Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 01/20/14

This week saw many of the round-robin phases of the Caribbean Leagues coming to a climax. Frank Batista and Cibaenas battled for a playoff spot in the DWL, while Jonathan Mota and Ponce tried to keep their hopes alive in the Roberto Clemente League. Meanwhile, Caracas improved their standing in the VWL, thanks to Yoanner Negrin.

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

Dominican Winter League

Aguilas Cibaenas

Chances are starting to slip away for Cibaenas as they lost 6-2 to Cibao on Tuesday.  Frank Batista was called on in the seventh and tossed 1.1 scoreless innings while giving up two hits and striking out a batter.

The Eagles dropped a heartbreaker on Friday and bowed of the DWL playoffs as they lost 6-5 to Cibao. Frank Batista surrendered his first earned runs on the winter and ended up taking the loss.  Batista entered the game in top of the eighth and gave up two earned runs on three hits while striking out a batter.

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League

Leones de Ponce

Ponce continued to lose ground in the playoffs on Tuesday as they lost 1-0 to Caguas. Jonathan Mota returned to the line-up at third base after sitting out a game and went 0-for-4.

The Lions kept themselves two games behind the leaders on Wednesday by defeating Carolina 7-2. Jonathan Mota seemed to get back in the swing of things as he went 2-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI, and two runs scored.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

The chances are slipping away for the Pride as they were shut out 5-0 by Caguas on Thursday. Jonathan Mota was unable to reach base safely, as he was 0-for-3 in the game.

Ponce ended their season on Friday as they defeated Mayaguez 4-3. Although they beat the round-robin leader, their overall record was one victory short of reaching the finals. Jonathan Mota came off the bench as was 0-for-1 in the victory.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Venezuelan Winter League

Leones de Caracas

Caracas turned to Yoanner Negrin on Tuesday to keep their playoff hopes alive and he helped deliver a 5-3 win over Magallanes. The VWL round –robin concludes this Tuesday, and the Lions are one-half game out of first place. Negrin went five innings and allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits and a walk while recording a strikeout.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Austrailian Baseball League

Brisbane Bandits

Ryan Searle went the distance again on Saturday, but it still ended up as a 5-3 loss as the Bandits fell to Melbourne. Searle pitched eight innings and allowed five earned runs on eight hits and a walk. Searle struck out two batters. Brisbane remains in the basement of the ABL standings.

Attention CCO Readers

The Down on the Farm preliminary reader’s poll is underway. Please post the names of the minor league players you would like the Down on the Farm Report to during the upcoming season. The CCO will then take the top 20 names and run then a special poll for the final month of Spring Training. The CCO will then track the progress of top ten 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 ten will eventually be chosen. As the poll moved into its second week, the number of players swelled to 43 with Jeimer Candelario, C.J. Edwards, Kyle Hendricks, Pierce Johnson, and Duane Underwood all tied for the lead.  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

Quote of the Day

"You are never as good as the adulations or as bad as the criticism, so don't get caught up on either one."
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  • CubbyDenCritic

    in less then a month, there will be players on the field…..running, throwing, hitting, bunting, spitting and scratching……..and in their off hours…..speeding, drinking, fighting and doping……
    You know Tom, if you need a baseball reporter in Perth, Australia next year, you can hire my services…..just have to pay for my travel expense, food & lodging……and the cost to see the games……I won’t even ask for a salary from CCO…..
    I don’t know about any of you out there, but I like to see that Seahawks Sherman get his head knocked off during the Super Bowl…..
    Cubs willing to give Tanaka $25 million per year for 8 years……reports like this will only make Samardzija believe in his head he is also worth $25 million per year….
    Pierce Johnson…..I think this guy will be BIG for us down the road.

    • Tom U

      Sorry Cubby, I believe Raymond had first dibs on any assignment to Australia in the off-season. I’ll start keeping a list, though.

  • TheWrongGuy

    Hey Tom U
    here’s my list to add to the pile of prospects to watch for 2014 season, in no particular order…

    P Zac Rosscup
    P Paul Blackburn
    P Michael Heesch
    P C.J. Edwards
    P Pierce Johnson
    P Armando Rivero
    P Tony Zych
    P Dillon Maples
    P Corey Black
    OF Shawon Dunston Jr.

    Hopefully you see the trend there A LOT of pitching :)

    Thanks for everything you guys do Tom U, Neil.
    You guys are awesome for this site. I come here to find all my best Cubbie news, and read the impossible forever posting arguments of a couple of daily posters. Great Stuff! :) Have a Better Day!

    • Tom U

      Thank you. They will be added to the list.

  • Tom U

    Arismendy Alcantara rated the #4 second baseman by MLB.com

    http://smokiesonradio.com/2014/01/20/alcantara-rated-4-second-base-prospect-by-mlb-com/

    • SuzyS

      AA may become ABB…Translation:
      AA = Arismendy Alcantra

      ABB= Anyone But Barney!

      • Dorasaga

        Or BoB: Barney on bench. I want to see a versatile defensive replacement in late innings. Barney will still be a cost-controlled (and young, healthy) choice, as opposed to the veterans on the FA market.

    • cc002600

      i really like this guy. I think (and hope) he ends up at 2B with Baez at 3B, and Bryant in OF. Not only does he provide much needed speed, but he is also a switch hitter, and if you look at the big 4, they are all right handed, so we need another left handed bat.