Vitters, Valaika file for free agency
The Josh Vitters era is likely over for the Cubs former first round pick. Vitters has filed for free agency instead of accepting his option to AAA Iowa. The third overall pick in 2007, Vitters, 25, played eight season in the Cubs system, making his pro debut in 2012, his only big league season (36 games). Chris Valaika, who played for both the Cubs and Iowa in 2014, also declared for free agency. Other Cubs minor leaguers declaring for free agency who were either signed to one-year minor league contract or have seven years of minor league experience include Alberto Cabrera, Lendy Castillo, Eduardo Figueroa, Marcus Hatley, Marcus Mateo, Carlos Pimentel, Dae-Eun Rhee, Charlie Cutler, Nathan Maldonado, Lars Anderson, Edgar Gonzalez, Jonathan Mota and Manny Ramirez. Figueroa, Mateo, Pimentel, Mota and Ramirez are all playing winter ball..........Minor league free agent C Eli Whiteside, who spent 2014 with Iowa and Chicago, has signed a minor league deal with the Braves.
Arizona Fall League—Surprise 5, Mesa 2
Cubs prospects were all over the field on Friday at Cubs Park with Ivan Pineyro on the mound and three other Cubs in the starting lineup—1B Dan Vogelbach, RF Jacob Hannemann and 2B Daniel Lockhart. Relievers Zach Cates and Gerardo Concepcion also pitched.......Making his first start (1 IP on Nov. 4) since leaving a game in the first inning as a precautionary measure on Oct. 28, Pineyro worked three scoreless frames, needing only 45 pitches/33 strikes. He fanned three and surrendered two hits........Concepcion followed up Pineyro’s outing with three shutout frames of his own, allowing a hit with a strikeout. The lefty threw 41 pitches, 27 for strikes.....Cates surrendered a run in his one inning on a hit and a walk. He fanned two, threw two wild pitches, and needed 27 pitches to get out of the 7th.....Lockhart walked with the bases loaded and also singled in four plate appearances.....Jacob Hannemann was on base three times with a single and two walks, scoring one of the runs......Daniel Vogelbach went 1-for-3 with a walk.....Mesa drew four walks in the game, all from Cubs prospects.
Venezuelan Winter League
Eduardo Figueroa made his fourth start for Lara on Friday night against former manager Buddy Bailey and La Guaria. Figueroa, who recently declared for free agency, tossed five innings of one-hit ball but ran into problems in the sixth including two throwing errors that led to a pair of unearned runs. Figueroa didn’t figure in the deacons in the 4-3 Lara win. La Guaria relief pitcher Joseph Ortiz allowed two hits and an inherited runner to score in two-thirds of an inning. The left-hander was signed by the Cubs in October.
Dominican Winter League
Frank Batista led the DWL with a 1.46 ERA and the Cubs minor league reliever made his fourth start for Aguilas. The right-hander got the ball against Junior Lake and Estrellas on Friday night but took the loss, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks in 4.2 innings. Lake went 0-for-4 and Marcos Mateo picked up his DWL leading sixth save with two punchouts in the ninth......Licey’s Carlos Marmol made his DWL debut and allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning.
Mexican Pacific Winter League
Christian Villanueva (.222) made his second start at third base on Friday night for Obregon and went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts in the 3-0 loss.
Puerto Rican Winter League
Both games were rained out. After a week of play, OF John Andreoli and free agent Jonathan Mota are the only ones to see action.