Winter Leagues Report: Week 11

Happy Holidays to all! In this past week, the Dominican Winter League finished it's regular season, with both the Mexican Pacific League and the Venezuelan Winter League entering their last week of regular season play. With teams jockeying for playoffs spots and a chance to represent their country in the Caribbean World Series, some Cubs prospects played key roles.

Dominican Winter League

Toros del Este

Basement dwelling Este had a bright spot to their dismal season on Wednesday, as they beat Licey 6-4. Lefty Dario Alvarez did some good work in the pen, coming on in the seventh and giving up only a walk in two scoreless innings. Alvarez also struck out two batters in his outing. Este 6 - Licey 4


Mexican Pacific League

Tomateros de Culiacan

On Sunday, Culiacan managed only five hits as they were blanked by Navojoa 2-0. Taking over the starting catcher role, Ali Solis was 1-for-2 in the loss. Navojoa 2 - Culiacan 0

The Tomateros were able to get back on the winning track on Wednesday as they defeated Obregon 5-4. Ali Solis was once again behind the dish and was 1-for-4 with a run scored in the victory. Culiacan 5 - Obregon 4

It took three innings for the Pickers to wake up on Friday, before stepping on the gas and blowing past Mazatlan 8-2. Ali Solis remained consistent as he once again went 1-for-4. Culiacan 8 - Mazatlan 2


Venezuelan Winter League

Cardenales de Lara

After scoring a run in the bottom of the first, Lara was wiped out by Magallanes 7-1. Yapson Gomez made an appearance with two out in the fifth, faced two batters, walked one, and got the redbirds out of the inning. Magallanes 7 - Lara 1


Caribes de Anzoategui

The Caribes continued their push for a playoff spot on Friday as they shut out Margatita 2-0. Erick Castillo was the starting catcher and played a pivotal role, going 1-for-4 with a double and driving in the first run of the game with two outs in the fifth inning. Anzoategui 2 - Margarita 0


Bravos de Margarita

In a twelve inning came on Thursday, Margarita was not able to keep up with Anzoategui, losing 8-5. Eugenio Palma faced one over the minimum in the eleventh, walking only a batter in a scoreless inning. Anzoategui 8 - Margarita 5


Tigres de Aragua

Wednesday was a make-up day in the VWL, as Aragua could not make five early runs stand up in Game 2 of a doubleheader, losing 7-6 to Lara. Carlos Penalver saw action at both second base and shortstop and was 2-for-3 with an RBI in the loss. Lara 7 - Aragua 6

The miseries for the Tigres continued on Thursday, as a bullpen implosion led to a 10-7 loss to Lara. Lining up at second base, Carlos Penalver went 1-for-4 with a run scored in the game. Lara 10 - Aragua 7

The Big Cats experienced another bullpen meltdown on Friday, giving up five run in the bottom of the ninth for an 8-5 loss to Magallanes. Carlos Penalver flipped between shortstop and second base, going 2-for-4 with a double. Magallanes 8 - Aragua 5


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  • How close is Penlaver to MLB ready? If the Cubs trade one of their middle infielders, Carlos could be a valuable bench guy. His bat and his versatility would add value.

    Thanks, Tom, for keeping us up to date on the guys in the Winter Leagues!

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Unless Penalver has made adjustments and added strength his bat is not going to play in the majors. He has the range and can make all the plays necessary at SS, but still struggles a bit with consistency. But he has poor plate discipline and rarely hits the ball with authority.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    The Cubs added a 3rd IF capable of playing SS at Iowa, Ryan Court to go along with Chesny Young and Mike Freeman. Although none are natural SS, I don't think the Cubs even feel comfortable deploying Penalver in AAA at this point. His OBP was .295 with Tennessee last year. He will likely repeat that level and could see his playing time curtailed by Zack Short sooner rather than later

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Thanks for the thorough level of info on these players Michael..nicely done!

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Thanks, Michael! I guess I haven't gotten over my Cubsfan habit of believing that every low level prospect who has a good game (or series) is bound for supersstardom!

  • I essentially agree with Michael, except for one, very narrow circumstance.

    If the Cubs have an injury to Addison Russell only, that they feel would take only about 15 days or less to clear up, I can see them bringing up Penalver. Penalver would be strictly an emergency player during that time, with his ability to play second, short, and outfield while providing above average speed off the bench as an asset.

    I am not as bullish on Freeman or Court as others. I consider them to be "played out" prospects, whose window to the majors has come and gone. In most other systems, they would be considered "60 day wonders", or players that the parent club kept around in case of catastrophe for the first two months of the season, and then released anywhere from Memorial day until the start of the short season leagues.

  • Penalver looks like he is hitting with a wet rolled up newspaper!. Good glove, but lacking at the plate.

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