Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 01/07/13

With the start of a New Year, the playoffs in the winter leagues are now in full swing. While in losing efforts, the organization received excellent pitching performances out of Ty’Relle Harris and Ryan Searle this past week, while infielders Diory Hernandez and Luis Valbuena stayed on a roll.

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 Bulls, the last squad to make the playoffs in the DWL, have since become the surprise team.  Diory Hernandez came up big last Sunday and went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored as Este defeated Escogido 6-1. Jeffry Antigua pitched 0.2 scoreless innings, struck out a batter and earned a hold.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Toros returned from the holiday break in splendid fashion with an 8-3 win over Cibaenas on Wednesday. Diory Hernandez was only 0-for-2, but drew a walk, scored a run, and drove in a run.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

It would take 12 innings to finally stop the Herd on Thursday, as Estrellas earned their first post-season victory 5-4. Diory Hernandez was 2-for-5 with a double in the loss.

On Friday, Alberto Cabrera was tapped to start for Este and he wound up the loser to Estrellas in a 3-2 game. Cabrera allowed two earned runs over five innings while walking three and striking out three.  Jeffry Antigua walked the only batter he faced, while Diory Hernandez went 0-for-1 with a walk.

Estrellas de Oriente

The struggles for the Eastern Stars continued into the New Year as wins became hard to come by. The week started off badly last Sunday, as Oriente fell in 11 innings 4-3 to Cibaenas. Junior Lake lined up in left field and was 1-for-3 with a walk and stole his third base of the playoffs. Nelson Perez went 0-for-2 after coming in as a pinch hitter and staying in at DH. Rafael Dolis picked up a blown save. Dolis gave up an earned run in an inning of work while striking out two batters.

When play resumed for Estrellas on Wednesday, things didn’t get any better as they were shut out 5-0 by Escogido. Junior Lake was also shut down … Lake went 0-for-3 in the contest.

A win finally came the Stars’ way on Thursday as they took 12 innings to defeat Este 5-4.  Junior Lake was 2-for-5 and drove in a run, while Nelson Perez was 0-3 as the DH. Rafael Dolis walked the only batter he faced.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Oriente made it two in a row on Friday as left fielder Junior Lake was 0-for-3 in a 3-2 win over Este.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

However, the streak would not last as the Stars were on the wrong end of a 3-2 score, losing to Escogido on Saturday. Junior Lake (1-for-4) doubled and drove in a run as the DH for Estrellas.

Mexican Pacific League

Venados de Mazatlan

Jay Jackson was roughed up a bit in his first taste of playoff action on Thursday. Jackson pitched only 1.2 innings and allowed five earned runs as Mazatlan lost 7-1 to Mexicali. Jackson walked three, struck out a batter and was hung with the loss.

Yaquis de Obregon

In a tense match-up to open the playoffs, Esmailin Caridad came through with a clutch performance in relief to help defeat Guasave 3-2 on Wednesday. Caridad struck out two and walked a batter in 1.1 scoreless innings. Caridad was credited with the win.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Esmailin Caridad then did his best to keep the Yaquis in the game on Saturday, but they ended up losing 5-3 to Guasave. Caridad came on in the ninth and struck out two batters in a scoreless inning.

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League

Gigantes de Carolina

The Giants staggered into the playoffs with a losing record as they dropped their final regular season game 2-1 to Caguas last Sunday. Justin Bour was 0-for-4 in the contest.

With the playoffs beginning on Wednesday, Carolina got off on the wrong foot as they were shut out 9-0 by league leading Caguas.Justin Bour went 1-for-4 while picking up the start at first base.


Ty’Relle Harris took the mound on Thursday and pitched a dandy. Harris did not receive any run support as the G-men lost their third straight to Caguas, this time 4-3. Harris struck out three batters in seven innings and allowed only two runs (one earned). Justin Bour went 1-for-4 with a double and drove in a run.

It seemed to be more of the same on Friday as Justin Bour went 1-for-3 with a walk as Carolina lost 6-2 to Mayaguez.

AsJustin Bour announced that Saturday would be his last game in Puerto Rico, he went out in style as the Giants beat Mayaguez 7-2. Bour went 2-for-4 with a walk, a double and two RBI.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Venezuelan Winter League

Bravos de Margarita

The Braves finished the season on a down note by losing 10-8 to Caracas last Sunday. However, 18-year old outfielder Arnaldo Calero showed some future promise with a 2-for-4 performance that included a two-run home run.

Cardenales de Lara

Infielder Luis Valbuena seemed to run out of gas as the regular season came to a close last Sunday. Valbuena went 0-for-4 with an RBI as the Cardinals beat Aragua 5-3.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Luis Valbuena appeared to be back in the swing of things on Wednesday after getting a couple of days off. Valbuena was 1-for-5 with a run scored as Lara opened the playoff with a 10-5 loss to Magallanes.

The fortunes turned around for the Redbirds on Thursday as they beat Anzoategui 6-1. Luis Valbuena went 1-for-4 in the victory.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

It took extra innings for Caracas to defeat Lara on Friday as they edged the Cards 6-5 in ten innings. Luis Valbuena (1-for-5) drove in a run.

Luis Valbuena was part of a great offensive explosion by Lara in Saturday in a 13-6 defeat over Zulia. Valbuena went 2-for-4 with a walk and scored two runs.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Caribes de Anzoategui

While the Caribes ended the regular season with a 10-5 win over Magallanes, Johermyn Chavez staggered to the finish. Chavez went 1-for -5 with a run scored and ended up hitting .212 in 33 games for Anzoategui and Magallanes.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Leones de Caracas

Reliever Loiger Padron helped round out the regular season for the Lions by striking out a batter in 0.2 scoreless innings as Caracas defeated Margarita10-8 on Sunday.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Australian Baseball League

Brisbane Bandits

It was a valiant effort by Ryan Searle on Saturday, but he received no support from his teammates as the Bandits lost 2-0 to Melbourne. Brisbane managed only four hits against the Aces while Searle allowed only two earned runs over eight innings. Ryan Searle struck out five and walked no one in the loss.

Don’t Forget!

The CCO has a new Twitter feed dedicated to the Cubs minor league teams, prospects and players @TheCCO_Minors … and soon there will be minor league coverage included on the CCO’s Facebook page. Stay up to date with all the minor league happenings by following Chicago Cubs Online on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Attention CCO Readers

The Down on the Farm reader’s poll is now beginning. 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. Last year, readers nominated 70 separate players and cast 236 votes. So from Luis Acosta to Tony Zych, all nominations will be accepted and given equal weight.

Once a list is compiled of the top 20 vote getters, a poll will be placed on the site to cut the list in half.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

  • Ripsnorter1

    Torreyes 2B

    Baez SS

    Vitters 3B

    Jackson CF

    Solar OF

    Almora CF

    Villanueva 3B

    Vogelbach 1B

    Arodys Vizcaino, RHP

    Dillon Maples, RHP

  • Karen

    I would like to see you follow Ryan Searle, it could be his year

  • Tony_Hall

    Chadd Krist C
    Dan Vogelbach 1B
    Logan Watkins 2B
    Arismendy Alcantara SS
    Christian Villanueva 3B
    Junior Lake LF
    Matt Szczur CF
    Jorge Soler RF
    Juan Carlos Paniagua SP
    Tony Zych RP

    • http://www.facebook.com/rich.hood.144 Rich Hood

      Reggie Golden

      Shawn Dunston jr.

      Rock Shoulders

      Those are the 3 I would personally add to your list Tony. I still think that Golden has a chance to be special. I just wish the kid could get healthy.

      • Tony_Hall

        I could add many names to “my” list, but I listed just 1 player at each position. I really feel that the big names are going to be followed enough, and I will be following Kane County, Daytona and Tenn. pretty closely on my own.

  • wfn2

    I’d like to hear about that pitcher we got for Dempster, I hear so little about him I can’t even remember his name anymore :) .

  • cubs1967

    20 names:

    Vogelbach
    Rock Shoulders
    J. Candelario
    Almora
    Soler
    Easterling,
    Dunston Jr.,
    Devoss
    Alcantara
    J Lake
    Baez
    C Villeneuva
    Maples
    Zych
    B Jackson
    Vitters
    B Loux
    A Vizcaino
    P Blackburn
    P Johnson

  • Ramjet

    Juan Carlos Paniagua and Dylan Maples

  • calicub

    Searle
    Lake
    Kyle Hendricks
    Dillin maples
    Paniagua
    Vogelbach
    Calendero
    Soler
    Loux
    Zych

  • DWalker

    I fugure we will see a LOT of mention of the big names (Almora, Soler, Vogelbach, Vitters, Jackson, Baez as well as the guys closest to the bigs) so they are pretty much a given.
    I’d like to see more about:
    J. Candelario
    L Watkins
    C Villeneuva
    A Vizcaino
    C Krist
    P Blackburn
    P Johnson
    A Alcantara
    D. Maples
    Paniagua

  • augiepb

    i agree with dwalker. i want to hear more about the guys who arent going to get as much pub.

    Pierce Johnson
    Christian Villanueva
    Dallas Beeler
    Ronald Torreyes
    Paul Blackburn
    Zeke DeVoss
    Dillon Maples
    Ben Wells
    Jeimer Candelario
    Ryan McNeil

  • SRK

    HITTERS:
    Alcantara
    Bruno
    Dong-Yub Kim
    Gretzky
    Hodges
    Marra
    Rademacher
    Shoulders
    Torreyes
    Villanueva

    PITCHERS:
    Blackburn
    Conway
    Johnson
    Loux
    McNeil
    Paniagua
    Prieto
    Underwood
    Wells
    Whitenack

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Vizcaino, Vogelbach, Baez, Almora, Villanueva, Logan Watkins, Soler, Lake, Vitters

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    torreyes, golden

  • redlarczykg

    I thought of a few sleepers not mentioned yet
    Yao-Lin Wang – came on strong as starter in Peoria late 2011
    Carlos Martinez-Pumarino – pitched well short season ARZ
    Austin Kirk – lefty progressing at DAY last year
    Eric Jokisch – lefy who excelled after a promotion to AA
    Timothy Saunders – the hitting machine without a home
    Frank Batista – 24 saves at AA & gets no respect
    Jeffry Antigua – potenial Cub lefty reliever
    Alberto Cabrera – who will be streached out in AAA

  • Vivid_Reality

    Justin Marra

    Juan Carlos Paniagua

    Dillon Maples

    Ronald Torreyes

    Christian Villanueva

    Kyle Hendricks

    Duane Underwood

    Pierce Johnson

    Jeimer Candelario

    Gioskar Amaya

  • paulcatanese

    Tom, you do a lot of work here following all of these guy’s,
    and actually I don’t have a favorite and am content to follow you’re posts and get a general idea for what all are doing. You have a very good insight as to whats happening and with who, coupled with the personal feelings of talent you have on these guys.
    Great work.
    Having said that, I would throw this out here. Based on the
    theory of Mr. Epstein of constanly moving and shaking players, I wonder how this will all fall into place. Once it’s determined that this is “the team” how long does it take for those players to fall in place and become a “winning tradition”?
    IMO its kind of tough to get to know who’s playing next to you on the field and adjust to the different playing patterns they each bring to the game.
    I am not knocking what is being done, just interested how long all of this will take. Do they gell right off? Or do they battle internally to get it right?
    From what I have been observing it seems to boil down
    to a never ending adventure, and will take longer than first thought.
    Just the thought of bringing up players and waiting for them to adjust is mind boggeling,IE: Jackson and Vitters, the Rizzo’s are far and few between and will take an inordanate amount of time.
    And no one can say it will be done with second hand free agents, or injured players hoping to come back.
    Not to say it can’t happen, anythings possible, especially in the Central Division, but not probable.
    As you point out Tom, a lot of talent in the minors, and hopefully more than a few Rizzo’s.

  • Aaron

    Lots of great lists I’m seeing. I guess I’ll throw in my 2 cents. Personally, I tend to follow lesser known guys, because I figure the Tribunes, ESPN’s, etc. will cover the more heralded names. With that in mind, here’s my list:
    Arias
    Urban (injured all of last year)
    Rosario
    Jensen
    Hoffner
    Golden (out almost all of last year)
    Carhart
    Bruno
    Hodges

    R. Crawford

    • J Daniel

      I would agree to an extent. We will all know what Vitters, B Jax, Baez, and Lake are doing just because they are names. Last years guys of Soler, Almora, Underwood will be followed well as well.

  • brent carmona

    Vogelbach
    Almora
    Soler
    Lake
    Jokisch
    Tayler scott
    Golden
    Paniagua
    Pierce johnson
    D underwood
    yao ling wang
    B jax
    Matt szczur
    Candelario
    Zych
    Maples
    Torreyes
    Gretzky
    Jae hoon ha
    Jay jax
    Watkins
    Amaya

    Looking forward to the recaps tom thank you!

    • brent carmona

      Also, blackburn, hendricks, devoss, wells, easterling, trey Martin, villanueva and of course baez I forgot about him for some reason wow lol.

  • Tom U

    Good work fans! There have been 61 players nominated and 158 votes cast to begin the minor league poll. The current leaders are: Christian Villanueva, Dillon Maples, and Juan Carlos Paniagua. Keep voting

  • Dorasaga

    Tom, won’t you say Antigua is looking good everyday going forth. You’ll need to post some “Jeffua Watch” very soon.

    I hope you enjoyed my two pieces on the Aussie league. It’s very diff. from what we’re used to in the States. Their skill parity from defense to pitching can be amusing, to say the least.

  • Christian2334

    Haven’t posted in a long time. Hope everyone is doing well! Tom you have such great insight and knowledge about our minor league system. My List would be:
    Almora
    Soler
    Baez
    Kirk
    Maples
    Underwood
    McNeil
    Vogelbauch
    Candelario
    Golden
    Paniagua
    Loux
    Gretzkey
    Dunston Jr.

  • knights81

    Dont forget Tim Saunders He hasn’t got enoght credit for what he accomplished last year,