Winter Leagues: Weekend News and Notes for the Pirates

The only action from last night that pertained to the Pittsburgh Pirates was a playoff game in Mexico. The Dominican league saw the team with three Pirates (Gigantes del Cibao) move on to the league finals with a win on Friday. Richard Rodriguez’s team moved on to the finals last night, but he didn’t play. So there’s a chance that we could see a match-up of Rodriguez vs Oneil Cruz. The league finals begin on Monday night.

Australia was supposed to help us fill in some winter articles, but games there have been sporadic for the first month due to COVID travel restrictions. The league has played 18 games total and the two teams playing the most during that time don’t have any Pirates players. Next games for the league are scheduled on Thursday.

In Mexico on Saturday night, Randy Romero’s team moved on to the next round of the playoffs with a win last night. He was only used as a pinch-runner last night and didn’t do anything on the bases or play defense. In five playoff games, he went 0-for-1 with an RBI on a suicide squeeze bunt. He finished four games on defense in center field. Romero only has experience in the DSL in pro ball outside of Mexico, so it’s no surprise that he isn’t getting regular time in a league that has a lot of veteran players, some with big league experience. His plus speed and strong defense (strong arm too) get him some playing time off of the bench.

Fabricio Macias was on the losing end of that game, so his team’s season is over. His season could be over. The league has a draft for the next round, with four teams picking players from the four teams that didn’t advance. There’s a chance he could get picked, but he didn’t do anything to stand out during the season, or in the six playoff games, so it seems unlikely. He went 4-for-23 (.174) in his six playoff games. He hit .220/.264/.321 in 50 regular season games this winter.