Dariel Alvarez


Dariel Alvarez with the Norfolk Tides at the Triple-A All-Star Game in July 2015. (Photo by Minda Haas and UCinternational via Wikipedia.)

A few days ago, I blogged about Dariel Alvarez and Henry Urrutia, former Cuban baseball players and former Baltimore Orioles, who are playing for Los Charros de Jalisco in the Mexican Pacific League playoffs. After highlighting Henry’s career, I promised to share Dariel’s story.

Dariel Alvarez was born on November 7, 1988, in Camagüey, Cuba. He played for the Ganaderos de Camagüey in the Cuban League from 2006 to 2012. There he had a batting average of .297 with 37 home runs and 180 RBIs. He also pitched in three seasons in Cuba – 2006-07, 2007-08, and 2009-10. In 22 games over those three seasons, he had an ERA of 3.62 and a win-loss record of 1 and 4.

Alvarez defected to Mexico in 2012, and played for Los Tigres de Tuxpan in La Liga Invernal Veracruzano (the Veracruz (Mexico) Winter League). According to The Baltimore Sun, Alvarez hit .317 in 192 plate appearances with Tuxpan (other sources had similar, but not quite the same stats). In July 2013, he signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles and received an $800,000 signing bonus. Unfortunately, his career with the Orioles was full of twists and turns.

Initially, Alvarez was assigned to the rookie-level Gulf Coast League (GCL) Orioles in August 2013, but was quickly promoted to the high-A Frederick Keys. He then spent a couple weeks with the Keys before being promoted to the double A Bowie Baysox on August 26, 2013. He spent that fall in the Arizona Fall League with the Surprise Saguaros, who are affiliated with the Orioles and a few other teams.

Alvarez spent the first half of the 2014 season in Bowie and represented the Baysox in the All-Stars Futures game in July. He was then promoted to the triple A Norfolk Tides, where he stayed through the 2015 season. He was called up to the Orioles on August 28, 2015. He found himself in Norfolk again for the beginning of the 2016 season, though was recalled to the Orioles on July 4 (returning to Norfolk on July 7) and again on July 22 (returning on July 26).

In March 2017, the Orioles announced that they’d decided to convert Alvarez to a pitcher; after all, he’d had pitching experience in Cuba. However, after experiencing elbow soreness, an MRI showed that he would need Tommy John surgery. In early April that year, the Orioles released Alvarez from his contract, but then signed him to a minor league contract five days later. The surgery was performed on April 18, 2017. The following April, Alvarez was assigned to the low-A Delmarva Shorebirds and immediately placed on the disabled list. He began a rehab assignment with the GCL Orioles on June 25, 2018. According to Baseball America, the Orioles assigned him to the Mexican Pacific League in late September.

Alvarez and the Orioles soon parted ways, however, when Alvarez elected free agency on November 2, 2018. Alvarez remained with the Charros de Jalisco through the end of the season (and is currently with the team for the championship series between Jalisco and Los Yaquis de Obregón began last night). Just last week, Los Toros de Tijuana of the Mexican Baseball League announced that they had signed Alvarez for the 2019 season.

I guess I’ll be a Toros fan this year!

~ baseballrebecca









Martin Luther King, Jr., on Jackie Robinson and Others


Jackie Robinson and his son at the March on Washington in 1963 (photo courtesy of the National Archives)

For Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, I thought I’d post one of the many King quotes that used Jackie Robinson as an example. On September 23, 1959, in Jackson, Mississippi, King spoke to the Southern Christian Ministers Conference of Mississippi about the accomplishments of African Americans and the important contributions people can make to society, even when faced with oppression:

“… we too can make creative contributions, even though the door of freedom is not fully opened. We need not wait until oppression ceases before we seek to make creative contribution to our nation’s life. We must seek to rise above the crippling restrictions of circumstance. Already we have a host of Negroes whose inspiring achievements have proven that human nature cannot be catalogued, and that we need not postpone the moment of our creativity until the day of full emancipation. … There was a star in the athletic sky; then came Joe Louis with his educated fist, Jessie Owens with his fleet and dashing feet, and Jackie Robinson with his calm spirit and powerful bat. There are many others.”

~ baseballrebecca





Stat-urday, 1/19/2019

File:Flag of Mexico.svgIn the video I posted yesterday, the President of the Mexican Pacific League stated that attendance for the league has tripled – presumably in the nine years since he became league president. Specifically, he stated that attendance has increased from 1.4 million to 3 million fans. There are many different ways to count attendance (such as ticket sales or how many people go through the turnstiles), so I do not question his numbers. However, the stats posted by MiLB.com suggest that attendance has doubled – not tripled. Regardless, that’s not a bad increase in 9 years.

Below are the stats for the league for 2009 through 2018, as collected by MiLB. Note that Los Algondoneros de Guasave were moved to Jalisco and became Los Charros de Jalisco for the 2014 season.

Total Attendance:
Team 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
Aguilas de Mexicali 393,900 450,238 436,262 392,564 346,236 307,730 241,999 214,238 185,051 177,224
Algondoneros de Guasave 144,677 133,263 174,388 179,982 109,612
Caneros de los Mochis 242,322 198,086 229,068 242,453 227,650 200,131 173,658 187,116 201,765 142,500
Charros de Jalisco 333,035 336,030 294,165 281,903 264,484
Mayos de Navojoa 172,603 203,688 222,478 162,582 173,961 159,535 158,590 93,480 38,960 104,631
Naranjeros de Hermosillo 408,513 405,889 425,514 360,324 373,357 396,068 305,890 233,886 219,180 236,970
Tomateros de Culiacan 503,535 502,356 554,737 579,500 345,024 322,420 295,263 276,007 232,739 218,975
Venados de Mazatlan 346,986 241,214 198,589 245,780 214,137 158,066 260,627 178,143 209,192 245,685
Yaquis de Obregon 271,227 246,827 265,301 259,263 249,650 130,642 162,358 164,398 189,819 203,538
Total: 2,672,121 2,584,328 2,626,114 2,524,369 2,194,499 1,819,269 1,731,648 1,521,656 1,456,688 1,439,135
Average Attendance:
Team 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
Aguilas de Mexicali 11,936 13,242 12,831 11,546 10,492 9,051 7,118 6,492 5,443 5,212
Algondoneros de Guasave 4,667 3,920 5,129 5,294 3,425
Caneros de los Mochis 7,343 6,003 6,941 7,577 6,696 5,886 5,262 5,670 5,934 4,191
Charros de Jalisco 9,795 9,883 8,914 8,543 7,779
Mayos de Navojoa 5,077 5,991 6,543 5,245 5,436 5,318 4,956 3,015 1,181 3,270
Naranjeros de Hermosillo 12,015 12,300 12,894 10,598 10,981 11,649 8,997 6,879 6,642 6,970
Tomateros de Culiacan 14,810 14,775 16,316 17,044 10,455 9,770 9,227 8,118 6,845 6,636
Venados de Mazatlan 10,843 7,095 5,841 7,448 6,298 4,649 8,145 5,240 6,153 7,226
Yaquis de Obregon 8,219 7,260 8,039 7,625 7,343 3,842 4,775 4,835 5,583 5,986

Happy Stat-urday!

~ baseballrebecca



Henry Urrutia

henry_urrutia_on_september_7,_2013On Stat-urday, we looked at the stats of two of my favorite Cuban players, Henry Urrutia and Dariel Alvarez. This week, we’ll take a closer look at each of their careers.

Henry Urrutia was born in Las Tunas, Cuba, on February 13, 1987, and played for Las Tunas in the Cuban leagues from 2005 to 2010. The league suspended him in 2010 after a failed attempt to defect, but the following year he successfully defected to Haiti. After that his baseball career took him to the U.S., Venezuela, and Mexico. In 2012, he received a $778,500 signing bonus when he signed with the Baltimore Orioles. He made his minor league debut with the double A Bowie Baysox in April 2013, and was promoted to the Triple A Norfolk Tides in on June 28 and made his MLB debut on July 20 the same year. Though h was optioned back to Norfolk on August 17, he was recalled in September.

Urrutia played in the Arizona Fall League for the Surprise Saguaros in 2013. Between 2014 and 2017, he played for the Gulf Coast League Orioles, Bowie, Baysox, and Norfolk Tides, with a few games in Baltimore. He also played for the Leones del Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League in 2015 and 2016 and the Mexican Pacific Winter League in 2016 (with the Charros de Jalisco). After starting the 2017 season with the Tides, the Orioles released him in May. He signed with the Red Sox that June and was assigned to the double A Portland Sea Dogs. The Red Sox granted him free agency in November 2017.

Urrutia joined the Cardenales de Lara in the Venezuelan Winter League in 2017 and then signed with the Diablos Rojos del Mexico for the 2018 season. He was traded to the Guerreros de Oaxaca in August. He played again for the Cardenales during the 2018 winter season before he was released to make room for Paulo Rodrigo. Most recently, Urrutia was picked up by the Charros de Jalisco in mid-December.


Ermidelio Urrutia in 2015 (photo via Wikipedia)

Beyond the stats and the litany of teams played for, baseball is a lifelong pursuit for Urrutia. He is the son and cousin of former Cuban players. Henry’s father, Ermidelio Urrutia, played in the Cuban leagues for approximately 16 seasons and was a member of the 1992 Cuban National team that won the Olympic gold medal. He later managed Henry  as well as his cousin, Osmani Urrutia. In addition, Henry was in the stands at Estadio Latinoamericano in 1999 when the Orioles went to Havana to play the Cuban National team.

Good luck to Henry and Los Charros in the playoffs!

~ baseballrebecca

My Cedric Mullins Bobblehead!

img_2718Last week we celebrated National Bobblehead Day, and I finally picked up my Cedric Mullins bobblehead from the Bowie Baysox, along with my 2019 Baysox ticket pack.

Cedric Mullins is one of my all-time favorite Baysox players. He was promoted to Bowie in 2017 and proceeded to hit 13 home runs in 76 games. (In fact, I wrote about the importance of having Cedric in 2017.)

In 2018, he played in 49 games in Bowie, 60 games in triple A Norfolk, and 45 games in Baltimore. Cedric made his MLB debut on August 18, 2018. Adam Jones marked the event by ensuring Cedric was the first on the field at the beginning of the game.

I am proud to have Cedric join my bobblehead collection.

~ baseballrebecca