Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 11/25/13

This time of the off-season is filled with hellos and goodbyes. And so it is time to say goodbye to OF Dave Sappelt and RHP Yeiper Castillo, and hello to OF Casper Wells, IF Jeudy Valdez, and RHP’s Paolo Espino and Carlos Pimentel. Both Espino and Pimentel fared well as new members of the organization this past week, as did RHP Yoanner Negrin and OF’s Junior Lake and Rubi Silva.

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

Dominican Winter League

Leones del Escogido

Recently signed starter Carlos Pimentel took the hill for Escogido on Saturday as they lost to Cibao 8-2. Pimentel went five innings allowed an earned run on two hits and a walk while striking out three batters.

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Toros del Este

Alberto Cabrera saw his first action in weeks, and he allowed only a hit in a scoreless inning as Este beat Licey 3-2 on Saturday.

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Tigres del Licey

Licey began last week by being shut out by Escogido 4-0 on Sunday. Julio Borbon was 2-for-2 with a walk in the loss.

The Tigers were able to prevail in 13 innings on Tuesday as they beat Oriente 3-2. Julio Borbon started in center, but moved to left, and was 0-for-4 with a walk. Arismendy Alcantara made an appearance as a pinch-hitter and was 0-for-1.

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On Wednesday, the Stripes were not able to survive a big inning by Oriente and lost 4-2. Julio Borbon led off and started in left, but went 0-for-5. Arismendy Alcantara one again made an appearance as a pinch-hitter and was 0-for-1.

It was another rough day for Julio Borbon on Friday as he was 0-for-3 before being replaced in Licey’s 3-2 loss to Cibao.

Julio Borbon made an appearance as a pinch-runner on Saturday and scored a run as the Tigers lost 3-2 to Este.

Estrellas de Oriente

Oriente began last week with a 3-0 shutout of Este on Sunday. Marcos Mateo collected his fifth save of the winter as worked around two hits with a strikeout in a scoreless ninth. Junior Lake went 0-for-3 in the win.

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Despite the efforts of Junior Lake on Tuesday, the Eastern Stars lost 3-2 to Licey in 13 innings. Lake was 3-for-6 with and RBI, while Marcos Mateo struck out three in two scoreless innings, yet was credited with a blown save.

On Wednesday, the Stars were able to prevail over Licey with a big fourth inning, winning 4-2. Centerfielder Junior Lake played a big part, going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

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After a day off Thursday, Oriente faced Escogido on Friday and lost 5-2. Junior Lake drove in one of the two runs as he was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.

The Eastern Stars concluded their week with another loss, a 7-3 defeat to Cibao on Saturday. Junior Lake finished the week by going 2-for-4 with an RBI in the loss.

Mexican Pacific League

Tomateros de Culiacan

On Wednesday, Marcus Hatley did his best to keep Culiacan in the game. Hatley tossed a scoreless eighth inning in a 3-1 loss to Hermosillo.

It was just one of those days for Marcus Hatley on Saturday. Hatley picked up both a blown save and a loss as the Tomateros fell 5-3 to Mexicali. Hatley pitched the ninth and allowed two runs (one earned) on two walks and two hits while striking out a batter.

Venados de Mazatlan

Mazatlan was not able to keep up with Mexicali last Sunday and lost 5-1. Walter Ibarra went 0-for-2 in the defeat.

The Venados were able to bounce back on Tuesday as they defeated Navojoa 5-1. However, it was still a rough go for Walter Ibarra as he went 0-for-2 in the victory.

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Walter Ibarra was able to contribute the Stags’ attack on Wednesday. Ibarra went 1-for-3 in their 3-1 loss to Navojoa.

It was another loss for Mazatlan on Thursday as they dropped a 10-2 game to Navojoa. Walter Ibarra was 1-for-3 in the effort.

The tailspin for Venados continued on Friday as they lost 8-4 to Obregon. Shortstop Walter Ibarra was 1-for-2 with a walk.

The Stags were able to end the week on a high note as they defeated Obregon 8-3 on Saturday. Shortstop Walter Ibarra continues to climb out of his slump. Ibarra went 1-for-3 in the victory.

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Yaquis de Obregon

Obregon opened last week with a 4-3 loss to Hermosillo on Sunday. Christian Villanueva was 1-for-2 in the game.

The Yaquis went back to work on Tuesday and lost 6-4 to Los Mochis. Christian Villanueva made an appearance as a pinch-hitter and was 0-for-1 in the game.

It was an embarrassing loss for the Tribe on Wednesday as they fell to Los Mochis 10-3. Christian Villanueva did his part and went 1-for-4 with an RBI.

The miserable season for Obregon continued on Saturday as they lost 8-3 to Mazatlan. Christian Villanueva went 0-for-4 while starting at third base.

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League

Cangrejeros de Santurce

It was a big night for Santurce on Tuesday as they beat Mayaguez 8-2. However, Edwin Maysonet went 0-for-5 in the victory.

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Edwin Maysonet was ice cold again on Thursday and went 0-for-6 as the Cangrejeros fell 6-5 to Ponce in 11 innings.

Leones de Ponce

Ponce started last week with a 4-3 loss to Carolina on Sunday. Jonathan Mota was 2-for-4 with two runs scored in the contest.

It was a second loss in a row for the Lions on Monday as they fell 4-1 to Mayaguez. Jonathan Mota went 0-for-3 with a walk in the defeat.

The Pride was able to record their first win of the week on Tuesday as they beat Caguas 4-3. Rubi Silva was back in action in left field and went 0-for-3 with an RBI.

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It was a rough day for Cubs’ players on Wednesday as both Rubi Silva and Jonathan Mota went 0-for-3 in Ponce’s 3-1 victory over Mayaguez. Mota was able to draw a walk in the contest.

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The Lions were able to prevail 6-5 over Santurce in 11 innings in a squeaker on Thursday. Jonathan Mota was 1-for-5 with a run scored, while Rubi Silva went 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI.

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Saturday saw a wild affair as the Pride scored six runs late in the game to pull out a 10-8 win over Caguas. Rubi Silva moved up to second in the batting order and went 3-for-6 with two runs scored, while Jonathan Mota was 0-for-5.

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Venezuelan Winter League

Caribes de Anzoategui

Newly signed starting pitcher Paolo Espino went five innings on Friday and allowed five earned runs, but was still the winning pitcher as Anzoategui downed Margarita 15-9. Espino also struck out three in the game.

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Leones de Caracas

Yoanner Negrin pitched well on Thursday but did not pick up the win as Caracas beat La Guaira 6-4. Negrin went five innings and allowed two runs (one earned) while scattering seven hits and striking out a batter. Hector Rondon gave up a hit in a scoreless inning of relief.

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Hector Rondon had a rocky outing on Saturday. Rondon worked around a hit and two walks with two strikeouts in a scoreless inning as the Lions lost 9-8 in 13 innings to Anzoategui.

Cardenales de Lara

Lara fought all the way to the end last Sunday but came up short as they lost to Caracas 9-8. Luis Valbuena went 2-for-5 with an RBI in the loss.

The Cardinals were able to rally on Tuesday as they beat Aragua 5-4. Luis Valbuena contributed to the victory. Valbuena was 1-for-4 with an RBI.

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It was two victories in a row for the Redbirds on Wednesday as they defeated Zulia 7-2. Luis Valbuena hit clean-up and was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.

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On a big night for Lara, Luis Valbuena went 0-for-4 but drove in a run, drew a walk and scored a run as they beat Magallanes 7-1.

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Despite Luis Valbuena going deep for the first time this winter, the Cardinals still went down on Friday and lost 10-4 to Aragua. Valbuena was 1-for-3 with a walk, and a home run in the loss.

Saturday saw the Redbirds whitewashing Aragua 12-3. Luis Valbuena was 0-for-3 in the game, but did draw a walk and scored a run.

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News and Notes

The Cubs released OF Dave Sappelt. The Cubs signed OF Casper Wells, IF Jeudy Valdez, and RHP’s Paolo Espino and Carlos Pimentel to minor league contracts.

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Quote of the Day

"Pitching is the cornerstone of most championship teams." – Roger Craig

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  • John_CC

    I didn’t Borbon was still in system.

    What is the hierarchy of competition between all these winter leagues?

    • Tom U

      John, Borbon was DFAed in August and accepted assignment to Iowa.

      As far as the leagues go, the Dominican is considered the most competitive, followed by Venezuela. However, Venezuela can sometimes be a hostile place for non-Hispanics to play. Even though Mexico has won two of the last three Caribbean World Series, they are considered to be behind the other two, mainly because they rely on a lot of their own players from the Mexican League in the summer. While the Roberto Clemente League ranks last, they are starting to attract a lot of better ballplayers.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Dan Haren signs with the Dodgers…….why should we care?………..brings us to Tanaka, Price and Samardzija………..Dodgers are six starters deep, even though Beckett & Billingsley are hurting…..Will the Dodgers still go after Tanaka?….you bet your Budweiser they sure will……if they lose Tanaka to the Yankees, as I suspect….they will focus on Price…..which brings us to Texas……the Ranges will not want to go into a bidding war of Prospects with the Dodgers over Price….Rays will ask allot for Price……and from past history, the Rangers might over pay with Prospects….or…..turn to the Cubs for Samardzija……which will bring a smile to Theo & Jed… the Cubs have another buyer for Shark……and if the Yankees get Tanaka, the Orioles might have to add more high quality prospects for Samardzija trade……..then the Blue Jays will need to add more top quality Prospects to Theo………playoff teams will rather buy into Samardzija now then later, where the stakes might be higher…Shark can give them the extra 16 plus starts then wait for next July……….Theo rather have his future Prospect players in the Cubs system sooner then later……….there might also be a chance that Matt Gaza signs with the Yankees…..if Garza takes the Yankees offer over the Giants or Padres, it will be all about the money…..if Garza signs with the Padres for family reasons, look out in the N.L. West……Padres are giving themselves a nice rotation for 2014 if they stay healthy with Cashner, Johnson, Kennedy, and Garza……..and just “what if” the Padres want Samardzija to join that group and Jed reaches out to his old team for Prospects?

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Pirates cut Garrett Jones today…..nice reserve OF / 1B back up.

    • Ripsnorter1

      He’s a one way player. He’s 32 (33 in June, 2014).
      101 K’s in 403 AB. Ugh.
      .233 BA….289 OBP….419 slug.

      2013 Splits:
      vs LHP…..095 BA….174 OBP….143 slug.

      Vs RHP…
      .241 BA….295 OBP….435 slug
      That’s “okay” I guess.

      In RF, he’s worth 22 runs to the opposition…
      At 1B, he’s worth just 10 runs to the opposition.

      I am sorry he got released. But I do not want him on our team.
      Call up Brett Jackson.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Bjax I hope does well, and most likely Jones will be going to playoff bound team………….one day, we will hear all these greedy agents calling up the Cubs to have them sign their free agents.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    I wonder how soon will we hear ex-MLB players suing the League and helmet makers for concussions?

    • Denver Mike

      Probably right after the PGA players do, have you watched baseball before?

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Never watch baseball……….too boring.
        I rather watch snow flakes fall in the Rockies.

        • cc002600

          ahhhh, now it makes sense.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            You have to admit, watching falling snowflakes is more enjoyable then watching Dale and his Cubs for the last two seasons.

          • cc002600

            agree. the last 2 years were awfully bad.
            but better days are ahead, my friend. Let’s hope the worst is behind us.

        • Denver Mike

          Good thing the seasons don’t coincide. This time of year I am begging for snowflakes to fall in the Rockies.Snowboarding through fresh snow is better than watching recent Cubs baseball 10 times out of 10.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Dan Haren, 1 year deal for $10 million with the Dodgers.
    Garza, Nolasco, Hughes, Feldman, Maholm, etc….all their prices went up.
    Samardzija salary for the next two years looking even better for trading partners…….Theo & Jed will get a bigger haul for Shark then what they got for Garza.