Thursday, December 13, 2007

Eagles shut out Tigers, 9-0

Vs. Zulia
Photo courtesy of los Tigres de Aragua

Zulia 9 at Aragua 0

W: H. Mercado (3-2, 2.57); L: H. Estrada (3-2, 1.75)
HR: ZUL: G. Parra (1).

Hitting woes continued for los Tigres de Aragua as four Zulia pitchers, including former Miracle Jan Granado (F/a), held the Cats to only 6 hits and no runs. Meanwile, Aguilas batter put up 9 runs on 14 hits and 3 errors.

Horacio Estrada (F/A) lasted only 2.1 innings, and was victimized by Tigres errors, starting out with a fielding error by second baseman Luis Rodriguez (San Diego) which allowed Juan Diaz (F/A) to get on base to start off the second inning. After a line out to Randy Ruiz (San Francisco), a strike out to Guillermo Rodriguez (San Franscisco), and a single to Jorge Moreno (F/A), Gerardo Parra's (Arizona) single would plate Diaz. Alberto Callaspo (Arizona) would single to bring in Moreno. Former Rochester Red Wing Donaldo Mendez (F/A) then reached on a force attempt when shortstop Luis Figueroa (San Francisco) misplayed the ball to load the bases. A walk to Rodney Medina (F/A) forced in the 3rd run of the inning.

Estrada walked Diaz to start out the 3rd, and after getting Ruiz to line out, allowed singles to Rodriguez, Moreno and Parra to give Zulia two more runs. Oswaldo Sosa (Minnesota) then made his way to the mound, getting Callaspo to line into a double play to end the inning.

Sosa would pitch 2.2 innings, but the respite from runs was short, lasting only 1 inning. Diaz, Ruiz and Rodriguez would all single their way onto base in the fifth. Sosa induced Moreno to hit into a double play, but Diaz was able to cross the plate, making the Aguilas lead 6-0.

Yohan Pino (Minnesota) took over the pitching chores in the sixth, allowing a double to Callaspo, but keeping Zulia from progressing further.

Los Tigres turned to Rosman Garcia (Baltimore) in the seventh, with Ruiz doubling and Rodriguez singling before Parra put a line drive over the center field wall to bring the total up to 9 runs for the visiting team.

Jason Karnuth (Detroit) and Frank Butto (F/A) would finish off the pitching for Aragua.

L-Rod would go 2-for-4 at the plate, with Luis Maza (LA Dodgers) hitting 1-for-3.

Aragua rests on Thurday and rematches against Zulia on Friday at 7:30 PM AST.

Tigres de Aragua

Miguel Cabrera's work outs with los Tigres de Aragua were haulted on Wednesday when the Detroit Tigers denied him permission to play with the Venezuelan Winter League team, citing the large investment they'd already made in him after giving up a number of top prospects to the Marlins. Tigres

The Twins non-tendered outfielder Jason Tyner, who now becomes a free agent. He hit .287 in 304 at-bats last season with the Twins, and also belted his first Major League home run. Tyner became expendable after the Twins acquired outfielders Craig Monroe and Delmon Young in separate trades last month. Along with last year's starting outfielders Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel, the addition of Monroe and Young gives the Twins four players for the two outfield corner positions.

The Twins tendered a total of 28 contracts Wednesday for the deadline, including five to their remaining arbitration-eligible players Cuddyer, Kubel, Justin Morneau, Matt Guerrier and Juan Rincon.

In a separate more the Twins agreed to terms with free agent shortstop Adam Everett. Everett, 30, was limited to 66 games with the Astros last season after suffering a fractured right fibula on June 14. He batted .232 (51-for-220) with 11 doubles, one triple, two home runs and 15 rbi. Everett played in 302 games over the 2005 and 2006 seasons. He has a career batting average of .248 (531-for-2145) with 102 doubles, 14 triples, 35 home runs and 214 rbi in 649 games. The 6-foot-0, 170-pounder was originally selected by the Boston Red Sox in the first round (12th overall) of the 1998 First-Year Player Draft. He was traded to Houston along with pitcher Greg Miller in exchange for outfielder Carl Everett on December 16, 1999.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Caribes pound Tigres, 9-1

Vs. Caribes
Photo courtesy of los Tigres de Aragua

Caribes 9 at Aragua 1

W: A. Bastardo (1-2, 3.47); L: V. Moreno (3-1, 2.53)
HR: ORI: E. Alfonzo (9).

The Caribes probably didn't need a 5 run eighth inning to beat the Tigres, but that's what they got on Tuesday, leading to a 9-1 slaughter.

Aragua got onto the board first in the bottom of the 4th. Hector Gimenez (Houston) and Mike Aviles (Kansas City) would hit back-to-back singles. Luis Rodriguez (San Diego) bunted into a force out at 3rd that nabbed Gimenez. A wild pitch by Ariel Prieto (F/A) pushed Aviles to 3rd, and he'd come home on Luis Maza's (LA Dodgers) sac-fly.

For a while, the Cats cruised. Henry Bonilla (LA Angels) limited Caribes to 2 hits over 6 innings while striking out 4.

He'd allow a single to Luis Gonzalez (F/A) in the top of the 7th, that got the visiting team rolling. Following a pitching change, Jose Mijares (Minnesota) got Rico Washington (St Louis) to strike out, then left the mound in favor of Victor Moreno (Baltimore). The former Miracle pitcher would allow a home run to Eliezar Alfonzo (San Francisco) to give Caribes 2, and a one run lead.

Kevin Tolar (F/A) took over in the top of the 8th and allowed a double to Jonathan Herrera (Colorado). A sac bunt by Andres Torres (Detroit) and a throwing error by Aviles saw Herrera home. Bobby Korecky (Minnesota) was then called onto the mound for the Cats. Omar Infante (Detroit) doubled, moving Torres to 3rd before Gonzalez ground out. Korecky issued an intentional walk to Washington, but the move backfired when Alfonzo droved the ball deep to the center for a double, bringing in 2 more runs. Korecky would then intentionally walk John Rodriguez (St Louis) before field manager Buddy Bailey called Frank Mata (Minnesota) to the mound. Lino Connell (F/A) greeting him with a ground ball single that plated Washington. Following a strike out to Luis Lopez (F/A), a wild pitch by Mata would bring in Alfonzo, giving the Carbies a 7-1 lead.

They'd added 2 more runs in the 9th when Torres doubled and Infante tripled. A Washington ground out would bring in Infante before Jose Guanchez (F/A) could get the final two outs in relief of Mata.

L-Rod finished off 0-for-3 at the plate, while Maza as 1-for-3 with an RBI. Alex Romero (Arizona) was 1-for-4 with a double but did not factor into the scoring.

Korecky was tagged for 3 runs, all earned on 2 hits and 2 walks in .1 inning worth of work. Mata would surrender 2 runs, both earned, on 3 hits while striking out 1 in 1 inning.

The Cats take on los Aguiles de Zulia on Wednesday for a 7:30 PM AST game. They are idle on Thursday and rematch Zulia on Friday.

Tigres de Aragua

Miguel Cabrera took fielding and hitting practice with los Tigres for the first time on Monday in preperation of his debute with Aragua. A date for his first appearance has yet to be released.

Brian Bass left the team at the end of November to return to the States, finishing off 3-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 42.2 innings pitched. He was said to have "gastritis" which plagued him over his last 2 starts, in which he allowed 8 runs (7 earned) on 10 hits. (Dude, didn't they warn you not to drink the water over there?)

The Twins signed Craig Monroe to a one-year, $3.82 million deal on Tuesday. He can make up to $155,000 in incentives if he reaches 450 plate appearances, and would also receive a $25,000 bonus if he is named the comback player of the year. It's non-guaranteed contract however, which means that Monroe could be released out of spring training.

Arbitration contracts are due today on 6 other Twins players: Justin Morneau, Juan Rincon, Jason Kubel, Michael Cuddyer, Matt Guerrier, and Jason Tyner. Rumor has that Tyner will be non-tendered however, become a free agent. The Twins would like to get Morneau signed to a long term deal, but will likely look to get through arbitration now, and work out the specifics of a long term contract at a later date.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tigres claw out 3-1 victory

Photo courtesy of los Tigres de Aragua

Aragua 3 at Margarita 1

W: J. Mijares (2-0, 2.63); L: C. Monasterios (2-1, 1.97); SV: F. Butto (11)
HR: ARA: A. Delgado (2).

Los Tigres de Aragua scratched out 3-1 win Sunday over los Bravos de Margarita. Kyle Middleton (Houston) took the start, pitching 4 innings, allowing 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 1, but would come away with a no decision.

Jose Mijares (Minneosta) picked up his second win of the season, tossing a scoreless 5th inning.

The Tigres got onto the board in the second inning when former Miracle Alex Romero (Arizona) singled, then moved to 3rd on a Luis Maza (LA Dodgers) double. A fielder's choice took Maza out at 3rd, while Romero scored the Tigres first run.

The score would stay that way until the 7th. With 2 outs, Jose Martinez (St Louis) singled his way onto base then came home when Alex Delgado (F/A) knocked a ball over the left field wall for a 2-run home run.

Margarita would answer back when Victor Rodriguez (F/A) took a walk off Oswaldo Sosa (Minnesota) and then Alberto Gonzalez (NY Yankees) walked off Yohan Pino (Minnesota). Darryl Brinkley (F/A) would single to bring in Rodriguez, but Pino got the next 2 outs to end the scoring threat.

Sosa worked 1.1 inning allowing 1 run on 2 walks, while Pino threw 1 inning allowing 1 hit and striking out 1.

Romero ended up 1-for-4 in the game with a run, Maza was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles.

Aragua starts out Tuesday against los Caribes de Anzoategui for a 7:30 PM AST game.

Tigres de Aragua

Tigres outhit Bravos, but fail to outscore Magarita

Vs. Bravos
Photo courtesy of los Tigres de Aragua

Aragua 3 at Margarita 5

W: K. Olenberger (1-2, 4.21); L: F. Mata (2-1, 2.67); SV: A. Serrano (11)
HR: MAR: F. Diaz (7), R. Alvarez (3).

Los Tigres de Aragua managed 13 hits Saturday, but only 3 runs against los Bravos de Margarita, falling 5-3 on the road.

Margarita got on the board first, with Alberto Gonzalez (NY Yankees) taking a walk off Tigres' starter Rosman Garcia (Baltimore). A Rafael Alvarez single and a Julio Cordido (San Francisco) sac bunt saw him move to 3rd, where he was able to score on a Francisco Leandro (F/A) sac fly.

A Raul Chavez (NY Yankees) double saw Luis Rodriguez (San Diego) as far as 3rd in base in the top of the 4th, but the Tigres could not turn the run. Following a Luis Maza (LA Dodgers) ground out, Ronny Cedeno (Chicago Cubs) took a walk in the fifth inning off Bravos starter Evan MacLane (Arizona). Mike Aviles (Kansas City) doubled Cedeno in. A Mike Rivera (Milwaukee) ground out moved Cedeno to 3rd, while a Hector Giminez (Houston) single served to plate him, giving Aragua a brief lead.

Rafael Alvarez (F/A) would go yard for the Braves in the bottom of the inning to tie up the game.

Jose Mijares (Minnesota) entered the game in the bottom of the 6th, getting Dennys Abreau (F/A) to pop out and issuing a walk to William Bergolia (Sand Francisco), before being replaced by Victor Moreno (Baltimore). Moreno would work the next two outs, handing the mound over to Frank Mata (Minnesota) in the bottom of the 7th.

Rene Reyes (F/A) would single before Mata drew a pair of pop-outs. Bobby Korecky (Minnesota) then came into the game. A wild pitch and a throwing error by Chavez allowed Reyes to score, giving the Bravos the lead again.

They would extended it in the bottom of the 8th, when Bergolla singled his way onto base, then came home on a Frank Diaz (Washington) 2-run blast over the left field wall.

Aragua managed a brief rally in the 9th, with Cedeno singling then stealing 2nd. Aviles singled him to 3rd, and he'd come home on a Rivera double play that took Aviles down at 2nd. Gimenez would fly out, ending the game.

The two teams rematch on Sunday to finish off the Week.

Tigres De Aragua

Miguel Cabrera as win the Tigres Clubhouse on Friday, signing autographs, looking over the newly renovated Marcayero Stadium and talking about the trade and the possibility of getting into a Cats uniform before the season ends on December 30th.

"I think that was a good change," Cabrera said of his trade to Detroit. "I am happy with this news and now I hope to get to Spring Training to work with my new team. I think it will be interesting to play there."

Cabrera is waiting for the green light from Detroit management before he can suit up for his hometown Tigres. LVBP

Former Miracle Trent Oeltjen signed a minor league deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks with an invitation to major league spring training. While the Twins had been interested in retaining of the services of Oeltjen, his US Agent Joe Bick felt the D'Backs were a better fit for Trent and the right place to see his career blossom.

Oeltjen earned the Batting Title in the IBaF World Cup tournament in November as was also named as center fielder on the All-World team. BJS Player Managment

Colorado's Jayson Nix from Team USA was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, while Tampa's Justin Ruggiano was cited for Most Home runs. Nix was also named to the All-World team as was St. Louis's Colby Rasmus. IBaF