Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 01/23/12

As we near the Caribbean World Series, Obregon continued its drive to defend their title with the help of Marco Carrillo, Oswaldo Martinez, and Alfredo Amezaga. Kyle Smit may have pitched the game of his life as Mayaguez inched closer to the series, while Juan Apodaca and former Cubs’ farmhand Austin Bibens-Dirkx tried to keep Zulia’s hopes afloat.

In Australia, the Brisbane Bandits made a desperate last minute push for the playoffs with Ryan Searle leading the way.

To find out how your favorites fared, look inside this week’s Down on the Farm Report.

Dominican Winter League

Gigantes del Cibao
Newly re-signed catcher Mario Mercedes had a rare appearance on Monday, going 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter/defensive replacement in the Giants’ 8-2 loss to Escogido. Cibao was eliminated from post-season play, as Escogido faces Cibaenas in the DWL championship.

Mexican Pacific League

Yaquis de Obregon
Ahead 2-1 in their semi-final series against Mexicali, Obregon turned to starter Marco Carrillo to widen the gap on Sunday. Carrillo was up to the task as he threw six innings, allowing only a solo home run and striking out three in a 5-1 win over the Eagles. Shortstop Alfredo Amezaga was 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.

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Alfredo Amezaga was then 1-for-5 with a run scored on Monday, as the Yaquis eliminated Mexicali 10-3. Reliever Oswaldo Martinez helped nail down the victory by striking out a batter in a scoreless inning of work.

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As the LMP finals began on Saturday, Alfredo Amezaga was 0-for-3 in the Tribe’s 3-2 win over Guasave.

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Puerto Rico Baseball League

Indios de Mayaguez
Mayaguez currently has a 4-2 lead in the LBPPR best of nine finals.

Last Sunday, Iowa pitcher Kyle Smit tossed an inning of relief as the Indians fell 4-0 to Caugas. Smit then went on to have one of his finest pitching performances on Tuesday. Called on with two out in the third inning, Smit delivered 4.1 innings of scoreless baseball. Smit struck out three and earned the win as Mayaguez beat Caugas 2-0.

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Saturday night’s game was suspended in the ninth inning, with Mayaguez leading 8-4. Completed Sunday afternoon, Kyle Smit was called on again as Caugas inched closer by scoring another run. Smit set down the side after inducing a double play and getting a pop-up after allowing a hit. Smit would earn the save as the Indians won 8-5.

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Venezuelan Winter League

Aguilas del Zulia
The Cubs recently signed 25-year old minor league catcher Juan Apodaca, formerly of the Indians and Red Sox organizations. Apodaca was 1-for-4 in a 16-5 loss to La Guaira on Sunday and 0-4 on Thursday, as the Eagles lost 8-1 to Anzoategui.

Former Cubs’ farmhand Austin Bibens-Dirkx got his playoff form back on track, tossing seven innings of shut-out ball on Wednesday. Bibens-Dirkx struck out two and improved his post-season record to 1-2 as the Eagles defeated on Anzoategui 3-1.

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Australian Baseball League

Brisbane Bandits
The Brisbane Bandits ended the ABL regular season tied for the last remaining playoff spot, but lost out on the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Tennessee starter Ryan Searle did his best to keep the Bandits in contention. On the season’s penultimate day, Searle went seven innings in the second half of a double-header. Searle allowed two earned runs, including a solo home run, and struck out nine for a 4-3 win over Adelaide. For the season, Searle was 3-1with a 3.66 ERA and 32 strikeouts against 9 walks in 32 innings pitched.

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News and Notes
The Cubs re-signed Mario Mercedes according to Baseball America. The Cubs also signed Jason Jaramillo, Rodrigo Lopez and Matt Tolbert to minor league contracts that include non-roster invitations to Spring Training.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals.

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.

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Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt