San Diego Padres Winter League Update #3

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Credit: Hermosillo

We are coming off a very busy week in the San Diego Padres organization.

Catcher Derek Norris was traded to the Washington Nationals in exchange for young pitcher Pedro Avila. Also, several players were non-tendered, including some guys who were participating in Winter League baseball. This would include Hector Sanchez, who had just joined a club in Venezuela, fan-favorite Alexi Amarista, and utility player Jose Pirela.

Pirela has looked great in the Venezuelan League, so I am quite surprised that the Padres didn’t give him a chance to earn a spot on the team. After all the adjustments to the roster, the Friars now have 18 players across Venezuela, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic playing Winter League baseball. Let’s take a look at how they are doing.

Inactive Players

With all the activity this week, ironically enough, there were a couple of players who didn’t get any action this week in games. Unfortunately, that would include one of the Padres top prospects, Carlos Asauje. The Venezuelan infielder had no playing time with Escogido in the Dominican League this week. The other position player who also had no playing time this week was Daniel Bravo. That now makes it two consecutive weeks that Bravo has had no playing time with Tigres de Aragua in Venezuela.

Juan Carlos Gamboa SS

Moving on to the players that did get some action this week, we go to Mexican infielder, Juan Carlos Gamboa. With Alexi Amarista no longer on the Padres, Gamboa is now the shortest Padre in the Winter Leagues at 5 foot 7. Gamboa has continued to get plenty of playing time and his numbers haven’t changed much since we last checked in. Gamboa’s BA has dropped, but not much, now at .252. His OBP has also dropped from .340 to .325. Gamboa still seems to be a very consistent player for Los Mochis in the Mexican Pacific League.

Manuel Margot OF

Manuel Margot went from having a .256 average a couple of weeks ago to .267 this past week. Well, Margot is back to a .256 average, but he has still been productive. His OBP currently stands at an unimpressive .302. He is finding it tough presently to get on base, but is still finding himself as a player. The speedy Margot stole another base this week to put him at nine for the season with Toros del Este in the Dominican Republic.

Credit: Toros
Credit: Toros

Alberth Martinez OF

Martinez is playing on Padres’ prospect Jose Rondon‘s former team, Navegantes del Magallanes in the Venezuelan League. When we last checked in on Alberth, he was a walk-off hero against rivals Caribes de Anzoategui in one of his first games with the club. Since then, Martinez hasn’t done much, playing in only two more games on the season. Martinez has only gone 2-for-9 so far for Magallanes in the LVBP.

Fernando Perez INF

Perez had a great week playing in four games for Naranjeros de Hermosillo in the Mexican Pacific League. The Baja California native has now played in 30 games in the LMP. Perez has raised his average from .338 to .355 this week. He also managed to blast his third home run of the season, and is now at 11 RBI on the season with a monumental .958 OPS. Perez has been one of the most impressive Padres playing in the winter leagues.

Jose Rondon SS

Rondon has made a transition from Navegantes del Magallanes to Tigres de Aragua as the result of a trade. Unfortunately, Rondon has not been as good with Aragua as he was with Magallanes. Rondon has gone just 5-for-21 with a ridiculously low OBP of .261 for Tigres de Aragua. Rondon, however, has produced a couple runs for his new team. Hopefully the young shortstop can get more comfortable with them and continue to progress in the LVBP.

Relief Pitchers

There are a couple of new additions to the relievers spread across the Winter Leagues. 27-year-old Michael Dimock just joined Rafael De Paula and Manuel Margot with Toros del Este in the LIDOM. Dimock looked good in his debut with the Dominican side, allowing just one hit in an inning and a half. The other new addition is 33-year-old Carlos Fisher. The Padres picked up Fisher during the week without making too much noise. The veteran right-hander last pitched in the big leagues in 2011 with the Cincinnati Reds. He has been pitching in the Mexican Pacific League since 2014. He has been successful, even making the All Star Game this season. Fisher has been outstanding for Obregon in the LMP, going 3-0 with an ERA of 2.00 in 27 innings out of the pen. Fisher could prove to be a nice bullpen option for the Padres in 2017.

There were a few members of the relief core that didn’t get any innings this week. This would include Yimmi Brasoban, Keith Hessler,  Gerardo Reyes, Jose Ruiz, and Wilmer Torres. Now, let’s get into the players who did get some frame. Rafael De Paula added another scoreless inning to make it five in a row in the LIDOM.  Jose Castillo continues to dominate, now up to 10 and a third scoreless innings with Magallanes in Venezuela. Lastly, Bryan Rodriguez pitched two scoreless innings against Tigres del Licey in the LIDOM. Rodriguez is now up to four and two-thirds scoreless with Gigantes del Cibao.

Cesar Vargas

As per usual, we finish off the update with Cesar Vargas. Vargas has really been getting more of a workload with Naranjeros de Hermosillo in the Mexican Pacific League. Vargas is now up to 10 innings pitched in the LMP. “El Calmado” pitched three and two-thirds scoreless innings this week, dropping his ERA to 2.70 on the season. Vargas is clearly progressing with his injury. Hopefully, he can keep on getting some innings to be back on track for 2017.

That wraps up the third update of the Winter. There were several changes this week, which left us with fewer players to cover. Fortunately, there were also additions like Carlos Fisher, who is really an interesting signing for the Friars. Check in next week to see how Fisher and the rest of the Padres players fare in their respective leagues.

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 20, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College, I have been a Padres fan all my life, huge soccer fan as well. I do not need the NFL in my life. In it for the passion not for the money.

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