Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 01/06/14

A belated Happy New Year! The beginning of the New Year saw the return to action for Eduardo Figueroa and Yoanner Negrin after a long layoff, while Frank Batista and Jonathan Mota received steady work as their teams tried to advance in the playoffs. Find out how they did in today’s report. And two announcements are included at the end of the report.

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

Dominican Winter League

Aguilas Cibaenas

Frank Batista was able to shut the door on a victory as Cibaenas defeated Licey 14-3 on Monday.  Batista set down the side in order in a scoreless ninth inning.

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On Thursday, Frank Batista was asked to stem the tide for the Eagles but it was too late and they fell 7-1 to Licey. Batista came in after seven runs were scored and recorded a walk and a strikeout in 0.1 innings.

The Raptors came up a run short on Saturday as they lost 4-3 to Cibao. Frank Batista gave Cibaenas a chance by striking out a batter in a scoreless ninth inning.

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League

Leones de Ponce

Ponce continued its playoff push last Sunday as they defeated Mayaguez 4-2. Jonathan Mota started at third and was 0-for-3 with a walk in the contest.

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The Lions ended their regular season with a 5-4 victory over Carolina last Monday. Jonathan Mota played his fourth position of the winter. Mota started at first base and went 1-for-4.

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The Pride started the playoffs the right way on Friday as they beat Carolina 6-2 in the opener. Jonathan Mota was at third base for Ponce and went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.

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Ponce looked as if they were going to win their second straight game on Saturday when Mayaguez scored three in the bottom of the eighth and beat the Lions 4-3. Jonathan Mota was 0-for-3 as he started at third base.

Venezuelan Winter League

Leones de Caracas

On Saturday, Yoanner Negrin was given his first start in over two weeks and Caracas lost 7-5 to La Guaira. Negrin allowed three earned runs on five hits and a walk while striking out two in 3.1 innings.

Tiburones de La Guaira

La Guaira gave Eduardo Figueroa a rare start last Sunday and his lack of work showed as they lost to Aragua 7-6. Figueroa was hit hard. Figueroa yielded four earned runs on six hits and three walks in 3.1 innings.

Austrailian Baseball League

Brisbane Bandits

Ryan Searle had his worst outing of the season on Saturday as Brisbane lost 7-5 to Sydney. Searle tossed four innings and allowed six earned runs on six hits and a walk while striking out four batters.

Attention CCO Readers

The Down on the Farm preliminary reader’s poll is now beginning. 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 then take the top 20 names and run a poll for the final month of Spring Training. The CCO will then track the progress of the top ten vote getters 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 eventually be chosen. Last year, readers nominated 86 separate players and cast 361 votes. So from Luis Acosta to Tony Zych, all nominations will be accepted and given equal weight.

Race to Wrigley

For the second straight year, I will be competing in the Race to Wrigley 5K run on April 12, 2014. If anyone is interested in making a donation, please visit ChicagoCubsOnline – Race To Wrigley to register. All proceeds go to Chicago Cubs Charities.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

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  • Cubsin

    They’re probably too obscure or too far away to make the ballot, but my nominees are Eloy Jimenez, Carlos Penalver and Mark Malave.

  • Dorasaga

    Tom, I’ll be enjoying your weekly reviews this year. I definitely will want to see CCO’s Top 20 Prospects followed. Please add a few more just for fun, the 2011 draftee, outfielder Dunston Jr., and from the Class of 2012, pitcher Underwood.

    Both Underwood and Dunston are middle-tier draftees, and they both went through quite some struggles through their pro careers, but had a good bounce back. You once reported Underwood as a possible outfielder who awaits-conversion. That will be an interesting case to observe, as he was the first “Epstein-Hoyer Class” of draftees. How this regime might handle an under-radar prospect differently, and expand his value for the organization if possible? Even throw in a reclamation project?

    On the other hand, Dunston carried a good name because of his father, a great rookie shortstop whom many wondered if his defensive skills always stayed a rookie. Starlin Castro seems to be on his path to this kind of career. Dunston Jr. was also one of Jim Hendry’s last draftees. How the Cubs will treat or move his state in the organization, and of many others from the last regime–not a whole lot left–I’m intrigued.

  • paulcatanese

    Tom, thanks for the notice on Coleman, the Cary Grant of Baseball. Good man.
    Good luck with the “Run to Wrigley”, you’re brave, I have trouble getting the garbage out.:)

    • Tom U

      Coleman had some of my favorite calls from a radio announcer:

      Rich Folkers is throwing up in the bullpen…

      The big ballpark can do it all…

      Winfield goes back on the fly ball, he hits his head on the centerfield wall, its rolling back toward the infield …

  • John_CC

    I’d like to add to the list:

    Hanneman
    Willson Contreras
    Trey Martin
    and once again, Jeimer Candelario

    Thanks Tom.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Solid list.

      • John_CC

        thanks

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Happy Retirement for Ryan Theriot…….the Cubs will send you that clubhouse hot tub that you requested from Jim Hendry.
    Latest Tanaka update……still a Free Agent
    Latest Samardzija update……still a Cub
    I really think that Renteria will want to being up a many of the Cubs prospects he can after July 31st……if the prospects are advancing in the minors, maybe we will see a Batista, Canderlario, or a Silva sooner then later……..
    remember Bob Horner?…..he never spent a day in the minors when he was drafted by the Braves……was ROY, but his career was cut short……lets hope Kris Bryant sticks around longer for us.
    That Mystery Team for Tanaka could be Oakland!

    • cc002600

      on that mystery team….watch out for Houston. …and Mariners

      • CubbyDenCritic

        I talked about Mariners weeks ago that Tanaka would be a good fit with Hernandez, Iwakuma and maybe Price joining on………Astros, for-get-about-it….going with pitchers from the Draft.

        • CubbyDenCritic

          Two thumbs down from the same guy always…..but never has the “balls” to give his opinion.

    • Tom U

      Cubby, are you voting for Batista and Candelario? Just making sure.

  • Dorasaga

    I just read about Ryan Theriot’s retirement. He’s been a fine player and a solid shortstop. “The Riot” had his best years with the Chicago Cubs. He has always been under-rated for what he couldn’t do, but rarely acknowledged for his achievements, such as hitting 378/400 at the postseason. I hope the organization will invite him to the Convention.

    • cubtex

      Because his postseason stats for the Cubs was not great. 6 for 25. All singles. 1 RBI and Zero runs scored. Most Cub fans don’t care what he did for the Cards and Giants.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thank you for posting your thoughts on Theriot.

      • Dorasaga

        My pleasure. I don’t know will the Cubs actually invite Theriot, but that 2008 team was good. He and his College World Series mate, “Little Babe Ruth” Fontenot were competitive players (always fun to quote Ron Santo) . It will be nice to see him share his future experience as an agent, whom represent the players’ side.

    • cubtex

      Many fans loved Theriot. He wasn’t very talented but he always gave everything he had. Dorasaga….. You were looking at the wrong column for Theriot. He actually hit .258 with a .300 OBP in the postseason for his career.

      • Dorasaga

        Caught me; I didn’t clarify; meant his career NLDS ops/slugging… And with both teams that actually played through October, he accumulated his rings. World Series aside, he was good enough to help the Cubs make it in ’07+08.

    • Dorasaga

      Between 1987 and 2013*, Theriot was one of the top regular shortstops for the Cubs:

      http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=ss&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=350&type=8&season=2013&month=0&season1=1987&ind=0&team=17&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

      *Offense was dead before 1987; I could have removed 2009-’13 as well, with the dying offense. Nieves was not a regular. I cut the part-timers from the regulars by 350 PAs.

      I know defensive stats that are searchable online are at best 60% accurate at depicting what actually happened on the field, but here are the Cubbie shortstops who played at least 700 IPs between 1987 to last season:

      http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=ss&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=700&type=1&season=2013&month=0&season1=1987&ind=0&team=17&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

      As a summary, UZR/150 says that year in and year out (by average), Theriot is the only positive defensive shortstop other than Perez. Theriot actually hit a lot better than Perez.

  • bpot92

    Volgelbach
    Underwood
    Pierce Johnson
    Cj Edwards
    Almora
    Bryant
    Rob Zastryzny

    Tyler Skulina

    Trey Masek
    Villanueva
    Hendricks

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Good list … nice to have pitchers to follow.

  • cubtex

    I would like to add Dillon Maples to that list.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Good choice …

  • Tom U

    Neil will probably have more as this develops. For now, this from Carrie Muskat:

    Cubs prospects injured in DR car accident; all are OK http://wp.me/p1rXwp-8XtV via @wordpressdotcom

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thanks for posting Tom. I am monitoring reports from the Dominican. This is good news they were really hurt.

    • paulcatanese

      The photo of the car,,, unreal. They are truly lucky to be alive.

  • No Baseball In Indiana

    What’s the word on Bruno? Looks like he has some power, not too many walks.