Saturday, December 12, 2015

OSCAR ROBLES COLLECTS 1,000TH LMP HIT

Culiacan Tomateros third baseman Oscar Robles has become the second player to reach 1,000 career Mexican Pacific League hits this seasons. Robles, a former Dodgers and Padres minor leaguer, sliced an eighth-inning single off Jalisco southpaw Jose Ivan Salas for his third hit of Thursday night's game in Culiacan to join 13 others in the LMP's 1,000 Hit Club.  Tomateros skipper Juan Navarrete immediately sent out pinch-runner Christian Zazueta to replace Robles, who left the field to an ovation from the crowd of 18,255 spectators at the Tomateros' new ballpark.

After initially signing with Houston in 1994, Robles spent five years in the Astros system before landing in Oaxaca in 2000.  He remained in the Mexican League until the Mexico City Red Devils sold him to the Dodgers in early 2005, where he split playing between shortstop and third base the rest of the season, hitting .272 over 110 games for Los Angeles.  Robles bounced between the majors and AAA ball, playing briefly for LA in 2006 before spending a short time with San Diego in 2007 to wrap up his MLB career.  After another year in the Phillies system, he returned to the Diablos Rojos in 2010 and has remained in the Liga ever since, batting .331 in 79 games for Tijuana last summer.

The 39-year-old Robles, a Tijuana native who attended high school near San Diego, made his LMP debut with Guasave in 1995-96, picking up 44 hits that season.  Since then, he's spent nine more winters in Navojoa and another six in Mexicali prior to joining Culiacan last season.  Noted more for his glove and versatility than his bat, Robles hit a career-high .330 for Navojoa in 2007-08 and gathered 77 hits for a .303 mark three years later with Mexicali.  He is currently tenth in the MexPac batting race with a .313 average.

Ramon Orantes of Los Mochis collected his thousandth career MexPac hit on November 13 against Mexicali pitcher Edgar Osuna.