Winter Leagues 2020-2021

LIDOM (the Dominican winter league) starts play today.

Chas McCormick and Francis Martes are on the Leones del Escogido roster. McCormick is in left field and batting leadoff in today’s opener vs Licey. QC pitching coach Erick Abreu is the pitching coach for the Leones.

Jeremy Pena is with Estrellas de Oriente. Pena starts at short and hits 8th today against the Toros del Este.

In another thread, Rogelio Armenteros was reported to be with Gigantes del Cibao. He is currently listed at tomorrow’s starting pitcher for them versus Escogido.

And in case you were wondering, no fans allowed in stadiums.

So in opening day action…

  • McCormick had a pair of doubles in 5 trips
  • Martes in his first game action in over a year (after his second steroids-related suspension) walked 2 and surrendered a single in 2/3 of an inning of work
  • Pena and his Estrellas club were rained out

In contrast to LIDOM, the LMP (Liga Mexicana del Pacifico aka the Mexican winter league) shows how not to do it with regard to baseball in the time of COVID. That league opened up a month ago with fans in attendance. Isolated reports of players being quarantined began three weeks ago and quickly turned into a flood. Finally the league shut down for 11 days and is scheduled to resume Nov. 17.

Catcher Cesar Salazar is back with his hometown Hermosillo Naranjeros for a 4th straight season. The U of Arizona-ex was with Quad Cities in 2019.

Among pitchers, Lupe Chavez (QC-2019) and Jose Bravo (4 different levels-2019) are with Culiacan. Gerardo Bojorquez is with Mazatlan.

Ex-Astro Roberto Osuna has said he will play with the Jalisco Charros and apparently has a Nov. 20 target date to be activated to their roster.

Speaking of the Charros, ex-Bus Rider Japhet Amador is still chugging along and is back for his 11th season in the LMP.

I assume, since you are reporting on Martes, he is still with the Astros organization? I thought I remembered him being dealt.

Never traded.

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In his first game action in nearly a year (after undergoing non-TJ elbow surgery), Rogelio Armenteros with 3 scoreless/hitless innings tonight while walking just 1 and whiffing 5.

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RHP Hector Velazquez is also pitching in the LMP. He pitched 5 innings of 1-run ball in the season opener for Navojoa but subsequently was injured and hasn’t pitched since. A recent report said he’s getting healthy and would soon be traded to Ciudad Obregon.

Velazquez pitched in the bigs with the Red Sox in 2017-2019 and came over in a trade from the Orioles on July 29 but never made it out of the Corpus alternate site.

Martes goes to the DL with a sprained ankle…

“The @astros José Urquidy was denied permission to pitch with @venados_mzt in #LMP

When healthy, Urquidy has pitched during the winter with his hometown Mazatlan club but certainly not surprising the Astros wouldn’t let him pitch there in this shittiest of all winters.

The Astros apparently also denied permission to Humberto Castellanos to join his hometown Charros de Jalisco club for whom he has pitched the last 2 winters. Evidently he’s still recovering from some sort of injury.

(Article also says that ex-Astros Roberto Osuna is still expected to join the Charros though no date is given)

In other LMP news, Juan Pablo Lopez has joined org mates Lupe Chavez and Jose Bravo in pitching for Culiacan.

Jeremy Pena with the infield single tonight to make it an 8-gamer. He’s been batting leadoff for Estrellas the past few games after hitting 8th earlier in the season.

In other Estrellas news, RHP Ronel Blanco has joined the club. He pitched at the Corpus alternate site this past summer.

Jeremy Pena gets a mention in this writeup…

This is becoming the Jeremy Pena thread…

10-gamer now for Jeremy Pena as he hits a leadoff homer today off Domingo German.

(Longenhagen covers prospects for Fangraphs if you weren’t aware)

In LIDOM news:

  • Kent Emanuel has joined Tigres del Licey and has posted an 0.90 WHIP in 6.2 IP with 10 Ks
  • Jeremy Pena has cooled off and is now hitting .277/.299/.354 for Estrellas de Oriente
  • Ronel Blanco in limited appearances for Estrellas has K’d 6 in 3 2/3 IP but has also given up 3 hits and 3 walks
  • Chas McCormick’s quad injury apparently forced a return to the states
  • Francis Martes returned to action and has appeared in one game since spraining his ankle
  • Bryan De La Cruz has joined Toros del Este and is 7-13 (all singles) thru 6 games
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Jeremy Peña, SS/2B
Peña has hit safely in 14 of his first 18 games for Estrellas Orientales (D.R.) and has posted seven multihit efforts in his last 13 contests. That all translates to a .288 average for the 2018 third-round pick, who also ranks among the LIDOM leaders in home runs (3, tied-2nd), total bases (32, 4th), runs scored (10, 3rd) and slugging (.438, 7th).

Jeremy Pena in his Estrellas Orientales uni in a photo posted to his IG account (you can follow his account here).

I’ve long believed that baseball uniforms here in the US were headed in the direction of being completely plastered in sponsor logos as you’ve long seen in many of the foreign leagues. And I don’t mean just a single logo of the uniform manufacturer or whatever. I mean tooooootally saturated. I can see it first happening in the minors particularly given the recent MLB takeover as they try and wring every single penny from potential advertisers.

I hope you are wrong about the uniforms. This is one category I appreciate what the NYYs have done in preserving uniform integrity.

Pena looks like a charismatic young man.