Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 01/14/13

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Australian Baseball League

Brisbane Bandits

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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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 minor league happenings by following Chicago Cubs Online on Twitter, Facebook and Google+

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.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." – E.E. Cummings

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  • Neil

    Thanks Tom

    Please add Trey Martin to the list

    • brent carmona

      Agree Neil, that kid is a real sleeper. Wonder if he will start in Kane county or not….

      • Tom U

        Left field is the real question mark for Kane Co. this upcoming season.

        Holdovers Taiwan Easterling, Oliver Zapata, Pin-Chieh Chen and Bijan Rademacher will be in contention for the spot. They will have to fight off Martin, Izaac Garsez, and possibly Shawon Dunston Jr.

        Rock Shoulders could also see time in left on the days there is no DH.

  • calicub

    wow an article up for more than half a day and the first comment only an hour ago? Must be a hecka busy Monday out there.

    Spot on as always Tom. I’d like to add PJ Francescon, and Tim Saunders to my list

  • daverj

    Great stuff Tom (as usual)!

    • Tom U

      Thank you daverj

  • redlarczykg

    Check out the story about Dillon Maples, on the Cubs Officail site. The reason this highly touted prospect didn’t pitch much last year is that he didn’t follow the Cubs off season throwing program and hurt his arm. He’s a KID! You give a KID a program to follow and hope he’s mature enough to do it?!? If I’m running the Cubs player development, with a real high prospect, wouldn’t be prudent to spend at least a phone call every week or so to the kid, to get feedback about what he’s doing?

    Small efforts can make big difference! Call me judgmental, but Maples lost a year because he’s a KID.

    • Tom U

      Remember, Dave Bialas, who was the minor league field coordinator before he was Iowa’s manager, Oneri Fleita, and several scouts and cross-checkers got the boot last season.

      The more you learn…

  • Dorasaga

    Tom, I’ll like to see a follow-up seasonal review (Winter) of Jeffry Antigua. That kid got something brewing.

    And that Aussie guy who reminded me of where I got my bedsheet and vacuum cleaner? Yea, R. Searle.

  • Tom U

    It could be nothing, but Chad Martin just tweeted that he is deleting his Twitter account. See below

    Chad Martin ‏@Cubbie_CMART

    Due to recent events, I will be deleting my twitter tonight. I enjoyed interacting with y’all, and those of you who have my # stay in touch

  • calicub

    2 things:

    1) I don’t think i like the fact that they have changed the fake to third throw to first move a Balk. But that’s just me..

    2) I heard Marlon Byrd is mounting a comeback. It still surprises me that such a class act would stoop so low, but then again that shows the pervasiveness of PEDs in the game. He was in a downward spiral and i suppose like they say desperate times, desperate measures…

    I cant imagine this upcoming season will surpass the 12 suspensions we saw in 2005 but i do think it will be the largest in recent years..

    For the record, I think its unfair to hold those caught using performance impairing drugs to the same standard as those caught using PEDs (50 game suspension). I know rules are rules but it seems to me those using something which would logically deter from their success should be seen as LESS culpable than those attempting to unnaturally enhance their bodies in order to gain an advantage over their competition.

    This goes especially in places like Seattle, and Colorado where something like cannabis is legal statewide, San Francisco and Oakland where it is legal in their cities, simply available for medical consumption (California as a whole, Maryland, D.C., Michigan and Canada to a certain extent), or simply decriminalized (Massachusetts, and again California).

    Just a little food for thought. Regardless of your personal views on the subject, thats 12 teams (Mariners, Giants, A’s, Angels, Dogers, Padres, Rockies, Tigers, Nats, O’s, Blue Jays and Red Sox), or 40% of MLB franchises standing in this virtual limbo. Further, you have to think of players who have their homes in these states or in other countries with similar laws, as well as other states w/o MLB teams, in addition to organizations with their minor league teams in similarly situated states/countries.

    Its a discussion i’ve heard a lot in football circles, but never in baseball circles.

  • Tom U

    Week 2 leaders in minor league player poll Christian Villanueva, Dillon Maples & Juan Carlos Paniagua. Keep voting on Facebook, Twitter, and

  • Brp921

    Here’s my list…
    Pierce Johnson