Pitching moved to the forefront this past week as the playoffs went thundering on in the Caribbean Leagues. Both Jean Machi and Armando Rivero had some sparkling performances in Venezuela. Meanwhile, Fernando Cruz continued to impress and Javier Baez was steady in Puerto Rico.
In Mexico, Christian Villanueva went yard again as he helped propel Obregon to the second round.
With all the details, along with news and notes, today’s Down on the Farm Report is sure to warn your baseball heart.
Note: Coverage of the Winter Leagues runs from Sunday to Saturday
Dominican Winter League
Estrellas de Oriente
It was a tough night for Oriente on Tuesday as they lost 11-2 to Escogido. Luis Parra could not escape the onslaught, as he surrendered two earned runs while pitching the eighth inning.
Tigres del Licey
The juggernaut that is Licey could not be stopped last Monday as they beat Escogido 14-3. Arismendy Alcantara entered the game in the seventh inning at second base and went 1-for-2 with a triple and a run scored.
Mexican Pacific League
Yaquis de Obregon
Obregon suffered a setback in their postseason last Monday as they lost to Los Mochis 2-1. Designated hitter Christian Villanueva was 1-for-4 with a run scored in the loss.
After losing a close game the day before, the Yaquis broke out their bats on Wednesday and clubbed Los Mochis 15-7. Christian Villanueva was the DH and went 1-for-2 with three walks and a run scored.
In a game that was not as close as the score indicates, the Tribe was able to dominate Los Mochis on Thursday in a 4-1 win. Christian Villanueva once again was the DH and cracked a solo home run in the second inning as he was 1-for-4.
Caneros de los Mochis
Underdog Los Mochis scored an upset last Monday as they stole one from Obregon, winning 2-1. Spencer Patton earned the victory as he tossed two scoreless innings with two strikeouts.
Los Mochios was eliminated from the playoffs by Obregon on Thursday with a 4-3 loss. Spencer Patton came on in the seventh and had a strikeout as he pitched a perfect 1.1 innings.
Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League
Cangrejeros de Santurce
Santurce was able to improve their playoff position last Sunday as they beat Mayaguez 1-0. Javier Baez lined up at second base and was 1-for-3 in the win.
The Cangrejeros closed out the regular season last Monday with a 7-4 loss to Caguas. Javier Baez was at second base again and went 1-for-4 with a walk and two RBI. Andres Santiago pitched 0.1 innings and was touched up for an earned run. Fernando Cruz also pitched a scoreless 0.1 innings.
The Crabbers opened the playoffs on Tuesday with a 2-0 loss to Mayaguez. Fernando Cruz had two strikeouts as he tossed a scoreless inning. Andres Santiago allowed an earned run and had a strikeout in the eighth inning.
Santurce made it almost seem routine on Friday as they beat Caguas 4-1. Javier Baez was at second base and was 1-for-4 with a stolen base and a run scored.
Venezuelan Winter League
Navegantes de Magallanes
Magallanes was able to take a 2-0 lead in their series with Caracas with a 2-0 win last Sunday. Jean Machi came on in the seventh and pitched a scoreless inning.
The Navegantes took a commanding 3-1 lead on Wednesday over Caracas as they won 2-1 in 11 innings. Jean Machi entered in the eighth and had a perfect inning, striking out a batter.
The Navigators closed out their series with Caracas with a 16-6 win. Jean Machi pitched the eighth inning and had a strikeout without allowing a run, hit, or walk.
Tigres de Aragua
Aragua was able to even their series with Margarita at 1-1 last Sunday with a 4-3 win. Armando Rivero bailed out a troubled Gumercindo Gonzalez by tossing a scoreless inning and striking out a batter for the save.
The Tigers fell behind Margarita two games to one on Tuesday after they lost 12-11 in 10 innings. Armando Rivero was hung with the loss as he gave up an earned run in the final 1.2 innings.
The Cats forced a game seven on Saturday night after defeating Margarita 12-6 to tie the series at 3-3. Armando Rivero pitched a perfect ninth inning in the victory.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs signed 1B Jesus Guzman to a minor league contract.
The Commissioner’s Office suspended Iowa Cubs RHP P.J. Francescon for 50 games for testing positive for a second time for a drug of abuse.