Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 01/03/11

The Cubs’ shortstops come into a new year hot while two young right-handers have impressive starts.

All this and more in this week’s Down on the Farm report …

Dominican Winter League

Starlin Castro stayed hot, batting .363 with four RBI for the week. His best game was on December 27. He went 2-for-4 with a double, a stolen base, and two RBI in a 10-5 loss to Gigantes. Click here for box score.

Luke Sommer pitched 2.1 innings this week, with no earned runs, two strikeouts, and a hold. His appearance in a 4-2 win over Gigantes on December 29 included 2 innings pitched, one strikeout and a hold. Click here for box score.

Bryan LaHair struggled this past week, going only 1-for-6. Polin Trinidad, a 26-year old left-hander signed as a minor league free agent from the Astros organization, had an appearance in a 5-4 loss to Toros on December 27. Trinidad pitched one inning, with no earned runs and a strikeout. Click here for box score.

Marcos Mateo continued to perform well, with two innings pitched, no earned runs, and three strikeouts for the week. In a 9-0 win over Gigantes on December 30, he pitched one inning, had no earned runs and three strikeouts. Click here for box score.

Nelson Perez went 1-for-1 in a pinch-hitting role in a 9-2 loss to Estrellas on December 29.

Venezuelan Winter League

Marwin Gonzalez continued his blistering pace, with a.444 average and .667 OBP for the week. On December 27, he was 1-for-2, with three walks and a stolen base in a 6-5 victory over Lara. Click here for box score.

Marwin Gonzalez then went 3-for-5, with a walk and five RBI in an 18-5 win over Magallanes on December 29. Gonzalez played both positions on the left side of the infield … shortstop and third base. Click here for box score.

Eduardo Figueroa pitched two innings, allowed one earned run and picked up the blown save in the process on December 30. However, Figueroa was the pitcher of record for a 2-1 win over Magallanes. Click here for box score.

Mexican Pacific League

Matt Camp continues his offensive struggles, but shows signs of breaking out of his slump. He was 3-for-12 for the week, with a double and a stolen base.

Marco Carrillo, a 23-year old right-hander who had stints with Daytona and Iowa last summer, had an appearance on December 30. Carrillo threw one inning, did not allow an earned run and struck out one in a 9-0 win over Gigantes.

Puerto Rican Winter League

Aaron Shafer went six innings, with an earned run and two strikeouts to get the win in an 8-2 victory over Mayaguez on December 29. The 24-year old right-hander pitched for Daytona last year. Click here for box score.

Australian Baseball League

The ABL started up again this past week, with Ryan Searle going 3.1 innings, with one earned run and two strikeouts in a 3-1 win over Melbourne on December 31. Searle, a 21-year old right- hander, pitched mainly with Peoria last season. Click here for box score.

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Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt
  • Neil

    Tom, thank you for another great report

  • sadowski

    Way to go Tom!!!

  • Jeff in AZ


    Contributors such as Tom are one of the many reasons this site is in a league of its own as far as I am concerned. Kudos to all of you at the CCO. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming 2011 season (typical cub fan, I was swearing off baseball 3 months ago). Many thanks for all of the efforts, I feel comfortable in saying that Cub Fans truely appreciate it.

    • Neil

      Jeff, thank you.

  • paulcatanese

    Tom,thanks for the report,well done.I really am following Castro and think he has the makings of a great plyayer either at Short or third.Again Mateo’s name pops up he’s another that I think can help. Good work.

  • nick_ss

    Tom, thank you for the updates!!

  • Tony

    Here is an article about Dusty’s Reds.

    I know, nobody wants to hear about the Reds, but they have a great GM, who understands how to develop his own players and how to sign them early to get a bargain.

    Their rotation is made up of Cueto, Arroyo, Volquez, T Wood, H Bailey, M Leake, A Chapman. That is a lot of good, young options. The question is, last year at this time, how many of these young arms were being counted on by the Reds in 2010, let alone 2011. Arroyo and maybe Cueto. Nobody was counting on Wood and Leake, and Chapman was still a FA. Volquez was injured and they weren’t sure what to expect. Yet this team won the division, and are loaded with SP options, that are young and still in their controlled years.

    They also have young bats, and Jay Bruce’s contract is brilliant, and will be a bargain soon enough and Votto will be getting a contract offer soon as well, but they are a year late, as he now has an MVP award on his mantle, and his price will be going up.

    There is hope for any franchise, that can develop their own players, and is willing to dedicate playing time to them. A rotation should always have 1 or 2 spots dedicated to a 0-2 pitcher.

    • Richard Hood

      You do no that most of the guys you were talking about were in the system way before Jocketty got there?. Walt has done a good job of getting pitchers but most of the hitters he has gotten have not worked out until last year.

      • Tony

        Well lets take a look.

        Cueto was on a minor league contract when Jockety arrived
        Arroyo was here, and Jockety gave him an extension
        Volquez was traded just prior to his arrival
        T Wood was in the system, and Jockety, gave him a chance
        Bailey was already there.
        M Leake was drafted by Jockety
        Chapman was signed by Jockety

        So he was responsible for only
        Leake and Chapman completely
        Cueto and T Wood came through the system with his management.
        Arroyo – he has kept

        By the way, what does it matter if they were already there. The point was that he has given young arms a chance to pitch and they are now loaded with young, good pitchers.

        Good GM’s don’t need for the players to be his guys to promote them or keep them, they keep and promote the best talent.

        • Richard Hood

          I agree that Jockety did a good job. I was just saying that the cabnit
          was not bare when he got there. I think the best way to look at where the Cubs are now is where the Reds were 3 years ago. We have our own Encarnion as we well.

        • sadowski

          Actually the person and his scouting staff thats responsible for the Reds turnaround is Chris Buckley who was with Wilken in Toronto and actually worked with the Cubs for a very short time in 2006 and then was asked to be the scouting director for the Reds that year and draft by then GM Wayne Krivsky.

          • Tony

            There are always other people, but the glory and the blame goes to the GM.

          • sadowski

            Buckley is the one who also drafted Stubbs, Leake, Alonzo, Heisey, Jordan Smith and Chris Valaika along with the signing of Chapman and its very doubtful that Jocketty even saw those players and had little to do other than ok the contract along with the owner of the Reds for Chapman. The only thing you can give credit to Jocketty for in the amateur signings of these new Reds is that he was smart enough to keep Buckley around, because Buckley was a Krivsky hire!!!

          • Tony

            Thank-you for proving my point, that a good GM, picks the best players, not their players, that is what Jockety deserves credit for with the Reds, not casting aside players he didn’t draft.

            I doubt that most major league GM’s scout HS and College games. That is why they are the boss. But they have final say on everything, if they want.

            Do you really believe that Jockety doesn’t deserve credit for turning the Reds aournd since he came over?

          • sadowski

            I do believe Jocketty deseves most of the credit, just pointing out he didnt make those picks and the club was in a slow process of being turned around in the positive manor before Jocketty arrived and Buckley might be 1B to Jocketty for the Reds turnaround. Very few clubs can get it right without making consistent solid choices and that should be noted along with a GM because its just as important

  • Tom U

    Thank you all for the nice complements

  • Chuck

    Tom, great report. Appreciate all that you do. I have heard that some of the Red Sox and Twins players get down here in January and start working out. I look forward to the baseball season beginning. Being here in Florida, I look forward to the Florida State League (High Class A) season to start.