The MLB lockout hasn’t stopped all baseball, with the recent Caribbean Series featuring 15 players connected to the Philadelphia Phillies
The annual event saw winter league champions from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, and Puerto Rico play each other once in round-robin action, where the teams with the best four records advanced to the semi-finals.
This year’s Caribbean Series was held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and featured notable former and active MLBers, such as Robinson Canó, Marcell Ozuna, Pablo Sandoval, Roberto Osuna, and Sandy León.
Fourteen former members of the Phillies organization and a current Phillies minor-leaguer took part. Here’s a breakdown of how they did.
Catcher, outfielder, and pitcher Christian Bethancourt suited up for Panama. He hit well for average, going 7-for-20 (.350 BA), but only had one double and one RBI. His RBI came in the team’s first game, against Puerto Rico, which gave Panama a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning. They won the game 3-2 but lost their remaining four contests.
Bethancourt signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies prior to the 2020 season, where he went 4-for-15, with three HR and five RBI, during the shortened spring training.
He didn’t see any further action that year, with no minor-league season, and returned as a non-roster invitee in 2021, where he went 1-for-12 during spring training and was released prior to the season.
Infielder Niuman Romero played for Venezuela, going 6-for-22 (.273 BA), with six walks and an RBI. He went 3-for-5 in a loss to the Dominican Republic, where he drove in Venezuela’s first run of the game. Venezuela had a 3-2 record, before losing to Colombia in a semi-final.
The Phillies acquired Romero from the Toronto Blue Jays in May 2011 but released him that July. He slashed .239/.312/.266, with three doubles and 11 RBI, in 34 games with Double-A Reading, while also appearing in one game for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Right-hander Severino González pitched for Panama, giving up a run, off of two hits and a walk, in 3 1/3 innings, across two games. He hasn’t played professionally outside of the winter leagues since 2018.
González signed with the Phillies as an amateur free agent in 2011. His only major league appearances came with the team, starting seven games in 2015 and making 27 relief outings in 2016. He struggled to a 6.68 ERA in those 34 games, though he did improve his minor-league results over previous seasons by posting a 2.93 ERA in 21 games in 2016.
González was traded to the Miami Marlins prior to the 2017 season.
Outfielder Danny Ortiz played for Puerto Rico, going 1-for-7, with an RBI double against the Dominican Republic. He was removed from the game before his next at-bat, two innings later, and did not appear again for Puerto Rico, which lost its first four games before beating Colombia.
Ortiz signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies in 2018, slashing .232/.270/.398, with 15 HR and 61 RBI, in 118 games for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. This was his most recent season in an MLB organization, having played professionally in both Mexico and Puerto Rico since 2018.
Henderson Alvarez III
Right-hander Henderson Alvarez III pitched for Venezuela, giving up two runs (one earned), off of eight hits and a walk, in five innings of relief. He went three innings and picked up the win against Panama, but struggled in the team’s semi-final loss to Colombia, surrendering three hits and a run in 2/3 inning.
Alvarez III signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies in late-August 2017, giving up seven runs (six earned) in 19 innings for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He started three games for the Phillies, giving up seven runs in 14 2/3 innings.
Those three starts with the Phillies were his only MLB appearances since 2015. He had a 2.65 ERA in 30 starts for the Miami Marlins in 2014, being named to the All-Star Game, but had his 2015 season end early for surgery on his right shoulder.