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

Heading into the final weeks of round-robin play, the post-season is tightening up across the Caribbean. Ponce remained in contention in the Roberto Clemente League thanks to infielder Jonathan Mota, while pitchers Yoanner Negrin and Eduardo Figueroa helped keep their teams’ hopes afloat in Venezuela. Details are inside today’s report.

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

Dominican Winter League

Aguilas Cibaenas

Cibaenas kept themselves in contention in the DWL as they beat Licey on Saturday 10-1. Frank Batista recorded the final three outs as he walked one and struck out one in an inning of work.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League

Leones de Ponce

Ponce kept pace in the RCPBL playoffs last Sunday by beating Caguas 6-1. Jonathan Mota started at third base and was 2-for-5 with a double, two RBI, and two runs scored.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

The Lions took a step backward on Tuesday as they lost 3-0 to Carolina. Jonathan Mota once again was at third base and went 0-for-3 in the game.

On Wednesday, the Pride bounced back by shutting out Carolinas 2-0. Jonathan Mota went 1-for-4 and started at third base.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Ponce missed an opportunity to tie Mayaguez in round-robin play on Friday as they lost to the Indians 4-3 in 12 innings. Jonathan Mota was the starting third baseman and went 1-for-5 in the loss.

It looked as if the Lions were going to pull away from Mayaguez on Saturday as they were up 5-3 after five innings. But the Indians stepped on the accelerator and zoomed past Ponce 10-5.  Jonathan Mota once again started the game at third base and was 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored before being lifted for a pinch-hitter.

Venezuelan Winter League

Leones de Caracas

On Thursday, Yoanner Negrin kept Caracas in the hunt by defeating Zulia 8-4. Negrin went five innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk while striking out four batters.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Tiburones de La Guaira

La Guaira made a push to get back into the race for the league title on Friday as they defeated Zulia 9-1. Rubber-armed Eduardo Figueroa set down the side in order in the ninth and recorded a strikeout.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Austrailian Baseball League

Brisbane Bandits

Ryan Searle pitched another strong game but received no run support as Brisbane lost 2-1 to Perth on Saturday. Searle went the distance, throwing eight innings and allowing two earned runs on ten hits while striking out 11 batters. Searle remains third in the ABL with a 0.93 WHIP and is sixth in ERA (2.63) and seventh in strikeouts. Searle has notched 41 strikeouts in 41 innings.

Attention CCO Readers

The Down on the Farm preliminary reader’s poll has begun. 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 special poll for the final month of Spring Training. The CCO will then track the progress of top 10 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 10 will eventually be chosen. Last week, readers nominated 22 players to get the ball rolling. 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 and Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital).

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

[amazonjs asin=”1932391509″ locale=”US” tmpl=”Small” title=”Baseball America 2014 Prospect Handbook: The 2014 Expert guide to Baseball Prospects and MLB Organization Rankings”]

Quote of the Day

"The riches of the game are in the thrills, not in the money." – Ernie Banks

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  • Ripsnorter1


    The Yanks are talking a 3B platoon of Kelly Johnson and (ahem) former Cub Eduardo Nunez for 2014.

    They ARE desperate!

    How about dealing Luis Valbuena off to them?

    • Tony_Hall

      You are telling me that a major market team, THE major market team, the Yankees, are going to use a platoon of Kelly Johnson and Eduardo Nunez for 2014,and yet Valbuena may be a better choice?

      How can this be?

      Don’t they know that this is not how a major market team operates?

      Next you will tell me that they are signing guys to minor league contracts and inviting them to ST that can play 3B.

      Oh, they did that too!

      • cc002600

        They are the best $200M team that money can buy. LOL

      • Ripsnorter1

        Was that post intended for Cubtex? You must have sent it to me by mistake.

        • Tony_Hall

          It was just in reply to your post.

  • Tom U

    According to Baseball America, the Cubs have released OF/LHP Garrett Schlecht.

    • Dorasaga

      I don’t know if you saw this, so here’s my FWD from 7 days ago, on the prospect poll…

      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.

      • Tom U

        Both have been added to the list.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    I like to see two lists of the top 20 Cubs prospects… of ranked top 20 position players…and the other ranked top 20 pitchers in the system.

    so far, I have it down to this….maybe some of the minor league experts might have a better clue on the rankings.

    Batters would be ……

    1 – Baez
    2 – Bryant
    3 – Almora
    4 – Soler
    5 – Olt
    6 – Vogelbach
    7 – Alcantara
    8 – Candelario
    9 – Szczur
    10 – Villanuava
    11 – Jackson
    12 – Ha
    13 – Amaya
    14 – Contreras
    15 – Hanneman
    16 – Jiminez
    17 – Torres
    18 – Silva
    19 – Vitters


    1 – Vizcaino
    2- Johnson
    3 – Edwards
    4 – Ramirez
    5 – Blackburn
    6 – Underwood
    7 – Cabrera
    8 – Beeler
    9 – Wells
    10 – Pinerya
    11 – Hendricks
    12 – Batista
    13 – Black
    14 – Maples
    15 – Jokisch
    16 – Kirk
    17 – Loosen

    • daverj

      Pretty good lists. I think Alcantara has jumped ahead of Vogelbach (and perhaps Olt). On the pitching side, Edwards has leapfrogged Johnson and Vizcaino. Also, Hendricks should probably be about 6-7 spots higher even though is upside is limited.

    • 07GreyDigger

      What about Villanueva?

      • CubbyDenCritic


        • 07GreyDigger

          I’m just razzing you on the spelling man.

  • cc002600

    Did anyone see 60 Minutes last night ?
    AROD is such a fraud.

    I would bet my right arm that he has been juicing since the day he was drafted. He came out and admitted that he used from 2001-03 after he was caught by the Mitchell report. Of course, before that he denied ever using. Does anyone REALLY believe this guy somehow “stopped” using in 2003 for no reason, when he didn’t get caught and have to admit to it until years later (2009) ? Sssssure. And now we have the Biogenis thing. And think about this, before 2001, does anyone really think this guy was clean while almost every other guy was juicing at the time, since there was no testing ? Come on.

    So here’s my question: Why oh why do people still say he is one of the best players in baseball history ?????? I hear that all the time. Really ? The guy has been cheating for probably his whole career !!! Without the juice, I bet he would have been a utility infielder. What a joke.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I’m not saying he’s justified in using steroids, but nobody is mentioning MLB’s role in this. In the era Rodriguez was in his prime, big offensive numbers and HR’s were king. Juicing gave him big numbers, big popularity and a big salary. ARod was their poster boy for a long time. Now that the view on steroids has changed, they are throwing him under the bus after they profited off him for years. How come no one talks about that?

      • cc002600

        Yes, I understand that.
        But MLB has attempted to clean up the game. MLB testing has by FAR the most stringent of any of the major sports. How come nobody ever mentions that ? Does anyone really believe there aren’t tons of NFL, NBA & NHL players juicing ? Come on. I will guarantee it. It’s very simple: if you can take this stuff without much risk of getting caught and it makes you a better player, which could mean millions, why wouldn’t you take it ? So if you don’t think there are NBA or NHL players taking it, please call me, I have a bridge I want to sell you.

        Also, this doesn’t hide the fact that AROD is a liar and a cheat, and has made HUNDREDS of millions of dollars because of it. Those are facts, not opinion.

        They are throwing him under bus because he deserves it. He has broken the rules. Many times. Why shouldn’t they ?

        • Dorasaga

          Broken what rules? A rule that never existed. I’m not saying Rodriguez is not guilty for cheating. He cheated. He lied. Period.

          Many researches had been going on whether HGH, lab testosterone, anabolic steroids, and other substitutes actually helped with baseball activities other than muscle strength. How about the side effects? Many debates, but mostly on specific effects, nothing proven that overall results are deeply affected–batspeed, eye-hand coordination, stamina, cardiovascular behavior, muscle flexibility, and many more aspects in making a good baseball player.

          He had talents. He was a star. He didn’t need PEDrugs to sign with a club. But he did, and you know what, baseball needed him more than he needed them. The middle of 90s, baseball was dying, still far from recuperating from the grand labor dispute, disinterested fans, and marketing fall. Baseball gave Rodriguez the blind eye. No rule said anything about PEDs.

          • cubtex

            Baseball needed ARod more than ARod needed baseball??? Are you serious?

          • Dorasaga

            Baseball has been ever transforming, despite reluctance from its top up trying to maintain status quo.

            Before electricity powered our cities, the National League Baseball was going to fold. And then Cap Anson came along. He was a racist and a bully, a dictating force on his team, the player-manager who used all means to dig the best players from other clubs, and all that, but he made baseball more exciting, and helped baseball grew.

            Dead Ball Era, baseball was losing interest to fans. The Great War almost forced baseball to lose all its players, but in the end, rules were changed. No more spitball. Enforced standardized distance between basepaths. Babe Ruth charmed the World! Live Ball Era kicked in. Baseball again survived and outgrew itself.

            The dynamics of accepting “Negroes,” breaking the color line, ensured baseball to be truly the National Pasttime, not just a middle class White gentlemen’s club for gambling and courting young ladies. It also expanded baseball’s talent pool to exponential potentials.

            1980. Baseball was losing out to football. The media rather saw baseball die and throw their money on Superbowl. MLB threw in more postseason games, created Free Agency rules, and realigned its demographics again. Baseball created more dynamics in face of the danger of dying and in response of external threats, again.

            1996. You know what. You know whom. History made. And now, we want baseball to scapegoat the very same greatness that helped it survive? Should the BBWAA leave a whole generation of Steroid Era (1996-2005) out of the Hall?

            Let’s kick Cap Anson out of the Hall of Fame. Who cares about Anson’s contribution to baseball? The Hall of Fame is all about justice. By kicking out Anson, who disregarded rules and created his own rules for profit, we make sure that baseball for another Century will have no more exclusiveness like Anson’s, an excuse rooted itself in “I’m a better man than you” mentality, which generates hatred, war, and racism.

            Oh, wait, I just excluded one.

          • cc002600

            Ok, you’re right. In the name of Cap Anson, let’s exonerate AROD. LOL

            I have no idea how these things are relevant to someone breaking the rules today. Again, its the 2 wrongs make a right theory.

            Let me ask you this, since you condone PEDs. Do you have kids ? Would you be ok with your son if he was in high school if he wanted to use PEDs since that was only way to keep up with everyone else who was doing it and that since players like AROD, Bonds, and Sosa are glorified by people like you ? is that the type of society you want your kids to grow up in ? You’re ok with cheating since players did it 50 years ago. Would you ok if your son said to you that he wanted to cheat on his math test because people used to do that 50 years ago and nobody ever punished them. Would you condone that ?

            And to answer your question about whether or not the BBWA should exclude the steroids guys from the HOF. The answer is a resounding YES !!!!

            Steroids are a whole new ballgame when it comes to cheating. They are body altering. BIG difference in that vs someone doing greenies. It doesn’t even compare.

          • Dorasaga

            I don’t share your sentiments, because I suspect you are applying illogical preclusions for being under influence. Maybe under steroids, because it altered your braincells.

            Just kidding.

            Seriously, what my satirical means were trying to say were simple: The players are not to blame. They did something wrong, and I already said that on Barry Bonds. I don’t want to seem him play. If you want to kill the goose and hurt baseball, go ahead. I can watch Korean or Cuban baseball and just be as happy. I don’t know about you.

            PED is a word applied to a wide varieties of drugs: pills, injections, hormones–it’s confusing fan mind in a way you CAN avoid by first distinguish what each drug does and does not.

          • cc002600

            OMG, you can’t be serious.

            Do you really think it doesn’t help a player ? Seriously ? Let me ask you a simple question. If it didn’t help why would players in every sport take it ? Why is it banned in every sport ? How does a guy like Barry Bonds hit 73 HR’s at age 37 when he never hit more than 50 in his career, and SHATTERED the old record of 61 that stood for years before all these guys started juicing ? Why did Marion Jones take it ? Why did Lance Armstrong take it ? Why do pro wrestlers take it ? Look at the HR totals all across baseball during the height of steroids era, when jouneymen were routinely hitting 40 or 50 HR’s like it was nothing. Are you telling me that is normal ? Are you telling me that the roids didn’t cause that ? Please.

            And you ask what rules did AROD break ? What are you talking about ? Did you see the 60 minutes last night ? He impeded the MLB investigation. There were hundreds of texts between he and Bosch implicating him. The evidence was overwhelming that he used PEDs the last few years. Why do you think an arbritrator ruled that he should be suspended for 162 games ? And remember, this arbritrator was agreed to by both sides under the JDA, which was collectively bargained. Yes, there were no rules against using PEDs back in the 90’s, but they sure exist now, and AROD has been breaking them.

            Sorry, but it drives me nuts when people justify misdeeds by others by pointing out other misdeeds that have gone unpunished.

          • Dorasaga

            I never said PEDs don’t help. There has been no scientific proofs of PED transforming a good player to a great player.

            I wrote something about Barry Bonds in 2006, hereby requote: “I don’t mind him in the Hall, but he’s out of my league.”

        • 07GreyDigger

          They are just cleaning up the game because they got hit in the wallet. If the fans didn’t care and they were still spending lots of money, MLB wouldn’t care either. So to say MLB is stringent and should be applauded is a cop out.

          • cc002600

            maybe so, but isn’t that what smart business people do ? They respond to what their customers want ? Better late then never. What would you say if they did nothing ?

            When you compare it to the other sports, its not even close. Have you ever seen the documentary “League of Denial” ? Its about how the NFL has continually denied for 20 years that concussions have anything to do with CTE, which is what causes dementia and brain disease from continual blows to the head and concussions. The evidence is irrefutable and overwhelming, just look at all these former NFL players committing suicide. If you watched it, your view of the NFL and Roger Goodell (total crook) would completely change and you would NEVER let your kids play football. Check it out if you can. But most fans choose to put their heads in the sand about this stuff, since it might ruin their entertainment on sundays.

    • cubtex

      I saw it. Selena Roberts wrote that ARod has been taking PED’s since High School. Those text messages between Bosch and ARod were pretty amazing. Taking “gummies” like they were candy right before a game.
      Bud Selig said he had never seen anything like what ARod had done in his 50 years of baseball. It took a threat against Bosch’s life for him to speak the truth and have mlb baseball protect him. I am glad he is suspended for the year and hope that is the end of ARod. Something tells me that I doubt it though.

      • cc002600

        I would bet my life on it. The guy is such a phony.

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  • CubbyDenCritic

    BREAKING NEWS……….What ALL CUBS Fans have been waiting for…………
    The Cubs have a NEW MASCOT……named Clark.
    We are going to win 100 games this year !
    Thank You Theo, Jed and Tom R……… have brought this club one step closer to a Championship with giving us Clark.

    • GaryLeeT

      If they want to appeal to younger crowd, Clark’s hat position, and clothes are all wrong.

      • Tony_Hall

        Are you sure? His hat is on backwards and he is wearing no pants.

        • GaryLeeT

          Like a bro.

          • cubtex

            Should have jeans on hung real low on his backside exposing Cubs boxer shorts. And his name should be Clark “Huggy” Bear. Oh….and put a long feather in the hat.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Top Ten other Mascot Names the Cubs thought of before taking the name “Clark”
    10 – Milton B.
    9 – Dale Care Bear
    8 – Stony
    7 – Ronald Ferguson Ernie William
    6 – Davy Martinez
    5 – “Da Coach” Bear
    4 – Mr Cubby Bear
    3 – Big “Z” – El Cachorro
    2 – Steroid Sammy
    1 – Addison

  • CubbyDenCritic

    ATTENTON………..Only ADULTS should look at Deadspin Cubs Mascot contest……..the look on Ron Santo’s face is very funny……….but I like the one with the female fan in the bleachers with Clark.
    All I can say is that Deadspin staff must be White Sox fans.

  • No Baseball In Indiana

    Who says we haven’t had a productive offseason?

    • cubtex

      Go figure No Baseball. Even the Mascot is a position player. Probably a corner infielder. Need pitching :)))

      • No Baseball In Indiana

        Best comment ever.

    • GaryLeeT

      They just took the sunglasses off of the Daytona Cub.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Can anyone imagine if Clark and Donald Duck were both found together in the men’s room at Wrigley!
    Neither one wearing pants!

    • GaryLeeT

      To borrow from Seinfeld ” Not that there’s anything wrong with that”

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Can Clark hit a curve ball?

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Chicago Cubs have announced that Clark the Mascot will be on the “Bachelor” on ABC next fall………..unless the Cubs are in the Playoffs…………stop laughing.