Wednesday Winter Hot Stove – Edition 4

Blevins-Asia-Series
Bobby Blevins’ run in the 2013 Asia Series did not last long, but it was a memory that he will forever cherish. His Fortitudo Bologna team dropped both games they played in the tournament, falling in the series opener 5-2 to the Samsung Lions and 10-0 the following day to the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions. Ultimately, it was the Canberra Cavalry, the Australian Baseball League champions, who took home the Asia Series title, winning 14-4 earlier today over the Uni Lions to close out the tournament.

Blevins, who helped the Flock to their back-to-back Atlantic League championships in 2012 and 2013, earned the start in their first game and pitched fairly well. The right-hander tossed six innings of two-run ball and allowed just four hits. He did allow four walks without striking out a batter but left the game down just 2-1. Fortitudo tied it up in the seventh, but a three-run eighth by the Lions, who won the Korean Baseball Organization championship, gave the European Cup champions their first loss. Game two wasn’t any better unfortunately, as the Uni Lions, who won the Chinese Professional Baseball League title, were too much for Fortitudo to overcome.

Here are some of the tweets that Bobby sent out during the tournament:

Two former Ducks took part in helping their team to the championship game. Nelson Figueroa, a nine-year Major League veteran who pitched for Long Island in 2006, tossed a complete game gem to pitch the Uni Lions into the championship game. Against the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, who won the Nippon Professional Baseball title in Japan, he allowed just one run on four hits while striking out four in a 4-1 win. The other was right-hander Jeff Lyman, who appeared in nine games with the Flock in 2012 before suffering a season-ending elbow injury. After months of rehab, he pitched in two independent leagues this season before helping Canberra to the Asia Series championship. He combined to toss four and two-thirds scoreless innings during the tournament, allowing two hits and one walk while striking out four. He picked up a hold in their series-opening 2-0 win over the EDA Rhinos and the win in a 9-5 victory against Samsung in a must-win game.

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Another former Atlantic League pitcher also did well on the mound in his one start during the series. Nick Green pitched the opening game for the EDA Rhinos, who were the runners-up in the CPBL, and allowed just one run in seven innings of work. He surrendered seven hits while striking out six against Rakuten, but the bullpen allowed five runs in the eighth to hand EDA a 6-1 loss. The Rhinos would also be dispatched in just two games, dropping their second contest 2-0 to eventual champion Canberra. Steve Moss, a four-year Atlantic League veteran, was 1-for-7 in the series as a teammate of Blevins with Fortitudo, earning a single in the opening game. Former Barnstormer Brian Grening started one game with Canberra and allowed five runs on four hits and four walks in four and one-third innings. However, the Cavalry eventually won that game.

For game recaps, box scores, video and all you need to know about the 2013 Asia Series, CLICK HERE.

Here are some other news and notes regarding Ducks/Atlantic Leaguers from around the Caribbean winter leagues:

  • Down in Puerto Rico, Ramon Castro is still leading the league in RBI with 10 and seven doubles on Criollos de Caguas. He also has a .300 batting average through 11 games. Among Castro’s opponents in Puerto Rico is James Houser, who leads the league with 14 strikeouts and ranks fifth in ERA at 1.76 pitching for Cangrejeros de Santurce. Castro’s teammate John Brownell is second in strikeouts with 12 and ninth in ERA at 2.81. Speaking of Caguas, they had a night to remember on November 16 against Gigantes de Carolina. Every starter had a hit in a 22-run, 23-hit outburst. Castro was 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and three runs, but the spotlight was stolen by Luis Montanez (Somerset, 2013) who was 3-for-6 with two doubles, a homer, six RBI, two runs and a walk. Check out the box score from the game.
  • In Mexico, several Atlantic Leaguers are atop the leaderboard in various categories. Jesse Gutierrez (Southern Maryland, 2012) leads the league with eight home runs as a member of Naranjeros de Hermosillo. His teammate, Jason Urquidez (Lancaster, 2013), sets the pace with 11 saves and has thrown 18 scoreless innings. Jake Fox (Somerset, 2013), the Atlantic League’s Player of the Year in 2013, has a league-high 25 RBI with Caneros de los Mochis. Jerry Owens (Lancaster, 2013) is fourth in the league with a .325 batting average after leading the Atlantic League at .341 this year.
  • Further south in Venezuela, a couple Somerset Patriots are making their mark. Cory Aldridge has picked up right where he left off this year, leading the league with an astounding .395 batting average as a member of Caribes de Anzoategui. Pitcher Roy Merritt has thrown the most innings of anyone in the league thus far at a 45 and one-third and is tied for the league lead with 35 strikeouts as a member of Aguilas del Zulia.
  • Andy Marte (York, 2013) and Jarrett Grube (Southern Maryland, 2009-10) both had a great day in the Dominican this past week. On November 18, Marte had three hits and four RBI in a 13-11 win for Aguilas Cibaenas. Grube tossed six scoreless innings with five strikeouts that same day for Leones del Escogido in a 4-0 shutout win.

Keep it here 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. You can also follow news and stats from the Caribbean Winter Leagues by CLICKING HERE. 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.

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Posted on November 20, 2013, in Winter Hot Stove and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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