11/25 Rich Hill has been sent to the bullpen, which is essentially like being shown to the exit according to ESPN Deportes. Also noted at the link is the move of Jose Ascanio to set-up, yielding the Caracas closer job to Jorge Julio.
Play is over in the Hawaii and Arizona leagues. Everything's in the Caribbean now.
( 11/24) The Rich Hill Implosion Tour seems to be over.
Angel Guzman and J.R. Mathes both took the hill in Venezuela tonight. Results were not good for either prospect.
Guzman was yanked after giving up four runs in 4.1 innings. The only out he got in the 5th was a play at the plate. He left with the bases loaded, and two runs came in on an error before the side was retired.
Pitching for Caracas, Mathes left his after giving up the lead in the 5th inning with two out. That game is still 4-4 in the 8th, while Guzman's Navegantes del Magallanes still trail, 6-4 in the 6th.
(11/19) Enjoy this video from MLB featuring the Cubs' Arizona Fall Leaguers. The Solar Sox will play in the AFL Championship.
(Updated 11/18) Hill and Guzman had brief starts tonight. One much briefer than the other.
(Updated 11/17) The Hawaii Winter Baseball league ended Sunday, with the Cubs' prospects playing a part.
First, MLB.com has a piece on the Cubs in the Arizona Fall League. The main bit is on Steve Clevenger, but there are notes on each player from the organization. Clevenger seems to be well liked by the pitchers.
Back to Hawaii ... the Cubs had four players on Waikiki's BeachBoys. Pitchers Jeremy Papelbon, who has been their closer, Blake Parker, worked out of the bullpen, and Marquez Smith (3b) and Tony Thomas (2b) playing everyday in the infield. Thomas and Smith both struggled at the plate, but Smith's homer in the final game of the season put the BeachBoys ahead in the 9th, and Pap pitched out of a jam to earn the save.
The win gave them their division (cough...last place is second place...) and a title shot in the four team league. They took full advantage of the opportunity, and, powered by Giants' blue-chipper Buster Posey, won the title game. Smith, who hit the homer a a pinch-hitter, started the game and had two doubles, heating up at the right moment. Thomas had a single, stolen base and a run, hitting 9th, instead of his usual lead-off.
(11/8) I have a fresh post up with notes on several players
(11/6) Play starts in Puerto Rico. At least three Cubs will compete in what is a comeback year for Puerto Rican baseball.
Rich Hill's numbers are starting to get ugly - he's averaging less than 4 innings a start in 2008.
(11/5) Felix Pie joins Licey (more)
Rich Hill still struggling (more)
I think Jason Dubois is on Mexicali's DL. Jesse Estrada is pitching alright. Esmalin Caridad had a bad outing. Tony Thomas is hitting a little, but Marquez Smith still isn't at all.
(11/1)No player updates today, but a link to LVBPTV - watch Venezuelan Winter League games live (and recorded) online. The video size is small, but Firefox zooms it to full screen very nicely. Usually, it's Caracas that's on, of course. The announcers are talking about their former catcher, Henry Blanco (interesting story about him leaving Caracas, if I can find the link). I'm not sure what they're saying, but they were talking about money.
No more stat updates here - full list of players and stats (some guys I had missed, too) right over at mlb.com
On Thursday, Robinson Chirinos joined Magallenes.
Aragua's #3 starter, Rich Hill, was getting crushed when rain interrupted Friday's game.
Let's see, the Mesa Solar Sox continue to rack up runs. Jake Fox is off to a good start for Licey. Thomas and Smith aren't hitting much in Hawaii. Jose Ascanio is settling in and closing games for Caracas.
In 2007 Hawaii Winter Ball, 2003 1st rounder Ryan Harvey was pulled due to an injury.
In 2008 Arizona Fall League, 2006 1st rounder Tyler Colvin was pulled due to an injury.
Both had played in 5 games, with 17 official at bats.
Sam Fuld is not looking too hot with Aragua, no surprise there. Ronny Cedeno plays Wednesday. Rich Hill pitches on Friday. He's had one good start, and one not so good start.
Cedeno reported to camp 10/23; scheduled to play 10/29
Angel Guzman got his first work on Friday night.
J.R. Mathes, part of the I-Cubs 2008 rotation, is pitching for Caracas. The 26 year old lefty worked five innings Friday in relief for the win over Lara. Mathes is now 2-0 in three appearances.
Jake Fox is on Licey's roster. Felix Pie isn't, but will be. Wellington Castillo has caught one game. Fox, listed as a catcher, is likely to DH or play 1B. (UPDATE Fox started at DH on Saturday)
Jesse Estrada gave up three homers and was ejected. After the last two gopher balls (back-to-back), Estrada hit the next batter. He was replaced by Esmalin Caridad, who got 4 scoreless outs. Donnie Veal gave up a run in an inning of work, lowering his ERA. He's had a rough Autumn.
Ronny Cedeno will play for Aragua Wednesday.
Josh Kroeger continues to rake and walk for Caracas.
Steve Clevenger has a "blog" now. Knock yourselves out. Now there's a guest post from Darwin Barney. Basically, they're playing baseball, in Arizona, getting a lot of hits, and not coming up with creative nicknames.