Bisenius showing promise in winter ball

Righty Bisenius showing promise in winter ball

Like the Energizer bunny, Joseph Bisenius' 2006 season just keeps going and going and going.

The hard-throwing 24-year-old spent April through July with the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers before earning a promotion to Double-A Reading. After the conclusion of the Minor League regular season, the Iowa native was one of seven Phillies farmhands chosen to participate in the elite Arizona Fall League.

And he's still not done. Bisenius is now in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he is pitching for the Navegantes del Magallanes. Over six appearances spanning six innings, the 2004 12th-round draft pick has collected two saves and has yet to allow a run.

When the VWL season concludes, Bisenius will get a brief rest before reporting to the Phillies' Major League Spring Training camp. One of 19 non-roster invitees, he has a chance to make the team as a member of the bullpen.

Here's an update on other Philadelphia farmhands currently honing their skills in the Dominican Winter, Mexican Pacific and Venezuelan Winter Leagues.

Dominican Winter League

LHP Fabio Castro -- Castro is 1-2 with a 1.73 ERA over 26 innings pitched with Gigantes del Cibao. Opponents are batting just .161 against him.

RHP Julio De La Cruz -- Pitching for the Gigantes del Cibao, De La Cruz is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA over six relief appearances.

2B Juan Sosa -- Sosa has been one of the Gigantes del Cibao's best hitters. He is batting .333 with two home runs and 17 RBIs over 117 at-bats.

Mexican Pacific League

RHP Nick Mattioni -- Mattioni is 3-1 with a 5.04 ERA over four starts. On Sunday, the 27-year-old allowed two runs over 5 2/3 innings and earned the win as his Naranjeros de Hermosillo defeated the Yaquis de Obregon.

OF Chris Roberson -- Roberson is in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak, during which time he raised his average 20 points to .257. The 27-year-old has scored 30 runs while driving in 14.

Venezuelan Winter League

RHP Ryan Cameron -- Cameron has appeared in 10 games for the Navegantes del Magallanes, and he is 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA over 18 innings pitched.

RHP Jeremy Cummings -- Cummings has won each of his last three starts for the Aguilas del Zulia and is 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA over 42 1/3 innings pitched this season.

OF Josh Kroeger -- Kroeger has not collected a hit over his last 10 at-bats for Aguilas del Zulia, and he is now batting a season-low .248.

2B Carlos Leon -- A 27-year-old second baseman with Aguilas del Zulia, Leon is 3-for-15 in December. He is batting just .210 (17-for-81) overall and has not collected an extra-base hit since Nov. 1.

RHP Tim McClaskey -- McClaskey has won each of his last four decisions for the Navegantes del Magallanes and is 4-1 with a 3.26 ERA over 47 innings pitched this season.

LHP Moises Melendez -- Melendez has made 10 appearances for the Aguilas del Zulia, five as a starter and five in relief. He has taken the loss in each of his last three outings, and he is 3-3 with a 4.60 ERA overall.

S Jesus Merchan -- Merchan has been primarily used as a defensive replacement, as evidenced by the fact that he has not received an at-bat in his last four ballgames. The 25-year-old shortstop is batting .280 (14-for-50) with the Navegantes del Magallanes.

OF Jim Rushford -- A 32-year-old veteran who played briefly in the Major Leagues in 2002, Rushford made his VWL debut on Dec. 1 as a member of the Pastora de los Llanos. He is batting .353 (6-for-17) over his first six games, but has yet to drive in a run.

2B Danny Sandoval -- Sandoval, a member of the Pastora de los Llanos, has been slumping as of late. The 27-year-old has collected three hits in his last 26 at-bats and is hitting .246 on the season.

Benjamin Hill is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.