Toronto Blue Jays Winter League Report: Post-Christmas Edition



Another week, another winter league report. Thankfully, Christmas came in the middle of the week and there’s offseason league news to report.



Starting in the Australian League, Jon Berti continued his tear this weekend, adding another five hits including three doubles and a triple in three games with the Canberra Cavalry. He brings his batting average up another 16 points and is hitting .290/.411/.458 with nine doubles, three triples and a home run in 107 at bats. Berti has also stolen 20 bases and, like he did in the Florida State League this year, he leads the Aussie league in stolen bases by a large margin.


Mike Crouse continues his recovery from a slow start, hitting .338 (good for third in the league) and sandwiching a massive three-for-three, two-homer game on Saturday in between a couple of oh-fers on Friday and Sunday (although Crouse walked twice on Friday).  Overall, he’s hitting .338/.432/.549 with four home runs and three doubles to go along with eight stolen bases in 71 at bats.


Catcher Jack Murphy, whose website photo finally features an even moutstache didn’t play this weekend and is hitting .323/.383/.458 in 96 at bats.


Infielder Shane Opitz contributed two hits in 14 at bats this weekend against Adelaide and is now hitting .264/.310/.330 over 106 at bats.




Jonathan Diaz may well have finished off his Dominican Winter League season last week. He hasn’t played since December 19 and stands with a .261/.444/.328 line in 134 at bats. 24-year-old infielder Andy Fermin got into a couple of games last weekend as a starter and is hitting .083/.083/.167 in 12 Dominican at bats. Kevin Pillar hasn’t played this week and stands with a .227/.239/.258 slash line in 66 at bats for Leones del Escogido in the Dominican Republic. Also down in the Dominican, Moises Sierra has been taking some time off with no playing time since December 20 for Gigantes del Cibao. His overall numbers show that he’s hit .331/.401/.435 in 154 at bats.


Tony Davis hasn’t pitched since December 21 and is being used as a situational lefty in the Dominican. He has only four and a third innings pitched in 15 appearances. He hasn’t given up a run but has allowed three hits and four walks with three strikeouts. Another pitcher on a break is Jeremy Jeffress who made two starts with Escogido in the Dominican, accumulating just four and two-thirds innings with a 5.79 ERA and six walks. Ramon Ortiz (2.57 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 7 Ks in 21 innings) and Juan Perez (4.91 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, 5 Ks in 7 1/3 innings) haven’t pitched in over a week in the DR. Esmil Rogers‘s last start was on December 21st but he hasn’t given up a run in his last two starts for the Licey Tigers and has a 2.08 ERA with three walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings.




In Puerto Rico, Dickie Thon has been seeing more action in the last couple of weeks. This week, he went two for nine with a double and two RBI in three games. Overall, his numbers are lacking but the two hits were his first two in league play. He’s hitting .095/.136/.143 in 21 at bats.


Puerto Rican lefty Efrain Nieves has also taken a break. His last start was on December 21st and he has a solid 3.64 ERA with 28 hits and 17 walks against in 29 2/3 innings but also has 26 strikeouts. Arik Sikula didn’t come home for the holidays, making scoreless appearances on December 26 and 28 in the Puerto Rican Winter League. He has thrown 20 innings and has given up five runs (2.25 ERA) on 17 hits and seven walks with 21 strikeouts.




In the Mexican League, Jorge Flores got into a pair of games this week, going one for three. He’s now hitting .158/.200/.158 in 20 games but only 19 at bats.


venezuelan league


Anthony Gose, playing in the Venezuelan League, hasn’t seen game action since December 19. It’s not known whether he’ll return for more action after the holidays. He’s only had 25 at bats and is hitting .160/.323/.200. Adam Loewen has been playing through the holidays down in Venezuela and picked up a pair of hits in three games this week. He’s hitting .250/.388/.350 in 40 at bats with a double and a home run.


Austin Bibens-Dirkx, playing in Venezuela is also taking some time over the holidays. His last appearance was December 20 and he has a 2.38 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, three walks and four strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.