Winter League Recap: Grayson Garvin Crumbles in Salt River Loss
By Robbie Knopf
As we have seen so often for pitchers like Jeremy Hellickson for the Rays, it’s not about how good you are at any point over the course of your outing, only what your line in the end. For the second straight start, Grayson Garvin came out strong but saw his outing come apart.
Arizona Fall League: Peoria Javelinas 5, Salt River Rafters 3
Grayson Garvin was cruising through the first two innings of this one, allowing just one hit. Then in the 3rd inning, he looked like a completely different pitcher, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits, and he was fortunate not to allow more as a Tim Wheeler outfield assist ended the inning. After 3 hits and another run in the 4th, that was it for Garvin’s outing. He lasted just 3.1 innings allowing 4 runs on 9 hits, striking out 2 while walking 1. Garvin is still building his arm strength up after Tommy John Surgery, but after how good he looked in his first outing, we are still waiting for him to get back to that level of consistency. Mike Montgomery appeared later in the game in relief for the Rafters and allowed a run on 4 hits in 2 innings, striking out 2 while walking 1. His outing started off rocky as he allowed 3 hits and a walk while recording just one out, but he got a pair of double plays as kept the Javelinas down after that. Richie Shaffer also went 0 for 4 for the Rafters. Tough game for the Rafters and the Rays on Tuesday, but hopefully Garvin is on the verge of figuring it out and Montgomery can take the positives from the end of his outing.
Dominican Winter League: Aguilas Cibaenas 10, Estrellas de Oriente 6
Speaking of rough games for Rays, enter the Cibaenas-Oriente game. Vince Belnome went 0 for 3 with a walk and Russell Branyan went 0 for 2 for Oriente, and Juan Sandoval allowed a single to the only hitter he faced for the Aguilas. Belnome is now just 1 for 14 on the season for the Estrellas, but he has drawn 7 walks, good for a .409 OBP. Hopefully the hits will start coming soon for Belnome as well.
Mexican Pacific League: Venados de Mazatlán 3, Mayos de Navojoa 2 (10 innings)
Wes Bankston did what he could to help Navojoa tie the game, but Mazatlan came back with a run in the 10th to win 3-2. Bankston singled to start a 6th inning rally and scored to make it a 2-1 game before his 2-out RBI single tied the game at 2-2. But Bankston was picked off of second base to end teh inning, and there the momentum went. Bankston is starting to turn it on–he’s now hitting .303 on the season–and hopefully his teammates can give him a little more help. Henry Mateo went 0 for 3, but he sacrifice bunted twice, with the second setting up the game-winning sac fly.
Venezuelan Winter League: Caribes de Anzoátegui 6, Tigres de Aragua 2
Leslie Anderson had a 4-game hitting streak to begin his time in the VWL, but that was snapped as he went 0 for 3 for the Caribes, although he did walk and score a run. He’s still hitting .400 (8 for 20) on the season, although just one hit has gone for extra bases. Hector Gimenez went 1 for 3 with a single and a walk for Aragua. Gimenez has been playing a lot of first base instead of his usual catcher position, but he’s keeping his legs fresh for the regular season and still providing value, deliving a .263/.417/.368 line so far with a double, a homer, 7 RBI, and 10 walks against 7 strikeouts in 48 plate appearances.
Tigres del Licey 18, Toros de Este 8
The Colome Rays fans care about right now is Alex Colome, the hard-throwing right-hander with a chance to work his way into a Rays rotation spot next season if he can stay healthy. But his uncle, former Devil Ray Jesus Colome, is not done yet. Colome tossed 0.2 perfect innings to help Licey get out of the 4th inning, and that was enough for him to get the victory in this game. He as old as his status as the uncle of a big leaguer would indicate–he’s 35 and last pitched in the major leagues in 2010. Recent ex-Ray Frank De Los Santos had a tough outing for Este, allowing a run on 3 hits and a walk in just 0.2 innings pitched, but Mayo Acosta also appeared for the Toros, replacing Yankees top prospect Gary Sanchez defensively. Acosta singled in his only at-bat and scored a run. After an .825 OPS in 2012, Acosta slipped to just a .579 mark in 2013. Hopefully he can get some at-bats in for Este and spur himself to a strong 2014.
Navegantes del Magallanes 4, Leones del Caracas 2
After five straight multi-hit games, Daniel Mayora has now gone hitless in two of his last three. The Leones need him to get on track. Mayora went 0 for 5 in this one and Caracas put together just 7 hits, scoring both of its runs on a Jesus Aguilar 2-run shot. Danny Dorn did go 2 for 5 with a run scored. Meanwhile for Magallanes, Jesus Flores went 0 for 2 with a walk but the big story was one of the players he caught, Erik Hamren. Hamren retired all four batters he faced, 3 on the ground, to help the Navegantes hold the 4-2 lead that wound up being the final. Hamren has now retired all eight batters he has faced in the Venezuelan League, and while his stuff is not overpowering, he could have a future as a groundballing reliever if he can keep his sinker working like this.