Winter Leagues: Oneil Cruz Homers; Richard Rodriguez Debuts

In the Dominican on Monday night, Oneil Cruz got his first playoff start and he hit his first home run of the winter in his first at-bat. That was followed by a strikeout, a walk and a ground out to first base. During the regular season in 50 plate appearances, he hit .245/.260/.347, with one double, two triples, no homers, one walk and 14 strikeouts. Here’s the homer:

Edgar Santana pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a single, with no walks and one strikeout. He retired all three batters he faced in his first playoff appearance three days ago. During the regular season, Santana made six appearances, throwing a total of 5.2 innings. He allowed two runs on six hits, with two walks and five strikeouts.

Richard Rodriguez made his first appearance of the winter and allowed one run on two hits in one inning of work. He had no walks and two strikeouts.

In Australia, Bligh Madris made his winter debut and he went 0-for-3 with a run scored and two strikeouts for the Brisbane Bandits against Adelaide. Due to COVID travel restrictions sending the season schedule into complete disarray in Australia, Brisbane followed up the Adelaide game a short time later by playing the Perth Heat. Both games were limited to seven innings. In game two, Madris went 0-for-3 again, with one strikeout. He was in left field and batting fifth in both games.

The opposing starting pitcher for Perth against Madris/Brisbane was Beau Sulser, a teammate of Madris in Altoona in 2019. Sulser went four innings, allowing one run (a homer) on two hits, with one walk and four strikeouts. It was his regular season debut, though he did pitch two innings in an exhibition game on a day that a scheduled game had to be postponed.

Robbie Glendinning was at shortstop for Perth and he went 3-for-4 with three singles and two runs scored. He had some issues in the field, committing two errors. He went 0-for-4 in Perth’s only other regular season game so far.

In the head-to-head matchups between Madris and Sulser, Madris grounded out to first base in the second inning, then popped out to Glendinning at shortstop to end the fourth inning.