Good morning! Week two of winter baseball saw the opening of the Dominican Winter League and the re-emergence of familiar veterans Manny Ramirez and Junior Lake, among others.
Meanwhile in the Venezuelan Winter League, reliever Loiger Padron remains perfect while swingman Eduardo Figueroa had his ups and downs.
As for the Arizona Fall League, Bijan Rademacher continues to impress and starters C.J. Edwards and Ivan Pineyro had good outings.
For more details, check out this week’s Down on the Farm Report.
Editors Note: Coverage runs from Sunday to Saturday.
Arizona Fall League
Mesa could not get untracked at the beginning of the week as they dropped their fourth game in five played by losing 2-1 to Scottsdale. Addison Russell got the start at second base and was 1-for-3 with a walk, while first baseman Dan Vogelbach and right fielder Jacob Hannemann were each 0-for-4. Zach Cates retired the only batter he faced in the fifth inning.
It was another rough day at the ballpark for Mesa on Tuesday as they lost to Scottsdale 10-7. Addison Russell was back at shortstop and committed an error but went 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored. Gerardo Concepcion had another bad outing. Concepcion gave up three earned runs and struck out a batter in 1.2 innings.
The Solar Sox used some Cub Power to get themselves untracked on Wednesday as Mesa defeated Peoria 5-2. C.J. Edwards started for the Solar Sox and held the Javelinas at bay. Edwards limited them to a walk and a hit over three scoreless innings while striking out three batters. A double from designated hitter Addison Russell (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI) in the second inning drove in Mesa’s second run. Bijan Rademacher started in right field and went 2-for-4 with a run scored in the seventh inning.
Make it two wins in a row for Mesa as they used a big eighth inning to get past Peoria 6-2 on Thursday. Ivan Pineyro started and flashed his ability by striking out three and allowing only four hits in three scoreless innings. Zach Cates also pitched well, with a strikeout, walk, and two hits as he blanked the Javelinas for two innings. Shortstop Addison Russell was 1-for-4 with two runs scored and was driven in on a double by Cubs teammate Dan Vogelbach (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) for the game’s first run. Designated hitter Jacob Hannemann continued to struggle as he was 0-for-4.
It was another late surge that helped the Solar Sox on Friday as they beat Surprise 5-3. However, there wasn’t much of a contribution by Cubs’ prospects. Designated hitter Dan Vogelbach was 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored, while right fielder Jacob Hannemann went 0-for-4. Gerardo Concepcion entered the game in the sixth inning and gave up a walk, but held the Saguaros scoreless.
Mesa pushed their record back to .500 (5-5) on Saturday with an 8-4 victory over Salt River. Right fielder Bijan Rademacher (2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored) was in the thick of things again as his two-out single in the second inning drove in the Solar Sox’s fourth run. Rademacher also stole home as part of a double steal and scored Mesa’s final run in the fourth inning. Designated hitter Addison Russell was 0-for-4 but scored two runs, while first baseman Dan Vogelbach went 0-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.
Dominican Winter League
After a rain out on Friday, Cibaenas was back in action on Saturday night and lost to Este 7-4. Iowa player/coach Manny Ramirez went 0-for-4 for the game.
Toros del Este
Opening night was a less than a success for Este on Thursday as they lost to Oriente 5-4. Iowa reliever Jeffry Antigua got the final two outs for the home team.
The Toros performed much better on Friday as they defeated Oriente 9-4. Iowa reliever Alberto Cabrera closed the game out by allowing only a walk over a scoreless 1.1 innings.
Estrellas de Oriente
Oriente was selected to open the DWL with Este on Thursday and wound up winning 5-4. Cubs’ outfielder Junior Lake had tough game. Lake was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. However, Iowa reliever Marcos Mateo picked up the save as he struck out two in a perfect in the ninth.
It was a tough night for Estrellas as they dropped their one 9-4 to Este on Friday. Junior Lake reflected his team’s troubles as he went 0-for-3. Marcos Mateo was also roughed up. Mateo allowed four earned runs in only 0.1 innings.
The Stars bounced back on Saturday night and beat Escogido 4-1. Junior Lake also did much better as he was 1-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base, and two runs scored.
Venezuelan Winter League
Cardenales de Lara
Lara began the week well by edging Aragua 5-3 on Sunday. Eduardo Figueroa did a lot better in his second appearance. Figueroa struck out three and gave up a hit and walk in two scoreless innings.
The Cardinals flexed their muscles on Saturday night in defeating Magallanes 11-4. However, starter Eduardo Figueroa was not as fortunate as he allowed three runs (two earned) on two walks and three hits as he only lasted an inning.
Leones del Caracas
The defense failed Caracas on Sunday as they lost 7-5 to Anzoategui. Loiger Padron retired the only batter he faced in the fifth inning.
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On Tuesday, Yoanner Negrin was his own worst enemy as the Lions lost 5-4 to Magallanes. Negrin committed two errors and he was charged with four unearned runs while striking out two in 4.1 innings.
It was a marathon on Friday as the Pride outlasted Margarita 4-3 in 14 innings. Reliever Loiger Padron picked up a hold as he bailed Caracas out of a seventh inning jam with two strikeouts.
Caracas stumbled in the late innings on Saturday and fell to La Guaira 6-4. Reliever Loiger Padron continued to be perfect through the beginning of the season. Padron struck out two while not allowing a base runner in 1.2 innings.
Navegantes del Magallanes
A close game turned into a blow-out on Wednesday as Magallanes was drubbed by Anzoategui 8-3 in 14 innings. Reliever Greyfer Eregua pitched the last 0.2 innings and gave up an earned run on a hit and a walk.
Bravos de Margarita
A late rally could not save Margarita on Thursday as they lost to Caracas 9-5. Outfielder Arnaldo Calero came on in the eighth inning and went 1-for-1 with an RBI.
Tigres de Aragua
It was a laugher for Aragua on Monday as they beat LaGuaira 10-1. Willson Contreras finally got his first hit as he went 1-for-4 with a walk, two RBI, and a run scored.