The winter league playoffs are coming close to its championship conclusion, with the finals set in the Dominican League as Junior Lake and his Oriente team will face Cibao and Carlos Pimentel.
Santurce leads the standings in Puerto Rico thanks to some good games from Javier Baez. Obregon is still fighting to continue in Mexico despite a bad week from Christian Villanueva. While in Venezuela, Jonathan Herrera and Magallanes remain strong as Joseph Ortiz and Willson Contreras experiences some ups and downs.
Keep track of all results by opening today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Dominican Winter League
Cibaenas battled to keep their chances alive in the playoffs on Tuesday by beating Este 5-4. Manny Ramirez was 1-for-4 with a walk before being lifted for a pinch-runner in the eighth inning. Frank Batista wound up being the winning pitcher as he entered the game with one out in the third inning. Batista held the Bulls to an earned run on three hits while striking out four in 3.1 innings.
The Aguilas moved a step closer to elimination on Wednesday with a 4-3 loss to Estrellas. Manny Ramirez scored one of the two runs for the Eagles as he was 0-for-2 with two walks.
The Eagles were playing for pride on Thursday as they beat Este 5-3. Manny Ramirez had a quiet night, going 0-for-2 with a walk.
Toros del Este
Estrellas de Oriente
With round robin play entering its final week, Oriente continued their pursuit to go deeper in the playoffs by beating up on playoff leader Cibao 7-1 last Sunday. Junior Lake contributed to the rout by going 1-for-5 with an RBI.
It was nearly identical results for Estrellas against Cibao on Tuesday, with Oriente winning 7-2. Junior Lake had an even better game. Lake went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and two runs scored. Lake played centerfield and batted out of the three-hole.
The Eastern Stars moved a step closer to the DWL finals on Wednesday as they defeated Cibaenas 4-2. Junior Lake remained in centerfield and was 1-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored.
Oriente moved into a first place tie with Cibao on Thursday by thumping the Giants, for the third time on the week, 10-4. However, Junior Lake was not able to partake in the fun as he was 0-for-4 with a run scored.
Gigantes del Cibao
Cibao took it on the chin for a second time this week at the hands of Oriente, losing 7-2 on Tuesday. Carlos Pimentel started and had his first bad outing in the playoffs. Pimentel allowed five earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out three in 3.1 innings.
Mexican Pacific League
Yaquis de Obregon
Obregon opened their series with Jalico last Sunday with a 6-1 loss to the regular season champs. Christian Villanueva started at third base and was 0-for-3 with a walk.
The Yaquis survived a late rally by Jalisco last Monday as they evened the series with a 6-5 victory. Christian Villanueva was 0-for-2 with a walk and an RBI.
The Tribe saw the series swing back to Jalisco’s favor on Wednesday as they lost 4-2. Christian Villanueva was 0-for-2 with a walk.
Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League
Cangrejeros de Santurce
Santurce got off on the wrong foot this week as they lost 10-4 to Carolina last Sunday. Javier Baez started a shortstop and batted second. Baez went 1-for-3 with two walks, two runs scored, and a stolen base.
The Cangrejeros got back on the winning track last Monday as they beat Caguas 5-4 in a ten inning thriller. Javier Baez remained at shortstop and was 2-for-6 with an RBI, run scored, and a stolen base.
The Crabmen maintained their first place lead on Wednesday by beating Caguas 4-1. After a day off, Javier Baez was back in the line-up at shortstop and went 0-for-4.
Venezuelan Winter League
Navegantes del Magallanes
Magallanes remained the leader in round robin play last Monday as they beat Zulia 7-2. Jonathan Herrera was at third base but went 0-for-3 in the victory.
Tiburones de La Guaira
La Guaira moved to a game under .500 last Sunday by beating Zulia 2-1. Joseph Ortiz picked up a hold by retiring the only batter he faced in the ninth inning.
It didn’t seem like anyone was interested in pitching last Monday as the Tiburones lost in a slugfest 15-12. Joseph Ortiz wound up wearing the goat horn as he gave up the winning runs in the ninth. Ortiz allowed three earned runs on three hits, including a two-run home run, in 0.1 innings.
The Sharks were unable to keep the bats of Anzoategui at bay on Friday as they lost 8-6. Joseph Ortiz bounced back from a disastrous previous outing and struck out the only batter he faced in the eighth inning.
Tigres de Aragua
Aragua strived to keep their hopes of playing in the VWL finals alive on Friday by beating Zulia 9-3. Willson Contreras showed his versatility by playing right field. Contreras went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored before being replaced by Cubs teammate Rubi Silva in the eighth inning.
Both teams put up a lot of runs early on Saturday but the Tigers were not able to keep up with Zulia and lost 12-6. Rubi Silva got the start in centerfield and was 1-for-4 with an RBI while Willson Contreras was 0-for-4 as the catcher.
News and Notes
The Cubs signed RHP Daniel Bard and LHP Francisley Bueno to minor league contracts.