We’re still just under two months away from pitchers and catchers reporting for MLB Spring Training but Carribbean Winter Baseball is well underway. Winter baseball runs in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. The rosters are generally a mix of MLB prospects getting some work in, former major league farm-hands as well as native born players.
One winter baseball tilt in particular featured an insane brawl between Aguilas del Zulia and Caribes de Anzoategui in Venezuela. Former Diamondbacks outfielder Alex Romero was ejected after attacking Caribes catcher Gabriel Lino with his bat. Lino – 26 – spent parts of six seasons in the Phillies organization after being acquired from Baltimore in exchange for Jim Thome in 2012. Romero lunged at Lino and struck him with the bat after a pitch sailed behind him. Lino then stood up and threw his catcher’s mitt right at Romero’s head.
The benches cleared after that and six players were ultimately ejected following the brawl, including Romero, Lino and Twins infielder Willians Astudillo.
The incident marked the boiling point of tensions that had been rising the entire game, reports Mark Townsend of Yahoo Sports. The benches has cleared earlier a Caribes hitter was plunked immediately after the team had hit two home runs. Five batters were ultimately hit by pitches during the game while nine were ejected. Caribes de Anzoategui eventually won 13-2, following an extensive delay.