Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 12/12/11

Change has been part of the fabric of the winter leagues this week. The organization said goodbye to Marwin Gonzalez, while the on-again, off-again relationship between Bryan LaHair and Navagantes del Magallanes is apparently back “on”. Meanwhile, prospects Junior Lake, Welington Castillo, Jeffry Antigua, and Chris Rusin have been nowhere to be seen.

On the field, Marco Carrillo continued his push for an invitation to the big league camp this spring, and Austin Bibens-Dirkx keeps making the case for the Cubs to re-up him for another season. Blake Parker, Oswaldo Martinez, and Marcos Mateo are also making an impression.

For more information, take a look inside this week’s Down on the Farm Report.

Dominican Winter League

Leones de Escogido
Outfielder Nelson Perez had a promising start this week, going 2-for-4 with an RBI on Sunday, as the Lions defeated Este 6-3.

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However, Nelson Perez went 0-for-12 with only one walk over the next four games for Escogido, oddly enough all wins.

Toros del Este
Starter Alberto Cabrera remained an enigma, tossing only four innings on Wednesday and allowing three earned runs. He lowered his ERA to 4.74 and struck out four in a 9-6 loss to Escogido.

Estrellas de Oriente
Reliever Rafael Dolis suffered his second loss on Tuesday, allowing an unearned run and failing to record an out as Estrellas lost to Escogido 3-2 in 11 innings. Marcos Mateo also appeared in that game, striking out a batter in an inning of work.

Marcos Mateo was back on the hill on Friday, recording an out in the Stars 3-1 loss to Escogido. He then struck out the side and lowered his ERA to 1.08 to get his first hold on Saturday in 2-0 win over Este.

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Mexican Pacific League

Naranjeros de Hermosillo
With Hermosillo’s closer on the 7-day disabled list, Blake Parker stepped up his game this week. Parker picked up his first save on Tuesday, going 1.1 innings and striking out a batter in a 7-3 win over Mazatlan.

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Blake Parker was called on again on Wednesday, striking out two in an inning of work for his second save as the Orangemen defeated Mazatlan 4-1.

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For the winter, Blake Parker is tied for third in the league with ten holds. He sports a 3.23 ERA and 0.95 WHIP, striking out 33 while walking eight in 30.2 innings.

Yaquis de Obregon
Marco Carrillo continues to be stretched out for a starting role as he took the mound for Obregon on Sunday. Carrillo went 5.1 innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out four batters as the Yaquis lost 4-3 to Guasave.

Marco Carrillo had his next turn on Saturday, improving his record to 3-2 in a 10-3 victory over Los Mochis. Carrillo tossed six innings, striking out a batter and giving up three earned runs.

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Reliever Oswaldo Martinez remains a workhorse for the Tribe, throwing two scoreless innings in Tuesday’s 6-4 loss to Navojoa. Martinez struck out three in the effort.

Oswaldo Martinez then went 1.2 innings with two strikeouts on Thursday, picking up his third win of the season and lowering his ERA to 2.13 ERA in a 9-3 defeat of Navojoa.

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Venezuelan Winter League

Leones de Caracas
It was a bittersweet for fans of Marwin Gonzalez this week. Gonzalez went 1-for-4 on Monday, walking and hitting a three-run double as Caracas was all over Anzoategui 13-3.

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Marwin Gonzalez would be selected by the Boston Red Sox in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday, and then was promptly traded to the Houston Astros.

The Lions called upon Jay Jackson to start on Wednesday, and he picked up his third win in a 5-1 victory over Aragua. Jackson went six innings, striking out two and allowing an earned run.

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Navegantes del Magallanes
The week began for Magallanes with Rebel Ridling going 1-for-2 and Robert Coello tossing a scoreless inning in a 4-0 loss to Margarita on Sunday.

Rebel Ridling was then 1-for-4 with an RBI as the Navs came from behind in Tuesday’s 3-2 victory over Lara.

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Friday saw the return of Bryan LaHair, as he was 1-for-3 with a walk as the Navigators bowed 1-0 to Anzoategui.

Bryan LaHair then worked two walks and was 1-for-2, while Robert Coello had 1.2 shutout innings as the Pathfinders defeated Lara 4-2 on Saturday. Coello earned his ninth hold and struck out a batter.

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Aguilas del Zulia
Austin Bibens-Dirkx kept the Eagles in the game on Friday, shutting out Caracas over seven innings and striking out a batter. However, it wasn’t enough as Zulia ended up losing to the Lions 3-0.

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Quote of the Day

"Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time." – Lou Brock

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  • Anthony

    Perez has a very high K rate, and it has been increasing with no corresponding power increase to offset it. He is entering his age 24 season as an INTL FA with the Cubs.

    You would guess Fleita will back one of his guys with Theo and another AA assignment. Is this guy a prospect

  • Aaron

    Couple things….

    Tom U…Coello, I believe, signed with the Blue Jays ….

    Perez is NOT a prospect….he is a roster filler at this point…4 yrs ago he was considered a prospect…but like so many players signed/acquired by the previous regime, he had zero plate discipline or contact ability

    • Anthony

      Aaron, then what do you with him, and others in a similar status? Rosters spots at AA I thought were meant for guys knocking on the door?


      • Aaron

        Not even close…every team needs roster filler which is why guys like Chris Robinson, Macias, Samson, Bibens-dirkxx, Opitz, Adducci, etc still have jobs.

        Unless players are Rule 5 eligible that year and they need to find out what they have or if they were signed to a huge bonus and placed on the 40-man like Szczur and Samardzija were….typically players are moved up one rung ay a time to allow for better development. Sometimes, depending on the 40-man roster composition or if the MLB team has an injury, players will be moved more aggressively. That’s why I believe they will move up guys like DeVoss, Easterling, Szczur, etc, because their up-the-middle depth took a major hit this offseason.

        But anyway…don’t make the assumption that just because some dude is in AA that he actually talent-wise belongs there

        • Anthony

          the only one you listed I think will be held back is DeVoss, he needs a minimal pressure period to become an average defender. As much as his speed is game ready, his defense was rookie league level at best in 2011.

          I know he is/was in Mesa this Fall, and probably getting 2B instruction, or maybe CF also, who knows. Wouldn’t surprise me if he stays in AZ until Boise starts, and possibly finish 2012 in Peoria. At this point, from seeing him in college, he is rough fundamentally, and fast.

          He is on my follow list, as are the other 2 you mentioned. I am also interested in Geiger, Abreu, Ha, Rohan, Hoilman, Klafczynski, Chen, and a few others progress-wise.

          I mentioned 2012 should be an interesting season to follow at the minor league level given the depth and talent of the 2011 Draft and the new regime.

          • Aaron

            If you’ll recall, I had Klafczynski on my draft report as a sleeper pick. I really think he could be special, but he needs to show something next year, or he’ll be out of the organization.

            Abreu is only interesting in the sense that he has a quick bat, but he’s a dreadful player otherwise, though he does have a pretty good arm in the OF. He’s not a particularly fast player, K’s at an alarming rate, and doesn’t offer much power to off-set that.

            Geiger is an average prospect. He could add a lot of muscle and surprise everyone, but it’s unlikely.

            Rohan is also an average prospect who has been taking advantage of talent at each stop that has been 2-3 years younger than him on average.

            Ha could be special if he ever develops plate discipline which would improve his OBP…Chen is already a forgotten man….

            The only prospect on that list that gives you true hope is Hoilman, because he actually had the results…17 hr in short-season ball is absolutely ridiculous…if he could ever develop a contact stroke, he’d be a legit prospect. I could actually see him starting the year at Daytona, and possibly moving up to AA if he does well there.

          • Anthony

            good comments

            there is no disputing the power of Hoilman, it is there, while others hope to develop it, I expect a Peoria assignment for him initially, and off to Daytona at some point.

            You said PC Chen is a forgotten man? Explain

            I agree on Ha, and Rohan has performed enough for a AA test, nothing to prove at A+

            agree on Geiger, a dirty uniform kind of kid, has tools

            Abreu, heard lots about approach issues, maybe he needs a step back, still young, in Peoria to get reps

            Klafczynski made progress in Peoria after he settled in, a solid camp may get him to Daytona, very strong RF arm, interesting player

          • Aaron

            my bad…lol….thought u meant Hung-wen Chen the pitcher…I agree PC Chen is good

          • Tom U

            Keep your follow list in mind, as we will start running the fan poll for players to follow next season after the first of the year.

    • Neil

      Thanks Aaron, that’s my mistake on Coello. I missed him signing last week with the Blue Jays organization.

    • Tom U

      Thanks Aaron! Like Neil said, that’s one that slipped past us.

      I have one thing to add on Nelson Perez. I agree that he is an average outfielder and maybe only a system player at this point. However, he does have a marketable skill. Perez rates anywhere from exceptional to possibly superior as a pinch-hitter. In some ways, he reminds me of former-Cub Daryle Ward. Using him as an example, if you can make it to the majors and specialize in left-handed pinch-hitting (with some power to boot), you can end up being there a long time.

  • Anonymous47701

    Possible Trade idea???




    • daverj

      Not enough for Gonzalez.  And Marmol is too expensive for the A’s and only has two years before free agency.  Gonzalez has 4 yeas before free agency … that is why the cost for him will be astronomical in terms of prospects.  I wouldn’t make the offer, but I bet the A’s would turn down an offer of any three prospects in the Cubs minor league system for Gonzalez.

      • Anonymous47701

        What About trading for Joe Saunders and John Danks? The Rotation needs lefties.

        • daverj

          Sox want too much for Danks.  DBacks may be more reasonable in their demands for Saunders.  I like him as a 5th starter if the price is right.

  • Cubluv

    Levine reporting aramis Ramirez signed a 3 year deal with Milwaukee

  • Neil

    As soon as the terms are released, I will post a report.

    Aramis Ramirez has agreed to a 3-year deal with the Brewers

  • Tom U

    Thank you to everyone for your comments.