Baltimore Orioles: Pitchers And A Coach Off To Hot Starts In Dominican
We’re taking a quick trip to the Dominican Republic to check in on how a small handful of Baltimore Orioles pitchers are performing.
The World Series is over, as is the Arizona Fall League, meaning there’s no more baseball left in the United States until college baseball gets underway in a little more than three months. There is still baseball to track during the long, cold winter here in States as various winter leagues begin in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Australia, with a few teams featuring Baltimore Orioles minor leaguers.
The Dominican Baseball League is a little more than two weeks old now, with a small handful of Oriole relievers and one minor league coach finding early success.
After guiding the Double-A Bowie Baysox from the bottom of the Eastern League standings to an Eastern League championship series appearance, manager Buck Britton is spending his winter as a member of the Leones del Escogido coaching staff. Escogido currently owns the top record in the six-team league at 10-4.
After the San Diego Padres hired Jayce Tingler, the former Texas Rangers assistant general manager left his post as manager of Escogido, handing the clipboard over to Britton.
Britton has one member of Birdland on his pitching staff, RHP Diogenes Almengo. Almengo played all season in High-A Frederick, striking out 66 in 55 innings and limiting opponents to a .212 average. He’s appeared in three games for Escogido, giving up one earned run on three hits across 3.1 innings. The good news is that he hasn’t walked anyone, unfortunately, he hasn’t struck anyone out.
Returning home for the winter, former Rule 5 pick Pedro Araujo is feeling very comfortable in the DR. Pitching for Aguilas Cibaenas, Araujo has pitched 8.1 shutout innings in six appearances, giving up just one hit in the process. The 26-year-old reliever will look to finally find some success above Double-A next season.
Joining Araujo is LHP Hunter Cervenka. Cervenka signed a minor league deal with the Orioles in August. In six winter league appearances, he has given up two earned runs on four hits and three walks, striking out two along the way.
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RHP Luis Gonazlez piled up the strikeouts in Triple-A this season (40 in 29 IP), but worked an 8.69 ERA and .341 average against out of the Tides bullpen. He has yet to give up an earned run in three innings of work for Estrellas Orientales this winter.
Finally, RHP Francisco Jimenez is having early success for the Toros del Este. After pitching to a 1.29 ERA in High-A and a 2.82 ERA in Double-A, Jimenez has struck out five hitters in 6.1 innings. He’s given up two runs on six hits across six innings.
Of note, RHP Gabriel Ynoa has been recently added to the Gigantes del Cibao roster. He has yet to make an appearance.
The competition these pitchers are facing is typically the equivalent of the lower minor leagues, so it’s very difficult to look into very much at all into these numbers, but it’s all the Orioles baseball we have at the moment.