TigsTown Winter Notebook: 1/9

The winter leagues continue as the calendar turns to 2008, and the postseason drive toward Carribean World Series is underway. Check inside to see what the Tigers' players are up to in the Dominican, Venezuelan, and Mexican Pacific Leagues.

As Culiacan has entered the Mexican Pacific League playoffs against Navojoa, infielder Max Leon continues to contribute. After finishing the regular season with a .280/.328/.336 line, he has upped his production to a .350 batting average as the Tomateros have advanced to the next round of the playoffs. While Obregon is also participating in the MPL playoffs, the recently re-signed Jeremy Johnson has not seen action on the mound for Yaquis; having stopped playing in November to get some rest before reporting to spring training in Lakeland, Florida.

Outfielder Timo Perez only saw limited action during the regular season for Licey, posting an uninspiring .230/.305/.243 line, but his defense has been a key for the Tigers as the round robin phase of the playoffs have gotten underway. Also seeing Dominican playoff action, utility guy Henry Mateo has recently be re-signed to the Tigers on a minor league contract. Mateo's regular season performance left much to be desired, but in ten post-season games, he has managed an outstanding .448 batting average. The last Tiger minor leaguer seeing action during the DWL playoffs, outfielder Michael Hernandez has seen some limited time for Aguilas, mustering only a .091 average while playing very sparingly.

Former Tigers Omar Infante and Gorkys Hernandez have continued to see action for Caribes of the Venezuelan Winter League. Infante finished his regular season with a very impressive .291/.350/.443 line in 61-games. His performance sets him up well to gain significant playing time with the Cubs if his success can continue through spring training. In 27-games, Hernandez struggled against older and more advanced competition, fighting for only a .157 average and no extra-base hits.

Quick Hits: Acquired for Chris Shelton, outfielder Freddy Guzman finished his regular season with a .243/.308/.331 line with 13 steals in 47-games……Heading to spring training with hopes of a big league job, Francisco Cruceta closed his DWL season with an outstanding 1.14 ERA.


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