The eighth week of the winter season saw the debut of Ivan Pineyro and a scare for Arismendy Alcantara in the Dominican League. Christian Villanueva experienced new positions in the Mexican Pacific League, and John Andreoli held onto the league lead in stolen bases in Puerto Rico.
Over in Venezuela, Willson Contreras continued to swing a hot bat and Joseph Ortiz kept refining his game in hopes of landing a bullpen spot this coming season.
All this, along with the weekly Manny Ramirez update can be found inside today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Editor’s Note: Coverage of the winter leagues is from Sunday to Saturday.
Dominican Winter League
Cibaenas fell two and a half games behind first place last Sunday with a 7-2 loss to Licey. Manny Ramirez contributed offensively and went 1-for-2 with a double and two walks.
The Eagles made up half a game in the standings on Tuesday with 4-3 victory over Licey. Frank Batista started and ran into some trouble. Batista allowed three earned runs on six hits with two strikeouts in four innings. Designated hitter Manny Ramirez was 2-for-4 in the contest.
After a day off on Thursday, Cibaenas was back in action on Friday and squeaked past Cibao 2-1. Manny Ramirez walked to lead off the second inning and scored the game’s first run on a force out. Ramirez went 0-for-3 in the game.
In a head to head match-up on Saturday, the Eagles moved to within a game and a half out of first place by beating Estrellas 3-0. Manny Ramirez contributed as he was 2-for-3 with a walk and once again scored the first run of the game.
Toros del Este
Este’s offense came up a little short on Sunday as they lost to Escogido 5-4. Jeffry Antigua was one of the relievers who tried to pick up the pieces after a lackluster effort from the starter. Antigua tossed a perfect inning and struck out a batter.
The Bulls remained in the hunt thanks to a 9-0 blowout of Escogido on Tuesday. Alberto Cabrera was effective in relief. Cabrera struck out five batters while giving up only a hit and a walk in two scoreless innings.
The Toros grip on third place may be slipping as they lost to Licey 8-5 on Saturday. Alberto Cabrera relieved beleaguered starter Edwar Cabrera and was battered around. Cabrera allowed two runs (one earned) on a walk and a hit in an inning of work.
Estrellas de Oriente
Four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning last Monday gave Oriente a 6-5 victory over Cibao. Junior Lake had a good game. Lake went 2-for-3 with two walks. Luis Flores entered the game in the third inning as a pinch-runner and stayed on as catcher. Flores went 1-for-2 with two runs scored.
Estrellas flexed their muscles Wednesday after a rainout on Tuesday and beat up Escogido 9-0. Junior Lake played a big part as he was 2-for-3 with a double, two walks, two stolen bases, and three runs scored. Luis Flores went 0-for-4 while Marcos Mateo struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning.
The Eastern Stars maintained their first place lead on Friday in a slugfest with Este and came out with an 8-5 win. Junior Lake had a tough night. Lake was 0-for-4 and struck out three times. Marcos Mateo rang up save number 14 by striking out the side in the ninth.
The race remained tight as Oriente lost some ground on Saturday by falling 3-0 to Cibaenas. Ivan Pineyro made his season debut and pitched well. Pineyro gave up two hits and a walk while striking out two as he tossed the first three innings of the game.
Leones del Escogido
It was a second straight embarrassing loss for Escogido on Wednesday as they fell to 9-0 to Estrellas. Carlos Pimentel tried to pick up the pieces for starter Daniel Cabrera. Pimentel recorded two outs and helped the Lions get out of the third inning.
Tigres del Licey
Licey picked up a 7-2 win against Cibaenas last Sunday as the Tigres continue to try to climb out of the basement of the DWL. Arismendy Alcantara remained the team’s centerfielder and went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
The Tigers continued to try and claw their way back up in the standing but fell to Cibaenas 4-3 on Tuesday. Centerfielder Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-3) took former teammate Frank Batista deep for a two-run homer.
A four-run second inning helped propel the Tigres to a 5-4 win over Cibao on Wednesday. Arismendy Alcantara remained in centerfield and went 1-for-4 in the game.
In what ended up a pitcher’s duel on Friday, Licey received just enough offense to get past Escogido 1-0. Arismendy Alcantara has found his groove. Alcantara lined up at second base and went 2-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.
The Tigers are trying to even their record and used a quick start to beat Este 8-5 on Saturday. Arismendy Alcantara started in centerfield and was hit by a pitch in the third inning. Alcantara stayed in the game, scored a run, and played the field for an inning before being replaced by a pinch-hitter in the fourth inning.
Mexican Pacific League
Yaquis de Obregon
Obergon was on the wrong end of a really embarrassing effort as they lost 18-3 to Los Mochis last Sunday. Christian Villanueva moved to designated hitter and was 0-for-2 with two walks.
Pitching fell apart for the Yaquis on Tuesday as they lost 11-2 to Jalisco. Christian Villanueva remained at DH and was 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.
It was a bounce back effort for the Tribe on Wednesday as they scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth and beat Jalisco 4-3. Christian Villanueva entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning and remained in at third base. Villanueva helped ignite the rally as his single put runners on first and third with no outs. For the game, Villanueva was 1-for-2 and scored the tying run.
Thursday’s effort was not enough for Obregon to get past Jalisco as they lost 7-2. Christian Villanueva provided all the runs for the Tribe with a two-run homer in the fourth inning. It was Villanueva’s fourth big fly of the winter. Villanueva played first base and was 1-for-4 at the plate.
It was all hands on deck for the Yaquis’ pitching staff on Friday as their bullpen helped save a 5-3 victory over Navojoa. Christian Villanueva continued moving around. Villanueva started in left field and went 0-for-4 in the win.
A treat for the fans on Saturday didn’t turn out well for the Tribe as they lost to Navojoa 10-8. Christian Villanueva started his second game in left field and went 0-for-5 in the loss.
Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League
Senadores de San Juan
Offense remains the problem for San Juan as they managed only three hits last Sunday in a 2-0 loss to Mayaguez. John Andreoli went 1-for-4, while Jonathan Mota was 0-for-3.
The Senadores were able to muster some offense on Monday, but their pitching failed to hold as they lost 8-4 to Mayaguez. Cubs’ prospects continued to scuffle as John Andreoli was 0-for-4 while Jonathan Mota went 1-for-4.
It was a rare offensive outburst for the Senators on Wednesday as they beat Carolina 8-4. John Andreoli remains the league leader as he swiped his ninth base of the season while going 2-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, a run scored, and an RBI. Jonathan Mota moved across the diamond to third base and was 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored.
After a day off, the offense for San Juan once again went into reverse as they managed only four hits in a 6-1 loss to Mayaguez. Both John Andreoli and Jonathan Mota went 0-for-4.
Venezuelan Winter League
Leones del Caracas
It was a solid overall effort for Caracas on Thursday in a 9-4 win over Aragua. Starter Yoanner Negrin pitched his best game of the winter. Negrin scattered seven hits and struck out five in 5.1 scoreless innings. Loiger Padron wasn’t as lucky and gave up three earned runs on three hits with two walks in only 0.2 innings.
Tiburones de La Guaira
After taking a 7-6 lead in the sixth inning on Wednesday, La Guaira could not close the deal against Magallanes and lost 10-7. Joseph Ortiz entered in the eighth inning and allowed an earned run on a solo home run.
It took a three-run effort in the top of the tenth inning on Friday for the Tiburones to finally put away Magallanes 7-4. Joseph Ortiz was, in part, responsible for the extended play as he gave up an earned run in 0.2 innings.
Saturday was a big night for the Sharks as they took down league leading Anzoategui 1-0. Joseph Ortiz excelled in relief. Ortiz struck out two and worked around a hit in 1.2 innings to collect his first victory of the season.
Tigres de Aragua
Aragua continues to creep up on the leaders in the VWL as they cruised to a comfortable 7-2 victory over La Guaira last Sunday. Willson Contreras (1-for-4) drove in a run.
The Tigers took a step backward last Monday with a 5-4 loss to Magallanes. Willson Contreras collected another hit as he was 1-for-3 with a run scored.
News and Notes
Former Cubs’ prospect Ryan Searle continues to pitch well in the Australian Baseball League. With a record of 2-0, Searle leads the league with 31 strikeouts, is third with a 0.90 WHIP, and his 2.81 ERA is seventh in the league.