The winter league regular season is coming to a close by the end of the month, so playoff races are beginning to heat up. Here is a recap of the last week where it involves KC Royals players.
Let us start in the Venezuelan Winter League. The VWL regular season ends on December 29th.
Catcher Manny Pina signed with Seattle last week, so this week will be the last update on him (Good Luck Manny!). He played in three games last week for last place Margarita (20-31). His best game was on Sunday (though he was pinch run for in the ninth), when he went 2-for-3 with a two out RBI. He also walked. Overall, Pina went 4-for-7 (.571) with two walks and two RBIs.
Caribes is in first place at 31-19 and Gorkys Hernandez continues to play centerfield and bat second. His best game was on Saturday, when he went 2-for-4 with a triple, a walk, and a run scored. Overall last week, Hernandez went 4-for-21 (.190) with two runs scored. He did strike out four times and grounded into two double plays. Hernandez did have an outfield assist on December 11th and had a pinch-hit double on the 13th.
Salvador Perez played first base and was the DH last week for third place La Guaira (26-23). He had at least one hit in five of six games. On Saturday, Perez went 3-for-5 with his sixth winter league double and a run scored. On Sunday, he went 2-for-5 with another double, a run scored, and two RBIs. Overall, Perez went 8-for-26 (.308) with two doubles, four runs scored, and five RBIs. He did strike out three times.
Lara is 23-28 and continues to have three Royals players on their roster. Sugar Ray Marimon made one start last week (December 12th) and it was one to forget. He allowed six runs on six hits, a walk, and a hit batter over just 1.1 innings. He left the game with two men on base and both scored. None of the runs Marimon allowed were earned, but he also committed his second error in the VWL.
Third baseman Mike Moustakas and centerfielder Paulo Orlando continue to bat back-to-back in Lara’s order, but Orlando slid behind Moose over the weekend (5-6). Orlando’s best game came on December 11th, when he went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run. Overall, he went 5-for-25 (.200) with four runs scored. He did however strike out 11 times and committed two errors last week. Moustakas‘ best game came on December 12th, when he went 2-for-3 with a run scored. Overall, he went 6-for-28 (.214) with two home runs, four runs scored, and five RBIs. He did however strike out ten times and committed three errors.
In the Puerto Rican League, shortstop Christian Colon did not play last week for Ponce (15-14 and in second place) and has not played since December 3rd. The PRL season ends on December 30th.
Second baseman Jack Lopez played five games last week for last place Santurce (13-17). His best game came on Saturday, when he went 3-for-5 with a double, a two out RBI, and three runs scored. Overall, Lopez went 7-for-21 (.333) with his fourth stolen base.
Now to the Mexican Pacific League, where Spencer Patton finished up his time with Los Mochis (10-7 and in third place in the second half). It was a very successful winter league campaign for the reliever (which I will follow up on after the New Year) and he finished it with a bang. In his final game with Los Mochis on Sunday, Patton picked up his tenth save by throwing two scoreless innings. He struck out four and threw 23 of his 27 pitches for strikes. He had picked up his ninth save in the MPL on December 11th when he threw a perfect inning of relief (11 pitches, seven for strikes).
To the Australian Baseball League, where Melbourne is 11-11 and tied for third place.
After batting leadoff for the Aces in the ABL, Justin Trapp dropped to sixth in the order on Sunday and went 2-for-3 with a walk. Overall, Trapp went 3-for-16 (.187) with a run scored. However, he struck out six times. Jared Schlehuber played third base in all four games for the Aces. He hit a two out, two-run homer on December 13th. It was his fourth ABL home run. Overall, Schlehuber went 4-for-15 (.267) with four RBIs.
Finally to the Dominican Winter League, whose regular season ends on December 22nd.
Third place Licey (25-18) continues to have three Royals players. Francisley Bueno made one start (December 12th) and left with the lead (they lost). He allowed two runs on seven hits and a hit batter over five innings. Bueno struck out three. On December 11th, Maikel Cleto entered the game in the 6th inning with two men on base and one scored. Cleto allowed a hit and a walk, but did not record an out.
Despite probably being forced to be the utility man for the Royals in 2014, Emilio Bonifacio continues to play second base (and bat leadoff) for Licey. Three of his six games were multi-hit games. Overall, Bonifacio went 8-for-22 (.364) with two runs scored and two RBIs. He stole two bases on December 12th.
First place Escogido (27-16) also has three Royals players. Reliever Zach Jackson pitched in four games last week, but as a lefty, only threw a total of one inning. He entered with men on base in every game and stranded three runners. Jackson induced three ground outs and walked one. Jason Bergmann pitched in two games and left two inherited runners stranded. Overall, Bergmann allowed one run on three hits over three total innings. He struck out two.
Pedro Ciriaco only played in three games last week, with the final two coming this weekend as the DH. Overall, Ciriaco went 4-for-13 (.308) with a triple, two runs scored, and two RBIs. He also stole his third base on December 10th.
Francisco Pena played in six games last week for second place Aguilas (26-17). Three of those games were multi-hit games. Overall, Pena went 6-for-20 (.300) with a double, two runs scored, and four RBIs. He stole his second base on December 14th, but had his third passed ball on December 11th.
* I will try my best to post a winter league update next Monday, but I will be leaving for vacation on Saturday, so I am not definite that I will have the time.