Friday, October 19, 2012

Dominican players in MLB playoffs 2012: NLCS edition

The 2012 NLCS is under way and the Cardinals currently lead the Giants 3-1, and are looking to clinch the series tonight in San Francisco. There are some Dominican players in this years NLCS, but not as many as we have seen in other playoff series.

The Cardinals have a whopping zero Dominican players on their roster, after having one of the top Dominican baseball players of all-time on their roster for over a decade, in Albert Pujols. They do have Miakel Cleto, Victor Marte, and Rafael Furcal on their 40-man roster.

Furcal, the twelve year MLB veteran was a major part of the Cardinals World Series championship last year and a big part of the team this year, as he made his third All-Star game. Also a former Dominican Winter Baseball League player and a Caribbean Series All-Star in 2008, Furcal injured his elbow at the end of August and has not played since.

The Giants have several Dominicans on their active roster for the NLCS. Playing for the Giants will be pitchers Santiago Casilla and Guillermo Mota, and position player Joaquín Árias.

Dominican player Jaoquin Arias is one of three Dominican
players on active rosters in 2012 NLCS, photo by Aunti Juli
Interesting that Árias appeared in 112 regular season games, even though he was not an everyday player. He seemed to be the first pinch hitter off the Giants bench and has continued that role through four games of the NLCS. Thus far, the two year MLB player has appeared in five post season games and has three hits.

Santiago Casilla is in his ninth MLB season, and got his first chance to be an everyday closer this season. With 25 saves on the year and a 2.24 ERA, Casilla was entrenched as the closer until he injured his fingers. The Giants then went with a closer by committee approach, but Casilla could still be called upon to close some NLCS games. So far in the playoffs, he has pitched 4.1 innings and allowed just one earned run.

Guillermo Mota has been a solid mid-inning reliever in the big leagues since 2002. He appeared in 26 games this year with the Giants, and has pitched 1.2 innings in the playoffs and allowed four runs. A 21.6 ERA is not a great start, so I doubt to see him much more unless the Giants are in a bind.

While the Dominican players in MLB playoffs on American League rosters was 16% of all players, in the NLCS only 6% of the players are Dominican natives, way off the overall MLB percentage of Dominican players.

1 comment:

  1. Hola from San Pedro de Macoris, where I am headed to an Estrellas game tonight, after seeing the Toros win at home last night!
    Appreciate your insights...funny about that 3-1 Cardinals edge vanishing after you noted they had no active Dominicans. I'm a Diamondbacks and Athletics fan, but since I'm from Phoenix (home of AAA Giants growing up) and mostly live across the Bay in Oakland, I was pleased to see the Giants take it.
    After this, off to Quisqueya, and then games at stadiums in Santiago and SF de Macoris to complete the PR/DR baseball tour... Go home team!


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