As is typical around the holidays, the action was pretty light for Cubs’ prospects in the Winter Leagues. The DWL started their playoffs and Frank Batista was able to make a positive impact. Meanwhile, the Mexican Pacific League, the Roberto Clemente League, and the VWL all look to close out their regular season.
And, one of the newest additions to the Cubs’ organization, Carlos Pimentel was named the top pitcher in the Dominican Winter League.
Note: Coverage of the winter leagues is by calendar week, Sunday through Saturday
Dominican Winter League
As the Dominican playoffs opened on Friday, Cibaenas could not overcome a three run deficit as the lost 3-2 to Licey. Frank Batista kept Licey at bay by tossing 0.2 scoreless innings.
Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League
Cangrejeros de Santurce
Santurce could not survive a late rally as they dropped a 4-3 game to Ponce on Monday. Edwin Maysonet went 0-for-3 in the loss.
Leones de Ponce
Ponce was limited to only four hits last Sunday as they lost 3-1 to Mayaguez. Third baseman Jonathan Mota was 1-for-4 with an RBI, while outfielder Rubi Silva went 0-for-3.
The Lions rallied back with runs in the eighth and ninth innings to edge out Santurce 4-3 on Monday. Outfielder Rubi Silva continued his recent struggles and went 0-for-3, while Jonathan Mota was 1-for-4 playing shortstop and third base. Greg Rohan lined up as the DH and was 1-for-4.
The Pride is locked in a battle for a playoff spot with games dwindling down to a precious few. They didn’t do themselves any favors on Friday, as they lost 8-4 to Carolina. Jonathan Mota was back at third base and went 2-for-4 while cracking his third homer of the winter.
Venezuelan Winter League
Tigres de Aragua
Kane County catcher Willson Contreras got a rare start on Saturday and was 0-for-2 with a walk as Aragua fell 5-4 to La Guaira in ten innings.
Cardenales de Lara
Lara used nine hits to pick up the runs they needed as they shut out Magallanes 3-0 last Sunday. Luis Valbuena went 1-for-4 in the victory.
Playoff hopes for the Cardinals received a setback on Friday as they lost 6-5 to Anzoategui. Luis Valbuena belted his fourth homer of the winter as he was 1-for-4 with two RBI.
With an 11-3 loss to Anzoategui on Saturday, Lara is tied with Aragua for the final playoff spot with one game left to play. Luis Valbuena did his part as he went 2-for-3 with a double.
Carlos Pimentel was named the Dominican Winter League Pitcher of the Year last Monday. The 25-year old right hander went 5-0 in 11 games, seven starts, with a 1.67 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. In 37.2 innings, Pimentel allowed 10 runs, seven earned, on 27 hits with 14 walks and 32 strikeouts while holding teams to a .201 batting average.
Pimentel signed a minor league contract with the Cubs on Nov. 19 after spending the first seven years of his career in Texas’ organization. The minor league deal is believed to include a non-roster invite to Major League Spring Training.
Carlos Pimentel went a combined 8-7 in Double-A and Triple-A last season with a 3.87 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Pimental pitched only in relief in six appearances with Triple-A Round Rock and allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits with seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 11.1 innings (1.59 ERA, 1.32 WHIP).