On Tuesday, May 19th, the Dominican Republic became the first country other than Japan to take home the World Baseball Classic Trophy by defeating Puerto Rico, 3-0, in the championship game. Yankees’ second baseman Robinson Cano was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, but several former Sky Sox players also had a hand in the Dominican Republic’s victory.
2009 and 2010 Sky Sox pitcher Samuel Deduno was a key piece for the Dominican squad. In the final game the former Colorado Springs’ starter pitched five scoreless innings and struck out five batters.
While in the Rockies’ organization, Deduno was named the Texas League pitcher of the year for the Tulsa Drillers. That year Deduno only started in one game for the Sox, but in 2010 started in six games for Colorado Springs. In those six starts the righty went 3-1 with a 2.93 ERA and had 29 strikeouts. The other former Sky Sox players who were on the winning squad were pitcher Pedro Strop and infielder Denny Gonzalez, who served as a coach for the Dominican Republic. Strop dressed for the Sky Sox in 2008, but never played in a game for the team. Unlike Strop, Gonzalez played a full year for the Sky Sox. In 1989 the infielder hit .288 with 27 home runs and 76 RBIs.
After the World Baseball Classic, the Rockies signed another player who played an important role in the championship game. Thirty-five year old pitcher Giancarlo Alvarado was signed to a minor league deal by the Rockies after having a successful stint with Puerto Rico in the WBC. Alvarado was the starting pitcher opposite Deduno in the championship game, but only made it through one inning and gave up two runs in the loss.
Some other notable former Sky Sox players who have played in the World Baseball Classic are:
- Huston Street, Matt Holliday (2006 United States)
- Ubaldo Jimenez, Willy Taveras (2009 Dominican Republic)
- Kazuo Matsui (2013 Japan)
- Jhoulys Chacin, Ramon Hernandez, Carlos Gonzalez (2013 Venezuela)
Now that the WBC is over it means that Opening Day is almost here! Here are some news and notes from the second to last week of Spring Training.
- After last Friday’s win against the Reds, the Rockies struggled, dropping three straight. Colorado began to right the ship on Monday with a 7-2 victory against Kansas City and followed that up with a 10-4 win against San Fransisco on the 21st.
- Former Sky Sox player, and top prospect, Drew Pomeranz out dueled Giants’ ace Matt Cain on Thrusday, only allowing three runs in five innings and striking out four. In four starts during spring training Pomeranz has a 5.50 ERA.
- Outfielder Corey Dickerson continued to have a good spring training this week when he smacked two doubles against the Royals. The 2012 Doug Million Minor League Rockie-of-the-Year has hit .409 with one home run and eight RBIs in 22 at-bats for the team.