As we near the end of the year, it is also nearing the end of the regular season in winter ball, and playoff time! The Dominican Winter League has already concluded their regular season, and the Cubs will be well represented. Five players will be participating, including Arismendy Alcantara and Felix Pena.
Meanwhile, playoff spots have yet to be determined in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. Christian Villanueva continues to put up MVP-type numbers, while Javier Baez is heating up.
With an eye towards the winter’s second season, here is today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Note: Coverage of the Winter Leagues rus from Sunday to Saturday
Dominican Winter League
Trying to end their season on a high note, Cibaenas was able to edge past Cibao 3-2 last Sunday. Juan Perez Scored the go-ahead run in the second inning as he went 1-for-3 with a walk.
Estrellas de Oriente
Estrellas was able to hang on to their stake of first place last Sunday despite losing to Este 12-7. Felix Pena was manhandled. After entering the game with two outs in the second, Pena gave up four earned runs with two strikeouts in an inning of work. Juan Paniagua tossed two scoreless innings and had a strikeout.
Tigres del Licey
Licey was able to maintain a part of first place last Sunday even though they lost to Escogido 2-1. Arismendy Alcantara started at second base and was 1-for-2 with two walks in the loss.
Toros del Este
Este was able to make their way into the DWL playoffs even with a 5-4 loss in 10 innings to Cibao last Monday. Jeffry Antigua was the losing pitcher as he gave up the winning run with one out in the 10th inning.
Mexican Pacific League
Yaquis de Obregon
Scoring four runs in the first inning last Sunday, Obregon remained on a second half roll as they beat Culiacan 5-3. A model of consistency this winter, designated hitter Christian Villanueva went 1-for-4 with a run scored.
On Tuesday, the Yaquis jumped out to a big league before coasting to a 6-4 win over Jalisco. Christian Villanueva remained at DH and was 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored.
This time, the Tribe came on late as they flexed their muscles in beating Jalisco 9-4 on Wednesday. It was a big night for designated hitter Christian Villanueva as he went 2-for-4 with a double, three RBI, and two runs scored.
Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League
Cangrejeros de Santurce
In the first game of a doubleheader last Sunday, Santurce broke the game open in the middle innings to shut out Carolina 3-0. Javier Baez started at second base and was 2-for-4 with two RBI in the win.
It took 10 innings in the nightcap, but the Cangrejeros got into the win column by beating Carolina 3-2. Javier Baez lined up at second base and went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. It was a rare bad outing for Fernando Cruz as he allowed an earned run, but struck out two in one inning. Andres Santiago worked around a hit and got the final two outs for the victory.
On Tuesday, the Crabbers broke a 2-2 deadlock in the eighth inning to edge past Carolina 3-2. Driving in the go-ahead run was second baseman Javier Baez, who was 1-for-4 in the win.
It was a team effort on Wednesday, as Santurce had their second shutout of the week in defeating Caguas 3-0. Javier Baez was in center field and went 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Fernando Cruz tossed a perfect eighth and had a strikeout, while Andres Santiago did the same in the ninth for his first save.
The Cangrejeros made it five in a row on Saturday as they posted their third shutout of the week, blanking Caguas 4-0. Lining up at shortstop, Javier Baez was 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored. Fernando Cruz recorded the first two outs of the seventh inning.
Venezuelan Winter League
Aguilas de Zulia
Zulia continued to struggle in the second half of the season, as they were shutout 8-0 by Caracas last Monday. Bryant Flete started at second base and was 1-for-4 in the loss.
Navegantes de Magallanes
It was a tight ballgame on Wednesday, but Magallanes was able to maintain first place on a 9-7 victory over La Guaira. Short Season-A Eugene reliever Greyfer Eregua saw his first action of the winter after starter Martires Arias had to leave after one out in the first. Eregua allowed an earned run on four hits in three innings. Jean Machi worked around a hit in the eighth inning for his fourth hold.
News and Notes
The Cubs signed LHP Scott Barnes and LHP Luis Cruz to minor league contracts.