Now’s the time when the LVBP gives out its annual awards. And you thought the Golden Globes was cool.
Odubel Herrera, late of the Tiburones de la Guaira and soon to be a Philadelphia Phillie, was named Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player. Quite heady praise for the 23-year-old outfielder, who led the league in batting at .372 and was near the top in several other categories. “I dedicate the award to my parents, my family, and my town,” said Herrera, who hails from San Jose de Heras, in Zulia State, a small town on the southeast shore of Lake Maracaibo.
The Sharks are no bottom-feeders in the awards department: this is their fourth consecutive Rookie of the Year, and their third in the last four seasons having the MVP.
Get ready, Phillie fans: you may have a live one in young Mr. Herrera.
In a game chock-full of MLB names, erstwhile Yankee/current Padre Yangervis Solarte went 4-for-5 with two home runs in the Tigres 15-12 rout of La Guaira; Avisail Garcia and Josmil Pinto contributed to the victory while KC veteran Alcides Escobar debuted at short (opposite Eduardo Escobar of Aragua) for the Sharks and went
2-for-5. Ramon Flores arrived at the game straight from Maiquetia Airport, having spent two days talking with the Yankees about his future. They told him to keep on playing for Aragua.
On the contrary, the Bronx Bombers have shut down Jose Pirela for the rest of the round robin, with the intent of having a healthy Black Eagle fly into training camp. His Zulia teammate (and Odubel Herrera’s new Philadelphia teammate) Freddy Galvis continues to play, and leads the second season with a sizzling .438 average. Though Aragua lingers in last, zaftig Ronald Belisario leads the league in second-season victories with two.
Another large-and-in-charge righty, Jeanmar Gomez, is moving slightly east in Pennsylvania, from the Pirates to the Phillies, where he can make friends with Herrera and Galvis. Perhaps they can go shopping together for arepas.
Dioner Navarro of Toronto wants to move on since the team signed catcher Russell Martin to a long-term contract, and Arizona may be the right place, having just traded caraqueño Microwave Montero to the Cubs. Also in the far western desert, the Orioles have expressed interest in David Peralta and Ender Inciarte, the latter of whom calls himself modestly “the cannon” (for his arm, ladies, his arm.)
It seems Seattle will offer Endy Chavez and Franklin Guitierrez minor-league deals. Endy did well as a spot player and veteran inspiration in the Emerald City; Franklin is not in mint condition and has spent most of the past year recovering from an odd auto-immune disease. A string of injuries have waylaid the once-outstanding outfielder; at 31, he hasn’t played a full season since his 2010 Gold Glove year in Seattle.