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Winter League Report, October 17
10/18/2011 4:13 PM ET
Chris Carpenter is healthy and pitching well in the Arizona Fall League.
Chris Carpenter is healthy and pitching well in the Arizona Fall League. 
Untitled Document

I-CUBS WINTER LEAGUE UPDATE
October 17, 2011

While the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers battle in the World Series to crown Major League Baseball's champion for 2011, the rest of the baseball world has an eye for 2012 with prospects and players working to get better in winter ball. Today begins our weekly installment of the "Winter League Update" at iowacubs.com. Check back often as we will keep you informed on how former I-Cubs and current Cubs prospects are performing in the Arizona Fall League, the Caribbean Leagues, and also with Team USA.

TRANSACTIONS:
It's early in the year for trades and free agency doesn't begin until after the World Series is complete, so most transaction news involves clubs tinkering with their 40-man rosters. On the Chicago Cubs side, all eyes have been on the various reports that have the Cubs close to announcing Theo Epstein as their new General Manager. There have already been volumes written on the scenarios and factors that will either finish the reported deal. As a measure of respect for the game and the teams participating, Major League Baseball frowns on clubs announcing these types of moves during the World Series, so the clock is ticking to finish this before the first game on Wednesday. In some player news, OF Brad Snyder has elected free agency. Snyder batted .290 with 11 home runs and 57 RBI in 102 games with Iowa this year and had a stint with Chicago in early June. Snyder played in 169 games with Iowa over the last three seasons and batted .295 with 50 home runs and 207 RBI. He was named to the all-PCL team in 2010. The Cubs designated RHPs Justin Berg and Brian Schlitter off the 40-man roster and then outrighted them to Iowa. Berg was 4-1 with a 5.16 ERA in 27 games with Iowa this year and also spent time in Chicago. He had two stints on the DL with right elbow soreness and ultimately had Tommy John surgery in September. He will miss all of the 2012 season. Schlitter, who pitched for Iowa in 2010, missed all of this past season with a right elbow injury of his own. He should be ready to compete in Cubs' camp next spring. Former I-Cub OF Felix Pie (2006-08) elected free agency from the Baltimore Orioles and IF Cody Ransom (2005) elected free agency from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ransom was named to the all-PCL team with Reno this year and was called up to Arizona in July.

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE:
The Arizona Fall League opened play on October 4. The Cubs' prospects are playing for the Mesa Solar Sox again this year. The Solar Sox are off to a slow start at 3-8. Josh Vitters (Cubs 1st Round pick in 2007) is playing in the AFL for the third straight season and is off to a good start. He hit two home runs and drove in five in the first game and had a four-hit game on Oct. 14. He is sixth in the league in batting (.405), second in hits (15), and tied for fourth in RBI (10). Vitters hit .283 with 14 home runs and 81 RBI in 129 games with double-A Tennessee this past season. IF D.J. LeMahieu made both his triple-A and major league debuts this season and finished the year in Chicago. He hit .286 with three home runs and 23 RBI in 58 games with Iowa. LeMahieu is currently second in the AFL in at-bats (41) and stolen bases (5), while ranking tied for third in runs scored (10). Junior Lake is leading the AFL in steals (7) and is tied with LeMahieu with 10 runs scored. Lake, a native of the Dominican Republic, batted .279 with 12 home runs, 51 RBI, and 38 steals in 44 attempts in 116 games combined between high-A Daytona and Tennessee this year. On the mound, Chris Carpenter (2010-11) is off to a good start with nine strikeouts in 5.2 inings in his first four appearances. He is tied for fourth in the league in strikeouts. Carpenter began the 2011 season with Iowa and made his major league debut during the season. Andrew Cashner (2010-11) missed most of the 2011 season with a shoulder injury, but did return to the mound in September for Chicago. Cashner looks healthy with a fastball clocked at 100 mph while working in relief in the AFL. Trey McNutt is considered by many to be the Cubs' top minor league pitching prospect and has allowed just one earned run and two hits in five ininngs through his first two AFL starts. McNutt, a 32nd round pick in 2009 by the Cubs, was 5-6 with a 4.55 ERA in 23 games (22 starts) with Tennessee this season. Marcus Hatley, the Cubs' 39th round pick in 2006, moved three levels this year from low-A Peoria to Tennessee. He combined to go 5-1 with a 3.38 ERA and 11 saves in 48 games and earned an invite to the AFL. LH Casey Lambert was drafted by the Cubs in the sixth round of the 2007 draft and made seven appearances (one start) with Iowa in 2009. Lambert had Tommy John surgery in 2009 and after returning to action late in 2010, was selected by the Baltimore Orioles that December in the Triple-A phase of the Rule V draft that December. Lambert didn't pitch for an Orioles affiliate in 2011, so he is working his way back in the AFL.

Player
AVG
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
CS
OBP
SLG
OPS
Junior Lake
.333
9
36
10
12
2
0
3
6
2
10
7
0
.400
.639
1.039
D.J. LeMahieu
.293
10
41
10
12
1
0
1
6
4
7
5
1
.370
.390
.760
Josh Vitters
.405
9
37
5
15
3
0
2
10
2
6
1
0
.425
.649
1.074

 

Pitcher
W
L
ERA
G
GS
SV
SVO
IP
H
R
ER
HR
HB
BB
SO
Chris Carpenter
0
1
1.59
4
0
0
0
5.2
4
2
1
0
0
1
9
Andrew Cashner
0
0
6.00
3
0
1
1
3.0
3
2
2
0
0
1
2
Marcus Hatley
0
2
11.81
4
0
0
0
5.1
12
7
7
0
1
3
3
Casey Lambert
0
0
7.20
4
0
0
1
5.0
5
4
4
0
0
2
3
Trey McNutt
0
0
1.80
2
2
0
0
5.0
2
2
1
0
0
3
0

TEAM USA:

Team USA just finished the first of two key international tournaments this year. OF Brett Jackson and P Jeff Beliveau are representing the Cubs on this year's team made up of the best professional players available that are not currently on a Major League 40-man roster. Team USA finsihed 4-3 in their group and 7-4 overall in the recently completed IBAF World Cub tournament in Panama. The team's bronze medal game against Team Canada on Saturday was cancelled due to rain. Tournament officials declared the United States and Canada as co-bronze medal winners. Jackson was second on the team in batting (.412), going 14-for-34 with three doubles, a home run, and four RBI in nine games as the team's primary leadoff man. Beliveau was 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in three relief appearances. The Cubs named him their Minor League Pitcher of the Year after he went 6-2 with a 1.57 ERA and five saves in 53 games between Daytona and Tennessee this year. The Netherlands beat Cuba in the gold medal game for their first World Cup title. It was the first World Cup title for a European nation since Britain won in 1938. Team USA now travels to Mexico for the Pan Am Games starting on October 18.

Player
AVG
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
CS
OBP
SLG
OPS
Brett Jackson
.412
9
34
8
14
3
0
1
4
4
9
1
1
.462
.588
1.050

 

Pitcher
W
L
ERA
G
GS
SV
SVO
IP
H
R
ER
HR
HB
BB
SO
Jeff Beliveau
1
0
2.08
3
0
0
0
4.1
3
1
1
0
0
1
7


VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE:

What a year 2011 is turning out to be for Bryan LaHair (2010-11). After hitting a franchise-record 38 home runs and wining PCL MVP for Iowa, he went to Chicago in September and hit .288 with two home runs and six RBI in 20 games for the big Cubs. He has now taken his talents to Venezuela for winter ball and came out swining with two home runs and five RBI in his first game for Magallanes. Through five games, he is leading the league in homers (4), extra-base hits (6), and total bases (22) while ranking eighth in batting (.381). He has helped lead Magallanes to a 4-1 start. That is tied with La Guaira for the league's best mark. Pitchers Robert Coello (2011) and Jerome Williams (2005-06) are teammates with LaHair. Williams pitched six shutout innings to win his first start following up a solid regular season. He spent time with Salt Lake before getting called up to Anaheim to finish the year. He was 4-0 with a 3.68 ERA in 10 games (six starts) for the Angels. Coello allowed a run on two hits and struck out three in two innings and got a loss in his first relief appearance. C Robinson Chirinos (2010) was supposed to play for Magallanes this year, but suffered a broken bone near his right wrist in a pre-season game and is out until December. Chirinos was one of the players sent to Tampa Bay from the Cubs in the deal to acquire Matt Garza last off-season. Chirinos made his Major League debut with the Rays this season. Former I-Cubs manager Buddy Bailey (2007) is managing the team in Aragua again this year and IFs Jonathan Mota (2010-11) and Marquez Smith (2010-11) are on his roster. Bailey led the Daytona Cubs to a Florida State League title this past season. Several former I-Cubs are playing for former Margarita this year including: C Henry Blanco (2007), OF Jackson Melian (2003), P Mike Parisi (2010), C Max Ramirez (2011), and IF Carlos Rojas (2003, '07). Blanco played in 37 regular season games and one playoff game with the Arizona Diamondbacks this season. Melian hasn't played affiliated baseball in since 2008. Parisi returned from injury to make nine starts for Albuquerque this year. Ramirez started this past season with Iowa, but also played for Oklahoma City and Fresno. Rojas split time this past season between Bowie (AA) and Norfolk (AAA) in the Baltimore Orioles organization. Fomer Chicago Cubs manager, Don Baylor, is the skipper for Margarita this year. RH Austin Bibens-Dirkx (2010-11) started the first game for Zulia against Magallanes and surrendered one of LaHair's two home runs that day. This is his second straight year with Zulia. He was 2-2 with a 1.60 ERA in seven starts for them last season. LH Renyel Pinto (2004-05) is pitching for Caribes. After five seasons in Florida's bullpen, the Marlins released Pinto in June, 2010. He was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in July, but was released in August. He didn't pitch in 2011. RH Jose Ascanio (2008-09) is back with Caracas again this year. Ascanio has battled injuries the last two seasons after getting traded from the Cubs to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He made eight appearances in the big leagues this year, but spent most of his time at Triple-A Indianapolis. SS Marwin Gonzalez (2011) is also slated to play for Caracas this year. Gonzalez tied for the league lead in runs scored with Caracas last year. Cubs' prospect Hector Mayora is pitching for La Guaira. The 22-year-old Mayora was 1-3 with a 4.58 ERA in 13 games (one start) between the Arizona Rookie League and short-season Boise this year.

Player Team

Yr(s) with I-Cubs

AVG
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
CS
OBP
SLG
OPS
Henry Blanco Margarita 2007
.000
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
.000
.000
Marwin Gonzalez Caracas 2011
.000
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
.000
.000
Bryan LaHair Magallanes 2010-11
.381
5
21
5
8
2
0
4
6
2
7
0
0
.435
1.048
1.482
Jackson Melian Margarita 2003
.125
5
16
1
2
0
0
0
2
2
4
0
1
.263
.125

.388

Jonathan Mota Aragua 2010-11
.100
3
10
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
.182
.100
.282
Max Ramirez Margarita 2011
.222
5
18
2
4
2
0
1
1
0
5
0
0
.263
.500
.763
Carlos Rojas Margarita 2003, '07
.000
1
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
.250
.000
.250
Marquez Smith Aragua 2010
.000
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
.000
.000

 

Pitcher Team Yr(s) with I-Cubs
W
L
ERA
G
GS
SV
SVO
IP
H
R
ER
HR
HB
BB
IBB
SO
WP

OPP AVG.

Jose Ascanio Caracas 2008-09
0
0
0.00
1
0
0
0
1.0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
.000
Austin Bibens-Dirkx Zulia 2010-11
0
1
6.00
1
1
0
0
3.0
4
2
2
1
0
1
0
2
0
.333
Robert Coello
Magallanes
2011
0
1
4.50
1
0
0
0
2.0
2
1
1
1
0
1
0
3
0
.222
Hector Mayora La Guaira Cubs Prospect
0
0
0.00
0
0
0
0
0.0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
Mike Parisi Margarita 2010
0
0
2.70
2
1
0
0
6.2
7
2
2
0
1
1
0
4
0
.280
Renyel Pinto Caribes 2004-05
0
0
7.20
1
1
0
0
5.0
5
4
4
1
0
3
0
4
1
.263
Jerome Wiliams Magallanes 2005-06
1
0
0.00
1
1
0
0
6.0
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
6
0
.158

DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE:

The Dominican Winter League opened played on Oct. 14. Aguilas is off to a fast start at 3-1 while Escogido and Licey are each 2-1. C Steve Clevenger and LHPs John Gaub and Chris Rusin are on the roster for Escogido. Clevenger (2009, '11) batted .407 with three home runs and 15 RBI in 25 games with Iowa this year and was an All-Star for Tennessee. He made his Major League debut in September after the Southern League playoffs and was 1-for-4 in two games with Chicago. Gaub (2009-11) also made his big league debut in September after making the PCL All-Star team and earning Iowa's Pitcher of the Year Award. Gaub was 4-4 with a 3.42 ERA and seven saves in 50 games. He struck out 75 batters in 55.1 innings. Rusin (2011) was 5-2 with a 4.02 ERA in 11 games (nine starts) with Iowa to finish the year after coming up from Tennessee. Tony DeFrancesco, who managed Oklahoma City this season, is the manager for Escogido. LH Scott Maine (2010-11) and RH Rafael Dolis (Cubs' Prospect) represent the Cubs with Oriente. Maine led Iowa with 12 saves during the year and had two stints with Chicago. Dolis was called up from Tennessee after the Southern League playoffs, bypassing Iowa for now, to make his major league debut. C J.D. Closser (2008) is also with Oriente after spending the regular season with Albuquerque. LH Raul Valdes (2005-06) pitched five shutout innings to win his first start for Toros del Este. Valdes began the 2011 season with Memphis and pitched in the big leagues for both the Cardinals and the New York Yankees this past year. RH Alberto Cabrera (2011) and OF Nelson Perez (AA Prospect) are also slated to play for Toros del Este this year. Cubs' prospect Arismendy Alcantara is on the roster for Licey, C Mario Mercedes (2011) and OF Abner Abreu (high-A Prospect) are on the roster for Gigantes del Cibao, and RH Frank Batista is on the roster for Aguilas. Alcantara played for Peoria this past season. Mercedes went 5-for-10 in his three games with Iowa to finish the season. Abreu was one of the players the Cubs acquired from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for OF Kosuke Fukudome. Abreu played 25 games for Daytona after the trade. Batista spent the entire 2011 season with Daytona.

 

Player Team

Yr(s) with I-Cubs

AVG
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
CS
OBP
SLG
OPS
Abner Abreu Cibao Cubs Prospect
.000
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
.000
.000
J.D. Closser Oriente 2008
.000
2
6
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
2
0
0
.250
.000
.250
Steve Clevenger Escogido 2009, '11
.111
3
9
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
.111
.222
.333
Mario Mercedes Cibao 2011
.000
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
.000
.000
Nelson Perez Toros del Este 2010
.294
10
34
1
10
2
0
0
6
4
9
0
0
.333
.444
.778

 

Pitcher Team Yr(s) with I-Cubs
W
L
ERA
G
GS
SV
SVO
IP
H
R
ER
HR
HB
BB
IBB
SO
WP

OPP AVG.

Arismendy Alcantara Licey Cubs Prospect
0
0
0.00
0
0
0
0
0.0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
Frank Batista Aguilas Cubs Prospect
0
0
0.00
0
0
0
0
0.0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
Alberto Cabrera Toros del Este 2011
0
0
0.00
0
0
0
0
0.0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
Rafael Dolis Oriente Cubs Prospect
0
0
0.00
1
0
0
0
0.1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.333
John Gaub Escogido 2009-11
0
0
40.50
2
0
0
0
0.2
2
3
3
0
0
2
0
0
1
.500
Scott Maine Oriente 2010-11
0
1
-
1
0
0
0
0.0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1.000
Chris Rusin Escodigo 2011
0
0
0.00
0
0
0
0
0.0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
Raul Valdes Licey 2005-06
1
0
0.00
1
1
0
0
5.0
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
3
1
.059

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE:
Mexico was the first Caribbean league to open on Oct. 11. Mexicali and Culiacan are tied for the best record at 4-1. 1B Brandon Sing (2006) last played affiliated ball in 2007 and was in the independent leagues from 2008-2010. He hit .349 with 27 home runs and 73 RBI in 95 games with Sioux Falls in 2010. He is on the comeback trail with Mazatlan this winter. RH Hung-Wen Chen (2010-11) is also pitching for Mazatlan this winter after a long stint with Campeche in Mexico during the regular season. RH Blake Parker (2009-11) had a great second half with Iowa and is currently pitching in Hermosillo. RH Marco Carrillo (2010-11), LH Randy Keisler (2008), and RH Oswaldo Martinez (Cubs Prospect) are pitching for Obregon. Carrillo split time between Tennessee and Iowa for a second straight season. Keisler was 7-7 with a 4.67 ERA for Albuquerque this year. Martinez split his season between Daytona and Tennessee.

 

Player Team

Yr(s) with I-Cubs

AVG
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
CS
OBP
SLG
OPS
Brandon Sing Mazatlan 2006
.474
5
19
8
9
1
0
4
7
4
6
0
0
.583
1.158
1.741

 

Pitcher Team Yr(s) with I-Cubs
W
L
ERA
G
GS
SV
SVO
IP
H
R
ER
HR
HB
BB
IBB
SO
WP

OPP AVG.

Marco Carrillo Obregon 2010-11
0
0
1.80
1
1
0
0
5.0
3
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
0
.176
Hung-Wen Chen Mazatlan 2010-11
0
0
0.00
3
0
1
1
3.0
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
.308
Randy Keisler Obregon 2008
1
0
0.00
1
1
0
0
7.0
2
0
0
0
0
1
0
4
0
.087
Oswaldo Martinez Obregon Cubs Prospect
1
0
9.00
2
0
0
0
2.0
2
2
2
0
0
1
0
2
0
.286
Blake Parker Hermosillo 2009-11
0
0
0.00
3
0
0
0
1.2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
4
0
.000

PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE:

The Puerto Rican Winter League will open play on November 4.

*Stats are courtesy of Major League Baseball Advanced Media and USA Baseball.

MLB.com provides daily updates on winter league action here.

We hope you enjoy the Winter League report this off-season. Don't forget to check back each week for more updates. If you know of any players that we should be following in this report that aren't included, please email Media Relations Director Randy Wehofer at randyw@iowacubs.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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