Quick announcement first: since Bloguin switched me over to the new commenting system a few months ago, the number of comments here have plummetted. I assume this has a lot to do with it taking like 20 seconds for each comment to post after you send it it. That shouldn’t happen any more. If you still have trouble logging in (ie, you get a message saying your name is already registered), send me an e-mail and we’ll sort it out. Anyways, let’s start the weekend with a rundown of Pirates players and minor leaguers currently playing baseball over the winter.
Jose Tabata, Brian Friday, Chase D’Arnaud, Danny Moskos, Tony Watson, and Donnie Veal are all playing in the Arizona Fall League. Tabata’s off to a hot start after three games with four hits in 11 at-bats along with two walks (and presumably a hit by pitch, because the numbers don’t add up otherwise), giving him a .364/.500/.455 line. D’Arnaud and Friday are both struggling at the plate so far, but the pitchers are doing well. Veal’s first appearance was a start and he tossed two perfect innings with three strikeouts, while Watson and Moskos both have scoreless one-inning relief appearances to their credit. I’ll update regularly, but you can keep track of these guys on this page here.
In Mexico, Brian Bixler, Ty Taubenheim, and young Venezuelan prospect Rogelios Noris are all playing. Bixler’s off to a hot start with 8 hits in his first 22 at-bats, though just one has been for extra bases. He’s also struck out 6 times and he hasn’t walked at all, though I think he’s been hit by one pitch. Noris is on Bixler’s team (Venados de Mazatlan) but hasn’t played yet. You can find Bixler’s and Noris’ stats here. You can find Taubenheim’s stats here. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if you care enough to click that link.
There are a lot of Pirates in Venezuela right now, but those worth following are Neil Walker (.333/.417/.619 with a homer and three doubles in 21 at-bats), Gorkys Hernandez (.273/.429/.364 in three games), and Argenis Diaz (.400/.455/.450 in 20 at-bats over six games). Ronny Cedeno, Ronald Uviedo, and Venezuelan prospect Exicardo Cayonez are also there, but have not played yet.
The Dominican League just kicked off. Robinzon Diaz is 2-for-4 there, but Pedro Alvarez hasn’t played yet.
Like I said, I’ll do an update about once a week, or as events warrant updates, here. If you want to stay more abreast of the situation, MiLB.com is tracking all of the leagues with official pages this year and Jim at North Side Notch is keeping trackers for the Pirates in every league (here’s his Venezuelan page).