Play gets underway in VWL

Closer P.J. Francescon, who recorded 22 saves in AA Tennessee before a late-season promotion to Iowa, recorded his first save in the Venezuelan Winter League opener for Margarita. A look at the day's action involving Cubs prospects.

The eight-team Venezuelan Winter League got underway on Wednesday and several Cubs prospects saw action.

Tennessee closer P.J. Francescon earned his first VWL save in Margarita’s 2-1 win over Zulia. Francescon surrendered two hits in the ninth but got the final three outs. Former Cubs minor leaguer Yeiper Castillo took the loss for Zulia, allowing two runs in four innings. IF Bryant Flete pinch-hit for Zulia and struckout in the ninth off Francescon.

RHP Yoanner Negrin (1-0, 1.80 ERA) got the start for Lara and went five innings, allowing a run on three hits and a walk in the Cardinals 5-1 victory over La Guaria. Negrin, a Cuban native, fanned three and threw 75 pitches in the start. Former Cubs prospect Rubi Silva was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts for Lara.

2B Gioskar Amaya went 1-for-5 with a walk in Aragua’s 11-4 win over Magallanes. Caracas beat Caribes 5-1 but no Cubs prospects saw action.

Here a list of the teams and Cubs prospects on their current rosters:
Zulia—RHP Yeiper Castillo (former Cub), IF Bryant Flete (AA-Tennessee)
Margarita—P Gabriel Lima (VSL/Mesa), P Felipe Paulino (AAA-Iowa), P P.J. Francescon (AA-Tennessee)
Caribes—OF Johermyn Chavez (former Cub)
Caracas—P Loiger Padron (former Cub)
Lara—P Yoervis Medina, P Yoanner Negrin (AAA-Iowa), OF Rubi Silva (former Cub)
Magallanes—P Erick Leal (A-South Bend), OF Adorn Chambers (AAA-Iowa)
La Guaria—None
Aragua—P Armando Rivero (AAA-Iowa), C Gioskar Amaya, IF Jonathan Mota (Iowa/Tennessee).

The Mexican Pacific League starts on Friday, Oct. 9, and the Dominican Winter League gets underway on Oct. 15. The Puerto Rican League begins Oct. 30.

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