Royals weekly winter league recap
By Jen Nevius
All of the signings last week by the Kansas City Royals brought on some 40-man roster player movement. If you thought last week’s winter league recap was a little light on Royals players, this week is much worse.
Let’s start in Venezuela.
After batting third for Lara (27-34) on Monday, centerfielder Paulo Orlando moved into the fifth spot the rest of the week. He went 5-for-20 with three walks and a two out, solo home run on Sunday. Orlando’s .320 batting average ranks him in the top ten in the Venezuelan Winter League.
His new teammate, shortstop Gabriel Noriega, batted seventh and eighth last week in the Lara order. He went 2-for-11 with four strikeouts. On Saturday, he committed his 12th error in the VWL.
Moving on to the Dominican Republic, where a Royal just began playing.
That would be outfielder Elier Hernandez, who began play for Gigantes (28-22) on Tuesday. So far, he has played both left and right field and batted in the bottom half of the lineup. Hernandez went 6-for-22 with two doubles, two runs scored, and eight strikeouts.
Reliever Michael Mariot continues to impress for Gigantes. Last week, he pitched three times and once again did not allow a base runner while pitching either the seventh or eighth inning. Mariot struck out four over three innings.
Infielder Angel Franco was back playing for Aguilas (30-20) on Tuesday after his weekend wedding. While playing both first, second, and third base, he went 0-for-9 with three walks, three runs scored, and two stole bases. Franco entered for defense in the 9th inning on Sunday in place of former Royal Miguel Tejada.
Catcher Francisco Pena went 1-for-13 while starting last week for Aguilas. He hit a two-run homerun on Saturday (his fourth of winter ball), but struck out four times. Pena pinch-hit on Sunday in the sixth and struck out.
Antonio Cruz was back pitching in winter ball after about a month away. He made his reappearance with Licey (19-31) on Sunday. However, he allowed three runs on two hits and a walk without recording an out. Two runs did score after he was pulled.
Finally to Puerto Rico, where rain wreaked havoc on the schedule.
Second baseman Jack Lopez went 3-for-14 with three strikeouts for Santurce (15-17). He did have a sacrifice, a run scored, and a stolen base. Teammate Reymond Fuentes, the centerfielder, went 3-for-7 with three walks, three runs scored, and three RBIs. He also stole three bases. Fuentes was a pinch runner on December 17th.