Rays Winter Ball Recap: Mayora, Dorn, Segovia Ignite Caracas Offense


Arizona Fall League: Surprise Saguaros 8, Salt River Rafters 6

Just one Rays prospect in this game, but Ryan Brett made sure his organization wasn’t forgotten, 1 for 4 with a walk, a stolen base, and 2 runs scored. Brett has now hit in three straight games and stolen a base in his last two games after starting the season just 1 for 18. We knew Brett was better than the way he was hitting, and now he is finally starting to show it.

Dominican Winter League: Gigantes del Cibao 7, Toros del Este 2

Ramon Ramirez and Jhonny Nunez tossed a shutout inning each to end the game for Cibao, with Ramirez working around a hit with a couple of groundouts and Nunez using a pair of popups to retire the Toros in order in the 9th. Both former Durham Bulls got on track after rough first appearances, and they hope to get a strong winter going from here. Also have to acknowledge Jordan Pacheco, who taught Matt Moore his curveball. Pacheco went 1 for 3 in the loss for Este.

Mexican Pacific League: Algodoeros de Guasave 7, Aguilas de Mexicali 3

A big error gave Mexicali a pair of runs in the second inning, but Josh Geer shut them down from there to lead Guasave to victory. Geer went 5.2 innings allowing 3 runs, 1 earned, on 6 hits, striking out 4 while walking 1. His groundout to flyout ratio was an outstanding 10-1. Geer wasn’t able to toss shutout ball like his first outing, but after failing to strike out a batter in that first game, his 4 K’s in this game are certainly a positive sign. Geer now has a 0.75 ERA through two starts as hopes to attract interest as a minor league free agent. Fellow unsigned Rays draft pick Mike Jacobs had a big game for Mexicali in the loss, going 2 for 3 with a homer, a double, a walk, and 2 runs scored.

Naranjeros de Hermosillo 1, Tomateros de Culiacán 0

In the second inning, Humberto Cota singled off Oscar Rivera. Then, in a shocking turn of events, the longtime catcher stole second base. But Cota was stranded right there, and his single wound up being one of just three by the Tomateros in this game. Cota also had a walk, accounting for 2 of Culiacán’s five times on base. On the other side, former Rays draft pick Jason Urquidez finished off the game for Hermosillo, getting a pair of groundouts to end it. After a 0.25 ERA at Independent Ball in 2013, Urquidez has continued to dominate in the Mexican Pacific League. So far, he has allowed no runs on 2 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings, striking out 8 in the process. Urquidez caught on with the Angels at the end of 2013, and if he keeps pitching well, he could get an invite to big league spring training.

Venezuelan Winter League: Leones de Caracas 11,  Cardenales de Lara 3

The Caracas offense came together in this one, and it was three current and former Rays who led the way. Daniel Mayora went 0 for 5 on Tuesday, but he went right back to being an unstoppable force in this game, going 4 for 5 with a walk and 3 runs scored. He’s now hitting an insane .436 through 39 at-bats, the best mark in the Venezuelan Winter League by a solid margin. Versatility has always been Mayora’s calling card, but if you add a solid bat to the mix, he could be an interesting player, especially for a team who values versatility so highly like Mayora’s former employer, the Rays. We’ll have to see how long this can last. Danny Dorn shouldn’t be slightest either as he is hitting .385 after going 2 for 3 with 2 RBI and a run scored. And the current Ray on Caracas, Alejandro Segovia, went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored as the Leones’ DH. Segovia’s offense isn’t anything extraordinary now that he is no longer a catcher, but if he keeps hitting, the Rays will find a way to incorporate him into their team.

Bravos de Margarita 10, Tiburones de La Guaira 5

Cesar Suarez has been struggling to begin the year and it would have been hard for the Tiburones to continue batting him third if he could not come up with better results. La Guaira had a tough game against the Bravos, but Suarez finallly lived up to his end of the bargain, going 2 for 4 with a walk and an RBI. Suarez, 29, has been a key contributor to the Tiburones for years now and is coming off a big season in the Mexican League. It was way too early to count him out, and this type of game could get Suarez going.

Caribes de Anzoátegui 4, Tigres de Aragua 3

Leslie Anderson went 1 for 4 with a strikeout for the Caribes while Hector Gimenez went 1 for 5 with an RBI. The two first basemen were spectators as Anzoátegui rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the 9th, tying the game on a Luis Nunez 2-run double before Eduardo Escobar‘s walk-off single capped the comeback.

Navegantes del Magallanes 8, Aguilas del Zulia 4

Jesus Flores went 1 for 2 for Magallanes after entering for defense, and ex-Bowling Green Hot Rod Yorman Mayora retired the final two batters of the 8th inning for the Aguilas. But the biggest story in this game is who continues not to play: Juan Apodaca. The former Durham Bull had a .263 average and a .481 OBP in the first 8 games of the year for Zulia, but now he hasn’t played since leaving early on October 19th. At this point, you have to assume that there is an injury involved. Hopefully Apodaca can get healthy soon and continue what had been a nice run for the Aguilas.