Rays Winter Ball Recap: Jesus Flores Goes Deep in Magallanes Victory

By David Hill

It was a quiet night for former and current members of the Rays organization, as only six players in total made an appearance last night. Jesus Flores took that opportunity to stand out, hitting his season home run of the Venezuelan Winter League as he attempts to show that the shoulder he injured back in 2009 is no longer an issue. As a player who showed a lot of promise before the injury, if he is able to post respectable offensive numbers, he may be able to earn a spot in a major league camp come Spring Training.

Mexican Pacific League: Mayos de Navojoa 4, Caneros de los Mochis 3 – Ten Innings

Wes Bankston had one brief trial in the majors, appearing in 17 games with the Oakland A’s as a 24 year old. Since then, Bankston has yet to make a return trip to the big leagues, bouncing around the minors before settling into the Mexican League. Yet, every offseason, he returns to the Mexican Pacific League, hoping to catch the eye of a team that would be willing to give him another chance to prove that he can be a major league player. Although he struggled in Navojoa’s victory last night, going 0-5, Bankston has done everything he can in the Mexican Leagues and at AAA. If he is able to put together another strong performance in the Mexican Pacific League, perhaps he will finally get his chance.

Venezuelan Winter League: Navegantes del Magallanes 8, Cardenales de Lara 1

Jesus Flores just does not appear to have recovered from the stress fracture he suffered in his shoulder back in 2009. Since then, he has struggled to find his game offensively, and at age 28, may be playing for a chance at a job somewhere in baseball next season. However, Flores was a big part of the Navegantes attack last night, hitting a two run home run in the second. Overall, Flores finished the night going 2-4 with a home run and three RBIs. Erold Andrus was 0-4 with a walk and a run scored in the victory.

Leones del Caracas 6, Bravos de Margarita 5

You would have to think that Daniel Mayora is bound to cool off at some point in time, that his incredible run to start the Venezuelan Winter League would have to come to an end. While that may well happen in the future, Mayora continued to swing a hot bat last night, going 2-5 with the game winning two run double with two outs in the eighth. As a player who appeared to be a nice utility man for Caracas, Mayora has forced his way into a starting spot, and has done nothing to let it go. Bobby Abreu, another player looking to earn another chance at a major league job, went 2-3 with a walk. Danny Dorn struggled at the plate, going 0-4 with a walk and two strikeouts.