Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 10/21/13

There were endings and new beginnings this past week. The Mesa Solar Sox said goodbye to their unbeaten streak, while the Fall Instructional League ended. Meanwhile, play began for many Cubs prospects in the Dominican Winter League.

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

Arizona Fall League

Mesa Solar Sox

The week began in usual fashion for this year’s Sox team as they were tested by Scottsdale on Monday but ended up pulling out a 7-6 victory. Kris Bryant batted clean-up, third and went 1-for-4 with an RBI. Jorge Soler hit sixth and went 1-for-5 with a double. Matt Loosen relieved in the third inning and gave up two earned runs while striking out a batter in 2.2 innings.

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Mesa continued to be unbeaten on Tuesday as they cruised to a 7-4 win over Scottsdale. Albert Almora was part of a big seven-run third inning and he finished the game 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI while batting leadoff for the Solar Sox. Jorge Soler lined up at DH and was 1-for-5. Armando Rivero gave up his first earned run of the fall in his inning of work.

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Mesa pushed their record to 6-0 on Wednesday as they rallied to beat Peoria 3-1. There wasn’t a lot of contribution for Cubs’ prospects offensively. Kris Bryant went 0-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, while Wes Darvill went 1-for-4.  Lendy Castillo picked up his first save after working around two hits with a strikeout in a scoreless inning.

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Albert Almora was the only Cubs representative on the field on Thursday as Mesa extended their winning streak to seven by beating Peoria 6-1. Almora led off, played centerfield and went 1-for-4 at the plate.

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Despite the efforts of Kris Bryant, Mesa was handed their first loss on Friday as they bowed to Surprise 11-9. Dallas Beeler got the start for Mesa and allowed three earned runs on six hits and two walks in three innings. Beeler also struck out a batter. Bryant had ten total bases as he was 3-for-5 with a double, two home runs, and four RBI. Jorge Soler was also 2-for-5 with an RBI. The games was tied 9-9 in the top of the ninth when Armando Rivero gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits and a walk as he absorbed the loss.

It appears as if Mesa has come back down to earth as they lost 8-2 to the Salt River Rafters on Saturday. Jorge Soler was 1-for-4 while Wes Darvill went 0-for-4 and played third base. Both Matt Loosen and Lendy Castillo each tossed a scoreless inning, while Loosen recorded two strikeouts.

Dominican Winter League

Tigres del Licey

It wasn’t a great beginning for Tennessee IF Arismendy Alcantara as he played second base and batted leadoff. Alcantara went 0-for-5 in the Tigers’ 4-1 loss to Escogido on Friday. Iowa OF Julio Borbon went 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter and saw some time in left field.

Estrellas de Oriente

Iowa reliever Marcos Mateo looks as if he has emerged as the closer for the Western Stars, as he earned the victory after striking out a batter in a 1-2-3 inning on Friday in a 3-2 win over Este.

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Marcos Mateo then picked up his first save on Saturday with a scoreless inning, with Oriente beating Escogido 4-2.

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Mexican Pacific League

Tomateros de Culiacan

Marcus Hatley is starting to establish himself as important bullpen piece for the Pickers, as he worked around a hit with two strikeouts in an inning pitched on Wednesday as Culiacan defeated Navojoa 8-6.

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Marcus Hatley was a little shakier on Thursday as he gave up two hits in an inning. However, he was able to survive without allowing a run and earned his second save as the Tomatomen beat Navojoa 4-3.

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Venados de Mazatlan

Rookie league lefty David Villegas continued to struggle for Mazatlan as the Stags lost 12-0 to Guasave on Thursday. Villegas tossed an inning and allowed two earned runs on two hits and two walks.

Yaquis de Obregon

Tennessee third baseman Christian Villanueva made his debut for the Tribe as a DH on Saturday. Villanueva went 0-for-5 as the Yaquis lost 7-1 to Hermosillo.

Venezuelan Winter League

Tigres de Aragua

Iowa reliever Eduardo Sanchez has asserted himself in the closer role for the Tigers. Sanchez picked up his first save on Thursday as Aragua beat Margarita 3-1. Sanchez tossed 1.2 innings and struck out four while allowing a hit and a walk.

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Eduardo Sanchez then earned his second victory as Aragua rallied to defeat Magallanes 5-4 on Saturday. Sanchez notched a strikeout in a scoreless inning.

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Leones de Caracas

Iowa pitcher Yoanner Negrin was not as dominant on Tuesday as he was in his first start, and the Lions lost 6-5 to Anzoategui. Negrin went five innings and allowed three earned runs on a hit and three walks. Negrin also struck out three batters.

It was a different story for Boise pitcher Loiger Padron, as he worked around a hit in a scoreless inning as Caracas beat Anzoategui 11-2 on Wednesday.

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Loiger Padron put together a solid outing on Friday in middle relief. Padron allowed only one hit over 1.2 scoreless innings with Caeacas defeating Margarita 6-5.

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Bravos de Margarita

Iowa outfielder Dave Sappelt made his winter debut on Tuesday and went 1-for-4 in Margarita’s 4-3 loss to Aragua.

Dave Sappelt then went 0-for-3 with a walk as the Braves lost to Aragua on Wednesday.

Tiburones de La Guaira

It was an appearance to forget for Eduardo Figueroa on Thursday as he failed to get an out and gave up three earned runs on three hits. Figueroa suffered the loss as the Sharks bowed 5-4 to Caracas.

Aguilas del Zulia

Tennessee pitcher Yeiper Castillo did what he could to help the Eagles on Friday, but it wasn’t enough as Zulia lost 5-2 to Anzoategui. Castillo tossed 1.2 scoreless innings, allowed two hits and a walk while striking out a batter and earning a hold.

News and Notes

The Fall Instructional League ended on Saturday. AZL Cubs third baseman Jesse Hodges led all hitters, while 18 year old Erick Leal posted the best ERA. Outfielder Jacob Hannemann was the winner of a home run derby conducted by the team

Click Here for Full Report from the Fall Instructional League 

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Quote of the Day

"Whatever you think, be sure it is what you think; whatever you want, be sure that is what you want." – T.S. Eliot

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  • CubbyDenCritic

    many years ago, a local Chicago Spanish TV station use to broadcast the winter baseball games from Puerto Rico…….I wonder if MLB TV will do some games?

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Jim Leyland as the next Cubs manager!……I doubt it.

    • John_CC

      Leyland, LaRussa, etc. were great managers but you’re living in the past. Look to the future, man.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        And who is your choice for manager?
        so far, people who interviewed seem to be gone in 3 years……..I still like LaRussa.
        My other choice……..Buck Martinez.

        • John_CC

          Of the names being batted around I like Lovullo, Hinch, maybe Maddux. But I’m not going to be crushed or elated with whomever is chosen. I will reserve my judgement till there is something to judge against.

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  • John_CC

    Neil, do you know why Dave McKay has never even been mentioned as a possible managerial candidate?

    I’m not promoting him or anything, I just find it curious that they Cubs finally got a bench coach that really understands the game, is by all accounts great at coaching fundamentals, and has a track record with one of the best organizations in baseball – yet he isn’t even rumored by the media.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Media rumors….. meant to sell newspapers.

      • John_CC

        That is not an answer to my question. Just another strange non sequitur.

    • Neil

      John, I’ve never heard or read where McKay has shown or would be interested in being a manager. As you know he was LaRussa’s right-hand man for so many years and coaching seems to fit him.

      I would like to see them retain him but it is starting to sound like he is going to Arizona, if he decides he wants to keep coaching.

      • John_CC

        Thanks Neil, I guess you’re right he probably doesn’t want it. He said he would retire with LaRussa, but I still would have thought someone would have tossed his name out.

        I didn’t hear about him going to AZ. That is really too bad.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    With Leyland gone, I have a feeling that several of the Cubs manager candidates will get calls from Dombrowski for the Tigers job………Mike Maddux teaming up with Verlander, Sanchez, Scherzer, Cabrera, & Fielder sounds better than having Samardzija and ……whoever………….Tigers are now in the forefront of getting the main guy before the Cubs get theirs.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Tigers looking at Luvello at their next manager……source you asked………local Detroit rag.

  • Theboardrider

    I think Jacob Hanneman could be a Cub in a few years. I also predict that Alcantra will not have a great year. Don’t know why but I feel like he overachieved last year. His 0-5 in Dominican is not good…

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