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
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.
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.
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.
Austrailian Baseball League
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).