Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 12/31/12

¡Feliz Año Nuevo! to all the readers at the CCO! As the regular season entered its final days in Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, the playoffs began in the Dominican Republic. Starting pitching seemed to be the highlight of the past week, marked by excellent performances from Alberto Cabrera, Ty’Relle Harris, Jay Jackson, and another surprise from Ryan Searle.

In the field, Luis Valbuena got back into the swing of things while a rest seemed to help Alfredo Amezaga. And in Venezuela, another player joined the ever-growing winter roster as teenage outfielder Arnaldo Calero suited up for Margarita.

As a note to readers, please stay with us until the very end, as a special announcement from the CCO follows the article.

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

Dominican Winter League

Toros del Este 

The playoffs began on a high note for the Bulls on Thursday as they beat Oriente 3-1. Diory Hernandez walked and went 0-for-3 in the game.

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Diory Hernandez did a little better on Friday as he doubled as part of a 1-for-3 performance at the plate. But this time, Este was shut out 3-0 by Cibaenas.

Alberto Cabrera took the hill on Saturday and was up to the task. Cabrera blanked Escogido over 5.1 innings as the Herd would end up winning 5-1. Cabrera was in top form and walked one while striking out four in his first playoff start. Diory Hernandez was 1-for-4 with a run scored.

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Estrellas de Oriente

While coming into the playoffs with the second best record, the Eastern Stars struggled mightily in the first week of play in the DWL. On Thursday, Junior Lake played left field and was 2-for-4 as Oriente lost 3-1 to Este. Nelson Perez went 0-for-1 as a pinch hitter in the game.

Friday saw the Stars get blown away by Escogido as they lost 12-5. Nelson Perez (1-for-3) drove in a run and Junior Lake (2-for-4) scored two runs while seeing action at both third base and shortstop. Rafael Dolis struck out a batter in a scoreless inning.

It was back to the outfield for Junior Lake on Saturday, but things didn’t get any better as Estrellas lost 5-2 to Cibaenas. Lake was 1-for-3 with a walk and a double, while Nelson Perez went 0-for-2.

Mexican Pacific League

Venados de Mazatlan

The good Jay Jackson showed up for the Stags on Saturday as Mazatlan defeated Hermosillo 3-1. Jackson tossed eight innings, allowing an earned run with a walk while striking out seven of the Orangemen. Jackson improved to 3-2 this winter with the strong eight-inning outing.

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Yaquis de Obregon

After starting out the second half as hot as a firecracker, the playoffs seem all but lost for Obregon. They began the past week well by defeating Guasave 5-4 on Sunday as Esmailin Caridad pitched a scoreless inning in relief.

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Alfredo Amezaga returned to the line-up after on Wednesday and it seemed as if the rest helped. Amezaga went 3-for-5 with an RBI as the Yaquis beat Culiacan 4-2.

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The Tribe battled the Tomato Pickers for eleven innings on Thursday and came up on the wrong end of a 4-3 game. Esmailin Caridad struck out two in a scoreless inning, while Alfredo Amezaga was 1-for-6 with an RBI. Amezaga scored two runs against the Mayos on Friday and finished the game 2-for-4 as Obregon lost 8-7 to Novajoa. Esmailin Caridad struck out two and walked one over two scoreless innings.

However, it was the end for the Doomsayers on Saturday as the Yaquis defeated Novajoa 7-6. Alfredo Amezaga was 2-for-4 in the victory.

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Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League

Atenienses de Manati

Things are winding down in what turned out to be a dismal season for Manati and it seemed to have an effect on Edwin Maysonet. Maysonet primarily played left field the entire week and last Sunday he went1-for-4 with a run scored as the Athenians lost 11-4 to Carolina.

After a break for the holiday, Edwin Maysonet was ice cold on Wednesday. Maysonet went 0-for-4 with a run scored as Manati lost 8-3 to Ponce.

The closest the Warriors would get to a win this past week came on Thursday … but they fell in a 15 inning affair to Ponce 11-9. Edwin Maysonet scored two runs, doubled and ended up 1-for-6 with a walk while seeing action at third base. And that would be the last time that Maysonet would be successful at the plate. Maysonet went 0-for-4 and 0-for-3 respectively on Friday and Saturday in a pair of losses.

Gigantes de Carolina

It will be an uphill battle for the Giants as they enter the final day of the season 1.5 games out of the last playoff spot. Carolina could have taken care of business this past week, but sputtered down the stretch. On Wednesday, Justin Bour came in as a pinch hitter and stayed in to play left field. Bour went 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI in a 6-5 loss to Mayaguez.

Justin Bour was called on to pinch hit and play left field again on Thursday, but the results were not any different as the G-men lost to Mayaguez 3-2.

Justin Bour seemed to try and carry Carolina on his back on Friday … but it still wasn’t good enough as Mayaguez topped them again 8-7. Bour went 3-for-3 with two walks, a home run, and two RBI while splitting time between left field and first base.

However, the Giants were able to salvage their week on Saturday thanks to starter Ty’Relle Harris as they came up with a 6-5 victory over Santurce in 10 innings. Harris went six innings and gave up three runs (one earned) while walking one and striking out nine batters. Justin Bour was 1-for-4 with a walk, a double and two runs scored while again playing both left field and first base.

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Venezuelan Winter League

Bravos de Margarita

It seems as though the Braves are playing out the string as they failed to win once this past week. Alberto Gonzalez played third base and went 0-for-4 on Thursday in a 3-1 loss to Magallanes.

Nineteen-year old Venezuelan outfielder Arnaldo Calero joined Margarita on Friday and went 0-for-1 in a pinch-hitting appearance as the Bravos lost 10-1 to Magallanes. Alberto Gonzalez went 1-for-1 with a walk and was stationed at third base again.

The Braves lost again on Saturday, this time 8-5 to Lara as third baseman Alberto Gonzalez was 1-for-4 with a walk, a run scored, and two RBI. Arnaldo Calero delivered an RBI as he went 1-for-2 at DH.

Cardenales de Lara

‘Tis the season for infielder Luis Valbuena to heat up again and he started the week out by going 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored as the Cardinals defeated Caracas 5-4 last Sunday.

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Luis Valbuena came back ready to go following the holiday break on Thursday. Valbuena belted a three-run homer and was 2-for-5 with four RBI as Lara lost 9-7 to Zulia. Luis Valbuena was then in the thick of things on Friday as he went 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, a run scored, and two RBI in another loss … this time 10-9 to Anzoategui.

Caribes de Anzoategui

While the Caribes were victorious on Friday, outfielder Johermyn Chavez did little to contribute as he went 0-for-3 with two walks in a 10-9 win over Lara.

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Leones de Caracas

Right-handed reliever Loiger Padron didn’t appear rusty seeing his first action since October 19. Padron struck out a batter in two scoreless innings on Friday as the Lions lost 12-2 to Zulia.

Australian Baseball League

Brisbane Bandits

The Ryan Searle story in Australia took another turn this week as the burly right-hander was called on to start for the Bandits on Saturday against Melbourne. Searle gave up three earned runs to the Aces in 5.2 innings with two walks and five strikeouts. Brisbane would end up losing the game 5-3.

More Additions to the CCO

In an effort to provide our readers with even more information, Chicago Cubs Online is introducing depth charts of the Cubs affiliated minor league teams. A graphic will show you where each player lines up, followed by a list of that team’s players with a link to their page at Baseball-Reference. Each chart is referenced back to the team’s web page, so there will be no guesswork as to where each player stands. It is all part of the CCO’s effort to provide comprehensive, one-stop reading for the Cubs Faithful.

Minor League Depth Charts

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"What scares me is what scares you. We're all afraid of the same things." - John Carpenter

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  • calicub

    I don’t know how but you guys seem to make this site better nd better each and every day.

    Keep up the great work Neil, Brian, and Tom and Happy New Year to the Faithful

  • AGUSTIN REXACH RODRIGUEZ

    Another Great year for the CCO Family! Neil, Abby, Brian, and Tom and every poster that make this the best Cub Site…..Happy New Year and thank you for my daily Cub fix!

    To my old pals Jim Tinley, Aaron, Suzy…All I know is that with all that we know, we don’t know nothing’ about this crazy game. One of this years we might win. With that said; It might be our year.

    • SuzyS

      Agustin, Well said…on knowledge of the game…that’s what makes the game so great.
      Great to see you posting again, my friend!!!
      Happy New Year to you and yours!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Hey, I like those depth charts! Thank you!!

    Oh no! Now I need an Alka Seltzer. I just saw on the Iowa Cubs depth chart that Hayden Simpson is a starter in their rotation. Oh my achin’ head!

  • Ela Malacca

    Keep up the great work Neil, Brian and Tom and Happy New Year

  • Dorasaga

    Tom, I think mlb.com will envy yours.
    ;-)

    Enjoy 2013.

    ps. Quite amusing to see no leftie from Iowa.

  • daverj

    Love the depth charts. Thanks! Where is Soler expected to begin the year? I didn’t see him on the charts.

    • Tom U

      daverj, thanks for the support. Neil and I tossed around a few ideas, with Neil coming up with this great format.

      Jorge Soler is currently unassigned. He is expected to start the season at Kane Co., but that isn’t certain at this time.

      The depth charts will be maintained at proper intervals, with information coming from the team’s official website. That way, readers are getting accurate information, and not speculation.

      • daverj

        Thanks. Personally I’m very high on Soler. Although the expert rankings differ from mine, I like his prospects better than Baez and Almora.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Thank you guys for the great comments this morning, I appreciate all of them.

    As Tom mentioned, the depth charts will be updated as official roster moves are made. To access the depth charts, there is a drop down menu at the top of the site next to the 40-man roster.

    • paulcatanese

      Happy New Year to you, Tom and Brian,enjoyed the year with the posts, great work.
      However I am so upset with the way the year has gone, I will not post again until “next year”:)
      Going to spend New Years with the family and our
      favorite “Ox Tail ragu with barley” at midnight with a little champange.
      Happy Holidays to everyone on the site.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Paul, Happy New Year to you and your family … and have one for me.

      • Tom U

        Paul, it’s been years since I’ve had Ox Tail. Enjoy one for me! And have a Happy New Year!

  • cloycub13

    Happy new Year Cubs fans! And I echo the statements of others, always a spectacular site and THE only place for Cubs info! Thanks CCO family!

    • Brp921

      I agree cloycub13, and my compliments and thanks to Neil, Tom and Brian, I rarely visit the Chicago newspaper websites anymore, theres just no need to.

  • brent carmona

    Just wanted to give a late happy holidays and happy new year to all (its my bday today as well lucky me!). Always enjoy the posters here, thanks guys for all your insight and informative postings. As for the guys that run the site, well, can’t say how much I appreciate the hard work you guys do. The CCO, for the past two years has been my number one most visited site on my phone and home computer, I enjoy it immensely. Thanks again and bring in the new year with joy and safety!

  • RynoTiger

    I think with all these enhancements, in addition to the specialized minor league reports, and winter league updates to the site, CCO has clearly separated itself from so many of the other Cubs blogs out there and taken such huge leaps forward. It’s almost like you have a plan to sustain your success..hmm…coincidence?….
    I’m looking forward to the video commenting option so that we can literally see all the passion on video of many posters. :)

  • John_CC

    Happy New Year, CCO!!