Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 01/02/12

¡Feliz Año Nuevo a todos en la CCO! As an old year ended and a new one begins, the regular season came to an end for most of the winter leagues while the playoff season started for others.

With teams fighting to keep playing in the post-season, several players raised their level of performance. Pitchers Marco Carrillo and Oswaldo Martinez did their best to keep their team in the hunt, as did Kyle Smit. Bryan LaHair kept thundering away, and another debut was made by pitcher Ryan Searle.

To see how they all made out, take a look inside this week’s Down on the Farm Report.

Dominican Winter League
It was a quiet week in the DWL. As their playoff began, there were no appearances by any prospects from the Cubs’ system.

Mexican Pacific League

Yaquis de Obregon
As Obregon continued to challenge for a playoff spot, Marco Carrillo pitched a gem. On Monday, Carrillo allowed an unearned run in six innings and struck out five as the Yaquis defeated Culiacan 4-2. Carrillo improved his record to 5-3 while lowering his ERA to 2.72.

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Tennessee reliever Oswaldo Martinez continues to make some noise, striking out a batter in Wednesday’s 6-5 loss to Navojoa. Facing the Mayos again on Friday, Martinez struck out a batter and served up a solo home run in 2.1 innings of work, as the Tribe lost again to Navojoa 8-6.

Puerto Rico Baseball League

Indios de Mayaguez
Iowa reliever Kyle Smit is proving to be a reliable performer for Mayaguez. In Wednesday’s 11-6 victory over Caguas, Smit had a strikeout in a scoreless innings of work.

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On Friday, Kyle Smit lowered his ERA to 1.29 and earned his third hold as the Indians held off Caguas 4-1. Smit tossed 1.1 innings and struck out a batter.

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Venezuelan Winter League

Caribes de Anzoategui
As the regular season wound down in the VWL, Carlos Zambrano took the hill for the Caribes on Tuesday. Zambrano threw 4.1 innings, allowing an earned run and striking out two as Anzoategui won a 2-1 squeaker over Zulia. In that Game, newly acquired Dave Sappelt was 1-for-3.

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Dave Sappelt was in the starting line-up again on Thursday and was 1-for-4 with a double in a 5-1 loss to Lara.

Navegantes del Magallanes
With other members of the line-up finally clicking, Bryan LaHair helped push Magallanes closer to the playoffs this week. LaHair started on Monday by going 1-for-3 with a double, RBI, and a walk in a 12-11 loss to Margarita. In that game, Rebel Ridling was 1-for-4.

Bryan LaHair was 1-for-2 with two walks on Tuesday as the Navigators fell again, this time 6-1 to league leader La Guaira.

Bryan LaHair was then 2-for-4 with an RBI, as he cracked his league topping 15th home run in Wednesday’s 12-4 Victory over Zulia. Rebel Ridling struck out in a pinch-hitting appearance.

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In the Navs’ final game of the regular season on Thursday, Bryan LaHair was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk, as the Pathfinders blew out Caracas 10-0. With no one within four home runs of him, Bryan LaHair became the league’s home run champion.

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Aguilas del Zulia
The string of good outings came to an end for Austin Bibens-Dirkx on Monday. Bibens-Dirkx allowed three earned runs in 6.2 innings and struck out five as the Eagles lost 3-2 to Anzoategui. Bibens-Dirkx ended the season with a 7-3 record and a 2.19 ERA.

Australian Baseball League

Brisbane Bandits
Due to time differences, Tennessee starter Ryan Searle’s first appearance on December 17 was missed on last week’s report. Ryan Searle went 4.1 innings in his debut and struck out seven, but served up three earned runs and took the loss as the Bandits fell 4-2 to Adelaide.

Ryan Searle was back on the hill on Saturday as Brisbane thumped Canberra 10-2. In the game, Searle tossed six innings and allowed two runs (one earned) while striking out four batters.

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Attention CCO Readers!
The Down on the Farm reader’s poll is now beginning. Please post the names of the minor league players you would like the Down on the Farm Report to follow a little closer next season and provide weekly stat updates. The CCO will track the progress of ten players throughout the entire season. A representative sample of positions and levels of play is optimal. You can name as many players as you like, but remember, only ten will be chosen. Last year, readers nominated 45 separate players. So from Brett Jackson to Varonex Cuevas, all nominations will be accepted and given equal weight.

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Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne