Detroit Tigers in winter leagues: Isaac Paredes gets a second chance

Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press
·4 min read

Detroit Tigers third baseman Isaac Paredes was eliminated Saturday from the Mexican Pacific Winter League postseason.

The next day, he got back in.

Venados de Mazatlán — Paredes' home club this winter — lost 1-0 to Naranjeros de Hermosillo on Saturday in Game 6 of the first round, despite clawing back from a three-game deficit. He went 0-for-4 in the team's final contest. The 21-year-old was the Mexican league's batting champion in the regular season, hitting .379 with four home runs and 26 RBIs in 42 games.

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His short-lived postseason run concluded with a play at the plate, as Jose Luna raced toward home with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning but couldn't beat the throw from right field. Mazatlán challenged, yet the out was upheld, ending Paredes' offseason assignment.

On Sunday, however, the Mexican Pacific Winter League held its reinforcement draft — a foreign concept to many in the United States. This draft allows the remaining playoff teams to add players from eliminated teams.

Four teams are headed to the semifinals, so four primary picks were made. Naranjeros de Hermosillo added Paredes, who is expected to start at third base for the upcoming best-of-seven series against Sultanes de Monterrey. He was born in Hermosillo, making this the first time Paredes will play for his hometown team.

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Tigers' Jeimer Candelario celebrates with Isaac Paredes, right, during a game in 2020.
Tigers' Jeimer Candelario celebrates with Isaac Paredes, right, during a game in 2020.

Through six playoff games, Paredes is 5-for-22 (.227) with four RBIs, three walks and one strikeout.

Along with his batting crown in the regular season, Paredes registered a .480 on-base percentage and a .579 slugging percentage for a 1.060 on-base plus slugging percentage. He had 27 walks to 12 strikeouts and hit 17 doubles.

The semifinals for Naranjeros de Hermosillo start at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Candelario eliminated

Jeimer Candelario and Toros del Este were knocked out of the playoffs Saturday with a 5-1 loss in Game 7 in the Dominican Winter League. Candelario went 1-for-4 and struck out twice in the finale.

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He finished the postseason with a .286 batting average, one RBI, eight walks and six strikeouts in seven games. In the Dominican's regular season, the 27-year-old was 8-for-42 (.190) with three doubles, four walks and seven strikeouts in 11 games.

Soto, Cisnero meet in championship

Left-handed reliever Gregory Soto, the closer for Águilas Cibaeñas, is headed to the championship in the Dominican Winter League. The final series is against Gigantes del Cibao and begins at 6 p.m. Monday. It pits Soto in a battle with fellow Tigers reliever Jose Cisnero.

If seven games are needed, the series will conclude Jan. 18.

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Detroit Tigers pitcher Gregory Soto tosses to first on a play during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros on Aug. 19, 2019 in Houston.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Gregory Soto tosses to first on a play during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros on Aug. 19, 2019 in Houston.

Soto pitched the ninth inning of Game 7 against Toros del Este. He got consecutive flyouts (Alen Hanson and Yasiel Puig) but gave up a single to Candelario and three walks, allowing Toros del Este to score one run and load the bases with two outs.

The 25-year-old worked out of the jam and struck out Jorge Mateo — on three swinging strikes down the middle of the zone — for a 5-1 win to advance in the playoffs.

Soto has a 3.00 ERA across three outings (three innings) in the postseason, adding three walks and three strikeouts. He logged a 3.60 ERA in five games (five innings) in the regular season, with one walk and three punchouts.

For Gigantes del Cibao, Soto's opponent in the finals, Cisnero is a key piece of the bullpen. He pitched one scoreless inning during Game 4 of his team's six-game semifinal series victory over Estrellas Orientales. In the regular season, Cisnero earned a 5.40 ERA in four appearances (3⅓ innings). The 31-year-old righty had three walks and one strikeout.

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers in winter leagues: Isaac Paredes gets a second chance