Estrellas Orientales Out To A Hot Start In LIDOM Round Robin – What’s Powering Them?

By Julian Guilarte
World Baseball Network

On Tuesday night, the Estrellas Orientales topped the Gigantes del Cibao in the 10th inning when outfielder Ramiel Tapia hit a single off reliever Huascar Brazoban to right field to score infielder Angelo Castellano for a 5-4 win on January 3.

Six games into the LIDOM round robin, the Estrellas Orientales are 5-1. They lead the round robin by one game over the Tigres del Licey, who won 6-3 against Leones del Escogido on January 3.

The Estrellas Orientales have won three games in a row and have outscored their opponents 26-18 in six games during the round robin stage of the playoffs. They have been led by a strong offense and solid pitching, giving up just three runs per game.

At the plate, Lewin Diaz has nine hits with a batting average of .429 and an OPS of 1.048 in the round robin. Diaz leads Estrellas Orientales and the round robin with seven RBI. Diaz made his LIDOM debut with the Estrellas Orientales in 2019 and has played four seasons for them.

Jose Barrero is tied with Darion Blanco for the Estrellas Orientales and round robin lead with two home runs. Barrero has three RBI, one stolen base, and an OPS of 1.311. Barrero hit one home run and stole eight bases in 30 regular season games for teh Estrellas. Blanco has five RBI, a batting average of .423, and an OPS of 1.214 in the round robin. In 28 regular season games for Estrellas Orientales, Blanco had 13 RBI and 18 stolen bases.

Right fielder Fernando Tatis Jr. has one home run, eight walks, three stolen bases, and an OPS of 1.050 in the round robin. Taits Jr. has also displayed his Gold Glove-winning defense and made a diving catch to rob Gigantes del Cibao outfielder Leury Garica of a hit on January 2. Tatis has played six seasons with Estrellas Orientales and had one home run and four RBI in eight regular season games this year.  

On the mound, Andy Otero has started two games and has pitched 10.1 innings. He’s 1-0 with eight strikeouts and an ERA of 1.74 The lefty Otero, pitched 31 innings for Estrellas Orientales in the regular season. He struck out 17 batters and had an ERA of 2.61. Ortero made his LIDOM debut in 2019 with Gigantes del Cibao and has spent the last four seasons with Estrellas Orientales.

Raul Valdes was drafted to Estrellas Orientales as a reinforcement from Toros del Este after they were eliminated, and has thrown 7.1 innings and given up one earned run. He’s struck out six batters in two starts since joining the Estrellas. Valdes has pitched in LIDOM for 20 seasons. This season with Toros del Este he had an ERA of 4.99 in 48.2

Neftali Feliz has pitched three games out of the bullpen in the round robin. Feliz hasn’t given up a run in three innings, has four strikeouts, and a save. Feliz has pitched seven seasons in LIDOM. This season for the Estrellas, he pitched 19.2 innings, had 19 strikeouts, with an ERA of 3.20, and 10 saves.

The Estrellas Orientales 5-1 will play the Leones del Escogido 2-4 at 6:15 p.m EST on January 4. The Tigres del Licey 4-2 will play the Gigantes del Cibao at 6 p.m EST on January 4. All LIDOM games are streamed on MLB.tv with a paid subscription.

The top two teams in the round robin will advance to the championship series. The winner of the best-of-seven championship series will represent the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean Series at loanDepot Park in Miami on February 1. 

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