Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 01/09/12

With the Puerto Rico Baseball League concluding their regular season this past Wednesday, the winter leagues enter the playoffs to determine the participants in the Caribbean World Series.

Pitching dominated the past week, as pitchers Marco Carrillo and Austin Bibens-Dirkx tried to lead their respective teams further. Meanwhile Kyle Smit helped his team move on, while Ryan Searle baffled batters “down under”.

For more on these and other performances, take a look at this week’s Down on the Farm Report.

Dominican Winter League
The DWL’s round-robin playoffs will continue through January 17. Leading the tournament is Leones del Escogido with an 8-1 record. Aguillas Cibaenas and Gigantes del Cibao are tied at 3-4, while Tigres del Licey is 3-6. During the past week, there were not any players in the Cubs’ system that saw any action.

Mexican Pacific League

Yaquis de Obregon
Both Cuilican and Mexicali have advanced to the semi-final round in the MPL playoffs, while Obregon leads their series with Guasave 3-2. Tennessee reliever Oswaldo Martinez came in on Monday’s game and threw 1.2 IP, He struck out a batter and served up a solo homer as Obergon would have to do an extra inning to defeat Guasave 8-7.

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On Wednesday, Marco Carrillo got the call for the Yaquis and had his first poor outing of the winter. Carrillo went 2.1 innings and surrendered five earned runs, including a two-run homer. However, the Tribe brought their sticks with them, as they outlasted the Cotton Growers 9-8. Oswaldo Martinez also tossed 1.1 innings, also giving up a home run while striking out a batter.

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Puerto Rico Baseball League

Indios de Mayaguez
The LBPPR ended their regular season play on Wednesday. One day earlier, Iowa reliever Kyle Smit did his part to try and eliminate Carolina from the playoffs. He tossed a shutout inning of relief as the Indians lost 2-0 to the Giants. As the playoffs began, Smit was back on the mound on Saturday with a scoreless two-thirds of an inning as Mayaguez triumphed 5-1 over Ponce.

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Venezuelan Winter League

Aguilas del Zulia
Down 0-3 in the VWL’s round-robin play, Zulia was looking for a boost from league-leading pitcher Austin Bibens-Dirkx on Friday. However, Bibens-Dirkx really struggled, giving up five earned runs in four innings. He struck out only one batter and took the loss as the Eagles fell 5-3 to Aragua.

Australian Baseball League

Brisbane Bandits
Tennessee starter Ryan Searle appears to be rounding into form, making a start for Brisbane on Friday. Searle threw 5.2 innings and allowed four earned runs, including a solo home run. However, Searle struck out nine to even his record at 1-1 and lower his ERA to 4.50 as the Bandits took down first place Perth 11-8.

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News and Notes
According to Baseball America, the Cubs released right-handed pitcher Gian Guzman and outfielders Manuel Barrios and Jesus Morelli. The Cubs also added pieces to their minor league system when they acquired Anthony Rizzo and Zach Cates for Andrew Cashner and minor league outfielder Kyung-Min Na.

Jeff Stevens and Luis Montanez are no longer in the Cubs’ system. Stevens, who was acquired in the Mark DeRosa trade along with Chris Archer and John Gaub, signed a minor league contract with the Mets. Montanez also signed with a NL East organization. Montanez inked a minor league deal with the Phillies.

The Cubs also announced they signed outfielder/first baseman Joe Mather and infielder Edgar Gonzalez to minor league contracts in December.

Attention CCO Readers
The Down on the Farm reader’s poll continues. Please post the names of the minor league players you would like the Down on the Farm Report to follow next season. 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 to be followed. Last week, readers exceeded the number of players nominated and number of votes cast for the entire six weeks of last year’s poll.

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Quote of the Day

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