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Marlins fall/winter update, Dec. 3-9

With most of the baseball world focused on the Winter Meetings, Marlins infielders Miguel Rojas and Isan Díaz shine.

Marlins/Gigantes de Carolina infielder Isan Díaz waits his turn in the on-deck circle
Photo by @holamadi/Instagram

A regular Monday feature here at Fish Stripes over the next few months, we’ll do a roundup of storylines, stats and highlights from Marlins players who are staying active this offseason. Now that the Arizona Fall League has concluded, that means turning our attention internationally (the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, etc.).

All the weekly updates will be contained in this thread.

Stats updated through Sunday’s games.

We begin on a somber, non-Marlins-related note. Venezuelan ballplayers Luis Valbuena and José Castillo died late Thursday night in a car crash. With accomplished winter ball careers in addition to their MLB service, they were 33 and 37 years old, respectively.

On behalf of Fish Stripes, our condolences to their families and loved ones.

Dominican Winter League

Peter O’Brien (Toros del Este) came back down to Earth pretty quick. Still a respectable .242/.395/.394 slash line overall, but zero extra-base hits this week.

Arguably his best outing in winter ball thus far, Jarlin García recorded two strikeouts over 1 13 scoreless frames on Wednesday. He has pitched five total innings for the Toros.

Outfielder Gabriel Guerrero was removed from the Estrellas Orientales roster for the week, so he couldn’t add to his numbers.

Venezuelan Winter League

A new haircut apparently brought out the best in Miguel Rojas. The Tiburones de La Guaira shortstop is 5-for-8 in his two games played since then, and he’s a scorching 8-for-14 in December. Rojas has a .750 OPS, easily on pace for a winter ball career high in that category.

Jorgan Cavanerio got roughed up on Wednesday (0.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER). And yet, he continues to draw my attention with his “streak”—19 innings pitched, zero walks. None! Remember, the Marlins did not protect Cavanerio on their 40-man roster. He’s a candidate to be snatched by other teams in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft.

José Quijada (Caribes de Anzoategui), who is protected, has worked three straight scoreless relief appearances.

Puerto Rican Winter League

I’m anxious to hear from the Marlins front office regarding Isan Díaz and his third base experiment with Gigantes de Carolina. Presumably, they signed off on the decision to get him some reps. The 22-year-old had never played the hot corner in a Minor League Baseball game, but he’s spending nearly half of his defensive innings there in Puerto Rico.

Díaz has been a .294/.364/.382 hitter through 20 games with only nine strikeouts compared to seven walks.