© 2011 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

02/05/11 11:05 PM EST

German extends playoff fever to Caribbean

MAYAGUEZ, Puerto Rico -- Freddy Guzman held the honor last Caribbean Series. This year, the distinction belongs to Esteban German.

In 2009, Guzman's Yankees won the World Series. Three months later, he suited up for the Dominican Republic's Escogido team in the Caribbean Series. Last year, German's Rangers were defeated by the Giants in the Fall Classic. He's the starting second baseman for the Dominican Republic's Toros del Este this week.

Here's where they differ: Guzman's Escogido squad won the Caribbean Series with a 5-1 record. The Toros are 2-2 after four games and are scheduled to take on Venezuela's Caribes on Sunday afternoon.

Mexico's representative from Obregon leads all teams with a 3-1 record.

"It's hard to compare the two series because the World Series is without comparison," German, 32, said. "But to represent your country is an honor every time you put on the uniform."

German went 2-for-5 in Saturday's 6-3 loss to Mexico and is hitting .308 in the Caribbean Series. On Friday, he was the night's hero after hitting a two-run triple in the ninth and later scoring the winning run in the Dominican Republic's 4-3 victory against Caguas from Puerto Rico.

"We're really motivated for this series and have been since we left the Dominican," German said. "We are leaving it all out on the field every game."

German's role with the Rangers is not as prominent. He was on the club's Division Series roster, but did not appear in a game in the postseason. He hit .280 with five home runs, 55 RBIs and 50 steals in 126 games at Triple-A. A September callup, German was designated for assignment by the Rangers in November but re-signed with the club later in the month.

"The most important thing for me is to stay healthy," German said. "I'm going to keep working hard and get better."

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.