Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 01/17/11

The Cubs reliever’s continue to strut their stuff, while a shortstop heats up the playoffs. But which shortstop is it?

Find out in this week’s Down on the Farm Report …

Dominican Winter League

Starlin Castro had a forgettable week, committing two errors and being benched twice by the Lions. He started out well, going 3-for-5 with a triple, a home run, and four RBI in a wild 9-7 loss to Toros on January 10. Castro also committed his ninth error. Click here for box score

Starlin Castro then went 0-for-3 with a walk, as the Lions lost a squeaker to Toros on January 11, 2-1. In that game, Luke Sommer struck out one in 1.0 innings. Click here for box score

On January 13, Starlin Castro came off the bench as a pinch hitter and put together a 1-for-3 effort with a double and a walk, but also committed his tenth error. The Lions defeated Gigantes 4-3. Click here for box score

Brad Snyder also had a miserable week … 0-for-9 in three games. He did have a walk, a stolen base, scored two runs, and made two outfield assists, including gunning one runner down at home, in a 9-3 defeat by Estrellas on January 9. In that game, Luke Sommer struck out one in 1.2 innings.

On January15, Brad Snyder posted a 1-for-3 mark with a run scored, as the Lions lost a laugher to Gigantes 7-1. Click here for box score

Relief pitching came up big for the Stars this past week. Polin Trinidad tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball for a hold on January 9. He notched a strikeout in a 9-3 victory over Escogido. Click here for box score

Marcos Mateo blanked Gigantes for two innings … struck out two and earned a save in a 6-4 win on January11. Click here for box score

Polin Trinidad and Marcos Mateo then hurled 1.2 innings apiece in a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to Gigantes on January 14. They both allowed no earned runs, while Marcos Mateo struck out three. Click here for box score

On January 13, Nelson Perez came in to pinch hit in seventh inning and promptly cracked an RBI double. However, the Bulls still lost 10-3 to Estrellas. Click here for box score

Nelson Perez was rewarded with a start at DH on January 14. He ended up going 1-for-2 with another RBI in a 3-2 win over Escogido. Click here for box score

However, on January15, Nelson Perez came back down, with a 0-for-3 night in the Bulls’ 6-1 victory over Estrellas.

Venezuelan Winter League

Marwin Gonzalez continues to be white hot in the playoffs, posting a .318 average with two doubles and two RBI for the week. His best game was a January 10 victory over Zulia, 8-5. In that game, Marwin Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Click here for box score

Marwin Gonzalez went 2-for-4 with a double, as the Lions defeated Caribes 10-6 on January 11. Click here for box score

On January15, Marwin Gonzalez went 1-for-3, but committed two errors, in a 10-1 loss to Aragua. Click here for box score

Eduardo Figueroa had an up-and-down week for the Indians. On January 9, he pitched two innings and recorded three strikeouts. He was awarded the Win, as the Indians defeated Caracas 5-4. Click here for box score

Eduardo Figueroa pitched only 0.1 inning and gave up two earned runs on three hits, and a wild pitch, in a lopsided 11-0 loss to Zulia. Click here for box score

Mexican Pacific League

With a 6-5 victory over Mochis on January15, the Yaquis earned a spot in the title game for the Mexican Pacific League.

Marco Carrillo dazzled in a 7-3 win for the Tribe on January 14. He tosses 2.1 innings, with four strikeouts, as he was credited with the Win over Mochis. Click here for box score

Puerto Rican Winter League

Aaron Shafer scuffled in a 5-2 loss to Ponce on January 11. The starter lasted only three innings and gave up three earned runs on five hits, with two walks and two strikeouts. Click here for box score

Australian Baseball League

The Bandits’ games since January 12 have been postponed due to flooding, which has claimed 18 victims and left 12, 000 homeless.

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  • paulcatanese

    Tom,good article.What do you think?Castro, a letdown from season? Don’t care?Lost confidence? Or just don’t worry about it at this stage. Probably a combination of all of the above.Hope he shakes it off.

    • Tom U

      Thank you Paul!

      Castro had a very good regular season in the DWL , just a down playoffs. He did attend the convention this weekend, so he might have been stretched too thin at this time. He is only 20 years old and has a lot of pressure on him. He may need to take a “basedall vacation” for a little while in order to prepare for the up-coming spring training. That, and field conditions may have lead to some of his defensive lapses.

  • paulcatanese

    Tom,also a fan of Mateo and Maine thanks for posting on them. Got to find another ss to watch as Lee is gone. Castro is fine,but it’s always good to have someone pushing behind them. Pressure separates the pretenders from the real thing.

    • daverj

      Junior Lake is the “next” SS to watch.

    • Tom U

      There are several shortstops in the system that bear watching. Marwin Gonzalez has a high ceiling, as he is versatile and his offense is improving. Junior Lake is somewhat opposite of Gonzalez. He shows good offensive potential, but needs to smooth out his defense. Wes Darvill put together a decent year when he went back to Rookie ball, and is only 18 years old. The player flying a bit under everyone’s radar is Arismendy Alcantara. In 59 games with Class A Boise, the 19 year old switch hitter batted .283 with 3 Home Runs, 24 RBI, 7 stolen bases, but 22 errors. Call him Hak-Ju Lee lite.

      • stormyweather

        Tom-wheres hes going this year-Low A?

        • Tom U

          If you are referring to Alcantara, his status is up in the air, as are all the shortstops. It all depend on how the Cubs structure the parent club roster. If they do something radical, like keep Jeff Baker as the only infield back-up, then everyone returns to their previous level. That means, with the trade of Hak-Ju Lee, that Alcantara would go to A Peoria. Elliot Soto, who I forgot to mention previosly, would start at A Boise. However, if everything goes to form and Darwin Barney makes the Cubs roster, then the key is Marwin Gonzalez. If Gonzalez is assigned to AAA Iowa, AA Tennessee would have minor league veteran Nate Samsen and Junior Lake at short. That would mean that Alcantara could be assigned to High A Daytona, with Soto in Peoria and Wes Darvill in Boise. If the Cubs decide to play it safe and have minor league vet Matt Camp in Iowa, or if they are concerned about Lake’s defense and move him to another position, that could cause another reshuffling. It seems as though it may be a good problem to have, finding a place to play for all of these prospects.

      • Tom U

        To add to my previous post, the Cubs also have a promising shortstop in Elliot Soto. The Carpentersville native batted .271 with .955 fielding percentage in 48 games at A Boise. He was promoted for 3 games to A Peoria. The Cubs have recently signed 16 year old shortstop Daniel Sanchez. The 6’ 2”, 170 lbs. Sanchez will probably play in the Dominican League this summer.