Rays Winter Ball Recap: Daniel Mayora, Leones Pound Caribes

By Robbie Knopf

There are some matchulps that everyone waits for–Yankees-Red Sox, Ohio State-Michigan, Army-Navy, you get the idea. Then there are games that one fan base may wait for, like a former star returning to town. Then there are games like Daniel Mayora‘s Leones taking on Leslie Anderson‘s Caribes when you can’t be sure anyone cares aside from you.

Mexican Pacific League: Game 1: Algodoneros de Guasave 3, Mayos de Navojoa 1

Game 2: Mayos de Navojoa 9, Algdoneros de Guasave 4

In the first game, Wes Bankston went 2 for 3 with the only RBI, but he was about the only Mayos hitter doing anything as they lost 3-1. Then in Game 2, the Mayos pounded former Rays draft pick Josh Geer, slamming him for 7 runs on 10 hits in just 3.1 innings pitched. Bankston and Jon Weber both went 1 for 4, with Bankston doubling and scoring a run. After hits in both ends of the doubleheader, Bankston suddenly has a 4-game hitting streak going, and he has 6 RBI in those 4 games.

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League: Gigantes de Carolina 5, Cangrejeros de Santurce 1

A trio of former Rays minor leaguers appeared in this one as Robinson Cancel went 1 for 4 and Jesus Feliciano went 0 for 3 with a run scored for Carolina whle John Rodriguez went 1 for 4 for Santurce. Funny that Cancel and Feliciano are both teammates now after spending a couple of months together at Double-A Montgomery back in 2004. Both of also wound up appearing in the majors with the New York Mets, although at different times. Cancel was also teammates with Rodriguez in the Cardinals system in 2005.

Venezuelan Winter League: Leones del Caracas 7, Caribes de Anzoátegui 0

Leslie Anderson did his part for the Caribes, going 2 for 2 with 2 walks, but he was basically by himself as Caracas pulled away. Daniel Mayora rebounded from his unimpressive game against Anzoátegui on Saturday with a huge game, going 2 for 3 with a 2-run homer and an RBI double. Mayora got his average up to .405–but he still has some work to do to catch up to Anderson’s .413 mark. Anderson also beats Mayora in on-base percentage .486 to .440 although Mayora has the slugging percentage edge .747 to .667. Also impressing for Caracas was Danny Dorn, who went 1 for 2 with 2 walks and 2 runs scored. Dorn has been up and down this VWL season, but he is certainly trending in the right direction now as he has hit in his last 8 games. His plate discipline had been looking like a problem, but suddenly he has drawn 2 walks each in his last 3 games.

Aguilas del Zuila 2, Cardelanes de Lara 1

Juan Apodaca had a solid game for Zulia, going 1 for 3 with a walk while also helping ex-Diamondback Cesar Valdez to a great start. For Lara, meanwhile, Romulo Sanchez finished the game in strong fashion, allowing a hit in the 8th but striking out 2 as he tossed a shutout frame. Sanchez’s first 5 VWL appearances were a disast er, but now he has looked sharp in two straight games and hopefully he has turned the corner.

Navegantes del Magallanes 16, Tigres de Aragua 0

At least one team had a lot of fun in this game. The Magallanes offense exploded for 16 runs, and right in the thick of it was Robinson Chirinos, who went 2 for 5 with 3 RBI. Surprisingly, those 3 RBI were the most of anyone on the top–the Navegantes blew out the Tigres thanks to a balanced offensive attack. After three nondescript games, Chirinos finally broke out, and he is hoping for plenty more of that as he hopes to come back from an unimpressive streatch with the Rangers in 2013. For Aragua, Ray Olmedo went 1 for 3 while Hector Gimenez went 0 for 2.