a 2-for-3 game with a double……Dusty Ryan managed his first extra base hit – a double – last week……Veteran Tiger outfielder Andres Torres is lighting up the VWL to the tune of a .324/.375/.514 line to date……Former Tiger reliever Jose Paniagua is pitching for Leones del Escogido and has managed two scoreless frames thus far.