The ups and downs that are part of a baseball season blew their way through the winter league playoffs this past week. Esmailin Caridad pitched well as his team lost a series. Luis Valbuena’s good games didn’t seem to coincide with his team’s victories while Junior Lake, Nelson Perez and the rest of the Estrellas de Oriente just couldn’t get untracked.
Meanwhile, starting pitching continued to shine with good efforts by Alberto Cabrera and Ryan Searle.
Note: Coverage of the winter leagues will be by calendar week, Sunday through Saturday
Dominican Winter League
Toros del Este
The Bulls made a big push this week and are one game out of the top spot in the round-robin playoffs in the DWL.Reliever Jeffry Antigua was the only Cubs’ prospect that saw action in Tuesday’s 8-5 victory over Estrellas. Antigua was credited with the win after tossing a scoreless 0.1 inning.
Alberto Cabrera started for Este on Thursday and allowed two unearned runs over 5.1 innings as the Toros lost 4-3 to Estrellas. Cabrera walked two and fanned one. Jeffry Antigua earned a hold as he struck out a batter in 0.2 scoreless innings. Diory Hernandez slugged his first home run of the playoffs and went 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBI.
Diory Hernandez came through again on Friday. Hernandez drove in a run and scored two more as the Herd beat Cibaenas 4-3. Hernandez went 2-for-3with a walk at the plate.
Estrellas de Oriente
Hard times continued for Oriente in the DWL playoffs as they lost four of five games this past week … starting with Sunday’s 11-4 loss to Cibaenas. Junior Lake was 0-for-3 for the Stars while playing left field, while Nelson Perez went 1-for-1 as a pinch hitter and scored a run. Rafael Dolis struck out the only two batters he faced.
Junior Lake lined up as DH on Tuesday and went 1-for-5 with a run scored as Estrellas lost 8-5 to Este. Rafael Dolis tossed 0.1 scoreless innings, while Nelson Perez went 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter.
The misery continued for Oriente on Wednesday as they lost 11-3 to Cibaenas. Junior Lake played third base and went 0-for-3 while Nelson Perez was 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter.
Thursday saw a rare win as the Stars defeated Este 4-3. Nelson Perez started in right field and went 2-for-4, while Rafael Dolis picked up a hold in a scoreless 0.1 innings.
But it was back to their losing ways to close out the week as Estrellas lost 7-2 to Escogido on Friday. Nelson Perez was 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter and Rafael Dolis struck out the only batter he faced.
Mexican Pacific League
Yaquis de Obregon
It was a week of mixed emotions for Obregon as they dropped their first round series with Guasave but still advanced to meet regular season champs Culiacan in the second round of the LMP playoffs.
Up two games to one, the Yaquis would lose three out of four last week to the Cotton Growers, starting with Sunday’s 7-5 loss. Esmailin Caridad walked a batter in a scoreless inning.
On Tuesday, Esmailin Caridad retired the only two batters he faced and earned a hold in a 3-1 victory over Guasave.
The Tribe then lost the final two games on Wednesday and Thursday despite the efforts of Esmailin Caridad. Caridad tossed two scoreless innings and struck out a batter in Wednesday’s 4-3 loss. Caridad added another 0.2 scoreless innings to run his scoreless innings streak to 4.1 innings in the 7-5 series ending defeat on Thursday.
The second round opened with a tense, 12-inning affair with Culiacan on Saturday. Esmailin Caridad surrendered two earned runs to the Tomato Pickers in 1.1 innings but was bailed out by his Yaquis teammates as Obregon won 7-5.
Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League
Gigantes de Carolina
Ty’Relle Harris started for the Giants on Tuesday andgave up four earned runs in five innings as Carolina lost 11-7 to Santurce in 14 innings. Harris struck out three and walked four in the game.
Venezuelan Winter League
Cardenales de Lara
It was an up-and-down week for both Luis Valbuena and the Cards that began with Monday’s 8-5 win over Magallanes. Valbuena drove in three runs and went 1-for-3 with a walk, a double, and two runs scored.
Tuesday saw Luis Valbuena go 0-for-4 as Lara dropped a 7-1 loss to Zulia. Valbuena bounced back on Wednesday and went 2-for-4 at the plate … but the results were the same, another 7-1 defeat at the hands of the Eagles.
The Cardinals were back to their winning ways on Thursday and defeated Caracas 5-4. Luis Valbuena went 0-for-4.
Luis Valbuena ended the week by scoring a run and going 2-for-4 at the plate as the Redbirds lost 5-2 to Anzoategui on Saturday.
Caribes de Anzoategui
With the playoffs in full swing, Johermyn Chavez saw some action this past week but has pretty much been relegated to the bench. Chavez was 0-for-2 as the Caribes were embarrassed 12-1 by Caracas last Sunday.
Johermyn Chavez then went 0-for-1 in a pinch-hitting appearance on Friday as Anzoategui beat up on Zulia 16-3.
Leones de Caracas
Reliever Loiger Padron got in some work last Sunday as the Lions blew out Anzoategui 12-1. Padron pitched an inning and gave up the only run in the victory.
Australian Baseball League
In game one of a doubleheader on Saturday, Ryan Searle had his strikeout pitch working for him as Brisbane beat Canberra 10-5. Searle fanned nine Cavalry men while allowing three earned runs in six innings. Searle improved to 2-1 on the winter.
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Attention CCO Readers
The Down on the Farm reader’s poll continues this week. Last week, readers cast 200 votes on Twitter, Facebook and on the site. 62 players were nominated and nearly eclipsed the 70 players nominated and 236 votes cast for all of last year! 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. 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.