Results tagged ‘ Dominican Republic ’

12/13 Greetings from the Dominican

DRtrip01.JPGAlfonso Soriano,
Carlos Marmol, Starlin Castro & Aramis Ramirez pose in front of the Cubs’ academy in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, during a fans trip there earlier this month.

12/11 Winter ball update

Starlin Castro went 4-for-4, including an RBI single in the fifth, in Escogido’s 10-6 loss to Estrellas in Dominican Winter Ball on Friday. Castro is 8-for-12 in his last three games with four runs, three RBIs, and a triple. He’s hitting .289 in 10 games overall.

Meanwhile, catcher Welington Castillo was batting .192 with three home runs and eight RBIs in 24 games and outfielder Brad Snyder was batting .326 with one homer and seven RBIs in 12 games. Both are playing for Licey in the Dominican Republic.

— Carrie Muskat

12/5 The next 1B may be LaHair

The Cubs’ next first baseman may be playing right now in the Dominican Republic. Bryan LaHair has joined Estrellas, and was batting .273 in three games with four RBIs. LaHair batted .308 with 25 homers, 30 doubles and 81 RBIS in 125 games with Triple-A Iowa this year. He hit .337 against right-handers, .227 against lefties. LaHair did play with the Mariners in 2008,  and batted .250 in 45 games.

* Starlin Castro has gotten off to a slow start for Escogido in the Dominican. After six games, he’s batting .136 (3-for-22) with one double. He’s been batting fifth; expect him to hit higher in the order with the Cubs.

— Carrie Muskat

12/3 Postcard from La Romana

Cubs catcher Welington Castillo had a large contingent of fans cheering him on in La Romana Thursday night. A group of fans on a week-long trip to the Dominican Republic arranged to go to the Winter League game between the home Toros and Licey. Castillo and another Cubs player, outfielder Brad Snyder, play for Licey, as does ex Cubs infielder/catcher/outfielder Jake Fox.

Games in the D.R. are not boring. There are drums, trumpets, cowbells, thundersticks and loud music — and that’s during the game. Fans wave flags and recognize good plays — a double play to end an inning is cheered as if it’s a key out in a playoff game.

On Thursday, Castillo had one more distraction. A hot air balloon was being inflated behind the left field fence during his first at-bat. It seemed as if they were timing it to light the flame and illuminate the balloon just as the pitcher was preparing to throw to Castillo, but they kept doing it during the Toros’ players at-bats as well.

Fox hit two home runs — or jonrones — on Tuesday for Licey. He was not as successful on Thursday, although he did hit a fly ball to the gap in left which was caught. If you want to follow Licey, or just get a peek into baseball in the D.R., check out trainer Chris McDonald’s blog. He works for the Tigers’ Double-A team during the regular season in the U.S., and this is his seventh year in the D.R., sixth with Licey.

— Carrie Muskat

11/11 Castro back at work

Starlin Castro’s offseason is over. The 20-year-old shortstop has reported to the Leones de Escogido in the Dominican Winter Leagues and was expected to play his first game Saturday or Sunday. Former Cubs outfielder Moises Alou is Escogido’s general manager. Castro is playing without any restrictions from the Cubs.

“I came to work on my defense, primarily on my throw to first base,” Castro said.

The shortstop batted .300 in 125 games with the Cubs in his rookie season, hitting three home runs, including a three-run shot in his first at-bat May 7. He also committed 27 errors, and Cubs coach Ivan DeJesus and Minor League infield instructor Franklin Font were expected to visit Castro in the Dominican Republic this offseason to work on his defense.

Castro will find out Monday how he finished in the National League Rookie of the Year balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

— Carrie Muskat

1/17/10 Dominican trip

Tom and Todd Ricketts were to visit the Cubs’ academy in the Dominican Republic this week. Player development director Oneri Fleita said he will travel with the two Ricketts brothers, part of the family ownership group that took control of the team in late October, on Monday. Todd Ricketts will attend at least one Winter League game. The team’s training facility is located near Boca Chica.

— Carrie Muskat

12/11 Dominican trip

Want to know what it’s like to play with the Cubs in the Dominican Republic? Check out this YouTube video:

If my link attempt doesn’t work, go to YouTube and do a search for “Chicago Cubs Dreams La Romana”

Good to see Billy Williams swinging a bat. He still has a sweet swing. Ernie Banks, Carlos Marmol, Aramis Ramirez and Sean Marshall also are featured.

— Carrie Muskat