VSL Cubs

VSL Cubs Limp to Finish Line

The Venezuelan Summer League (VSL) regular season concludes tomorrow, and it hasn't been a good year for the VSL Cubs, as they are tied with the VSL Phillies for last place in the four-team VSL and (obviously) will not be qualifying for the playoffs. (The VSL playoff is simply the first & second place teams playing each other in a best two-out-of-three "VSL Championship Series").

Your 2013 VSL Cubs!

The Cubs have moved their second Dominican Summer League (DSL) team to Venezuela (Ciudad Alianza), and so 2013 will see the debut of the VSL Cubs (and no more DSL Cubs #2). 

While the Cubs have signed many Venezuelan players over the years (with Carlos Zambrano, Angel Guzman, Ronny Cedeno, and Geremi Gonzalez being the most-notable ones), they have operated a team in the Venezuelan Summer League (VSL) only once previous, and that was a "co-op" team shared with the Minnesota Twins in 2007.

The VSL has been in operation since 1997 and had at one time as many as a dozen teams. However, in recent years the number of MLB clubs with affiliates in the VSL has dwindled to just four (Mariners, Rays, Tigers, and Phillies in 2012), with the Cubs bucking the contraction trend by actually putting a new team in the league this season. 

It is perhaps a little bit strange that the Cubs have chosen to move one of their DSL teams to Venezuela just as their new state-of-the-art multi-million dollar Dominican Academy goes on-line, but they probably recognize the potential motherload of baseball talent that's just waiting to be discovered in Central & South America (including Brazil), and having a presence in the VSL could help the Cubs get a foothold there.     

While the Dominican Summer League (DSL) does not begin play until June 1st, VSL Opening Day is next Monday (May 13th), and the VSL regular season runs through August 5th. A best two-out-of-three playoff between the 1st and 2nd place teams follows the conclusion of the regular season.     

The VSL roster limit is 35, but at present the Cubs have assigned only 24 players to the VSL Cubs, with 22 of the players from Venezuela, one from Curacao, and one from the Dominican Republic. (Essentially all of the Venezuelan players who had been assigned to DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2 were moved to the VSL Cubs). The two Mexican players assigned to the Dominican Academy (RHP Javier Castro and LHP David Villegas) could be assigned to the VSL Cubs, too, as well as any Cuban or other non-Dominican international players (including no more than two players from Puerto Rico) the Cubs may sign in coming months.

There are also 11 Venezuelan players presently assigned to the Cubs Extended Spring Training team (RHP Daniel Adrian, OF Jeffrey Baez, C Erick Castillo, 2B Bryant Flete, RHP Erick Leal, 3B Mark Malave, LHP Angel Mejias, SS Carlos Penalver, C Wilfredo Petit, LHP Carlos Rodriguez, and LHP Luis Villegas) who could be moved down to the VSL Cubs, although most of the Venezuelans at EXST are likely ticketed for the AZL Cubs or Boise.   

2013 VSL CUBS:

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  • Very impressive that he hit a 3-2 curve ball. Such a dynamic ballplayer. If he ever learns the strike zone....

    billybucks 2 min 30 sec ago view
  • If Jason Hammel doesn't get a potato chip sponsorship deal, somebody messed up. Attaboy, Jason!

    billybucks 5 min 18 sec ago view
  • I am looking forward to AChap facing the Cardinals.

    The E-Man 13 min 19 sec ago view
  • Sure is fun to watch them score finally. To think they were no-hit until the 7th...

    The E-Man 25 min ago view
  • Got to admit it - it was comforting seeing Rondon come out for the eighth after just taking a two run lead ... And put the hammer down with a 7 pitch inning. Good stuff

    Eric S 30 min 15 sec ago view
  • GRAND SLAM RUSSELL

    blown the hell open...7 run lead

    crunch 31 min 39 sec ago view
  • 11 hits off Wainwright tonight. Everything going right for the Cards right now. Motherfucking motherfuckers.

    The E-Man 41 min 8 sec ago view
  • it was more no-doubt than bryant's HR. it wont make any end-of-season highlight reels, but that one was booked to leave on contact.

    crunch 49 min 56 sec ago view
  • Javy! Javy! Javy!

    How sweet was that - Cranked it!

    393 happy feet

    Eric S 57 min 27 sec ago view
  • baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaez!

    cubs take a 2 run lead in the 7th. sweet.

    crunch 1 hour 42 sec ago view
  • ...and the Cards tie and take the lead in the 9th. off Familia.

    blockhead25 1 hour 4 min ago view
  • Familia blows his first save of the season -- gives up 2 in 9th to the Cards.

    Not much going our way these days.

    billybucks 1 hour 5 min ago view
  • bryant's back!

    no-doubt HR towering to CF...tie game.

    crunch 1 hour 22 min ago view
  • This site is as dead as the team.

    The E-Man 1 hour 26 min ago view
  • AL pitcher hits a home run for a 1-0 lead. There goes perspective

    billybucks 1 hour 44 min ago view
  • Here are the ERAs for the last five starting pitchers:
    3.40
    3.64
    4.28
    4.68
    9.45

    At what point does the manager note it's not the "other pitcher"?

    And why does he start Montero in the middle of a downturn?

    The E-Man 1 hour 54 min ago view