Royals winter league recap


It was a light week in the Caribbean Leagues with the Christmas holiday giving the players some much needed time off to celebrate. Also, the winter league regular season is winding down.

The Dominican Winter League ended its regular season on December 21st and their playoffs began on the 27th. Let’s start there.

The top four teams made the postseason, which began in a round-robin style. On Saturday, Gigantes beat Aguilas and Estrellas beat Toros. On Sunday, Aguilas beat Toros and Gigantes beat Estrellas.

Moises Sierra is back with the Royals (he was outrighted to Triple-A Omaha). He started both playoff games for 2-0 Gigantes in right field. While batting third in the order, he went 2-for-8 with a walk and two runs scored. His solo home run in the 8th inning in Game 1 tied the game up (Gigantes won in 11 innings).

Francisco Pena caught both playoff games for 1-1 Aguilas. While batting eighth in the order, he went 0-for-8 with two strikeouts. He also had a passed ball in Game 2.

Angel Franco started the first playoff game at second base for Aguilas and went 1-for-4 with a sacrifice. He entered for defense in the sixth in Game 2 and played both second and third base. Franco walked in his only plate appearance.

The Venezuelan Winter League’s regular season comes to an end on December 30th. Unless the Royals send a few players to Venezuela, there will not be any more highlights from that league.

Centerfielder Paulo Orlando was the lone Royal to play in a VWL game last week. However, he plays for 28-34 Lara, who is in next to last place. In his only game (Saturday), he went 2-for-5 and grounded into a double play.

Finally to Puerto Rico, whose winter league regular season also ends on December 30th. Since there are only five teams in the league, the top four make the playoffs.

That means 18-19 Santurce will be playing postseason games. Jack Lopez continues to start for them, as he mainly batted second in their order last week (though he did lead off once). Last week, Lopez moved around the field, playing both second base and shortstop (he also was the DH). In five games, Lopez went 4-for-22 with two runs scored, an RBI, and a stolen base. He did strike out five times.

Reymond Fuentes played in three games last week, including the doubleheader on December 23rd. He went 3-for-10 with two runs scored and four strikeouts.