Cubs in the Off-Season Leagues - Week 10

Good Morning! This week for Cubs in the off-season leagues has seen new additions, as the Cubs added Luis Lugo in the winter meetings while Victor Caratini joined the Roberto Clemente League. For more, take a look inside today's report.

Dominican Winter League

Aguilas Cibaenas

Cibaenas was not able to take advantage of the rest they had with the weekend off, as they lost to Este 5-4 on Tuesday. Daury Torrez was not sharp in giving up two solo home runs in 0.1 innings, striking out the only other batter he faced. Este 5 - Cibaenas 4

On Wednesday, the Aguilas could not overcome two runs in the middle innings and could only muster three hits in a 2-0 lost to Este. Daury Torrez started the eighth inning and retired the only two batters he faced. Este 2 - Cibaenas 0

The Eagles closed out the week in grand style on Saturday by pounding out 13 hits in a an 8-2 victory over Cibao. Entering the game in the sixth, Daury Torrez gave up only a hit while fanning two in a scoreless inning. Cibaenas 8 - Cibao 2

Leones del Escogido

After a weekend layoff, Escogido was back in action on Tuesday. It took a while for the Leones and Licey to get back into the swing of things as Escogido came out on top 1-0. Ryan Court remained on a on-base tear as he was 1-for-3 with two walks to increase his OBP to .522. Escogido 1 - Licey 0

It was a long night for the Leones on Wednesday as two early runs were all they could eek out in an 8-2 loss to Licey. Ryan Court continued to be locked-in as he went 2-for-4 with a double in the win. Licey 8 - Escogido 2

Mexican Pacific League

Tomateros de Culiacan

While Culiacan used 10 hits to produce 4 runs, they still had to hold on tight for a 4-3 victory over Mexicali on Tuesday. Casey Coleman was shaky in the ninth as he allowed an earned run on three hits with two outs but fanned the final batter for his eighteenth save. Culiacan 4 - Mexicali 3

If you were late to Wednesday’s game, you missed all the scoring as the Tomateros made a first inning run stand up in a 1-0 victory over Mexicali. Casey Coleman earned his nineteenth save, setting the tone with a strikeout in retiring the side in order in the ninth. Culiacan 1 - Mexicali 0

The Tomato Pickers continued their trend of scoring early on Thursday as they defeated Mexicali 3-1. Culiacan called on Casey Coleman to once again slam the door and he responded by going 1-2-3 in the ninth with a strikeout. Culiacan 3 - Mexicali 1

Roberto Clemente League

Criollos de Caguas

Caguas flexed their muscles on Sunday, build in a ten-run lead before switching to cruise control to beat Carolina 19-5. Vimael Machin split his time between first and second base and reached base five times, going 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI, two walks, and three runs scored. Victor Caratini joined the Criollos and was 1-for-2 with three walks and two runs scored while playing third base. Caguas 19 - Carolina 5

It looked as if the Criollos had everything in control on Wednesday but the wheels came off in the eighth as Caguas ended up losing 8-3 to Mayaguez. Zach Hedges had a good handle on things as he surrendered only an earned run on eight hits and two walks as struck out four in five innings. Victor Caratini was 1-for-4 while starting at catcher and moving to first base in the sixth inning. Mayaguez 8 - Caguas 3

The Creoles had a hard time generating offense on Thursday as they spaced out six hits in a 2-0 loss to Santurce. Lining up at DH, Victor Caratini provided one third of the output as he was 2-for-4 while first baseman Vimael Machin was 1-for-4. Santurce 2 - Caguas 0

Gigantes de Carolina

It was a hard way to start the week as Carolina was thoroughly humbled by Caguas 19-15 on Sunday. Raidel Orta was given the start and failed to record an out, allowing three earned runs on three hits and two walks. Carolina 5 - Caguas 19

Raidel Orta - Our Baseball Passion

Raidel Orta - Our Baseball Passion

On Wednesday, a walk-off solo home run from Isan Diaz was the only scoring in the game as Carolina went home a 1-0 winner over Santurce. Raidel Orta bounce back from a poor performance on Sunday to strike out two in 1.2 scoreless innings. Carolina 1 - Santurce 0

A 4-1 victory on Friday allowed the Giants to creep up in the standing as they took down league leading Mayaguez. Raidel Orta came on with one out in the seventh and made things an adventure,  giving up two hits and a walk after recording an out as he tossed 0.1 scoreless innings. Carolina 4 - Mayaguez 1

Venzuelan Winter League

Luis Lugo

Luis Lugo

Cardenales de Lara

On Saturday, a five-run fifth inning was all Lara would need to defeat La Guaira 5-1. Luis Lugo, recently added by the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft, remained effective. The 24-year old left-handed reliever yielded only a hit and a walk as he pitched a scoreless sixth inning. Lara 5 - La Guaira 1

Navegantes del Magallanes

Wednesday was a white-knuckle affair for Magallanes as two late runs were the winning margin in a 2-1 victory over La Guaira. After giving up an earned run in the first, Erick Leal settled down as he yielded five hits and had a strikeout in four innings. Magallanes 2 - La Guaira 1

Australian Baseball League


Even after leading 3-0 going into the third inning on Sunday, Geelong-Korea were no match for Adelaide in a 12-4 loss. Kwang-Min Kwon was moved up to third in the batting order and went 1-for-4 with two RBI. Kwon leads Geelong and is tied for tenth in the league with 11 RBI. Adelaide 12 - Geelong 4

In the battle of the expansion clubs on Friday, Geelong took a back seat to Aukland in losing 10-5. Kwang-Min Kwon remained productive as the right-fielder as he went 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI in the loss.  Aukland 10 - Geelong 5


Victor Caratini

Victor Caratini

Cubs C/1B Victor Caratini has joined Criollos de Caguas of the Roberto Clemente League in Puerto Rico.

The Cubs acquired LHP Luis Lugo in the MLB Rule 5 Draft. Lugo is a member of Cardenales Del Lara of the Venezuelan Winter League.


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    Tom, thanks for the update. I hope you're getting better (your wrist?) and soon will have no ill effects.
    A question. Can you compare the level of play in these leagues to any level of our minor leagues? It seems to me that maybe A ball would be comparable but I really have no way of knowing. Anyway, it's good to read about baseball being played somewhere now.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Thank you Jonathan!

    A cortisone shot, along with an ergonomic change with my desk at work and scheduled rest, have made my forearm/wrist better. I still have to watch my workload, and have occasional flare ups due to the weather or strain.

    As far as your question, it depends on the winter league. Australia is considered around the low-A advanced-A level, but their still are some players with high-minors or major league experience.

    Mexico fluctuates from advanced-A to triple-A/major league levels, and has many veterans of the Mexican Summer League. However, most of the upper level talent can be considered past their prime.

    Puerto Rico attracts a lot more upper level minor and major league talent. However, it is felt that at times the league lacks intensity, and for some is considered a “working vacation”.

    Players that I have talked to generally feel that Venzuela and the Dominican Republic have the closest “feel” to Major League Baseball. With their blend of veterans (Carlos Zambrano still pitches in Venzuela) and high-end prospects, it gives those leagues an experience of double-A or higher.

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    In reply to Tom U:

    Thanks Tom. I've always wondered about that and you've answered it perfectly.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Glad to help.

  • I like Caratini and always have. Victor seems to fit the Cub mold with a solid at bat approach and versatile defensively. A switch hitter too. Good receiver as well, but without a strong arm. Victor struggled a bit toward the end of the year, but hasn't had much time in the bigs. I think he gets better and I hope he remains a Cub.

  • Any chance that the Cubs resign Ryan Court (he elected free agency last month) and evaluate him as their SS-2B backup?

    I realize that Ryan is already 30, but

    - His 2018 Iowa slash line was .262 / . 362 / .769 , including a late season horrid slump (perhaps injury related?)
    - Ryan was a staple in Michael's MiLB recap Top Performers last season
    - Ryan played all IF positions and LF last season.

    And, BTW, prayers for the guys (including Erick Leal and Luis Lugo) playing in the Venezuelan league this winter.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    While everyone, including me, likes to cheer for the underdog, there is a time and a place for the Ryan Court’s of the world. Unfortunately, I feel that at this time and the Cubs organization are all past for the world’s Ryan Courts. If not, fans should be worried.

    With the parent club’s success, it becomes harder and harder for a quality waiver claim to trickle down to the Cubs. And “street” free agents are looking for the quickest route to the majors in order to increase their market value, making the Cubs and their “landlocked” roster less attractive to them.

    That leaves mostly over-aged prospects with no or poor major league experience, or ones with serious medical concerns, as the players looking to sign with the Cubs. At this point in their term, the Cubs front office should have enough prospects schooled in the “Cubs Way” to make these players negligible,!or actually give the edge to the internal prospect.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    I always pulled for the Cub prospects with the dirtiest uniforms - Logan Watkins, Taylor Davis, Matt Szczur, David Bote, Ryan Court, ....

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    In reply to DropThePuck:

    and one of my favorites, Sam Fuld.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    How in the world did I leave out the human wreaking ball, Sam Fuld ? Must have left something out of the eggnog.

    How many times did he run through walls to make a catch and, in 2007, turn it into a DP? Seems like I remember the Cub pitcher buying Sam a steak dinner after that gem.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Some current prospects you'll like: Nico Hoerner, Trent Giambrone, Delvin Zinn, D.J. Artis, D.J. Wilson, Mark Zagunis

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    D.J. Wilson? Is he even still considered a prospect?

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Yeah I would think so. Next year will be his age 22 season. He has very good speed, defense, power, and walk rate. His arm is OK. He just needs to make contact more often. Of course that is the most difficult skill to develop but since he is still young, I am keeping my eye on him.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Cubs are a little short on IFers at the AAA level. They have Short and Giambrone in the MI, with Chesny Young as a backup, but they are lacking at the corners. If Bote is not with the big club he probably covers 3B, but the team will need to bring in at least some outside help to provide depth after the trade of Jason Vosler.

    I imagine Court is a possibility. I'm sure he liked playing close to home. Cory Spangenberg (SD 1st round pick when Hoyer was there) is another option. They could always bring back Stephen Bruno as well. There will definitely be some addition made.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    After reading all your glowing Ryan Court reports last summer, I would much rather give Ryan a chance than Daniel Desalsco. Ryan is cheaper, can play SS, knows the "Cub way", and might just need a chance.

  • Just an update:

    Since learning he was selected by Arizona in the Rule 5 draft, OF Jeffrey Baez has been on a tear in Venezuela, batting .409 with a double, triple, two home runs, six RBI, and a stolen base.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    He was rather streaky. Good for him.

  • fb_avatar

    it looks like Michael Brantley is about to sign with the Astros. 2 yrs for
    $32 M.

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