The Venezuelan Connection

In addition to DanO’s desire to acquire all the young starting pitchers candidates (you likely have seen the list by now) this past off-season there is another trend to his player shopping targets.  While DanO has an appropriate share of Dominican Republic players like Nicasio, Rogers, Rosario, Cabrera and Gomez, he has doubled down the “Venezuelan connection” by adding Scutaro and Hernandez.

At any single point in time you can estimate (Google this) that there will be about 50 Venezuelan players in the MLB.  Now without trying to stretch those numbers, I count 8 Rockies players that come from Venezuela on the 40 man roster, and the kicker is that all eight have a very good chance to make the Opening Day Rockies 25 man roster:

  1. Betancourt  (your 2012 closer)
  2. Chacin  (probably the #2 starting pitcher)
  3. Escalona  (7th inning guy in the bullpen)
  4. Gonzalez  (All star outfielder)
  5. Hernandez  (Starting catcher)
  6. Herrera  (Defensive infield utility option)
  7. Moscoso  (5th starter/bullpen candidate)
  8. Scutaro  (Starting second baseman)

25% of the Rockies “40 man roster” = players from Venezuela!

So barring injury the guys that might be questionable on this list are Escalona, Herrera and Moscoso, however in each case the chances are at least 50/50 that these players make the Opening Day roster as well.  Without looking it up I believe that Chacin, Escalona and Herrera were the only Venezuelan born players listed above that were developed internally by the Rockies through their Latin American baseball facility.

Players that come from Venezuela that have already “come and gone” from the Rockies roster include Henry Blanco, Jorge Julio, Jose Lopez (the V was all that this guy had), Melvin Mora, Ronny Paulino and last but not least Yorvit Torrealba.

One of the biggest off-season targets that DanO failed in his attempts to acquire was Martin Prado, who is also from Venezuela!  And, I would probably bet that if DanO had it to do over Felipe Paulino would still be on the roster (that had to hurt watching him blank the Rockies last week)?  Nope sorry about that – my fact checking shows Felipe is actually from the Dominican Republic – but it still hurt anyway.

The point here is that these numbers are more than a mere coincidence; DanO has been specifically targeting Venezuelan born players to fill MLB roster holes as well as players that fit within the Rockies clubhouse culture that he is desperately trying to change.  That’s not to suggest that these players are anything other than competent MLB players, because the latest additions in Scutaro and Hernandez are certainly solid MLB performers.

if you understand DanO’s trend here, the next time the Rockies are looking to fill a roster hole, you could do a lot worse than looking at a Venezuelan list of players for that position in an attempt at guessing who DanO might be trying to acquire.

As just one crazy example, Miguel Cabrera might be DanO’s next target to replace Todd Helton at first base when the Rockies icon ever retires.

 

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ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago

Nice article! Any speculation to the rhyme or reasoning?

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
8 years ago

Orange,

Very much enjoyed the article, but I have one slight correction- I believe that Miguel Olivo and Placido Polanco are from the Dominican Republic, not Venezuela.

OrangeRocks
OrangeRocks
8 years ago

Cisco Kid, my bad, you are exactly correct both Miguel Olivo and Placido Palanco (still love that name though) are indeed from the Domincan Republic. Maybe the departure of Olivo in some repects explains the dramatic decline of Ubaldo Jimenez – or just a coincidence Prog, the only explanation that I can come with is the baseball facility that the Rockies have developed in the Dominican Republic over the last dozen years or so. I am sure that facility gives… Read more »

Bob K.
Bob K.
8 years ago
Reply to  OrangeRocks

The year that Jimenez went 15-1 before the break is the year that he pitched and won the rain shortened game. It was raining so bad that the game never should have been started.

Jimenez never pitched the same after that game. From that point on he went 4-8 for the rest of that season.

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob K.

I remember that game very vividly – I remember thinking that it was a mess and surprised that they were even playing at all…i also remember it was the game my brothers family was in the Monfort’s seats and they were on camera a ton through the game (under their rain cover plastic)…

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  OrangeRocks

Excellent article my friend – i’ve updated it to fix the Olivo / Polanco error…

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago

You were a few days ahead of your time! Here is an article in a Venezuelan Journal:

http://tinyurl.com/c47r9js (this is the translated version of the article)

Purple Row also has some words to say on the subject:

http://tinyurl.com/cdm5lkd

Cesar Carvajal
Cesar Carvajal
8 years ago

I think i just have found a new excellent Rockies website. I just have read only this article, but I think it is very good. I see some familiar faces in the comments… I’ve always said that I’m proud to venezuelan; and proud to be a Rockies fan since its foundation, maybe by accident, maybe not, i was just a kid, but i don’t regret it. So, to read that the Rockies might have 8 venezuelans in their roster by… Read more »

Doc
Doc
8 years ago
Reply to  Cesar Carvajal

Welcome back Cesar, glad you found the old Inside The Rockies gang. Thanks to Jaredean we have lots of great baseball talk to look forward to this season. Look forward to hearing your takes from Venezuela.

OrangeRocks
OrangeRocks
8 years ago
Reply to  Cesar Carvajal

Welcome Cesar, we are really glad that you found us. Always looking for daily contributors and insightful comments. And yes you are right Wil Nieves is from Puerto Rico, and he has a outside chance of cracking the 25 man roster depending upon what the Rockies decide to do with Rosario and Pacheco. Great to have you back Cesar!!!

Jaredean
Jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  Cesar Carvajal

Welcome Cesar, I love that you found the site – if you don’t mind me asking, how did you stumble upon us? I remember seeing you over at ITR.

You are right on Nieves, he is from Puerto Rico – I will fix that soon – great catch!

Cesar Carvajal
Cesar Carvajal
8 years ago
Reply to  Jaredean

Well, I actually typed “Colorado Rockies” on Google, and you were in the third page of results.

I’ll try to contribute with information from local newspapers. Unfortunately, i’m not used to have the time I had two years ago, since I’m working in the oil industry and it’s kinda absorbent. But fortunately, I’m working enough to finally watch the Rockies against the Marlins in Miami this spring/summer on my vacations.

This page is already marked as favorite!

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  Cesar Carvajal

excellent – ok, i just fixed the article and removed Nieves…

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