Bryan LaHair briefly returned to the Venezuelan League but after a solid first game, LaHair struggled and went home Sunday. Meanwhile, Austin Bibens-Dirkx continued putting up good numbers … Bibens-Dirkx had two solid outings this past week.
In Mexico, Marco Carrillo maintained his excellence as he and teammate Oswaldo Martinez contributed to what may end up the game of the winter. While Welington Castillo made a surprise appearance in the Dominican Republic.
To find out more, take a look inside this week’s Down on the Farm Report.
Gigantes del Cibao
Catcher Mario Mercedes had a brief appearance this week, going 0-for-2 on Wednesday in a 13-4 loss to Este.
Leones de Escogido
Tennessee outfielder Nelson Perez and the Lions had a tough week. On Sunday, Perez was 1-for-4 as Escogido lost to Licey 5-2. Back in action on Tuesday, Perez was 0-for-3 for the Pride as bested Cibao 7-0. Perez was saddled with another “O-fer” Wednesday, as he was 0-for-2 in the Lions’ 7-6 loss to Cibaenas in 12 innings.
Toros del Este
Iowa pitcher Alberto Cabrera got a start on Wednesday for Este, throwing four innings and allowing as earned run on a solo home run. Cabrera struck out three and lowered his ERA to 4.29 ERA as the Bulls won 13-4 over Cibao.
Tigres del Licey
The Tigers were joined this week by Iowa catcher Welington Castillo. Castillo saw his first action on Friday, lining up a designated hitter and going 0-for-3 as Licey beat Este 4-1.
Estrellas de Oriente
Monday’s disappointing 3-2 loss to Licey in 11 innings saw appearances by both Rafael Dolis and Marcos Mateo. Dolis struck out the only batter he faced, while Mateo was hung with the loss as he allowed an earned run and struck out a batter in his inning of work.
Mateo made up for the loss on Wednesday by striking out two in an inning to even his record at 1-1 as the Stars beat Licey.
Rafael Dolis took the mound again on Friday to mop up as Oriente was blown out 15-2 by Cibaenas. Dolis threw an inning and recorded a strikeout.
Mexican Pacific League
Naranjeros de Hermosillo
Iowa reliever Blake Parker was roughed up a little this week, getting his second blown save on Tuesday as Hermosillo lost 3-2 to Obregon in 16 innings. Parker tossed 1.1 innings and struck out two batters. Parker then allowed an earned run in two-thirds of an inning on Wednesday as the Orangeman lost their second to Obregon 6-5. Parker did strike out a batter and picked up his tenth hold.
Blake Parker didn’t see the mound again until Saturday, when he lowered his ERA to 3.62 as he pitched an inning and had a strikeout in the Growers’ 10-4 win over Mexicali.
Yaquis de Obregon
In what can be a candidate for game of the season, Marco Carrillo gave up two earned runs in five innings, but struck out four, as Obregon outlasted Hermosillo 3-2 in 16 innings. Carrillo ended up maintaining his 2.42 ERA as his team rallied twice to both tie and win the game. In the game, Tennessee reliever Oswaldo Martinez pitched a scoreless third of an inning.
Oswaldo Martinez started the week by giving up a solo home run in 1.2 innings on Sunday, striking out two batters as the Tribe lost 8-2 to Culiacan. He then fired 1.1 innings of shutout baseball on Wednesday as the Yaquis defeated Hermosillo 6-5.
Oswaldo Martinez ended the week by striking out a batter in two scoreless innings on Friday to lower his ERA to 2.49 ERA as Obregon bowed 7-1 to Guasave.
Venezuelan Winter League
Leones de Caracas
Iowa starter Jay Jackson suffered the ups and downs of baseball this week. On Sunday, Jackson was called upon to toss and inning of relief. While he allowed an earned run, he struck out two and improved his record to 2-1in a 5-4 victory over Lara.
On Wednesday, Jay Jackson started and failed to get out of the fourth inning, as he allowed three earned runs in 3.1 in a 6-4 loss to Aragua. Jackson struck out four has his ERA rose to 5.11 ERA.
Navegantes del Magallanes
Tennessee first baseman Rebel Ridling started putting things together this week, as he was 2-for-3 with a walk on Sunday as Magallanes lost to La Guaria 6-5.
Monday’s contest saw contributions from several players from the Cubs’ system. Rebel Ridling was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Iowa first baseman Bryan LaHair cracked his eighth home run, as he was 2-for-4 and also drove in two runs. While Iowa reliever Robert Coello gave up an earned run in an inning, he also struck out a batter and earned his eighth hold and the Navigators coasted to a 10-4 victory over Caracas.
Rebel Ridling followed his Monday performance by going 2-for-4 in Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to Anzoategui. In that game, LaHair was 0-for-3 with a walk.
The three Cub farmhands appeared together again on Friday. Bryan LaHair was 0-for-4 with a walk while Rebel Ridling was 0-for-5. Robert Coello tossed a scoreless two-thirds of an inning as the Navs lost 7-5 to Aragua.
Bryan LaHair got back a little on track on Saturday by going 1-for-4, but Rebel Ridling was 0-for-3 as the Pathfinders were shut out 5-0 by Margarita.
Aguilas del Zulia
Iowa starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx continued his march through the VWL on Sunday, picking up his fifth win as Zulia beat up on Margarita 7-3 Bibens-Dirkx pitched 6.2 innings and allowed two earned runs. He struck out for to improve his record to5-2.
Bibens-Dirkx then blew away seven batters on Satuday, as the Eagles nearly squandered the effort but held on to win over Aragua 3-2 in 12 innings. In the game, Bibens-Dirkx tossed five innings and allowed an earned run. Bibens-Dirkx is now in the VWL’s top ten in wins, ERA, strikeouts and WHIP.
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