Rays Winter Ball Recap: Jon Weber Sighted in Navojoa Loss


Jon Weber is just one of those unfortunate names in recent baseball history. It’s amazing how many people know him–but they know him for all the wrong reasons, as the player who delivered an incredible spring training with the Yankees in 2010 yet was held off the roster for no reason other than he was a left-handed batter and the Yankees needed a righty. Now 35, Weber keeps dreaming of a chance, but at this point, it seems like a pie in the sky. But Weber keeps playing, and here at RCG, we’ll follow the former Rays minor leaguer as long as he does.

Dominican Winter League: Tigres del Licey 7, Toros de Este 0

Well, maybe there’s a reason why Aneury Rodriguez and Frank De Los Santos are former Rays prospects. Rodriguez started for Este but lasted just 2.1 innings allowing 2 runs on 2 hits, striking out 3 while walking 2. He actually allowed just a walk through the first two innings before the wheels came off in the third. De Los Santos, meanwhile, went 1.2 innings allowing 2 more runs on 3 hits, striking out 1 while walking none. He got a groundout and a strikeout to escape Rodriguez’s jam, but he made more trouble of his own after that. De Los Santos has thrown just 2.2 innings so far in the DWL, but he has allowed 5 runs, good for a 10.13 ERA.

Leones del Escogido 6, Gigantes del Cibao 3

Remember when Julio Lugo was the star Devil Rays shortstop who stole as many as 39 bases a year? That feels like ages ago. In this game, Lugo pinch-hit for Fernando Martinez and walked before being pinch-run for by Freddy Guzman. Guzman was stranded on base, but the Leones won nevertheless. Sergio Espinosa walked the only batter he faced for Cibao.

Aguilas Cibaeñas 6, Estrellas de Oriente 3

Juan Sandoval tossed 1.1 innings of shutout ball for Zuila, working around a pair of hits with two groundouts and a popout. The 32 year old is a great story, and after a nice season between Double-A and Triple-A in 2013, it would be nice if the Rays brought him back to continue his trek towards the major leagues. He still has stuff and it is not too late.

Mexican Pacific League: Naranjeros de Hermosillo 8, Mayos de Navojoa 3

It’s a different story, though, for position players. Sandoval has been through more than any player deserves to face, but as a middle reliever, age is ignored in the short-term as long as you can throw. Jon Weber, meanwhile, keeps hitting but simply isn’t the player he used to be. In his 2013 Mexican Pacific League debut, Weber batted second for the Mayos and went 1 for 3 with 2 walks and an RBI. He continues to have a short line drive stroke with strong plate discipline, but whatever speed he has is gone as is most of his power. Wes Bankston also went 1 for 3 for Navojoa–it will be cool to cover him and Weber on a daily basis.

Venados de Mazatlán 7, Yaquis de Obregón 3

Henry Mateo has had a rough go to begin the MPL season, but he certainly made things happen for the Venados in this one, going 3 for 4 with a walk and 2 runs socred. THe walk was his first of the year against 12 strikeouts–maybe overaggressiveness was his downfall. Nice to see him put something together and hopefully it lasts. Armando Araiza got the start for Obregón at catcher and made it count, going 1 for 3 with a run scored. No Mazatlán hitters dared to test him on the basepaths after the laser he threw last time behind the dish.

Venezuelan Winter League: Leones del Caracas 5, Aguilas del Zuila 3

Still no luck for opposing pitchers against Daniel Mayora as he just does not stop hitting. In this game, he went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. It was his 7th multi-hit game in his last 10 as his line still sits at a gaudy .431/.468/.690 through 62 plate appearances. Danny Dorn also went 1 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored for the Leones, and Alejandro Segovia went 0 for 1 with a walk and a surprising stolen base. Did he catch the Aguilas napping?

Tiburones de La Guaira 3, Tigres de Aragua 2

Cesar Suarez better start hitting because his spot in the third spot in the La Guaira order is looking like an emeritus position right now. Suarez went 1 for 5, not playing much of a role in the Tiburones win. For Aragua, Hector Gimenez went 0 for 3 with 2 walks and Ray Olmedo went 1 for 3 with another walk.

Caribes de Anzoátegui 10, Navegantes del Magallanes 3

And we’ll finish with a blowout game but a fun one nonetheless with several Rays involved. Leslie Anderson had an RBI and run scored for the Caribes to extend his hitting streak to five, and three Rays went up against him on the Magallanes side. Erold Andrus went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored, Jesus Flores went 1 for 1 as a pinch-hitter, and Erik Hamren tossed a scoreless third of an inning. Andrus earned his way back into the Navegantes’ lineup and has done nothing to make them change their minds, going 3 for 10 with a pair of walks since then.