Winter Leagues Week 7

Good Morning! Without fanfare, Venezuela began their winter leagues this past Friday. Meanwhile, it was a tale of two pitching performances in the Mexican Pacific League, and some former prospects shined in the Dominican Republic. For more,take a look inside!




Note: With more prospects seeing action this winter, Cubs Den will focus this article on their performance while highlighting select games featuring former prospects.

Dominican Winter League


Cibaenas 9 – Orientales 7

Daury Torrez

Daury Torrez

Orientales put on a late rush, but was unable to overcome Cibaenas as they lost 9-7. Left fielder Junior Lake had another good game, as he went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, 2 RBI. And 2 runs scored. Lake’s Estrellas teammate, former pitching prospect Oscar De La Cruz, served up a solo home runs as he went only 0.1 innings. Arismendy Alcantara was 1-for-3 with a walk as the lead-off for Cibaenas while Daury Torrez needed only four pitches to get out of the fifth inning.

Mexican Pacific League

Yaquis de Obregon

On Tuesday, the Obregon steamroller continued along its way as they crushed Los Mochis 17-2. Taking over in the sixth, Jose Albertos used 12 pitches to dispatch three batters as he had a strikeout while setting down the side in order. Obregon 17 – Los Mochis 2

It was a night for the hitters on Thursday as the Yaquis came out on the short end against Los Mochis 16-10. After a good outing, Jose Albertos was given a start and was lit up by the Cañeros, surrendering 9 earned runs. Seven of those nine were on 3 home runs, as Abertos lasted only 2 innings and gave up 7 hits and 2 walks. Los Mochis 16 – Obregon 10

Venzuelan Winter League

Caribes de Anzoategui

Unable to start with the rest of the league on Friday, Anzoategui played a doubleheader on Saturday and beat Aragua 3-1 in 7 innings. Cubs catching prospect Erick Castillo was the Designated Hitter and was 2-for-3 with a run scored in the victory. Anzoategui 3 – Aragua 1, 7 innings

Tiburones de la Guaira

As the Venezuelan Winter League started on Friday, La Guaira stumbled in the opener by losing to Caracas 7-4. Cubs infield prospect Nestor Heredia lined up at Designated Hitter was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning. Heredia would score on a triple from Maikel Garcia as he went 0-for-3 in the loss. Caracas 9 – La Guaira 7


The Dominican Winter League had six games postponed this week due to COVID-19, while three games were lost to rain.

The Venezuelan Winter League opened play on Friday, November 27. There are nine current and former Cubs prospects now playing in Venezuela.


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  • Thanks, Tom.

  • You’re welcome!

  • Schwarber gone. Sad to see him go, but smart move by Hoyer. Now do they blow it up (my preference) or move Happ to left field and go bargain hunting for a centerfielder?

  • In reply to cubs09:

    I'm a little surprised, but if one is a below average left fielder, one needs to hit with authority consistently. Kyle didn't. Left is an an offensive position, so even if you excel defensively a player still needs to produce offense. It is a non tender that could haunt though, if Schwarber starts hitting like we have seen at times.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Maybe COVID caused a budget crunch? But I personally don’t think he is worth anywhere near $9m. There are also likely to be a lot of free agent outfielders on the market. What they really need is a CF who gets on base and leads off. And for $9m, maybe they could add that and someone to platoon with Heyward. The Giants have done a good job bringing in keep reclamation projects in the outfield that turned out to be good players.

  • I would have liked to see Schwarber stay. I think he will get back into 2019 shape again this offseason. Next season's stats similar to 2019.

    Almora will only get minor league offers, and will not make a MLB roster out of spring training next year. Unless something clicks for him, all I see in minor league depth.

    I have no idea if money is so tight why keep keep Rea, and Ryan around? Rather see the Cubs AAA arms given a chance at their innings in 2021.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    My fear is that Schwarber will stabilize into the hitter he was in 2015 and second half of 2019. I think 29 teams will be kicking the tires. This is a bold, not necessarily wrong, move by Jed.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Cutting payroll, and adding very little is starting to look like a typical Cubs off-season. I'm glad the Cubs had two years of preparation for the 2020/21 off-season.

    Does this front office really make some bold moves this off-season? Bold moves would be trade some of the veterans with higher trade value like Darvish &/or Contreras. Then spend some of the savings.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    These are the big questions. Does Ricketts have what it takes to build lay the groundwork for another World Series winner. To me, it's trade those players and then NOT spend this year. Spend, like last time, when the team is ready to take off. There is likely to be a lot of pressure on him to "do something" now, which will make for good PR, but won't build a WS winner.

  • In reply to cubs09:

    If Cubs end up trading away some big contracts/players. Spending hopefully will be part of the next rebuild. A few teams like Yankees, Boston, Dodgers, & Padres all spent truckloads of money some years on international amateur free agents. In 2014 Yankees spent with penalties over $30 million dollars on IFA market.

    Hopefully 2019/20 is a unique situation. Part of a rebuild should always include Cubs looking for value in the free agents market. I personally would like to see the Cubs sign guys, with on eye on trading them with money in order to get a better return. I don't think the Cubs ownership group would like, or agree with that one part of the new rebuild strategy.

    Cub need to spend their huge amounts of revenue on getting better. I am never a fan of signing long-term big money contracts.

    Cubs09- you are right about Giants finding older ex-prospects, and developing them into solid players. Yankees did the same thing with Voit, Urshela, & Tauchman.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    Yeah, it took the Giants a long time to accept reality and tear it down. Unlike the Cubs (at least so far), they also saddled themselves will long, pricey contracts for World Series heroes that they still haven’t cleared off the books, although I think Belt and Crawford come off soon. They’ve also rebuilt to a top ten farm system, and were smart to let Bum walk. I think Shark is now off the team but Longoria is still there.

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    Let's try and sign Rosario from the twins and take a flier on Rodon from the sox, might even kick the tires on Dahl from rox.

  • In reply to tater:

    I like both of these ideas and both names stood out to me as good fits. Roasario obviously is a replacement for Schwarber, but I think Rodon has a chance to be a pretty good reliever if he isn’t durable enough to start worst case.

  • I think Schwarber will land on is feet. Left side power is always important to the offensive balance in a lineup. I look to see him in St. LOUIS, Cincinnati, or New York. The Yankees need a better eighty/lefty balance. Kyle's future will depend exclusively on his ability to hit with consistency and power. No reason that he can't do for another, what he did for the Cubs in 2015/16/19.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    He's going to be fine. Like you said, left handed power is always needed. He'll likely land somewhere where he's the strong side of a platoon, make $3M a year, and have a great life. God speed!

  • Is Nishikawa worth 2yrs/10-12M to leadoff and play center until Brennen Davis is ready, given that Reds gave Akiyama 3/$21? He just got posted. He doesn't need to be great, just better than Bote, because if he's overmatched in MLB, Bryant goes to LF, Happ CF, and Bote 3B. But if he can walk or single and steal 2nd leading off (career .397 OBP and 88% steal rate) ahead of Bryant, Rizzo, Baez, Happ, Contreras, Heyward, 2B, Pitcher that's disruptive.

  • I think they should definitely sign him, simply because he shares a name with my favorite author, Haruki Murakami.

  • I'm not buying it. Len Kasper had a life long dream to do Sox radio, when he was already the tv face of a popular mlb team? I do not dislike Kasper, but there has to be more to it. Does Sox radio have huge audience I'm not aware of or did Marquee just want to make a change? I'm glad JD is staying. He is knowledgeable and has that understated dry humor, often quotable.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    44slug: I question that too ! White Sox Radio over CUBS TV !!!! Give me a break . And Epstein leaving early . Maybe they know something we don't . Time will tell . plus now looks like we might be losing players we like .

  • In reply to Ronald Dietzler:

    I don't know about losing players that we like, because this team mix was not getting it done offensively, tanking at the end three seasons in succession. Changes are needed. However, with Len sixteen seasons with the Cubs and, out of the blue, after sixty games with Marquee, he is an obscure radio guy on the other side of town. Both sides are trying to save face, but smell a conflict there on one side or the other.

  • In reply to Ronald Dietzler:

    I am now expecting more changes with players that we like. Schwarber was just one of the first dominoes to fall. Hang on to your Cubcap and expect that Cubs might suck in 2021 and possibly 2022. It appears to me that the decision-makers assumed this core was done winning championships.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    2023 sounds about right to me. Hoyer signed a five-year deal, so the cynic in me says he’ll two down years if it means the team is on the upswing closer to the end of the contract.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    What I read in the paper was Len Kasper had a life long dream to call the WS on radio. Since he did TV for the Cubs that was not possible so he changed jobs to make it a possibility. Marquee gave him a huge offer to keep him but apparently Kasper didn't care for the extra money. He probably has more than he needs.

  • In reply to John57:

    Good for him, if that's the case. I don't know that it is not. Anyway, Len and JD were good together. A replacement could be difficult. I don't much want Chip back.

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