Rays Prospects

Rays Winter Leagues Recap: Rene Rivera Homers in San Juan Loss

By Robbie Knopf

Rene Rivera is coming off a breakout season for the San Diego Padres, but he continues to get at-bats in Winter Ball as he prepares for his first season with the Tampa Bay Rays. He may be tired and he’s playing more first base than catcher, so we shouldn’t read into his numbers too much, but it’s always nice from the Rays’ perspective to see him succeed.

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Mexican Pacific League: Tomateros de Culiacán 4, Naranjeros de Hermosillo 0

Ali Solis hasn’t exactly stayed red-hot for the Tomateros since his surprising 2-homer game on December 20th, but he does now have a 3-game hitting streak after going 1 for 2 with a walk in this game. The walk is nice too–he has just 8 on the season against 29 strikeouts.

Russell Branyan for Culiacán and Adan Munoz for Hermosillo also appeared in the game, each going 1 for 4. Munoz had quite the adventure behind the plate, however, as he allowed 6 stolen bases, including 4 to Padres farmhand Rico Noel. At least he did catch a pair of runners attempting to steal as well.

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League Game 1: Congrejeros de Santurce 3, Senadores de San Juan 1 (7 innings)

Game 2: San Juan 3, Santurce 2 (14 innings)

In the first game, Rene Rivera actually got behind the plate for the first six innings, and maybe that gave his bat something of a jolt. Overall in the contest, he went 2 for 3 with a homer and a double, driving in the only Senadores run.

The second game didn’t treat Rivera quite as well as he went 1 for 6 after moving back to first base. At least one of his teammates gave us something to talk about. This was a scheduled 7-inning contest as well, so once it went into extra innings, the Senadores simply asked Shane Dyer to throw as long as he could.

Dyer lived up to the task, going 3 shutout innings working around 3 hits and a walk while striking out 3. He now has a 3.75 ERA in 12 innings on the season. Dyer used to start in the Rays’ system, but he hadn’t even tossed 2 innings since November 21st, so it was quite a feat that he lasted that long. Eddie Camacho then tossed the next 4 innings as San Juan finally won.