There were endings and new beginnings this past week. The Mesa Solar Sox said goodbye to their unbeaten streak, while the Fall Instructional League ended. Meanwhile, play began for many Cubs prospects in the Dominican Winter League.
Note: Coverage of the winter leagues will be by calendar week, Sunday through Saturday
Arizona Fall League
Mesa Solar Sox
The week began in usual fashion for this year’s Sox team as they were tested by Scottsdale on Monday but ended up pulling out a 7-6 victory. Kris Bryant batted clean-up, third and went 1-for-4 with an RBI. Jorge Soler hit sixth and went 1-for-5 with a double. Matt Loosen relieved in the third inning and gave up two earned runs while striking out a batter in 2.2 innings.
Mesa continued to be unbeaten on Tuesday as they cruised to a 7-4 win over Scottsdale. Albert Almora was part of a big seven-run third inning and he finished the game 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI while batting leadoff for the Solar Sox. Jorge Soler lined up at DH and was 1-for-5. Armando Rivero gave up his first earned run of the fall in his inning of work.
Mesa pushed their record to 6-0 on Wednesday as they rallied to beat Peoria 3-1. There wasn’t a lot of contribution for Cubs’ prospects offensively. Kris Bryant went 0-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, while Wes Darvill went 1-for-4. Lendy Castillo picked up his first save after working around two hits with a strikeout in a scoreless inning.
Albert Almora was the only Cubs representative on the field on Thursday as Mesa extended their winning streak to seven by beating Peoria 6-1. Almora led off, played centerfield and went 1-for-4 at the plate.
Despite the efforts of Kris Bryant, Mesa was handed their first loss on Friday as they bowed to Surprise 11-9. Dallas Beeler got the start for Mesa and allowed three earned runs on six hits and two walks in three innings. Beeler also struck out a batter. Bryant had ten total bases as he was 3-for-5 with a double, two home runs, and four RBI. Jorge Soler was also 2-for-5 with an RBI. The games was tied 9-9 in the top of the ninth when Armando Rivero gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits and a walk as he absorbed the loss.
It appears as if Mesa has come back down to earth as they lost 8-2 to the Salt River Rafters on Saturday. Jorge Soler was 1-for-4 while Wes Darvill went 0-for-4 and played third base. Both Matt Loosen and Lendy Castillo each tossed a scoreless inning, while Loosen recorded two strikeouts.
Dominican Winter League
Tigres del Licey
It wasn’t a great beginning for Tennessee IF Arismendy Alcantara as he played second base and batted leadoff. Alcantara went 0-for-5 in the Tigers’ 4-1 loss to Escogido on Friday. Iowa OF Julio Borbon went 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter and saw some time in left field.
Estrellas de Oriente
Iowa reliever Marcos Mateo looks as if he has emerged as the closer for the Western Stars, as he earned the victory after striking out a batter in a 1-2-3 inning on Friday in a 3-2 win over Este.
Marcos Mateo then picked up his first save on Saturday with a scoreless inning, with Oriente beating Escogido 4-2.
Mexican Pacific League
Tomateros de Culiacan
Marcus Hatley is starting to establish himself as important bullpen piece for the Pickers, as he worked around a hit with two strikeouts in an inning pitched on Wednesday as Culiacan defeated Navojoa 8-6.
Marcus Hatley was a little shakier on Thursday as he gave up two hits in an inning. However, he was able to survive without allowing a run and earned his second save as the Tomatomen beat Navojoa 4-3.
Venados de Mazatlan
Rookie league lefty David Villegas continued to struggle for Mazatlan as the Stags lost 12-0 to Guasave on Thursday. Villegas tossed an inning and allowed two earned runs on two hits and two walks.
Yaquis de Obregon
Tennessee third baseman Christian Villanueva made his debut for the Tribe as a DH on Saturday. Villanueva went 0-for-5 as the Yaquis lost 7-1 to Hermosillo.
Venezuelan Winter League
Tigres de Aragua
Iowa reliever Eduardo Sanchez has asserted himself in the closer role for the Tigers. Sanchez picked up his first save on Thursday as Aragua beat Margarita 3-1. Sanchez tossed 1.2 innings and struck out four while allowing a hit and a walk.
Eduardo Sanchez then earned his second victory as Aragua rallied to defeat Magallanes 5-4 on Saturday. Sanchez notched a strikeout in a scoreless inning.
Leones de Caracas
Iowa pitcher Yoanner Negrin was not as dominant on Tuesday as he was in his first start, and the Lions lost 6-5 to Anzoategui. Negrin went five innings and allowed three earned runs on a hit and three walks. Negrin also struck out three batters.
It was a different story for Boise pitcher Loiger Padron, as he worked around a hit in a scoreless inning as Caracas beat Anzoategui 11-2 on Wednesday.
Loiger Padron put together a solid outing on Friday in middle relief. Padron allowed only one hit over 1.2 scoreless innings with Caeacas defeating Margarita 6-5.
Bravos de Margarita
Iowa outfielder Dave Sappelt made his winter debut on Tuesday and went 1-for-4 in Margarita’s 4-3 loss to Aragua.
Dave Sappelt then went 0-for-3 with a walk as the Braves lost to Aragua on Wednesday.
Tiburones de La Guaira
It was an appearance to forget for Eduardo Figueroa on Thursday as he failed to get an out and gave up three earned runs on three hits. Figueroa suffered the loss as the Sharks bowed 5-4 to Caracas.
Aguilas del Zulia
Tennessee pitcher Yeiper Castillo did what he could to help the Eagles on Friday, but it wasn’t enough as Zulia lost 5-2 to Anzoategui. Castillo tossed 1.2 scoreless innings, allowed two hits and a walk while striking out a batter and earning a hold.
News and Notes
The Fall Instructional League ended on Saturday. AZL Cubs third baseman Jesse Hodges led all hitters, while 18 year old Erick Leal posted the best ERA. Outfielder Jacob Hannemann was the winner of a home run derby conducted by the team