Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 10/31/11

A Happy Halloween to all from the CCO, and una suerte de vísperas del día de los muertos to everyone in the Winter Leagues.

Rafael Dolis and Hung-Wen Chen experienced the “tricks” of life as a professional baseball player, while Marco Carrillo, Robert Coello, and Bryan LaHair provided the “treats“. Meanwhile, Chris Carpenter continued to bewitch AFL hitters, while D.J. LeMahieu and Junior Lake were running like the proverbial “bat out of hell“.

Along with a recap of the Pan-American Games finals, come in, if you dare, to this week’s edition of the Down on the Farm Report … BOO!!!!

Dominican Winter League

Aguilas Cibaenas
In his last action for the Eagles, Frank Batista gave up two earned runs in a third of an inning as Cibaenas lost to Licey 11-6 last Sunday.

Gigantes del Cibao
The Giants’ Mario Mercedes made only one appearance this week, going 0-for-2 on Sunday in a 3-2 loss to Oriente. However, Cibao also brought in outfielder Abner Abreu, who was acquired by the organization in the Kosuke Fukudome deal. Abreu was 0-for-2 in his debut on Tuesday, this time losing 7-4 to Oriente.

Leones de Escogido
Steve Clevenger continues to receive uneven playing time for the Lions, usually getting only two or three at bats per start. He was 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI in Sunday’s 9-2 win over Este.

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Steve Clevenger was 0-1 with a walk both on Wednesday and Friday, as Escogido lost 5-2 to Oriente Wednesday and 4-3 to Licey on Friday.

On Tuesday, John Gaub failed to record an out, giving up an earned run in a 7-4 loss to Cibao. Gaub rebounded and tossed a scoreless inning in Friday’s 4-3 loss to Licey.

Toros del Este
Right-hander Alberto Cabrera got an appearance for the Bulls on Sunday, allowing an earned run in two innings as Este lost to Escogido 9-2.

Outfielder Nelson Perez is finally beginning to see more action, as he was 2-for-3 on Wednesday in a 5-2 loss to Cibaenas. Perez was 0-for-2 with a walk as the Herd defeated Oriente 6-3 on Friday.

Estrellas de Oriente
Rafael Dolis continued his uneven play for the Stars, failing to record an out in an appearance on Sunday, as Oriente was victorious over Cibao 3-2. Dolis then saw a third of an inning of work in Thursday’s 5-2 win over Escogido. He gave up an unearned run while striking out a batter in an inning as the Stars lost 7-4 to Escogido on Saturday. In that game, Scott Maine gave Oriente 1.2 scoreless innings and a strikeout. Maine also tossed a third of an inning on Friday in a 6-3 loss to Este.

Mexican Pacific League

Naranjeros de Hermosillo
Reliever Blake Parker remains a rock for the Orangemen, extending his scoreless streak to seven innings, as he struck out a batter and picked up his third hold in a thrilling 2-0 victory over Culiacan on Sunday.

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Blake Parker blanked Navojoa for an inning on Wednesday, striking out a batter as Hermosillo lost 6-4. He then held the Mayos scoreless again on Thursday while striking out two in a 4-3 loss.

However, all good things must end, as Blake Parker gave up two earned runs and blew a save on Saturday as the Growers lost 5-3 to Guasave.

Venados de Mazatlan
After a promising start, Hung-Wen Chen has fallen on some hard times for the Stags. Chen struck out a batter on Tuesday, but gave up four earned runs in a third of an inning as Mazatlan lost to Obregon 9-4. Once again, Chen allowed four earned runs in an inning on Saturday in a 7-1 loss to Los Mochis.

Yaquis de Obregon
Marco Carrillo continued to roll along, hurling six innings and striking out three while letting in one earned run in the Tribes’ 3-2 loss to Mazatlan on Wednesday.

After a bumpy ride last week, Oswaldo Martinez is back on track, getting credit for the victory as he tossed a scoreless inning in a 9-4 win over Mazatlan on Tuesday.

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Oswaldo Martinez continued throwing zeroes on Thursday, striking out a batter as the Yaquis lost 3-2 to Mazatlan. He then added another two-thirds of a scoreless inning on Friday in a 5-4 loss to Culiacan.

Venezuelan Winter League

Caribes de Anzoategui
Righty Eduardo Figueroa finally got a chance to redeem himself, throwing a scoreless inning on Friday as the Indians defeated the Cardinals of Lara 9-2.

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Leones de Caracas
Marwin Gonzalez bounced back from a poor showing last week, starting with a 2-for-5 performance on Sunday in a 10-5 win over Lara.

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In Wednesday’s 7-2 win over Aragua, Marwin Gonzalez paced the Lions’ attack out of the number two hole by going 3-for-5.

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Gonzalez finished the week by going 1-for-2 on Thursday as the Pride lost to Zulia 5-2.
Tiburones de La Guaira

Last week saw Hector Mayora roughed up in a couple of appearances. He was able to get back to work on Tuesday, blanking Lara for an inning and striking out a batter as the Sharks lost 7-2. Mayora struck out a batter and earned a hold on Saturday, as LaGuaira fell 10-8 to Aragua.

Navegantes del Magallanes
Robert Coello remains impressive in a relief role. On Sunday, Coello struck out four in two innings as the Navigators bested Aragua 2-1. In that game, Bryan LaHair was 1-for-4.

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Coello continued to have his strikeout pitch going for him on Wednesday, dusting off three batters in 1.2 innings in a IP, 0.00 ER, 3 K, on 10/26 (W 8-1 over Aragua)

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Then on Saturday’s 12-inning 6-5 thriller over Caracas, Robert Coello earned a hold as he shut out the Lions for two innings, striking out two batters.

After Bryan LaHair’s 1-for-4 performance on Sunday, he earned some well deserved rest, not seeing action until going 0-for-3 with a walk in a 3-1 loss to Aragua on Friday.

Bryan LaHair then blasted two doubles and drove in three runs while going 3-for-5 to help propel the Nav’s to a 6-5 victory over Caracas on Saturday.

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Arizona Fall League
The Mesa Solar Sox went 3-3 for the week to maintain their record of a game under .500 at 11-12. Cubs’ hitters saw some reduced playing time, but the rest proved beneficial to some. D.J. LeMahieu batted .400 for the week to raise his overall average to .297. LeMahieu also stole four bases to improve his total to ten, second in the league. Josh Vitters went 4-for-14 to maintain his .355 average while cracking his third home run of the fall. However, things weren’t so rosy for Junior Lake. After being player-of-the-week last week, Lake slumped a little by going only 2-for-18. But Lake did steal two bases to raise his total to 13, tying an AFL record.

Proving to be virtually unhittable in Arizona has been Chris Carpenter. The flame-throwing righty had two more appearances, allowing no earned runs in three innings while striking out three batters. Opposing hitters are now down to a .200 average against Carpenter. Marcus Hatley is beginning to show some signs of life after being knocked around a bit. Hatley did give up three earned runs in three innings this week, but picked up his first victory on Saturday. Trey McNutt struggled in his only start on Tuesday, letting in three earned runs in 2.1 innings while striking out two batters. After suffering what was claimed to be a “minor” injury, Andrew Cashner was back on the mound this week and served up three earned runs in an inning of work on Saturday.

Pan-Am/World Cup
The baseball finals in the Pan-Am games were completed on October 25, with Team USA facing Canada for the gold medal. The USA was up 1-0 in the sixth inning, when Iowa catcher Chris Robinson scored the go-ahead run for Canada, putting them in the lead 2-1. That’s how the game would end up, with Canada grabbing the gold and the US the silver. Cuba defeated Mexico 6-0 to take the bronze. Cubs’ minor leaguer Brett Jackson did not make an appearance, while Jeffrey Beliveau pitched a scoreless inning.

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Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax