Cubs sign Tsuyoshi Wada
The Cubs have reportedly signed former Japanese pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada to a minor league contract and invited the left-handed starter to spring training. Wada spent 2013 at AAA Norfolk (5-6 4.03 ERA, 102 IP, 19 starts), pitching in the Orioles organization after signing a two-year $8.15 million deal with Baltimore. He missed the 2012 season after Tommy John surgery. Wada pitched for nine seasons in the Japanese League, throwing 1,444 innings with a 8.3 K/9 with a 2.5 BB/9. According to one source, the 32-year-old throws a four-seam fastball in the low 90s and also features a slider and change-up. Baltimore declined their $5 million option for 2014, making Wada a free agent.
Dominican Winter League
Dec. 12—Carlos Pimentel continued to impress as the right hander improved to 5-0, allowing a run over six innings in Escogido’s 11-1 win over Toros. Pimentel gave up a solo homer, one of three hits, and fanned four, lowering his ERA to 1.67. In 37.2 IP, he has 33 K, 14 BB and has allowed 27 hits.
Frank Batista ( 0-0 0.00 ERA, 6.1 IP) eared his first save getting the final out in Aguilas’ 5-4 win over Licey. Batista walked former Cub Julio Borbon and then got a groundout to short to end the game with the bases loaded.
After being selected by Arizona in the Rule 5 draft, Marcos Mateo (3-1 1.80) blew the lead for Estrellas and got charged with his third loss of the season. Mateo allowed four runs, two earned, on two hits and a walk. He had not allowed a run in his last seven appearances.
Dec. 11—Julio Borbon was a pinch runner and played left field in his last game as Cubs for Licey. Borbon was selected by the Orioles in the Rule 5 draft on Thursday. The Cubs also lost RHP Marcos Mateo, who led Estrellas with nine saves.
Mexican Pacific Winter League
Dec. 12—DH Christian Villanueva (.227) was 0-3 and RF Darnell McDonald (.067) went 0-3 with a walk in Obregon’s 6-1 loss to Los Mochis.
SS Walter Ibarra hit 8th and went 0-2 with a walk and a sacrifice in Mazatlan’s 5-4 loss to Mexicali.
Dec. 11—DH Christian Villanueva went 0-3 with a walk and RF Darnell McDonald was 0-4 in Obregon’s 6-3 loss to Los Mochis.
SS Walter Ibarra went 0-3 in Mazatlan’s 3-1 loss to Mexicali.
Puerto Rican Winter League
Dec. 12—Rubi Silva grounded into a double play in the second to plate the only run of the game in Ponce’s 1-0 win over Santurce. Greg Rohan went 1-3 while Silva and Jonathan Mota both went 0-4.
Dec. 11—The Cubs trio of Greg Rohan, Rubi Silva and Jonathan Mota had six of Ponce’s 14 hits in a 4-1 win over Caguas. Mota was 3-5 with a RBI while Silva went 2-5 and scored a run. Rohan knocked in a run, scored once, and finished 1-4 with a walk.
Venezuelan Winter League
Dec. 12—2B Luis Valbuena was 0-3 with a walk in Lara’s 14-4 loss to Zulia. RHP Yeiper Castillo (3-1 4.40 ERA) worked a 1-2-3 eighth, including two strikeouts for Zulia.
Dec. 11—Luis Valbuena walked three times and scored three runs in Lara’s 12-5 win over Zulia. Valbuena ended the game 0-2 with a strikeout and is hitting .333 in 22 games.