In a light week, two players dominated the winter ball conversation for the Cubs. Christian Villanueva is among the leaders in nearly every offensive category in the Mexican Pacific League. Meanwhile, Fernando Cruz has become a dependable presence in the Roberto Clemente League.
Also with news from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, the Down on the Farm Report covers the bases.
Note: Coverage of the Winter Leagues runs from Sunday to Saturday
Dominican Winter League
Tigres del Licey
First place Licey has a rough start to the week, as they were doubled up by Oriente 10-5 last Sunday. Arismendy Alcantara started the game at second base and was 1-for-2 before being replaced in the fourth inning.
Mexican Pacific League
Yaquis de Obregon
It seems as though Obregon cannot get itself untracked this season. But that was not the case on Tuesday, as they handled Mazatlan 4-1. Christian Villanueva is still having an outstanding winter, as he went 1-for-4 with a double in the victory.
The Yaquis could not maintain any momentum on Wednesday in losing 7-3 to Mazatlan. Christian Villanueva remained steady, going 1-for-4 in the loss.
Saturday saw an old fashioned romp for the Tribe as they blew past Mexicali 11-4. It was a big night for designated hitter Christian Villanueva, as he went 3-for-5 with a double, two home runs, six RBI, and three runs scored. Villanueva leads the league with a .961 OPS and is fourth both in hitting (.331) and home runs (9).
Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League
Cangrejeros de Santurce
The hard luck for Santurce continued last Sunday as they lost to Carolina 3-2 in 10 innings. Javier Baez started at second base and tied the game at two in the fourth inning with a solo home run. Baez ended up going 1-for-4 with a home run.
On Tuesday, the Cangrejeros were able to put one in the right side of the ledger as they shut out Carolina 2-0. Javier Baez started at short before moving over to second base, going 0-for-3 with an RBI.
Make it two in a row for the Crabbers, as they took down first place Mayaguez 3-1 on Wednesday. Javier Baez reached on a force and scored, as he went 0-for-4 while playing second base. Fernando Cruz tossed a perfect seventh inning, striking out a batter.
It was another heartbreaking loss for Santurce on Friday, as they took the lead in the 10th inning but ended up losing to Mayaguez 3-2. Fernando Cruz remained rock solid in the pen, coming on in the seventh and pitching a scoreless inning. Javier Baez played second base and was 0-for-2 with a walk.
Criollos de Caguas
Caguas started the week in striking distance of first place, but lost ground last Sunday by bowing to Mayaguez 7-1. Starter Andres Santiago was tattooed for six earned runs as he struck out two in three innings.
Venezuelan Winter League
Cardenales de Lara
It has been a long season for Lara, and it got a little longer last Monday as they lost to Caracas 9-2. Yoervis Medina entered in the seventh and tossed two scoreless innings.
The Redbirds rallied and pulled ahead in the middle innings on Friday to defeat Anzoategui 5-2. Yoervis Medina had another good outing, giving up a hit and striking out a batter in two scoreless innings.
News and Notes
The Cubs signed RHP Stephen Fife and RHP Jean Machi to minor league contracts.