Pitching once again took center stage last week as Armando Rivero continued to impress in Venezuela. Fernando Cruz was a bright spot in Puerto Rico, while Felix Pena is starting to make some noise in the Dominican Republic.
With high heat to start out a cold week, here’s today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Dominican Winter League
Estrellas de Oriente
Oriente needs to get their act together if they want to represent their country in the Caribbean World Series. The Stars made a step forward last Sunday as they defeated Este 6-5 in 12 innings. Luis Parra had a little trouble finding his control, as he walked two and struck out a batter while recording two outs in the ninth inning.
Estrellas took a step backward last Monday as they lost to Escogido 6-1. Juan Paniagua entered with two outs in the fourth inning and tossed 1.1 scoreless innings with a strikeout. Felix Pena had a rough time. Pena surrendered two earned runs with a strikeout in 1.1 innings.
The Eastern Stars continued their woes on Friday in losing to Escogido 7-3. Coming over from the Mexican Pacific League, Spencer Patton was greeted rudely as he failed to record an out and gave up an earned run in the ninth inning.
Oriente ended the week on a positive note as they took down powerful Licey 7-4 on Saturday. Cubs’ prospects played a big role as Felix Pena came on in the third and struck out two in three scoreless innings for the win. Juan Paniagua got the final out of the seventh inning while Luis Parra surrendered an earned run and had a strikeout to start the eighth inning.
Tigres del Licey
Licey continued to roll on, as they steamrolled Ecogido 8-0 last Sunday. Arismendy Alcantara started at second base and blasted a solo home run in the second inning, going 1-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored.
Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League
Cangrejeros de Santurce
As Santurce struggled to keep up in the round-robin playoffs, they dropped a 2-1 game to Mayaguez in 10 innings last Sunday. Fernando Cruz cleaned up after the damage had already been done as he recorded the final two outs of the 10th inning.
Things got worse for the Cangrejeros last Monday, as they were shut out by Caguas 3-0. Andres Santiago had two strikeouts in holding the Creoles in the seventh, while Fernando Cruz tossed a scoreless eighth inning.
The Crabbers have yet to get untracked as they lost 3-0 to Mayaguez on Tuesday. Javier Baez started at second base before moving to shortstop in the eighth inning. Baez was 1-for-4 with a double in the loss.
Santurce finally got on the right side of the ledger on Thursday as they beat Caguas 8-2. Fernando Cruz allowed only a hit as he set down the Criollos in the eighth inning.
Venezuelan Winter League
Navegantes de Magallanes
Magallanes opened their semifinal series with Anzoategui on Tuesday with an 8-4 win. Jean Machi pitched the eighth inning and gave up an earned run on a solo home run.
Tigres de Aragua
Aragua closed out their opening round series with Margarita last Sunday with a 3-1 win to advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Armando Rivero slammed the door on the Braves as he struck out a batter in a scoreless ninth for his second save of the playoffs.
It was domination for the Tigers on Wednesday, as they evened their series with La Guaira at 1-1, shutting them out 7-0. Armando Rivero tossed a scoreless eighth inning in which he yielded two hits.
Australian Baseball League
With one more round left to play before the ABL playoffs, Brisbane leads the Australian Baseball League by three games over Canberra. The current Bandit and former Cubs prospect Ryan Searle leads the league with 16 saves, as the 26-year old is 4-2 with a 0.43 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, and has 49 strikeouts in 42 innings.
News and Notes
The Cubs signed C Tim Federowicz and INF/OF Kris Negron to minor league contracts.