Ronald Acuna Jr., shown here with the Atlanta Braves, has returned to the Tiburones de La Guaira in the LVBP, where he’s been on an offensive tear since returning. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
By Leif Skodnick
World Baseball Network
Now in his third stint managing the Tigres de Aragua, Buddy Bailey has become the all-time winningest manager in the Liga Venezolana Beisbol Profesional.
Bailey has managed the Tigres to six LVBP championships and is the last manager to lead a Venezuelan club to a Caribbean Series title, doing so with Aragua in Mexicali in 2009.
The native of Norristown, Pennsylvania, returned to the Tigres this offseason, replacing Wilfredo Romero, who lead the club to a 25-30 record and a sixth-place finish in the 2022-23 regular season.
“I don’t think about the victories, but I do think about the gifts that this league has given me,” Bailey told the LVBP’s website. Bailey passed Phil Regan, who won 475 games as a manager in the LVBP, for the record. “They have been incredible years on this circuit, in which I have achieved many important things alongside different groups of players from whom I have learned a lot and I hope they also learned a lot from me.”
During the summer, Bailey has been a manager and coach in the Chicago Cubs organization since 2006, helming teams at every level of the Cubs’ minor league system. Prior to joining the Cubs, Bailey managed the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox from 1993-96 and 2002-04, and managed in the Atlanta Braves organization from 1983-90. He also managed the LVBP’s Tiburones de La Guaira for two seasons.
Still, for Bailey, one achievement in Venezuela stands out.
“Possibly that has been the greatest achievement I have obtained,” Bailey said of winning the Caribbean Series in Mexicali to the LVBP’s website. “We had a group of players that many didn’t bet on. We were definitely not the favorites, but it was shown that teamwork always ends up prevailing and it was something important for me because beyond representing the state of Aragua, we were defending the colors of Venezuela.”
Bailey’s Tigres squad is 9-16 midway through the season, three games back of the final spot in the round robin stage of the playoffs.
Caribes de Anzoategui Change Managers – After a 9-14 start to the 2023-24 season, the Caribes de Anzoategui fired manager Ramon Borrego, replacing him with Marco Davalillo.
Borrego has managed the Wichita Wind Surge, the Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, each of the last three summers, reaching the Double-A Central championship series in 2021 and the Texas League championship series in 2022
Davalillo previously managed the Caribes on an interim basis in 1999-00, going 3-0, and again in 2006-07, going 9-6. He led the club to a 26-36 record, good for fourth place, in the 2007-08 season.
Leones del Caracas Add Reliever Guaipe – Former Seattle Mariners reliver Mayckol Guaipe signed with the Leones del Caracas, adding a right-handed arm to the bullpen.
Guaipe started the season with the Tiburones de La Guaira, making one appearance before being released, throwing a single scoreless inning.
He’s played 11 years in the LVBP, mostly with the Caribes de Anzaotegui in his hometown of Barcelona, pitching for the tribe from the 2011-12 season through 2014-15 and again from 2016-17 through 2022-23.
Acuna Lighting It Up For La Guaira – Ronald Acuna Jr. homered in his first LVBP game of the season, capping the evening where he was named the 2023 National League MVP with a flourish.
In three games with the Tiburones thus far this winter, Acuna is slashing .500/.588/.929 with a 1.517 OPS, three RBI and five runs scored.
Marlins Prospect Sanoja Joins Cardenales This Week – Javier Sanoja, the No. 17-ranked prospect in the Miami Marlins organization according to MLB Pipeline, will play for the Cardenales de Lara starting this week.
Sanoja hit .308/.356/.400 in 102 games at Class-A Jupiter and .267/.324/.351 in 30 games with High-A Beloit. In 43 games with Lara last year, Sanoja, who plays second base, third base, and outfield, hit /.268/.298/.348 with 17 RBI.
Current LVBP Standings
1. Leones del Caracas – 17-8
2. Cardenales de Lara – 17-9
3. Aguilas del Zulia – 13-12
4. Navegantes del Magallanes – 12-13
5. Bravos de Margarita – 12-13
6. Tiburones de La Guaira – 10-14
7. Caribes de Anzoategui – 9-14
8. Tigres de Aragua