We have to take all these Winter Ball stats with a grain of salt, but if anyone can parlay a strong performance into a quick trip to the big leagues, it’s a reliever. Edgar Gomez was at just Short Season-A Hudson Valley in the Tampa Bay Rays organization last season, but he has impressed significantly in the Mexican Pacific League and could be primed for big things in 2015.
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Dominican Winter League: Estrellas de Oriente 4, Aguilas Cibaenas 1
Manny Ramirez had another strong game for Cibaenas, going 2 for 3 with a walk, but that was not enough this time around. Juan Sandoval had a rough 9th, allowing 3 runs to give the Estrellas the win. Chris Rearick did have a strong appearance for Oriente, striking out both batters he faced.
On the season, Rearick has looked good other than one appearance where he allowed 3 runs without retiring a batter. Take away that game, and he has a 1.35 ERA and a 7-2 strikeout to walk ratio in 6.2 innings pitched. Rearick was at Double-A primarily for the third straight season in 2014, and he hopes that this coming season while finally see him get a regular role at the minor leagues’ highest level.
Mexican Pacific League: Tomateros de Culiacán 6, Aguilas de Mexicali 3
After four runs in the 7th inning turned this game in the favor of Culiacán, and Edgar Gomez came into the contest trying to hold the damage right there. One more run did score after Gomez entered the game, but only on an infield single to third base. It was the weak contact and not the run scoring that turned out to be more indicative of the rest of Gomez’s outing. He went 1.2 innings allowing just that single, striking out 3 while walking none.
Gomez now has a 1.50 ERA in 15 appearances and 18 innings pitched for Mexicali. He hasn’t allowed a run since November 1st, and he hasn’t given up an earned run since October 28th. Walks have been something of a problem for him–he has a 15-7 strikeout to walk ratio–but he showed in this game that he could even get past that. Gomez has showed a polish beyond his years for the Aguilas, and the Rays will hope for more of the same during the 2015 regular season.
Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League: Cangrejeros de Santurce 7, Indios de Mayaguez 2
Andrew Velazquez has hit a bump in the road since joining the Rays organization, going 0 for his last 11. This game, though, was a step in the right direction as he drew just his second walk of the season in an 0 for 3 game.
Velazquez has put up excellent numbers overall, hitting to a .347/.385/.490 line for Mayaguez, but it’s nice for him to get an excuse to work on his plate discipline. The other side of the coin: his strikeout in this contest was his first since November 13th. Velazquez has just 9 strikeouts in 52 plate appearances this winter (17.3%), a solid improvement from his 21.8% strikeout rate in the regular season.