The first European team in the Venezuelan Liga Paralela, the ORKAS BBC, held their ground and finished with an 18-28 record in tenth place in the 15-team league. Especially in the second half (5-21) of the season, the ORKAS had a few problems against the reinforced other clubs, who were able to rely on a few professional players. Let’s take a look at a few numbers after their inaugural year in winter baseball.
The offense batted a combined .244 (OBP .324/SLG .384), which ranked 12th in the league. They scored 215 runs (11th), were second in the standings with 43 homeruns and seventh with 47 stolen bases. Infielder David Rivas led the team with a batting average of .317 (OBP .336/SLG .462). Only Emilio Linarez (.307/.373/.453) reached the .300-mark among regular players. He also led the club in doubles (13).
Bryon Bell (.273/.351/.492) and Gabriel Montero (.235/.337/.425) each had 36 hits, hit eight homeruns and 26 RBI. Leadoff hitter Gerson Manzanillo (.289/.306/.422) scored the most runs (26). The Dutch players Zair Koeiman (.196/.262/.375), Sytse Visbsen (.236/.300/.236) and Steffan Hoogewerff (.182/.280/.227) struggled a little bit in their first experience with winter ball.
The pitching staff had an ERA of 4.28 (12th), allowing 244 runs (191 ER) (8th) on 421 hits (6th) and 182 walks (8th). They struck out 315 (12th) in 402 innings. Alexis Fumero and Yulman Ribeiro, who both pitched in the Spanish Division de Honor in 2008, were their best starters. Fumero had a 3-2 record with an ERA of 2.34 in eight games (six starts). He struck out 18 in 34 2/3 innings, walking 12. Ribeiro finished with a 0-5 record with an ERA of 3.09 in eleven games (eight starts). He had 39 strikeouts (13 walks) in 46 2/3 innings. Carlos Farias (1-5, ERA 4.53) led the team with 47 2/3 innings. Kevin Alarcon (3-3, ERA 5.18) was first in strikeouts with 47 in 41.2 innings pitched.
Steven Van Groningen had an ERA of 4.70 in 15 appearances (two starts) with 17 strikeouts and 17 walks in 23 innings. Jurjen Van Zijl had a 3-1 record with an ERA of 5.88 in eleven games (two starts). He struck out 18 (six walks) in 26 innings. Shane Gnade had an ERA of 4.20 in nine games (one start) with eleven strikeouts (seven walks) in 15 innings. Nelson Santander had a 0-1 record in six games (four starts) with an ERA of 3.91 and 21 strikeouts (eleven walks) in 25 1/3 innings.
Photo by Orkas BBC (Picture Gallery of 2008 Season)