Best of the Week: 1/27/2019 – 2/2/2019


On Monday, Los Charros de Jalisco won the Mexican Pacific League championship and my favorite player, Dariel Alvarez, was named MVP. Los Charros will represent Mexico next week in the Caribbean Series!

The Caribbean Series begins tomorrow!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

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Dariel Alvarez


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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Stat-urday, 1/12/2019


henry_urrutia_on_september_7,_2013

Henry Urrutia with the Orioles in 2013, photo by Keith Allison via Wikipedia

The Mexican Pacific League championship semifinals began yesterday with four teams: Cañeros de Los Mochis v. Yaquis de Obregón and Vendados de Mazatlán v. Charros de Jalisco. I am particularly interested in the Charros because two of my favorite former Baysox – and Cuban baseball defectors – Henry Urrutia and Dariel Alvarez, are on the team.

Urrutia began his career with Las Tunas in Cuba, where he played from 2005 to 2010. He signed with the Baltimore Orioles in 2012 after defecting to Haiti in 2011. He played in the Orioles system until they released him in 2017. Urrutia then signed with the Red Sox and was assigned to their double A team through the end of the season before being given free agency in November 2017.

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Dariel Alvarez with the Orioles in 2015, photo by Keith Allison via Wikipedia

Alvarez played for Camaguey in Cuba from 2006 to 2012 first as a pitcher, then as a first baseman. He defected to Mexico and played in the Mexican League before signing with the Orioles in 2013. Alvarez played in the O’s system through 2017. He elected free agency in November 2018.

Below are Henry and Dariel’s stats. The MPL semifinals continue tonight.

Happy weekend!

~ baseballrebecca

 

Henry’s stats:

League (Years) Games Runs Hits HR RBI Avg
Cuba (2005-10) 355 209 394 33 219 .350
AA (2013, 2015-16) 190 101 226 15 104 .321
AAA (2013-18) 335 166 381 26 171 .299
MLB (2013, 2015) 34 8 25 1 8 .272
Winter Lgs. 2015-18) 136 82 151 11 80 .304

 

Dariel’s stats:

League (Years) Games Runs Hits HR RBI Avg
Cuba (2006-12) 434 203 418 45 216 .292
A (2013, 2015) 15 7 22 2 8 .400
AA (2013-14) 100 54 117 15 69 .300
AAA (2014-16) 304 137 344 21 140 .285
MLB (2015-16) 14 3 8 1 1 .250
Winter Lgs. (2017-18) 102 60 124 18 71 .310

 

Winter Baseball


baseballandsnow_crop_340x234I’m writing this as I’m watching Game 4 of the World Series and I can’t help thinking, “what’s next?”  Even if this series goes seven games, on November 1 the 2013 baseball season will over.  It’s almost too sad to fathom.  So, as I asked a few days ago, what’s a baseball fan supposed to do?

We do have options for fall and winter baseball.  Although the Arizona Fall League will end next month (the AFL championship game will take place on November 16), there are other leagues.  Here’s the rundown of those that seem to be affiliated with Major League Baseball:

  • The Venezuela Winter League began play on October 10 and their season ends on December 29.  The Mexican Pacific League started a day later and ends a day later (October 11 through December 30).
  • The Dominican Winter League began October 19, and runs through December 22.
  • The Australian Baseball League begins play this Thursday, October 26; their regular season ends on January 26.
  • The Puerto Rico League games run from November 1 to December 30.

As with the Arizona Fall League, the MLB website is a little confusing.  In addition, there is also European baseball – and when do they play baseball in Japan?  Obviously, I have many questions.  So, over the next few days I’ll try to get and understanding of – and share that understanding – of these leagues and figure out what we can do to entertain ourselves over the next five months.

~ baseballrebecca