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Rays Winter Leagues Recap: Albert Suarez Stays Strong

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It looks like Albert Suarez is nowhere near close to giving up on his dream of playing in the major leagues. The 25 year old has done his best Alex Torres impression from 2012 as he continue to pitch well in the Venezuelan Winter League.

Arizona Fall League: Peoria Javelinas 9, Mesa Solar Sox 4

It look like the Tampa Bay Rays prospects playing for the Peoria Javelinas have finally gotten themselves back on track. In this game, Patrick Leonard went 2 for 4 with an RBI, a run scored, and a stolen base, Zach Cooper worked around a hit and a walk in 2 shutout innings, and Colton Reavis tossed a perfect frame with a strikeout. Kes Carter also went 0 for 3 with a hit-by-pitch and a run scored. The season stats are ugly all around, but these players have the talent to change that in a hurry and hopefully they can continue playing well.

Making the success even sweeter (well, not to them, but to us) was who the Javelinas were having their way with in this game. Felipe Rivero, who the Rays traded away in the Nate Karns trade, was shelled for 5 runs in 1.2 innings including Leonard’s RBI single.

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Dominican Winter League: Leones del Escogido 6, Aguilas Cibaenas 5

Enny Romero allowed 2 runs while recording just 1 out in his first appearance for Escogido, and this one was not much better. Romero retired just one batter while allowing 3 hits and a run and desperately needs to start pitching the way he is capable.

Juan Sandoval had a much better relief appearance for Cibaenas, going 1.1 scoreless innings allowing just a hit while forcing 3 groundouts. Manny Ramirez also went 0 for 2 with 2 walks and a run scored for the Aguilas while Jordan Pacheco went 1 for 4 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored for Escogido.

Estrellas de Oriente 8, Tigres del Licey 6

Matt Fields drilled 28 homers for the Kansas City Royals’ Triple-A Omaha affiliate in 2014, but he entered Friday without a single home run for the Estrellas. He finally changed that in the 8th inning of this game, drilling a solo homer to cap a 2-for-4 day.

Chris Rearick also contributed for Oriente, tossing a scoreless relief inning with a strikeout. Rearick lacks electric stuff, but his 2.89 ERA and a 47-9 strikeout to walk ratio in 43.2 IP between the San Diego Padres’ Double-A and Triple-A affiliates give him a chance to make his big league debut in 2015.

Mexican Pacific League: Caneros de los Mochis 4, Yaquis de Obregón 3 (10 innings)

After the Caneros had already scored 3 runs in the 10th to take a 3-0 lead, Justin Christian took out some of his frustration from a difficult season by drilling a solo home run. It was nice, but also seemingly unnecessary. Little did everyone know that the Yaquis would come back with 3 runs in the bottom of the inning, making Christian’s homer the deciding run in the game.

Christian has not performed the way he was hoping to this season, hitting to just a .170/.278/.234 line even after this game. But los Mochis has continued to show faith in him, keeping him in the leadoff spot, and hopefully this game is the start of him turning himself around.

Venezuelan Winter League: Caribes de Anzoátegui 5, Navegantes del Magallanes 2

Let’s just say that Brandon Allen is feeling it right now. The 28 year old outfielder went 3 for 4 for Anzoátegui in this game with a homer, a double, a walk, and 2 runs scored. He now has a .326/.463/.605 line on the season, pairing a great 10-10 strikeout to walk ratio with 3 homers in his last 3 games. Allen looks like a player on a mission to return to the major leagues, and after strong results at Triple-A the last two years, 2015 may be his year.

Jesus Flores also had a nice game for the Caribes, going 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI. He entered the game 0 for his first 15 on the season before he finally showed some life. Reinaldo Lopez also appeared in this game for Magallanes, officially allowing 2 hits and no runs in an inning of work but allowing 3 inherited runners to score.

Tigres de Aragua 10, Bravos de Margarita 5

After getting ejected in the first inning of one game and getting benched in the next, Taylor Motter was finally back in the leadoff spot for Margarita in this one. He did his best to make up for the lost time, going 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and a run scored. He now has a .320/.327/.540 line on the young season with 2 homers and 4 stolen bases.

Matt Nevarez also appeared in this game for the Bravos, allowing an unearned run in an inning of work, striking out 1. Hector Gimenez, meanwhile, went 2 for 5 in the win for Aragua.

Aguilas del Zulia 7, Tiburones de La Guaira 3

There wasn’t much offense for La Guaira in this one, but a disproportionate amount of it came from Cesar Suarez, who hit a 2-run home run. Erold Andrus also went 1 for 4 in the Tiburones’ loss.

Leones del Caracas 7, Cardenales de Lara 1

The Leones could not have been thinking that Albert Suarez would be this good. He delivered his best start yet in this game, going 5 innings allowing no runs on 3 hits, striking out 3 while walking 2. His groundout to flyout ratio was a strong 7-2. The real question (that we don’t know the answer to) is where his stuff is at these days, but is great to see him pitching this well. He now has a 2.45 ERA and a 9-3 strikeout to walk ratio in 3 starts and 11 innings pitched.

Daniel Mayora helped get him some run support, going 2 for 3 with a run scored.

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