Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 12/24/12

Happy Holidays from everyone at the CCO!

Today we visit warmer climes as the regular seasons are winding down in the winter leagues. The Dominican Winter League finished their season on Friday, with Junior Lake, Nelson Perez, Rafael Dolis and Luis Liria all heading into post-season action as Estrellas de Oriente secured one of the two playoff spots. As a late addition, reliever Frank Batista will also be a part of the post-season with the league leading Aguilas Cibaenas.

In other news, Ty’Relle Harris was a surprise starter in Puerto Rico and tossed a great game for Gigantes de Carolina. While in Venezuela, both J.C. Boscan and Luis Valbuena had huge games this past week.

Note: Coverage of the winter leagues will be by calendar week, Sunday through Saturday

Dominican Winter League

Aguilas Cibaenas

Tennessee closer Frank Batista became the latest player from the Cubs’ organization to join the winter leagues and he couldn’t have picked a better team, as the playoff bound Eagles won 6-4 over Cibao on Friday. Batista walked a batter in a scoreless inning.

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Toros del Este 

The week started for the Bulls with one of the most impressive performance by a Cubs pitching prospect this winter. Alberto Cabrera started on Sunday and struck out ten while walking six through four scoreless innings as Este beat Escogido 8-6.  Reliever Jeffry Antigua wasn’t as lucky. Antigua surrendered two earned runs while lasting only 0.1 innings.

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Jeffry Antigua did a little better on Tuesday. Antigua tossed 0.2 of a scoreless inning while Diory Hernandez was 0-for-1 with an RBI as the Herd lost 6-5 to Escogido in 12 innings.

Tigres del Licey

Arismendy Alcantara’s only action this week was on Monday when he reached base on a sacrifice bunt and later scored.

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Estrellas de Oriente

The week started out dramatically for both Junior Lake and the Estrellas as they beat Cibao 5-3 on Sunday. Lake played third base went 1-for-3 with a walk. But it was his grand slam homer that proved the difference. Rafael Dolis picked up a hold as he struck out a batter in a scoreless two-thirds of an inning.

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Junior Lake moved to a new position on Tuesday. Lake lined up in centerfield and was 1-for-4 as the Stars lost 4-3 to Cibaenas. Nelson Perez went 0-for-1 as a pinch hitter in the game.

It took eleven innings, but Oriente finally fell to Escogido 4-0 on Wednesday.  Nelson Perez went 0-for-2 with two walks, while Junior Lake played third base and went 0-for-5 at the plate. Rafael Dolis struck out three over 1.1 scoreless innings.

The Stars played their final game of the regular season on Friday and lost 4-3 to Este. Nelson Perez was 1-for-4, while Junior Lake moved out to left field and went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and an RBI.

Mexican Pacific League

Venados de Mazatlan

For close observers of the Cubs’ minor league system Tuesday’s performance by Jay Jackson was one more like they are used to seeing. Jackson allowed seven earned runs over 4.2 innings, walked a batter and struck out five as the Stags beat Obregon 9-8.

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Yaquis de Obregon

It was a quiet week for Cubs’ prospects in Obregon and it started with infielder Christian Villanueva being moved to the reserve list. On Sunday, Alfredo Amezaga went 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored, as the Yaquis defeated Mexicali 6-5. Esmailin Caridad earned his eleventh hold by pitching a scoreless inning.

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The Tribe then took on Mazatlan on Tuesday and lost to the Venados 9-8. Esmailin Caridad ended up taking the loss after he gave up an earned run, along with a walk and a strikeout in an inning of work. Alfredo Amezaga drove in a run and was 1-for-4 at the plate.

A tight contest on Thursday saw the Yaquis stumble 1-0 to Mazatlan in 11 innings. Esmailin Caridad recorded a strikeout and pitched a scoreless inning in the game.

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League

Atenienses de Manati

It was a very steady week for Edwin Maysonet that began in an odd way on Sunday as Manati completed a suspended game by losing 2-1 to Mayaguez. Maysonet was 0-for-1 as the team’s designated hitter.

Sunday’s regularly scheduled game was then completed early with the Athenians drubbing Mayaguez 10-4 in seven innings. Edwin Maysonet played left field and went 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI in the game.

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After a day off, Manati was back on the field Tuesday as they lost a heartbreaker 1-0 to Carolina. Edwin Maysonet lined up in left field and went 1-for-3 with a walk.

The Warriors were victorious on Thursday, blanking Caguas 5-0. Edwin Maysonet moved back to shortstop and, for the third straight game, went 1-for-3. Maysonet walked, scored a run, and drove in a run.

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Even though the Manati’s played a doubleheader on Saturday, the results were practically identical as they lost both games … 5-2 and 4-1 respectively to Carolina. In each game, Edwin Maysonet played left field and went 1-for-3 at the dish.

Gigantes de Carolina

The Giants saw the fortunes of one Cubs player go up this week, while another one went down. The Giants began the week by losing 3-1 to Santurce last Sunday. Justin Bour played left field and went 1-for-4, while Ty’Relle Harris struck out a batter in a scoreless inning.

Ty’Relle Harris walked three in 0.2 innings on Tuesday and Justin Bour went 0-for-3 while seeing action at both left field and first base as Carolina edged Manati 1-0.

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The struggles continued for Justin Bour on Wednesday. Bour lined up in left field and went 0-for-4 as the G-men lost 6-3 to Santurce.

Ty’Relle Harris was asked to start for Carolina on Saturday and Harris responded with an excellent outing. Harris went four innings and tossed a two-hit shutout while striking out five as the Giants beat Manati 4-1.

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Venezuelan Winter League

Bravos de Margarita

It was a busy week for the Braves but it didn’t translate to wins and Margarita continued to stagger to the end of the regular season. On Monday, Dave Sappelt went0-for-4 in a 3-2 loss to Margarita. It was time to play two on Tuesday. Alberto Gonzalez lined up at third base and went 2-for-3 while stealing his second base and scoring a run as the Bravos won 8-6 over La Guiara. Dave Sappelt was 1-for-4 with a run scored in the game.

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Alberto Gonzalez moved to his left and played shortstop in game two. Gonzalez went 1-for-3 with a double in a 5-3 loss to La Guiara. Dave Sappelt walked and stole a base but went 0-for-2.

Alberto Gonzalez remained at shortstop over the next three games and went 1-for-4 in a 10-1 loss to Caracas on Wednesday.

In a real nail-biter on Thursday, Dave Sappelt hit a solo homer in the top of the ninth to put the Braves ahead 2-1 against Anzoategui … and that’s how the contest would end. Sappelt ended up 1-for-5 in the game and Alberto Gonzalez was also 1-for-5.

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Margarita ended the week with another doubleheader on Saturday and lost 3-1 to Anzoategui in the first game. Alberto Gonzalez went 1-2. In the nightcap, Gonzalez moved to second base and was 0-for-3 as the Braves were shut out 3-0.

Cardenales de Lara

Infielder Luis Valbuena experienced a bit of a slump this week, but pulled out of it in a big way. Things started off bad as Valbuena was 0-for-4 in 5-1 win over Caracas on Tuesday.

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Luis Valbuena then bounced back, a little, and went1-4 as the Cardinals defeated Aragua on Wednesday 7-6.

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While the Redbirds kept winning on Thursday, Luis Valbuena continued his struggles at the plate. Valbuena went 0-for-5 as Lara beat Aragua 4-3.

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Luis Valbuena managed only a pinch hitting appearance on Friday in an 11-10 loss to La Guaira.

Luis Valbuena broke out on Saturday and went 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored as the Cardinals steamrolled La Guaira 9-1.

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Caribes de Anzoategui

It was a week to forget for Johermyn Chavez as the outfielder had a miserable time at the plate. His most promising game was on Monday when Chavez drew two walks and scored a run, but was 0-for-3 in the Caribes’ 9-7 victory over Zulia.

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Johermyn Chavez repeated his 0-3 performance on Tuesday in a 3-2 loss to Zulia. Chavez wasn’t any more successful on Wednesday as he walked and went 0-for-2 as Anzoategui lost 4-3 to Zulia.

After a few brief appearances in which he only saw action in the field, it was more of the same for Johermyn Chavez on Saturday. Chavez once again went hitless in three at bats. However, the Indians pulled off a 3-1 win over Margarita.

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Leones de Caracas

It was a slow week for players from the organization in Caracas as no one saw the field until Wednesday. J.C. Boscan walked and scored a run but went 0-for-4 as the Lions won 10-1 over Margarita.

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J.C. Boscan then had an absolutely monster game on Thursday. Boscan blasted a three-run homer and went 2-for-3 with five RBI and a stolen base. Hector Rondon struck out a batter in a perfect inning as the Pride defeated Magallanes 10-5.

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Tiburones de La Guaira

It was a rough week for Eduardo Figueroa as he failed to get out of the first inning on Monday. Figueroa allowed four earned runs and recorded only one out as La Guaira lost to Aragua 12-4.

Eduardo Figueroa made his next appearance in relief on Wednesday. Figueroa pitched three innings and gave up four earned runs while striking out two batters. The results were nearly the same and the Sharks ended up losing 13-4 to Magallanes.

Eduardo Figueroa finished out the week by retiring the only batter he faced on Saturday as the Tiburones were wiped out by Lara 9-1.

Australian Baseball League

Brisbane Bandits

Ryan Searle continued his transformation into a closer by shutting down the Canberra Cavalry in the ninth on Thursday. Searle struck out a batter and picked up his fourth save.

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  • SuzyS

    Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all at the CCO.

    Tom, Once again, thanks for keeping us informed on what’s happening down south…your work is a resource not to be found anywhere else…Invaluable!!!

    • Tom U

      Thank you Suzy, and Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday’s to you and yours.

      I always strive to be a reporter in the articles in order to give information, allowing everyone to make up their own minds about players. Thanks for reaffirming this for me.

      • paulcatanese

        I would echo Suzie on this one, she always puts up a hard one to follow. But will add my own thanks to all you’re and Neil’s work in keeping the site one of the best, Including Brian.
        Thanks guy’s.
        Merry Christmas and Happy New year to all.

        • Neil

          Thank you Paul and a very Merry Christmas to you and your family

  • Tony_Hall

    Just came across this talking about Elvis Andrus.

    “06:55 AM ET 12.23 | With Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli having departed, the Rangers are looking ahead to their next challenge — trying to extend shortstop Elvis Andrus’ contract before he hits free agency in two years. One guess at the package necessary is four years, $72 million.”

    So that shows the high price of upper echelon SS. Castro’s 7 years $60M seems like a bargain compared to that extension proposal. Even if you take the CO on Castro in 2020, and use the last 4 years, Castro’s last 4 years come to, 4 years $46M.

    I expect to see more of these type of extensions from this FO. Rizzo and Samardzija are next, sometime in the next year.

    • J Daniel

      Exactly why Castro will demand really good value back in a trade when they decide to move him. Just a matter of when Baez or someone else is ready.

  • daverj

    I think Baez may be the trade bait, not Castro.

    • J Daniel

      We will see but remember theo traded Nomar so nobody is off limits. I believe it will be Castro as he will bring a good return.

      • Theboardrider

        It better be a phenomenal return if or when…

        • J Daniel

          Agree, but that is how you keep building and adding pieces. Have young players that come up with equal value, are cheaper to pay, and allow the trading of someone at high value. Sounds like smart business which the Cubs have not partaken in since the beginning of time.

      • paulcatanese

        Agree, Theo did trade Nomar to the Cubs. I was full of anticipation when he came over to the North Side, but was generaly disapointed with the results when he was with the Cubs.

        Truly believe Nomar was at the very end of his career and never played up to his billing, Don’t know what it was, injuries (he had a few here) older, at any rate don’t feel he did the job.

        Nomar was a fixture in Boston, but then Theo must have seen something that no one else did .

        I liked him a lot, but was very disappointed with his play.

    • paulcatanese

      That decision will depend on how Baez

      matures, and he has a way to go. Right now Castro has the edge because of experience, but Baez may have the edge with power.

      That edge he has has to be channeld

      and smoothed out. Castro has a much better attitude than Baez, and seems more willing to listen, Castro’s mistakes have not been brought on by brashness

      and ego, but by the unability to concentrate, and he improving of that.

      There a lot of obsticals for Baez to overcome Castro at this time in his career, and a decision would have to be made whether or not it can be done,

      That alone could have Baez on the block before Castro.

      Given that they have the same mental qualifications then I woud agree that Castro could be traded over Baez, but their’s a lot to be worked on with Baez

      to get him on an even par with Castro.

  • Theboardrider

    Yeah mos def. Merry Christmas to all the staff. I’m on here daily and really appreciate the hard work. I wish my favorite teams in other sports had a site as well done as this but there’s nothing close.

    Also Merry Christmas to all my fellow posters.