Rays Winter Ball Recap: Wes Bankston Homers in Navojoa Blowout Win

By Robbie Knopf

Whether it’s the major leagues or winter ball, it is always nice to be feeling it.

Dominican Winter League: Gigantes del Cibao 2, Leones del Escogido 0

Joel Peralta has not pitched often for Cibao followinng a labor-intensive season with the Rays. When he does pitch, though, the Gigantes make sure to put him in his customary high-leverage spots. In this game, Peralta nailed down his first save of the season, striking out 1 in a perfect 9th. Mayo Acosta also went 1 for 3 with a walk in the win for Cibao, throwing out the only runner that attempted to steal.

Tigres del Licey 3, Aguilas Cibaenas 2

Remember Juan Cruz? After his 3.88 ERA season for the Rays in 2011, Cruz managed a strong 2.78 mark in 43 appearances for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012 but got designated for assignment nevertheless. Then in 2013, he was apparently nowhere, signing with the Philadelphia Phillies on a minor league deal, but never appearing in a game. The last few years have treated Juan Cruz quite strangely. In any event, Cruz tossed a perfect innings with 2 strikeouts in his second game for Licey, and he could be worth a minor league flier for somebody as bullpen depth. In the loss for Cibaenas, Joey Terdoslavich somehow managed both RBI’s without a hit while Hector Luna went 1 for 4 with a double.

Mexican Pacific League: Mayos de Navojoa 8, Algodoneros de Guasave 1

No one wants to be that player in a blowout who does not make anything happen. Wes Bankston got just 1 hit for the Mayos in their romp, but he made sure it was enough, slamming a solo home run, his third in his last five games. Bankston has rebounded from a tough start to play extremely well of late, getting his line up to a .306/.348/.442 line on the season.