Aguilas de Zulia
THE WEEK IN REVIEW: After losing five of six, the Aguilas went 3-2 last week and are 18-20.
WHO'S HOT: 3B Yurendell de Caster (Pirates) and 1B Randy Ruiz (Giants) combined for five homers, 19 RBIs and 12 runs scored over the past 10 games. ... SS Andres Blanco (Royals) hit .385 (5-for-13) and scored three runs. ... OF Rodney Medina went 8-for-12 (.667) with three runs scored and two RBIs in four games.
WHO'S NOT: OF Jonel Pacheco (Pirates) is hitless in his last 22 at-bats. ... OF Carlos Gonzalez (Diamondbacks) has eight hits in his last 36 at-bats (.222). ... 3B Pete Orr (Braves) is batting .154 (6-for-29) since Nov. 11.
NEWS AND NOTES: Ruiz and de Caster are tied for second in the league with six homers. ... P Rich Garces is second with 13 saves, while P Heath Totten (Phillies) is among the top 10 with four wins and a 2.75 ERA. ... Zulia is third in batting (.268) and runs scored (162), but leads the league with 249 strikeouts.
Bravos de Margarita
THE WEEK IN REVIEW: The Bravos have won seven straight to climb above .500 (20-19) for the first time this season.
WHO'S HOT: OF Frank Diaz (Nationals) is batting .500 (17-for-34) with two homers, nine runs scored and seven RBIs over an eight-game hitting streak. ... SS Alberto Gonzalez (Yankees) hit .436 (17-for-39) with a homer, seven RBIs and six runs scored over his last 10 games. ... P Jesus Silva (Marlins) is 6-1 with a 1.45 ERA in nine starts, limiting batters to a .225 average. He is first in the league in wins and second in ERA.
WHO'S NOT: 3B Julio Cordido (Giants) fell into a 4-for-22 (.182) slide. ... 1B Victor Rodriguez is 10-for-44 (.227) with a walk and six strikeouts since Nov. 13.
NEWS AND NOTES: Diaz and Rene Reyes are in the top 10 in batting. ... Alex Serrano (Angels) is tied for third with 10 saves. ... Margarita pitchers are second in ERA (2.87) and second in homers allowed (18) and are tied for the league lead with five shutouts.
Cardenales de Lara
THE WEEK IN REVIEW: The Cardenales split six games and are 21-16.
WHO'S HOT: Major League free agent SS Cesar Izturis has hit safely in nine of 11 games since joining Lara on Nov. 15 and has batted .435 (10-for-23) in his last six games. ... In his last 10 games, OF Charlton Jimerson (Mariners) is batting .289 (11-for-38) with a homer and six runs scored. ... P Brandon Morrow (Mariners) tossed a five-inning three-hitter in his debut on Nov. 20. ... P Cesar Jimenez (Mariners) extended his scoreless streak to 14 2/3 frames, while limiting batters to a .163 average.
WHO'S NOT: After a hot start, 2B Hernan Iribarren (Brewers) has two hits in his last 17 at-bats (.117). ... P Yovany D'Amico (Royals) has allowed runs in five straight appearances with an 8.25 ERA over that span.
NEWS AND NOTES: OF Robert Perez is tied for the league lead with 28 RBIs. ... Jimerson is third in the league with six stolen bases. ... Lara leads the league in homers (27), but is seventh in batting (.250).
Caribes de Anzoategui
THE WEEK IN REVIEW: The first-place Caribes won two of seven games last week and fell to 24-16. They lead Lara by 1 1/2 games.
WHO'S HOT: OF Jody Gerut hit .375 (9-for-24) in seven games and continues to lead the league with a .390 batting average. He also ranks first in hits (55), on-base percentage (.488) and runs scored (34), third in slugging percentage (.567) and second in triples (3). ... IF Omar Infante (Cubs) hit .308 (8-for-26) with two homers, six runs scored and five RBIs in seven games and ranks second with 28 runs scored. ... IF Rico Washington (Cardinals) leads the league with 28 RBIs ... OF Andres Torres (Tigers) ranks second in stolen bases (7), second in runs scored (28) and fifth in slugging percentage (.551).
WHO'S NOT: OF Gorkys Hernandez (Braves) went 1-for-8 with four strikeouts in five games, dropping his batting average to .152. ... C Eliezer Alfonzo (Giants) hit .087 (2-for-23) in seven games and is batting .213 in 34 games.
NEWS AND NOTES: Mike Smith (Cardinals) won his third straight start on Nov. 24, tossing seven shutout innings in a 4-1 win over Caracas. The 30-year-old right-hander hasn't yielded an earned run or a walk and has struck out 20 over his last 21 innings. ... The Caribes are fourth in the league with a .264 average and a 3.67 ERA.
Leones del Caracas
THE WEEK IN REVIEW: The Leones won four of six games but sit in last place at 15-22.
WHO'S HOT: C Carlos Maldonado hit .458 (11-for-24) with four RBIs in six games and is batting .512 (22-for-43) over an 11-game hitting streak. ... OF Drew Macias (Padres) hit .385 (5-for-13) with four runs scored in his first four games. ... IF Jose Castillo (Pirates) is fourth in the league with a .346 batting average and ranks second with a .579 slugging percentage. ... IF Mario Lisson (Royals) leads the league with seven homers and OF Carl Loadenthal (Braves) has a league-best 11 stolen bases. ... Athletics farmhand Brad Knox (1-1, 3.35) ranks seventh in ERA.
WHO'S NOT: IF Omar Vizquel (Giants) hit .150 (3-for-20) in six games and is hitting .170 in 14 contests. ... OF Roger Cedeno has two hits in his last 31 at-bats and is hitting .158 in 22 games.
NEWS AND NOTES: LHP Eric Cyr (Dodgers) pitched seven shutout innings in a 4-1 win over Aragua on Nov. 20. ... RHP Carlos Bohorquez (Reds) picked up victories in consecutive relief appearances. ... The Leones rank sixth in hitting with a .251 average and fifth in pitching with a 4.07 ERA.
Navegantes del Magallanes
THE WEEK IN REVIEW: The Navegantes went 2-4 last week and have lost three straight to fall into sixth place at 16-19.
WHO'S HOT: OF Richard Hidalgo, a former Major Leaguer, is batting .414 (24-for-58) with six homers, 13 RBIs and 13 runs scored over a league-best 15-game hitting streak. ... 2B Tomas Perez (White Sox) batted .321 (17-for-53) during a 14-game hitting streak that was snapped on Nov. 25. ... OF Juan Rivera (Angels) is batting .450 (9-for-20) in his last five games.
WHO'S NOT: In their last 10 games, Astros prospects Mark Saccomanno and Luke Scott combined for seven hits in 54 at-bats (.130).
NEWS AND NOTES: Hidalgo (.352) and Perez (.339) are third and fifth in hitting. ... The Navegantes' offense is second in batting (.268) and walks (147), but the pitching staff is seventh in ERA (4.13) and has allowed a league-worst 29 homers.
Tiburones de La Guaira
THE WEEK IN REVIEW: The Tiburones went 2-4 and are in seventh place with a 16-20 record, six games off the pace.
WHO'S HOT: OF Gregor Blanco (Braves) hit .300 (6-for-20) with a pair of homers and four RBIs in six games. He ranks fifth in the league with a .418 on-base percentage and fourth with 26 runs scored. ... IF Chris Carter (Red Sox) is second with a .355 batting average and 49 hits and fourth with 24 RBIs. ... LHP Stephen Randolph fanned eight over six shutout innings in a 3-2 win over Lara on Nov. 24. ... RHP Jeff Bennett (3-1, 1.25) ranks first in ERA and has won three straight decisions.
WHO'S NOT: OF Ron Acuna went 3-for-18 with four strikeouts in six games and is hitting .233 in 35 games. ... OF Jackson Melian is batting .071 (1-for-14) in his last 10 games and is hitting .100 (3-for-30) with eight strikeouts in 15 contests.
NEWS AND NOTES: RHP Enrique Gonzalez (Nationals) yielded two earned runs while fanning eight in 14 innings over three starts. ... The Tiburones are eighth in the league with a .239 average and rank fifth in pitching with a 3.77 ERA.
Tigres de Aragua
THE WEEK IN REVIEW: The Tigres are in third place with a 20-18 record after losing three of five games last week.
WHO'S HOT: C Mike Rivera (Brewers) hit .385 (5-for-13) with two RBIs in his first four games. ... IF Luis Rodriguez (Padres) led the league with seven runs scored in five games ... IF Ronny Cedeno (Cubs) hit .368 (7-for-19) in five games and ranks eighth with a .325 average. He also ranks third in doubles (10) and fourth in on-base percentage (.420). ... RHP Cory Bailey (Cubs) is second with 31 strikeouts.
WHO'S NOT: IF Mike Aviles went 2-for-9 in two games and is hitting .194 (7-for-36) with 10 strikeouts in his last 10 games. ... Twins prospect Brian Bass (3-3, 3.38) has lost two straight starts but still ranks eighth in ERA and fourth with 29 strikeouts.
NEWS AND NOTES: LHP Horacio Estrada (2-1, 1.80) tossed 5 1/3 shutout frames in a 1-0 win over the first-place Caribes on Nov. 21 and has yielded one earned run in 14 1/3 frames over his last three starts. The 32-year-old ranks third in the league in ERA. ... The Tigres rank fifth in hitting with a .258 average and their pitchers lead the league with a 2.85 ERA.