Pitching took center stage this week, as some of the organization’s position players had the week off. Lefties John Gaub and Scott Maine continued their success in the Dominican league. Blake Parker and Marco Carrillo remained “lights-out” in Mexico, while Robert Coello and Hector Mayora were effective in Venezuela.
Play also opened in Puerto Rico and Australia, while the Arizona Fall League will enter its final two weeks following Saturday’s Rising Stars game.
All of that and more in this week’s Down on the Farm Report.
Daytona closer Frank Batista saw action only once this past week for the Eagles, tossing two-thirds of an inning and allowing two earned runs as Cibaenas lost 9-3 to Cibao on Sunday. Batista also recorded a strikeout.
Leones de Escogido
It was an up-and-down week for Steve Clevenger, posting a 0-for-2 in Sunday’s 5-3 loss to Licey and Saturday’s 5-2 loss to Cibaenas. However, Clevenger did have an RBI on Sunday, and belted his first home run as the Lions lost 8-1 to Cibaenas on Wednesday.
Sunday’s 5-3 loss to Licey was also bad news to starter Chris Rusin, who gave up four earned runs in 2.1 innings, striking out two batters. John Gaub recorded an out.
John Gaub pitched again on Friday and struck out a batter in two-thirds of an inning in the Lions’ 3-1 loss to Cibao.
Toros del Este
Alberto Cabrera saw limited action for the Bulls this week, tossing a scoreless inning as they lost 8-3 to Cibao on Saturday.
Estrellas de Oriente
Lefty Scott Maine lowered his ERA to1.69 ERA and struck out two in 1.1 innings of scoreless work as the Stars lost 2-1 to Cibaenas on Tuesday.
Mexican Pacific League
Naranjeros de Hermosillo
Set-up man Blake Parker continued his impressive showing this winter, picking up his first victory by blanking Obregon for an inning and striking out a batter in Tuesday’s 7-6 win.
Blake Parker came back again on Wednesday night and shut down the Yaquis for an inning, as Obregon edged the Orangemen 2-1.
Lowering his ERA to 1.32 ERA and WHIP to a microscopic 0.44, Blake Parker earned his fourth hold and struck out a batter in an inning as the Growers got past Mexicali 2-1 on Saturday.
Venados de Mazatlan
After a disappointing week last week, Hung-Wen Chen started back on the road to establishing himself on Tuesday, as he struck out three and allowed an earned run in an inning of work as the Deer lost to Culiacan 10-4.
Chen was back on the mound on Wednesday as he tried to keep the Stags in the game, tossing 1.1 scoreless innings in a 4-0 loss to the Tomateros.
Yaquis de Obregon
Marco Carrillo continues to impress as a starter, posting a 1.29 ERA as he allowed only one earned run over five innings, including a strikeout, in the Yaquis’ 7-6 loss to Hermosillo on Tuesday. Oswaldo Martinez struck out the only batter he faced in that game and earned a hold.
Martinez then lowered his ERA to 2.79 and struck out another batter, as he threw 1.1 shutout innings in the Tribes’ 8-7 win over Guasave on Saturday.
Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League
Criollos de Caguas
The Puerto Rican League began play on Friday, with Iowa outfielder Luis Montanez on the Creoles’ roster. Montanez has not seen any action for Caguas yet.
Venezuelan Winter League
Tiburones de La Guaira
The Sharks are looking toward Boise right-hander Hector Mayora a little more often, as he put up 2.1 IP scoreless innings with two strikeouts in La Guaira’s 4-0 loss to Zulia on Saturday.
Navegantes del Magallanes
Teams in the VWL are now going out of their way to limit the damage that can be done by Bryan LaHair. For the week, LaHair was 4-for-18 with a double, RBI, and three walks.
Teammate Robert Coello has become virtually untouchable, as he shut out Caracas for two innings on Friday, striking out a batter and earing his third hold as the Nav’s bested the Lions 6-1. In that game, LaHair was 1-for-4 with a walk.
Aguilas del Zulia
Austin Bibens-Dirkx provided a pair of bookend victories this week for the Eagles. On Sunday, Bibens-Dirkx struck out four in six shutout innings to pick up his first win and Zulia beat Margarita 4-1.
Bibens-Dirkx topped that effort on Saturday, blanking La Guaira for seven innings and striking out five batters, as the Eagles defeated the Sharks 4-0, evening his record to 2-2.
Australian Baseball League
The Australian Baseball League began play on Thursday, with Tennessee right-handed starter Ryan Searle on the roster for the Bandits. However, his status was listed as “reassigned”, along with several other major league players. There was no further information available.
Arizona Fall League
Mesa used a short week to go 3-2 and improve their record to 14-14. As a representative in the Rising Stars game, Junior Lake maintained his good season by batting .306 for the Solar Sox this week. He hit a double, two triples, had an RBI, and stole three more bases to raise his total to 16. Coming on strong is D.J. LeMahieu, who has batted .325 over his last ten games. This week, LeMahieu added three more RBI and cracked his second home run on Friday. Josh Vitters continues to be a rock for Mesa, as he ended the week with a .338 average. For the week, Vitters five hits included two doubles and two RBI in three games.
This week also saw the return of left-handed pitcher Jeffrey Beliveau from the national team. On Wednesday, Beliveau tossed a scoreless inning and struck out a batter. Another Rising Stars rep, Trey McNutt, didn’t fare as well.
In a start on Tuesday, McNutt allowed three earned runs on three home runs. He also struck out three in three innings of work. Chris Carpenter also struggled in his one outing this week, allowing two earned runs and striking out two in an inning on Wednesday. On the comeback trail, Andrew Cashner had some mixed results this week. On Tuesday, he gave up two earned runs in an inning of work. Cashner game back on Friday and struck out a batter while tossing a scoreless inning. Marcus Hatley is slowly regaining his form, hurling a scoreless inning on Wednesday and striking out a batter in another scoreless two-thirds of an inning on Friday.
AFL Rising Stars Game
The best of the best in the Arizona Fall League participated in the sixth annual AFL Rising Stars game on Saturday night. The Cubs had three representatives in the game … Junior Lake, Chris Carpenter and Trey McNutt.
Junior Lake started the game at short for the East squad and hit third. Lake finished 1-for-3 at the plate with a double and a run scored. The 21-year old infielder struggled in the field and was charged with an error. Lake’s defensive issues have been well documented and he reinforced those reports on Saturday night.
Chris Carpenter took over with one out in the bottom of the sixth and threw six pitches, three for strikes to one batter … and induced an inning ending double play. Trey McNutt faced one batter in the bottom of the eighth and struck him out. McNutt appears to have lost a little weight but still brought heat. McNutt’s fastball was clocked in the mid 90s and he struck out Wil Myers swinging on an 84 MPH curveball.
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