Before I get to what the KC Royals players have been doing while participating in winter ball in the Caribbean, there are a few stories coming out of the winter leagues.
Colorado Rockies utility player Eric Young, Jr (better known as EY, Jr) was released by Margarita in the Venezuelan Winter League. The team says that it was due to tardiness, but he said in a statement that
a problem with travel arrangements for a family member led to his arriving in the fifth inning of a game on Thanksgiving Day. Young also stated that the incident was his only attendance issue and added that the team failed to address his safety and security concerns for his family member.
His manager with Margarita is current Arizona Diamondbacks coach Don Baylor (who coached his dad in Colorado), who was relieved of his duties in Venezuela on Monday.
Chris Marrero, who was expected to push veteran Adam LaRoche and Michael Morse as the Washington Nationals starting first baseman in 2012, suffered a torn hamstring in winter ball about two weeks ago. He returned to the States and had surgery and believes he’ll just miss some time during spring training. The Nationals, however, are saying he will miss all of 2012 and are thus looking at other first baseman (aka Prince Fielder).
Wilson Ramos of the Nationals is back playing for Aragua in Venezuela after his kidnapping.
There is an article you should check out by Evan Drellich on MLB.com about the mix of veterans and prospects throughout winter ball. One of those veterans is Dmitri Young, who is attempting a comeback at age 38 after losing around 60 pounds and managing his diabetes.
Now onto the Royals in winter ball update.
Apparently, Panama also has a winter ball league (it’s a league that MLB doesn’t cover on their winter leagues site). After being home to baseball’s World Cup a few months ago, the island country is also home to winter ball. They’ve gotten a lot of rain (like they did during the World Cup), but there are quite a few players playing there. Buck Britton of the Baltimore Orioles, Andrew Lambo of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Steven Lerud are there (had to mention them since I saw them play over the last two seasons).
The Royals have four players participating in winter ball in Panama. First up is Edul Escobar, who caught for Idaho Falls this past season (.287 average). This past week, he went 1-for-9. Paulo Orlando, who was a member of the Panama team in the World Cup, had a good week. He went 6-for-17 with six RBIs and two runs scored. He also hit two triples. Outfielder Julio Aparicio played with Kane County this past season (.169 average). Last week, he was 0-for-4 in two games.
The final player in Panama is Ryan Dennick, who was a reliever with the Wilmington Blue Rocks this season. His first outing of the week came on November 22nd, as he allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits over five innings. He walked one while striking out three. His next outing came on November 27th, as he allowed five runs (two earned) on four hits and four walks over just 2.2 innings.
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