Results tagged ‘ Winter Leagues ’
A few Cubs second base prospects and relievers had solid days in the Caribbean on Sunday. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s winter league action:
- 2B Arismendy Alcantara drew a pair of walks and drove in two in the Tigres del Licey’s loss to Cibaenas. One of his bases on balls came with the bases loaded in the fourth and the other RBI came on a bases-loaded groundout in the third. He was hitless in three official at-bats.
- RHP Juan Paniagua recorded the final out in the Estrellas’ shutout victory. He forced the only batter he saw to fly out to right.
- LHP Ryan Buchter struck out the side in the final inning of a shortened seven-inning game to claim his fifth save of the year for Culican. Buchter signed a minor league deal with the Cubs in late July and pitched 18.0 innings for Iowa this season.
- RHP Fernando Cruz pitched two scoreless innings for Santurce, walking one and striking out two in a losing effort. Cruz split the 2015 season in High-A and Double-A, and made one appearance in Iowa.
- CF Adron Chambers drove in a run in his first at-bat as Magalianes secured a win over Lara. He added a walk and a run scored in his 1-for-3 day.
- RHP Yoervis Medina surrendered two earned runs on a walk and three hits for Lara.
- 2B Bryant Flete had a pair of hits and drove in a run, going 2-for-4 with a run scored, as Zulia claimed a victory over Margarita.
It was a relatively quiet day for Cubs players in the Caribbean, but Junior Lake and Christian Villanueva stayed hot Monday. Here are some notes from yesterday’s winter league action:
- RHP Frank Batista pitched 2.0 innings in the Aguilas Cibaenas 5-1 loss to the Estrellas de Oriente. He gave up two hits and one unearned run, walked one and struck out one.
- LF Junior Lake went 2-for-4 with two singles and two strikeouts for the Estrellas de Oriente, raising his winter average to .455.
- 3B Christian Villanueva went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in the Yaquis de Obregon’s 7-3 win over the Naranjeros de Hermosillo.
- LHP Joseph Ortiz picked up his ninth hold of the winter campaign, pitching 0.1 scoreless innings in the Tiburones de La Guaira’s 6-2 loss to the Aguilas del Zulia. He is 3-0 in the Venezuelan League with a 2.89 ERA in 18.2 innings.
- 2B Luis Valbuena went 1-for-4 with a run scored and a strikeout in the Cardenales de Lara’s 7-3 win over the Caribes de Anzoategui.
With the Arizona Fall League wrapping up last week, we’ll turn our offseason attention to winter ball taking place in the Caribbean. A few pitchers in the Cubs organization made solid contributions in victories for their respective teams Tuesday. Here are some notes from yesterday’s Caribbean action:
- RHP Frank Batista picked up his third win for the Aguilas, giving up three earned runs in 5.1 innings. He struck out two.
- CF Arismendy Alcantara recorded a single in three at-bats for Licey.
- LF Junior Lake finished 0-for-4 in Estrellas 1-0 win.
- CF John Andreoli led off for San Juan and recorded a single in four at-bats in an 8-3 win.
- LHP Joseph Ortiz pitched a hitless 1.1 innings of relief for La Guaira. He struck out two batters and recorded his second hold of the season.
- RHP Lioger Padron walked the only two batters he faced in Caracas’ 5-4 win.
Apparently, Cubs No. 3 prospect Jorge Soler didn’t like watching teammates Kris Bryant and Albert Almora have all the fun in the Arizona Fall League. After a few days of rest, Soler came back strong, racking up three hits to lead the Mesa Solar Sox to a 7-4 win over visiting Scottsdale Thursday afternoon. The Cubs arms also figured into the decision, as Dallas Beeler, Matt Loosen and Lendy Castillo combined for seven innings, surrendering three earned runs. Here are the highlights from yesterday’s action.
Jorge Soler – Soler began the fall season on a seven-game hitting streak, but was batting only .229 during that stretch. On Thursday, he broke out with a 3-for-4 day to raise his AFL average to .282. Soler put Mesa up early with a first inning single to left field off Scottsdale starter Phil Irwin (Pirates) that scored both Brian Goodwin (Nationals) and Devon Travis (Tigers). Soler singled again in the bottom of the third and eventually scored on an Addison Russell (A’s) sac fly. The Cuban prospect singled to left field for the third time in the fourth inning, but was left stranded. He finished the day 3-for-4 with two RBI and one run.
Dallas Beeler – Beeler got off to a rocky start, surrendering two runs to the first two batters he faced on a Mason Williams (Yankees) single and a homer by Alen Hanson (Pirates). But that’s all Beeler would give up in four innings of work Thursday. His final line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K.
Matt Loosen – Loosen followed Beeler with two strong innings. He picked up three strikeouts, but gave up a sixth inning home run to Tommy La Stella (Braves). His line: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K.
Lendy Castillo – Former Cubs major leaguer and Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo continued to impress in the AFL Thursday with one scoreless inning. He also continued to struggle with control, giving up two walks and throwing 19 pitches. His line: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K.
Mesa is back in action Friday against Peoria at Surprise Stadium. Michael Roth (Angels) will take the mound for the Solar Sox opposite Kyle Hunter (Mariners). First pitch is scheduled for 2:35 CST.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
Cubs infielder Luis Valbuena continues to be a factor in the Venezuelan league championship series. Though Magallanes claimed a 7-3 win over Valbeuna’s Cardenales squad, the 27-year-old Cubs infielder managed to rip a solo home run in the top of the second inning to continue his torrid stretch.
In 22 postseason games, Valbuena is hitting .345/.412/.563 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with four home runs and 21 RBI. He posted a .306/.414/.497 line in the Venezuelan regular season.
The series concludes Wednesday night as the Navegantes hosts Lara in a decisive Game 7. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 CST, with the winner representing Venezuela in the Caribbean Series.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
With four games left in the Venezuelan round-robin playoffs, Lara is tied for the second and final championship spot, with much on the line. On Thursday, the Cardenales de Lara played like they wanted that final spot with a 9-2 win over the Leones del Caracas.
Behind the push was Cubs third baseman Luis Valbuena, who has come up big on multiple occasions for the Venezuelan team all season long. The 27-year-old’s name was atop many of the offensive statistic leader boards this winter as he finished with a .306/.414/.497 line (AVG/OBP/SLG) during the regular season.
On Thursday, the infielder was 2-for-3 with two walks, a double and three RBI.
With his side already up 3-0 when he got to the plate in the bottom of the first, Valbuena ripped a single up the middle, but he was left stranded on first. He was hit by a pitch in the fifth but was again stranded at first. He reached on a walk in the seventh, and after getting to third on a single by Joe Thurston, he was again left on base.
But in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded and the game well in hand, Valbuena smacked a double to right, scoring three.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
Alberto Cabrera had a career year in 2012, his first as a full-time reliever. So perhaps it’s only natural the Cubs want to give him another shot at starting.
That’s because the team saw several different pitchers emerge as Cabrera climbed from Tennessee to Iowa to Chicago. In 21 big league innings, he showed a surprisingly lights-out slider. Meanwhile, in the minors, he showed good feel for a change-up that later went unused. This all complements his mid-90s heat. At just 24 and with the team searching for upper-level arms, Cabrera could become a power starter if he truly does have command of all three pitches.
In the Dominican playoffs, the right-hander pitched four scoreless innings on Wednesday, scattering six hits, striking out seven and walking none. But the effort wasn’t enough, as his Toros del Este fell 4-3 and were eliminated from the playoffs.
Cabrera got off to a fast start, retiring the side in order in the first inning behind two strikeouts. He started the second with another strikeout, but then loaded the bases after a pair of singles and a hit batsman. Cabrera worked out of the jam, striking out Fernando Tatis and getting former Cub Henry Blanco to pop out to end the threat.
After surrendering a single to lead off the third, he struck out the side. In his final inning, Cabrera surrendered a bunt single to start off the frame, but started a double play on the next batter. Willy Aybar and Tatis both singled, but Blanco made the third out on a ground ball to the first baseman.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
The Estrellas de Oriente of the Dominican league don’t have a shot at reaching the best-of-seven league finals, which take place later this month, but they’re still playing for pride. On Tuesday, it was a trio of Cubs prospects leading the charge in the Estrellas’ 7-6 victory.
In the third inning, Cubs outfielder Nelson Perez reached on a walk and later advanced to third on a pair of singles by Ray Olmedo and Eliezer Mesa. The 25-year-old was then driven in on a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0. He stepped up again in the fourth and ripped a home run to right field to give his side a 5-0 lead. Perez was 1-for-3 with a walk, a homer, an RBI and two runs scored.
But Perez wasn’t the only Cubs prospect to contribute. Junior Lake drove in a run of his own on a single in the third inning and finished the day 1-for-4.
Not to be outdone, Cubs reliever Rafael Dolis was awarded the victory. The right-hander pitched a scoreless eighth inning, striking out one.
The Estrellas are statistically eliminated, as they sit four games out of second place with only two games remaining. The two squads with the best records will square off in the finals next week.
Other notes around the Caribbean:
Luis Valbuena went 2-for-4 with two RBI, a walk and a run scored for the Cardenales of the Venezuelan league.
(Photo by Rodger Wood)
The Caribbean baseball leagues are nearing the final days of their postseason play, with a trip to the Caribbean Series up for grabs for each country. The Dominican postseason round robin wraps up on Jan. 17, with the top two squads facing off in a best-of-nine series for the nation’s title.
The Puerto Rican league, which concludes its round-robin format on Jan. 16, and and the Venezuelan league, which wraps up on the 21st, will each have a best-of-seven series to determine its winner. The Mexican league wraps up on Jan. 20, with a seven-game series of its own.
The winners of each league will compete in the seven-day Caribbean Series, which begins Feb. 1. As the number of teams dwindles, there are fewer players to highlight. Still, a pair of Cubs who have been noted on more than a few occasions this winter came up big again Monday.
Junior Lake went 1-for-4 with an RBI triple for the Estrellas de Oriente of the Dominican league. He also scored a run in the 7-3 win.
Luis Valbuena had an RBI single for the Cardenales de Lara of Venezuela. His side fell 4-3 in the Venezuelan playoffs.
Cubs prospect Ty’Relle Harris had an active 2012 that took him all over the minor league system. After a stellar April and May in High-A Daytona, the right-hander was promoted to Tennessee. Then he got a late-season call-up to Iowa to round out the year.
He wrapped up the regular season with a combined 4-6 record and a 3.84 ERA in 82.0 innings at three minor league levels. Harris struck out 67 batters and walked 39.
After taking a few months off, he headed to the Caribbean, where he’s been playing for the Gigantes de Carolina, a squad in Puerto Rico. Because he joined late, Harris didn’t see a lot of time during the regular season, but his 12.2 innings were solid regardless.
The 26-year-old posted a 0.71 ERA in five regular season winter league games, including two starts. In the only outing in which he surrendered a run, he allowed six hits over six innings, striking out nine. And he’s only walked four batters total.
Harris’ one winter league blemish came on Sunday, as he gave up three runs in two innings in a 14-7 Gigantes playoff loss.
Other notes around the Caribbean:
Luis Valbuena had a pair of hits and two RBI for the Cardenales of the the Venezuelan league. He also scored a run.