Rays Winter Ball Recap: Wes Bankston, Jon Weber Fuel Mayos


The major league season is over but the Winter League are just getting started. In fact, the Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League in Puerto Rico opens tomorrow. There are only a couple weeks in the year between the MLB regular season, the postseason, winter ball, the Caribbean Series, and spring training that there is no professional baseball being played. The excitement about it may not be as high here in the US, but appreciate that baseball is still going on as we follow it the rest of the offseason.

Arizona Fall League: Salt River Rafters 10, Surprise Saguaros 0

Just one Ray in this one, and it was Ryan Brett, who went 0 for 4 with a strikeout. Brett has started to get something started the next few days, and hopefully any dya now he’ll break out.

Mexican Pacific League: Mayos de Navojoa 9, Aguilas de Mexicali 5

Great to see a couple of former Rays minor leaguers setting the table for a huge night for Navojoa on the offensive side. Jon Weber singled and later scored in a 2-run first inning before Weber contributed a sac fly in the second inning and Bankston drilled a 2-run double and scored a run. Weber went just 1 for 4 on the night, but Bankston also had a sac fly and a walk as part of his 1 for 3 game. The double was especially big for Bankston as it was just his third double in 16 games for the Mayos–he will definitely look to pick that up, Weber, meanwhile, is hitting .167 in 4 games, but he has gotten a hit in 3 of 4 games, and hopefully he can elevate his level of play as well. It’s always a little more satisfying when struggling players come through in the clutch, and you hope that a game like this can be a turning point. Kevin Kouzmanoff went 2 for 5 with a run scored in the loss for Mexicali.

Venados de Mazatlán 5, Caneros de los Mochis 5 (Tie – stopped after 14 innings)

Apparently these games do just end at some point if they go on for too long. This game was ended due to “time constraints,” whatever they mean by that. Henry Mateo went 3 for 7 with a run scored for the Venados. He is starting to pick it up in his last 7 games, going 11 for 34 (.325).

Venezuelan Winter League: Caribes de Anzoátegui 7, Tigres de Aragua 1

Another day, another strong game for Leslie Anderson as he went 2 for 5 for the Caribes to extend his hitting streak to 7 games. He is hitting .348 through 13 VWL games, and he actually found his power stroke of late, slamming 2 homers and 2 doubles in his last 6 games. Anderson will be trying harder than anyone as his winter ball performance could affect his free agent interest, and his ability to hit for power is a major question that he hopes to address. Hector Gimenez had the Tigres’ only RBI in their defeat.

Aguilas del Zuila 7, Tiburones de La Guaira 3

Sorry, Leslie, but you’re not the only former Rays minor leaguer with a hitting streak in the worst. Cesar Suarez has taken off since moving down from 5th to 3rd in the La Guaira lineup, and he went 2 for 4 in this game to extend his hitting streak to 6. After a tough start, he’s suddenly hitting .279 on the year.

Navegantes del Magallanes 5, Leones del Caracas 2

After the Rays designated him for assignment, Robinson Chirinos ended up appearing in 13 games for the Texas Rangers…and went just 5 for 30 (.179). Chirinos did have a decent year at Triple-A, though managing a .257/.356/.400 line, and he hopes to prove this winter that he deserves further consideration for a big league spot. In his first VWL game for Magallanes, he went 1 for 4 with a double. For Caracas, there were a host of Rays but none of them could do quite enough. Daniel Mayora went 0 for 3 with a a walk (he’s hitting just .410 now), Bobby Abreu went 0 for 3 with 2 walks, and Danny Dorn went 1 for 4. Mayora kept up his bizarre streak: in his 15 games sinceentering the Leones’ starting lineup, he hasn’t always gotten a hit, but when he has it has been a multi-hit game. After 15 games starting, he still doesn’t have a 1-hit game.