Rays Winter Ball Recap: Leslie Anderson Powers Anzoategui to Victory


The Leslie Anderson signing just did not pan out for the Rays. Despite producing solid numbers in Durham, he was never given a chance to prove that he could be a viable major league player. Now that his contract has expired, Anderson finds himself auditioning for a possible contract. With his start to the Venezuelan Winter League, Anderson may not be out of work for long.

Arizona Fall League: Salt River Rafters 4, Glendale Desert Dogs 2

The Rays were represented on both sides of the ball yesterday, with Ryan Brett getting the start as the Rafters designated hitter. Although he was hitless in two at bats, Brett also drew two walks. Following a rough start to his time with the Rafters, Brett has five hits and four walks in his last five games. Matt Ramsey entered the game with a 4-1 lead and earned a hold, giving up a run on a hit in 1.2 innings of work. The run was the first that Ramsey had given up since October 8th, and he gave up his first hit since October 10th.

Dominican Winter League: Aguilas Cibaenas 4, Tigres del Licey 1

Juan Sandoval was the only Rays farmhand to make an appearance in the game, working out of a jam in the seventh. With runners on first and second and no outs, Sandoval struck out the next two batters before getting a groundout to end the threat. He came out to start the eighth, and promptly gave up a home run to Domingo Santana for Licey’s only run of the game. Overall, Sandoval gave up the one run in his inning of work, striking out two.

Mexican Pacific League: Venados de Mazatlan 3, Yaquis de Obregon 2 (Eleven Innings)

When a game goes eleven innings, that can put a lot of wear on a catcher. Of course, a couple of hits during the game could make that soreness not as bad the next day. Unfortunately for Iker Franco, he not only went 0-4 in last night’s game, but he struck out three times. To compound matters, Obregon took the loss. Just a rough night for the former Rays farmhand.

Naranjeros de Hermosillo 4, Mayos de Navojoa 0

Can someone give Wes Bankston an invitation to Spring Training? He has not been attached to a major league franchise since 2010, yet has performed well in the Mexican Leagues and in the winter leagues. At this point, he seemingly has nothing left to prove outside of the majors. Although his Mayos de Maojoa were shut out last night, Bankston did what he could, going 1-3 and getting hit by a pitch as he attempted to start a ninth inning rally.

Tomateros de Culiacan 5, Aguilas de Mexicali 2

Mexicali hitters struggled for most of the night, getting only six total baserunners against Culiacan pitching. Mike Jacobs, who the Rays took in the 48th round back in 1998, could attest to those struggles, going 0-4 with two strikeouts. At age 32, Jacobs has still displayed the prodigious power that has made him intriguing to teams in the past, hitting a combined 28 home runs between the Mexican League and the Pacific Coast League last season, but he has not had a significant major league role since 2009. His window to get another chance may be closing.

Venezuelan Winter League: Caribes de Anzoategui 3, Aguilas del Zulia 0

Although Leslie Anderson never made an impact for the Rays, that does not mean that he couldn’t potentially play a role on another team in the future. He is certainly doing his part in his attempt to attract another chance at a major league job thus far in the VWL season, and played a primary part in Anzoategui’s victory last night. Anderson hit his second home run of the season, a two run blast, in the third for what would eventually prove to be the game winning hit. Overall, Anderson was 2-4 with the two run homer, and is hitting .375 in the early going.

Leones del Caracas 5, Navegantes del Magallanes 4

For the first time in what seems like the entirety of the VWL season, Daniel Mayora was held hitless in a game. Evan after going 0-4, he is still hitting a torrid .438 on the season, and following his previous hitless performances, had multiple hits in the following game. it will be interesting to see if the trend continues. Caracas had a definite Rays feel, as Bobby Abreu and Danny Dorn also started for the Leones last night. Abreu ended up 0-3 with a walk and a run scored while Dorn was 1-3 with a two run double. Jesus Flores was 1-4 with an RBI for Magallanes, striking out twice.

Tiburones de La Guaira 9, Cardenales de Lara 6

In a game that saw eleven runs scored over the final two and a half innings, former Rays farmhand Cesar Suarez missed out on the offensive explosion. Suarez was lifted for Trayce Thompson in the bottom of the seventh for defensive purposes, as it seemed improbable that Lara would mount a comeback. However, Suarez made the most of his time in the game, going 2-4 with an RBI double. His bat appears to be heating up, as Suarez now has two multi hit games in his last three appearances.