Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 01/16/12

As the playoff season winds down, Caribbean Champion Obregon continued to make a push toward defending their crown, thanks to Oswaldo Martinez and a new member of the Cubs’ family, Alfredo Amezaga. Kyle Smit advanced to the finals in Puerto Rico, while the struggles continue for Austin Bibens-Dirkx in Venezuela. And, upon further review, Nelson Perez wasn’t needed by Escogido in the Dominican Republic.

Meanwhile, Ryan Searle gave his native Australia a rare treat as he and his Brisbane teammates fight for their playoff lives.

For more details, check out this week’s Down on the Farm Report.

Dominican Winter League

Leones de Escogido
Round robin play in the DWL continued with the Lions leading Cibaenas by three games with a 10-5 record. The only appearance by a Cub prospect this week was Tennessee outfielder Nelson Perez. Perez was announced as a pinch-hitter on Tuesday, only to be pulled after a pitching change as Escogido lost 14-4 to Licey.

Mexican Pacific League

Yaquis de Obregon
Needing a win to advance on Sunday, Tennessee reliever Oswaldo Martinez ended up slamming the door with a perfect ninth. Martinez picked up his first save of the playoffs as Obregon defeated Guasave 6-3 to move to the semifinals.

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Down one game to none to Mexicali on Thursday, Oswaldo Martinez snuffed out a two-run rally in the sixth inning by getting the last batter to pop-out. The Yaquis went on to post a 4-3 win over Mexicali to even the series.

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On Saturday, newly signed shortstop Alfredo Amezaga delivered a one-out RBI single to put the Tribe on the board for the first time in the game. Obergon would go on to win 3-2 over Mexicali as Amenzaga was 2-for-4. The Yaquis are now up 2-1 in the series.

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Puerto Rico Baseball League

Indios de Mayaguez
Mayaguez advanced to the LBPPR finals against Caugas after the Indians defeated Ponce 5-4 on Tuesday. Iowa reliever Kyle Smit tossed a scoreless inning and earned a hold in the victory. The Tribe now leads the Creoles 1-0 in the best on nine series.

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Venezuelan Winter League

Aguilas del Zulia
The Eagles and Austin Bibens-Dirkx continue to be frustrated in VWL round-robin play. Bibens-Dirkx remained in a funk on Wednesday as he allowed three earned runs, including another home run, in six innings in a 3-2 loss to Aragua. Bibens-Dirkx took the loss and struck out three as Zulia moved to 0-10 in the playoffs.

Australian Baseball League

Brisbane Bandits
On Friday, Tennessee starter Ryan Searle recorded only the fourth complete game in the ABL this season as he improved his record to 2-1 in a 7-3 win over Melbourne. Searle went the distance for the Bandits, striking out five while allowing three earned runs, including two solo home runs. While still in sixth place, Brisbane is only one game out of a playoff spot with five games left to play in the regular season.

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News and Notes
There are reports that Austin Bibens-Dirkx has signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals but the signing has not been confirmed.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs signed Alfredo Amezaga to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to big league camp. The Cubs also signed catcher Juan Apodaca and released right-handed pitcher Jhon Rodriguez.

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. Readers kept interest at an all time high last week, as the number of votes cast has now nearly doubled the total for the entire six weeks of last year’s poll.

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Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein