Rays Winter Ball Recap: Leslie Anderson Continues Torrid Pace


March 12, 2013; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Leslie Anderson (86) singles during the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Another Leslie Anderson headline? Yes, another Leslie Anderson headline. Quite simply, Anderson is on an absolute tear right now in the Venezuelan Winter League, to the point where he may be in the midst of the best stretch of his career. Right now, there is just no stopping the force that is Leslie Anderson.

Arizona Fall League: Salt River Rafters, Glendale Desert Dogs

Richie Shaffer appears as though he may be starting to heat up. With his 1-1 with a double and three walks last night, Shaffer now has five hits in his last ten at bats. Even more impressive, he has walked an astonishing ten times in his past five games. If this new found plate discipline can continue over into his season next year, 2014 may well be a breakout year for the young slugger. On the pitching side, Merrill Kelly had his struggles, allowing two hits in his inning of work, but managed to escape unscathed. Matt Ramsey, meanwhile, was impressive in his inning, striking out the three batters he faced on fourteen pitches.

Dominican Winter League: Tigres del Licey 3, Leones del Escogido 0

Julio Lugo has not been in the majors since 2011. In fact, he has not been in a professional league of any sort aside from the winter leagues since 2011. Yet, here he is playing for Escogido, perhaps trying for one last chance in the majors before calling it a career. Even though the Leones were shut out, Lugo did his part, going 2-3 with a walk in the contest. At 38 years old, Lugo may not have much left in the tank, but it is certainly admirable that he is not giving up just yet.

Mexican Pacific League: Aguilas de Mexicali 4, Caneros de los Mochis 0

Mike Jacobs is batting a paltry .203 for Mexical thus far this season, but he has been a bit better lately, with seven hits in his last nine games. Granted, going 7-34 is not great, but compared to how Jacobs started, it is an improvement. Last night, Jacobs was 1-3 with a double and a sacrifice fly to drive in the eventual winning run.

Venezuelan Winter League: Navegantes del Magallanes 8, Bravos de Margarita 4

Erold Andrus did not get many chances in the game, as he entered as a pinch runner for Allan Dykstra in the eighth inning. However, he did get an at bat later in the game, lacing an RBI double to right. In his two innings of action, Andrus was 1-1 with the double and a run scored. Pretty solid night for someone that appeared to have the night off.

Caribes de Anzoategui 8, Cardenales de Lara 2 (Game One – Seven Innings)

It is Leslie Anderson’s world, and we are all just living in it. He has been on a tear lately, as he not only extended his hitting streak to nine games, but also had his fourth consecutive multi-hit game. Anderson was 2-3 with a double and a walk, scoring two runs in Anzoategui’s victory. With his performance of late, it seems as though it may be a matter of time before he gets an invitation to a major league camp.

Cardenales de Lara 7, Caribes de Anzoategui 6 (Game Two – Seven Innings)

Lara scored six unanswered runs, including two in the bottom of the seventh to take the victory in the second half of the twinbill, but it certainly was not Anderson’s fault. As an encore to his performance in Game One, Anderson continued his multi-hit streak, going 3-4 with a home run and four RBIs. Anderson was on base six times in the double header, and it seems as though it is virtually impossible to get him out at this juncture. Right now, the Rays may be wondering where this version of Anderson was over the past four years.

Tiburones de La Guaira 3, Leones del Caracas 1 – Eleven Innings

Just when it seemed safe to count Daniel Mayora out, he’s back. Mayora accounted for Caracas’ offense, hitting a solo home run for their only run of the game. Overall, Mayora was 2-5 with the solo home run and a leadoff triple in the top of the sixth. As it turned out, the Leones inability to plate Mayora after that hit turned out to cost them the game, as they fell in extra innings. Bobby Abreu struggled, going 0-5 with a walk. Danny Dorn had a busy night in the field, shuttling from left to right, and back to left again by the end of the game. Offensively, he was 1-3 with two walks, including an intentional pass.