The Dominican Winter League opened play on Friday, and a couple of familiar faces made their winter ball debuts. Juan Francisco and Sean Halton, 2013 Brewers teammates, are reunited on Licey this winter. Halton has started each of the Tigers' first two games at first base, while Francisco has played one game each at third base and DH.
Halton got his DWL season off to a hot start on Friday, going 3-for-3 with three doubles in a 4-1 loss to Escogido. He went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts on Saturday, but did draw a walk in a 2-1 win over Cibao. He batted fifth on Friday and hit out of the cleanup spot on Saturday.
Francisco, meanwhile, is off to a rougher start. He went 0-for-3 with a walk on Friday and 1-for-4 on Saturday before getting lifted for a pinch runner. He's hit #4 and #3 in his first two games for Licey, in that order.
Halton and Francisco aren't the only 2013 Brewers playing with Licey this winter: Chris Narveson is also on the roster, and so is pitching prospect Ariel Pena. Former Brewers Greg Aquino, Jairo Asencio and Jesus Colome are also on the roster for manager Mike Guerrero, a longtime minor league skipper in the Brewers organization.
Dominican Winter League teams play a 50-game regular season between mid-October and Christmas, but many players don't stick around for the full schedule. Jean Segura and Robinzon Diaz, teammates on Cibao, were the only Brewer minor leaguers to play more than 30 games last winter.
Other Brewer minor leaguers recently making their winter ball debuts include:
- Catcher Robinzon Diaz (Cibao, Dominican)
- Infielder Hector Gomez (Este, Dominican)
- Infielder Eugenio Velez (Este, Dominican)
- Pitcher Frankie De La Cruz (Oriente, Dominican)
- Catcher Anderson De La Rosa (Lara, Venezuela)
- Pitcher Arcenio Leon (Zulia, Venezuela)
- Pitcher Johnnie Lowe (Caracas, Venezuela)
- Pitcher Jesus Sanchez (Magallanes, Venezuela)