Venezuelan Winter League
La Guaria captured the final playoff spot with a 8-7 win over Lara. Luis Valbuena knocked in a run and scored once for Lara. The win over Lara was the second of the day as they beat Caracas earlier in the day as all three teams tied with the same record.........Yoanner Negrin (3-4, 3.56 ERA) got the start for Caracas and took the loss, allowing three runs in the first in the 4-1 loss to Buddy Bailey’s La Guaria’s squad. Negrin allowed four runs in six innings on nine hits to go along with eight strikeouts.
Dominican Winter League
Gigantes (4-1) moved into first place with a 4-3 win over Estrellas (3-2). Aguilas (2-3) downed Toros (1-4) 6-5 in 10 innings........LF Junior Lake double home a run and scored in Estrella’s loss......Former Iowa Cub Carlos Pimentel got the start for Gigantes but didn’t figure in the decision, allowing an unearned run in 5.1 innings on two hits with six strikeouts......Former Cub reliever Rafael Dolis allowed a run in two innings for Estrellas.......DH Manny Ramirez went 2-for-4 and knocked in a run in the Aguilas’ win. He was lifted for a pinch-runner in the 8th.
Mexican Pacific Winter League
Mexican League playoffs have started with three best-of-seven series. Jalisco has a 2-0 lead over Mazatlan; Los Mochis and Culiacan are tied at 1-1; as are Obregon and Mexicali...........3B Christian Villanueva went 1-for-4 with a RBI in Obregon’s 7-0 win over Mexicali in the opening game of the best-of-seven series and was 0-for-4 in the 3-1 loss.
Puerto Rican Winter League
In the first day of round-robin play Santurce defeated Mayaguez 8-1 and Caguas rallied with two runs in the bottom of the 9th to beat Carolina 3-2. SS Javier Baez went 1-for-5 with a single for Santurce.
Cubs News and Rumors
Former Cubs minor leaguer Dae-Eun Rhee has signed a deal with Chiba Lotte to pitch in Japan in 2015. Rhee started 2014 in Tennessee (5-4, 3.27 ERA) and was promoted to Iowa (3-2, 3.75 ERA), pitching in 27 games, 24 starts. He became a free agent at season’s end after seven seasons in the Cubs organization.