6-1, 2.5 GU
Neil Ramirez turned in a strong, efficient start for the Saguaros. The 22-year-old righty allowed a run on three hits in four innings, fanning three without walking a batter. He threw 41 of his 58 pitches for strikes.
Ramirez mostly threw his fastball between 93-95 mph early in the outing, but the velocity dipped into the 88-92 mph range during the last two innings. It's not particularly surprising, as Ramirez battled shoulder fatigue during much of this season's second half.
Shortstop Leury Garcia batted leadoff and had one single in four at-bats. Centerfielder Ryan Strausborger went hitless in three trips, striking out twice.
The U.S. and Venezuela were washed out by rain on Wednesday, and the contest will be made up by Friday. The Americans will face Australia on Thursday afternoon.
Wednesday's season opener between Magallanes and Zuila featured a pair of struggling bullpens, but the two Rangers prospects involved––one for each side––kept their opponents off the scoreboard.
Appearing in his first-ever winterball game, fireballing righty Tanner Scheppers worked around two walks in an otherwise clean seven inning. His inning went as follows––groundout, groundout, walk, walk, groundout.
Righty Wilfredo Boscan, who split the regular season between Double-A Frisco and High-A Myrtle Beach, made his first winterball appearance out of the Zuila bullpen. The native Venezuelan worked around two hits, a walk, and a hit batter in 1.2 shutout frames. He struck out one.
Guilder Rodriguez batted leadoff for Lara, playing both shortstop and left field. He went hitless in four trips. The switch-hitting defensive specialist split this season between Double- and Triple-A, and he is set to become a minor league free agent.
Lefty specialist Joe Ortiz worked two-thirds of an inning without surrendering a run for La Guaira. He allowed a hit and fanned one. Ortiz was followed by hard-throwing former Rangers farmhand Hector Nelo, who was released in spring training and later signed with the Nationals.
David Paisano appeared in left field as a late-game defensive substitution for La Guaira. He didn't have a plate appearance.
The following Rangers farmhands are listed on Venezuelan Winter League rosters––Wilfredo Boscan (Zuila), Wilmer Font (Caracas), Martin Perez (Magallanes), Randol Rojas (Magallanes), Tanner Scheppers (Magallanes), Joe Ortiz (La Guaira), David Paisano (La Guaira).
Outfielder Eduard Pinto, who signed with the Rangers for a reported $300,000 during this year's July 2 international signing period, batted leadoff and played center field for the Navegantes club. Pinto went hitless in four at-bats.
The 5-foot-11 left-handed hitter appeared in 42 Liga Paralela games last season, posting an impressive .329/.396/.409 slash line with 19 walks, 11 strikeouts, and 13 steals in 24 attempts. The numbers were made all the more impressive due to his age––Pinto doesn't turn 17 until later this month.
Sidearming reliever Cody Eppley tossed a quick 10-pitch scoreless inning to earn his first save of the season for Obregon. Eppley gave up one hit and struck out one.
The 26-year-old appeared in 10 major league games for the Rangers this season, yielding eight runs on 11 hits in nine innings. He had a 3.90 ERA in 43 appearances at Triple-A Round Rock.
Begins October 14.
Begins November 4.
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