Rays Winter Ball Recap: Leslie Anderson Starts Comeback Trail

By Robbie Knopf

Every player has their hot streaks. But what happens next? When the league adjusts, can you adjust back? Leslie Anderson went into a slide after his 16-game hitting streak ended, but Saturday saw him finally heading back in the right direction.

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League: Criollos de Caguas 22, Gigantes de Carolina 9

Unfortunately for Carolina, neither Robinson Cancel nor Jesus Feliciano pitch. They did have good games to help the Gigantes score 9 runs, though, with with Cancel going 1 for 3 with a double, a walk, and an RBI, and Feliciano going 1 for 1 with a walk and a run scored before mercifully being taken out of the game. Feliciano has his average up to .379 now. The sad part of this game, though, was Daniel Bard. The former dominant setup man for the Red Sox allowed 5 straight walks, 3 wild pitches, and 3 runs before departing. His ERA is now up to 189.00 as he has allowed 8 runs, 7 earned, in 3 appearances, retiring a grand total of one batter. He hasn’t allow a hit, simply walking 9 guys. It’s depressing what has happened to him after he was one of the best relievers in the game.

Venezuelan Winter League: Caribes de Anzoátegui 19, Tigres de Aragua 1

The Caribes had quite an offensive day, but Leslie Anderson is just happy that he finally got a couple of hits. Anderson went 2 for 5 with a walk and 2 runs scored, breaking a streak of just 1 for his 19. Anderson’s average is down to “just” .363 after his struggles, but what is more interesting is going to be where Anderson goes from here. Anderson was great this season at Triple-A through late July, hitting to a .327/.403/.525 line in 367 plate appearances, but then he slipped to just .195/.283/.274 line in his final 127 PA’s to take the luster off what could have been viewed as a breakout year. Is Anderson going to fall victim to the same thing here or could this game be the start of a turnaround?

Aguilas del Zulia 4, Tiburones de La Guaira 3

Speaking of players trying to come back from recent slumps, there was also Cesar Suarez, who followed up his 3 for 5 day with 3 RBI on Friday by going 2 for 3 with a walk on Saturday. Suarez’s average is a decent .286 on the year, but he hasn’t shown the power or on-base skills that Anderson was boasting at his best, and he has gone from 3rd in the Tiburones’ lineup to begin the year down to just 7th. A few more strong games could change that, though, and at 30 years old, Suarez needs all the strong performances he can get as he hopes to get his career going somewhere.