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TeamBoone
01-13-2006, 04:10 PM
01/13/2006 12:31 PM ET
Winter ball serving its purpose
Youngsters, players coming off injury capitalize on opportunity
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

Some of the statistics might have looked pretty good for several Reds players and prospects that played winter ball this offseason in Latin America. But that wasn't really the point.

For some, it was about playing in front of the fans in their home countries. For many others, it was a chance to face decent competition and attempt to refine their skills.

"The benefits are not measured solely in statistics," Reds general manager Dan O'Brien said.

Younger players like Wily Mo Pena and Edwin Encarnacion, who participated in the Dominican Republic for the Aguilas club, got more at-bats and experience. So did infielder Ray Olmedo, who played for the Venezuelan club La Guaira.

In eight postseason games in a round-robin tournament, Pena hit .286 with one home run and five RBIs. He batted .363 with seven homers for his club during the regular Dominican season.

For Caracas in the Venezuelan league, infielder William Bergolla hit .364 (4-for-11) in four games after batting .308 in 50 regular season games.

"By virtue of their extended season, they'll come to camp in better position to make an impression," O'Brien said.

Winter ball also served a purpose in the rehabilitation of Cincinnati players sidelined by injury. Jung Keun Bong missed all of 2005 with a shoulder injury and pitched this winter in the Dominican. Double-A first baseman Jesse Gutierrez also came back from an injury and slugged 15 homers and drove in 40 runs for Navajoa in the Mexican League.

"Just the fact they could go down there was outstanding," O'Brien said. "They got the innings and exposure to help make up for what they lost in the '05 season. They will benefit in Spring Training '06."


http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060113&content_id=1295123&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

Ravenlord
01-13-2006, 04:12 PM
so are there any active professional leagues between the end of the Caribean Leagues season and Spring Training?

M2
01-13-2006, 04:35 PM
Lots of good seasons for Reds in the winter leagues. Anyone got stats on EdE or Bong?

Real big comeback there for Jesse Gutierrez. I'd like nothing better than to see Gutierrez surprise everyone and win the Reds 1B job. He's been the backbone on most of the Reds' better affiliate teams of this century. Now, it's highly unlikely Gutierrez will do that, but it would be the Reds feel-good story of the decade if he did.

Barbarossa
01-13-2006, 05:15 PM
Your right about Gutierrez. It sure would be great if had such a terrific spring training that he forced Dunn back to leftfield. 'Course then we're back to the four outfielders again. Trade Kearns/Pena for a good young starter? Dare we trust DanO with that?

TRF
01-13-2006, 05:17 PM
M2, try this link:

http://www.baseball-fever.com/showthread.php?t=35102&page=4

Aronchis
01-13-2006, 06:11 PM
WMP needs to come in better shape this year, last year he looked out of shape which may have created some of his injury problems and lack of speed.

TeamBoone
01-13-2006, 07:22 PM
Out of shape?

The guys all muscle... what is left to be out of shape?

sixfigure
01-13-2006, 08:10 PM
WMP needs to come in better shape this year, last year he looked out of shape which may have created some of his injury problems and lack of speed.

I think you have Austin (Pizza Butt) Kearns confused with Wily Mo (Muscle) Pena....hard to tell them apart...LOL!!

KronoRed
01-13-2006, 08:58 PM
Out of shape?

The guys all muscle... what is left to be out of shape?
His hair was all crazy like

;)

MrCinatit
01-13-2006, 09:24 PM
His hair was all crazy like

;)

Oscar Gamble, anyone?

oneupper
01-14-2006, 08:18 AM
Here are some stats M2:


Jung Bong:

1-3 with a 4.22 ERA
32 IP 37 H 19 R 15 ER 9 BB 25 K

Nothing great, but not a blowup like Hancock's

Edwing Encarnacion Regular Season:

113 AB 30 H 7 2B 1 3b 4 HR 18 RBI .265 AVG .351 OBP

EdE Playoff (in progress)

2 for 3 with 2 walks

Apparently Tony Batista is playing ahead of EdE in the playoffs.
Batista has 4 HR (in 11 games), but still...
Guess EdE will have to get used to seeing "seasoned veterans" take playing time from him.

Just wanted to Add:

Wily Mo has been playing...FIRST BASE! (and batting cleanup)
He tied up last thursdays game in the bottom of the ninth with an RBI double. His team (Aguilas) won 7-6 after trailing 6-4 going into the ninth.

oneupper
01-14-2006, 08:39 AM
so are there any active professional leagues between the end of the Caribean Leagues season and Spring Training?

The Winter Leagues end with the Caribbean Series (with Teams from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic), which this year will be held in Venezuela (Valencia and Maracay) Feb 2-7.

Doesn't leave much time to play before ST.

Heath
01-14-2006, 11:06 AM
Just wanted to Add:

Wily Mo has been playing...FIRST BASE! (and batting cleanup)
He tied up last thursdays game in the bottom of the ninth with an RBI double. His team (Aguilas) won 7-6 after trailing 6-4 going into the ninth.

Why is this intriging?

oneupper
01-14-2006, 11:25 AM
Why is this intriging?

I don't recall WMP spending much time at first with the REDs.

Have I missed something?

LoganBuck
01-14-2006, 02:56 PM
Who is the better leftfielder Dunn or Pena?

pedro
01-14-2006, 02:59 PM
Who is the better leftfielder Dunn or Pena?

Dunn. But I bet he's also the better first baseman, and a bad first baseman can do a lot of damage to team because of the number of plays that he is involved with.

ochre
01-14-2006, 03:02 PM
Dunn

RFS62
01-14-2006, 03:58 PM
Lord help us if Wily Mo is ever on first. He's enough of an adventure in the outfield.

KronoRed
01-14-2006, 09:26 PM
Dunn knows what he's doing..Pena just runs around and hopes the ball finds him.

LoganBuck
01-14-2006, 11:53 PM
Ok, I will play devil's advocate here but wasn't Pena originally an infielder 3B/SS when he first signed? Perhaps moving the weakest fielder to first isn't too bad an idea. I would rather play Dunn in left over Pena.

pedro
01-15-2006, 12:39 AM
Ok, I will play devil's advocate here but wasn't Pena originally an infielder 3B/SS when he first signed? Perhaps moving the weakest fielder to first isn't too bad an idea. I would rather play Dunn in left over Pena.

The problem with that is that a first baseman will touch the ball (total chanches) 1200+ times over the course of a season. The most total chances by an OF last year was Brady Clark with 399 (Adam Dunn had 246).

I don't know about you but I don't think I want WMP touching the ball 1200 times next year. I'm afraid my head might explode.

RFS62
01-15-2006, 12:45 AM
Athleticism isn't the main thing about playing first base. It's more baseball IQ. It's going to be a while before Dunn is comfortable mentally over there. More situations to deal with just takes longer to become natural and instinctive.

Wily Mo, yikes.

LoganBuck
01-15-2006, 01:27 AM
So I am guessing you guys don't want the Turd Sandwich with Pickles instead of the turd sandwich with onion?:duel:

BoydsOfSummer
01-15-2006, 04:20 PM
It's not uncommon for guys like Wily playing out of position in winter ball. Sometimes it keeps them healthier. And in Mo's case,it's probably a good thing he's not out there running into things and bouncing off other players/walls. He's also had hammy/leg problems,so that's another factor.

jnwohio
01-16-2006, 01:51 AM
so are there any active professional leagues between the end of the Caribean Leagues season and Spring Training?

Years back I used to try and follow the Carribean/ Latin Amercian winter ball in their native medias to work on my Spanish. My recollection is that many of the countries have national championship playoffs and then either the national championship team or a special national team comprised of all stars would go on to play in the Latin American Championship. This is what would be going on between the end of the winter leagues and Spring training.

Just how the WBC has effected this I do not know.

TeamSelig
01-18-2006, 12:04 AM
I don't have the stats so I'm not positive, but it sure seems like Willy Mo has way more range in the OF, which is pretty important due to the fact that Griffey can't move anymore. Pena is still young, and hasn't had much repetitions in the OF, so I'll give him some room for improvement. Moving to Dunn to 1B preserves his legs IMO, and with him being 6'6" it might be a good idea. Seems like a common sense kind of thing to leave Mo in the OF and put Dunn at first (who is a bigger target for EdE)