Saturday, January 9, 2016

Playoff teams reload, LMP semis open Sunday

The Mexican Pacific League's four remaining postseason teams (three first round winners plus wildcard Mazatlan) held a so-called reinforcement draft in which each plucked two players from the rosters of the two first round losers, Jalisco and Los Mochis.  The Venados took the "lucky loser" tag one step further by taking the ball marked #1 in a blind draw to determine the draft order.  Mexicali went second, followed by Navojoa and Obregon. With the first pick, Mazatlan selected veteran infielder Agustin Murillo (pictured) from Jalisco.

MAZATLAN - IF Agustin Murillo (Jalisco), IF Jesus Arredondo (Mochis)
MEXICALI - P Terance Marin (Jalisco), OF Jesus "Cacao" Valdez (Jalisco)
NAVOJOA - P Luis Niebla (Mochis), P Tomas Solis (Mochis)
OBREGON - IF Alex Liddi (Jalisco), P Spencer Patton (Mochis)

While Murillo hit a so-so .267 for the Charros in the first round, he's a 13-year pro who's represented Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, spent time in Japan and had a standout 2014 for Monterrey in the Mexican League. hitting . 340 with 24 homers and 95 RBI's.  Mazatlan took another infielder, Jesus Arredondo, from Los Mochis after he hit .444 for his hometown team in the first round against Obregon.

Mexicali gets the hard-luck Marin, who had two good starts for the Charros, and LMP regular season bat champion Jesus Valdez.  Picking third, Navojoa plucked pitchers Luis Niebla and Tomas Solis from the Caneros.  Niebla had a good outing (5.2 IP, 1R) against the Yaquis while Solis had a 3.27 ERA in two starts.  Obregon scooped up IF Alex Liddi, an MLB vet who can play the corners and add power to the Yaquis order, and pitcher Spencer Patton, who allowed no runs and one hit over five innings in four first round appearances.

The semifinals open Sunday afternoon when Mexicali hosts Navojoa at 3PM PT in a game that'll be carried on ESPN3.  Mazatlan welcomes Obregon to Estadio Teodoro Mariscal for their 5PM MT Game 1 opener to be aired on Mexico's TVC Deportes cable channel.