Wednesday Winter Hot Stove – Edition 3
Before we get to updating you on how Ducks players are doing around the world this winter, we first would like to extend a big “Thank You” to all the groups around Long Island who called in today to reserve their group outings for the 2014 season. It was another successful Opening Day of Group Sales at Bethpage Ballpark, with thousands of tickets being booked throughout the course of the 15th Anniversary season. If you didn’t remember to call in though, don’t fret! There are tickets still available for great dates throughout the year, so be sure to call (631) 940-3825 and speak with a group sales representative. Here’s a picture from the front office when the phones were buzzing this morning:
Now, onto the Winter Hot Stove for this week. We’re going to focus today on Puerto Rico where the Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente is now almost two weeks old. One Long Island Duck who is making a ton of noise to open the season is catcher Ramon Castro, who leads the league with seven RBI in six games played with Criollos de Caguas. Four of those RBI and two of his four doubles this season came on Tuesday in a 6-3 win over Santurce. He is batting .318 with three runs as well, helping Caguas to a 4-3 record thus far.
Castro is also teammates in Puerto Rico with four pitchers from Long Island’s 2013 championship team, and all have made a positive impact thus far. Championship Series MVP John Brownell tossed five shutout innings in his season debut on November 4, allowing just three hits and striking out five to earn the win. Shaun Garceau has tossed six and two-thirds scoreless innings out of the bullpen in four games. He has yet to allow a hit, has struck out four and picked up a win in his most recent outing on Tuesday. Derek Blacksher has yielded just one run in four innings of relief while striking out five thus far, and Eddy Ramos earned a win with a scoreless appearance on November 5. Overall, it’s been a successful start for Ducks alumni with Criollos de Caguas.
Several more Ducks make up the roster of Cangrejeros de Santurce in Puerto Rico. Left-hander James Houser has continued his success from the Ducks this winter, posting a 2-0 record with a 0.87 ERA in two starts. He has struck out 10 while allowing only one earned run in 10 and one-third innings. Another southpaw, Eric Niesen, has gone 1-1 and earned a save so far in four games out of the bullpen, though he has allowed four runs in four and two-thirds innings. Rounding out the former Ducks, John Rodriguez (2010-11) is 3-for-16 in five games at the plate, Benny Cepeda (2010) has a 1.93 ERA in four games out of the bullpen and Ivan Maldonado (2010) has given up four runs in five and two-thirds innings of relief.
Another Duck alum serves as a catcher for Gigantes de Carolina. Robinson Cancel, who was voted by fans as the Delmonte-Smelson Team MVP in 2010, has played in seven games thus far but is struggling at the plate. He is 4-for-24 with a run batted in and two runs scored, but he has drawn three walks to just two strikeouts. Right-hander Ian Snell, who is on the roster for Leones del Ponce, has yet to appear in a game this season. Finally, Carlos Baerga, who serves as the manager for Indios de Mayaguez, has led his team to a 3-2 record thus far, just one game out of first place.
Next week, we will head to another location in the Caribbean to check on some more Ducks that are playing winter baseball this offseason. You can also follow news and stats from the Caribbean Winter Leagues by CLICKING HERE.
As we mentioned last week, Ducks pitcher Bobby Blevins will be pitching with Fortitudo Bologna in the 2013 Asia Series, which begins on Friday in Taichung, Taiwan. Bobby landed in Taiwan today with the rest of his teammates and is eager to be a part of the first European team ever to take part in the tournament. Here are some of the tweets he has sent over the last day documenting his trip:
— BOBBY BLEVINS JR. (@BBLEVS16) November 12, 2013
— BOBBY BLEVINS JR. (@BBLEVS16) November 13, 2013
We have fans here!!! This is upon arriving in Taiwan… pic.twitter.com/OheVVGoDqw
— BOBBY BLEVINS JR. (@BBLEVS16) November 13, 2013
He has assured us that more photos and updates will be tweeted throughout his stay, so be sure to follow him on Twitter: @BBLEVS16. We’ll likely post some tweets and photos here as well.
You can find the schedule for the 2013 Asia Series by CLICKING HERE.
Keep it here all offseason for our weekly Wednesday Winter Hot Stove to get you updated on all of the former Ducks/Atlantic Leaguers playing in Winter Leagues this offseason. If you happen to know other former Ducks or Atlantic Leaguers that are playing winter ball but have not been mentioned here, please leave us a comment or send us a contact form and let us know who.
Posted on November 13, 2013, in Winter Hot Stove and tagged Asia Series, Atlantic League, Benny Cepeda, Bethpage Ballpark, Bobby Blevins, Caribbean, Carlos Baerga, Derek Blacksher, Eddy Ramos, Eric Niesen, Ian Snell, Ivan Maldonado, John Brownell, Long Island Ducks, Ramon Castro, Robinson Cancel, Shaun Garceau, Taichung, Winter Leagues. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.