Saturday, December 31, 2016

MexPac playoff berths set; reinforcements picked

The Mexican Pacific League's 2016-17 regular season concluded Friday night, with playoff matchups determined prior to Monday's postseason openers.  The six qualifying teams also drafted two players apiece from the two clubs who failed to continue their seasons into January.

Despite a 4-3 loss at Los Mochis on Friday, Navojoa won the LMP's second half title with a 21-12 record, picking up 8 points for a season total of 12.  Their win over the Mayos meant the Caneros also finished the year with 12 points while first-half champion Culiacan ended up with 12 points.  The three-way points logjam was broken up by Navojoa's league-best 39-28 season record, making the Mayos the top playoff seed.  Los Mochis is the second seed after finishing a game behind Navojoa overall with a 38-29 mark while Culiacan's 36-32 record bumped them down to the third seed.  The fourth through sixth seeds belong to Hermosillo, Mazatlan and Mexicali, respectively.

 The first playoff round will open Monday, January 2 with Mexicali playing at Navojoa, Hermosillo visiting Culiacan and Mazatlan traveling to Los Mochis.  All MexPac playoff series will be best-of-7 affairs following the traditional 2-3-2 format for game sites.  The only travel day in the first round will be Wednesday, January 4 with all Game 7's (if needed) scheduled for Monday the 9th.

LMP FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Game 1 (MON, 11/2)
Mexicali at Navojoa, Hermosillo at Culiacan, Mazatlan at Los Mochis
Game 2 (TUE, 11/3)
Mexicali at Navojoa, Hermosillo at Culiacan, Mazatlan at Los Mochis
Game 3 (THU, 11/5)
Navojoa at Mexicali, Culiacan at Hermosillo, Los Mochis at Mazatlan
Game 4 (FRI, 11/6)
Navojoa at Mexicali, Culiacan at Hermosillo, Los Mochis at Mazatlan
*Game 5 (SAT, 11/7)
Navojoa at Mexicali, Culiacan at Hermosillo, Los Mochis at Mazatlan
*Game 6 (SUN, 11/8)
Mexicali at Navojoa, Hermosillo at Culiacan, Mazatlan at Los Mochis
*Game 7 (MON, 11/9)
Mexicali at Navojoa, Hermosillo at Culiacan, Mazatlan at Los Mochis
*-If necessary

Meanwhile, the first round of reinforcement drafts was held Friday as the six playoff teams each chose two players from the two non-postseason teams, the Obregon Yaquis and Jalisco Charros.  Teams drew lots for draft order, with Navojoa pulling the long straw for the first and last picks.  Here is the list of reinforcements chosen in the order taken:

FIRST ROUND
  1. Navojoa, LHP Fabio Castro (Obregon)
  2. Hermosillo, OF Dustin Martin (Obregon)
  3. Mexicali, 3B Agustin Murillo (Jalisco)
  4. Culiacan, 2B Jose Rodriguez (Jalisco)
  5. Los Mochis, RHP Sergio Romo (Jalisco)
  6. Mazatlan, LHP Arturo Lopez (Obregon)
SECOND ROUND
  7. Mazatlan, SS Amadeo Zazueta (Jalisco)
  8. Los Mochis, 2B Olmo Rosario (Obregon)
  9. Culiacan, LHP Tyler Alexander (Jalisco)
10. Mexicali, OF Leo Heras (Obregon)
11. Hermosillo, RHP Craig Stern (Obregon)
12. Navojoa, RHP Daniel Guerrero (Jalisco)

The selection of Fabio Castro (pictured) with the first overall pick is a bit of a puzzler.  Although the 31-year-old Dominican looked quite good in his six starts for Obregon, going 2-2 with a 1.82 ERA over 32.1 innings, the 5'7" lefty has had an otherwise pedestrian pro career.  Castro pitched in seven MLB organizations between 2003 and 2012, including cups of coffee with Texas and Philadelphia, before spending 2013 through 2015 with three teams in the Mexican League (he was 13-3 for Quintana Roo in 2014).  Castro didn't pitch at all in 2016 before joining the Yaquis in late November.