Good morning! The first week of the new year saw Cubs popping up everywhere in the off-season leagues. To see where the new faces showed up and how they fared, take a look inside today's report.
Dominican Winter League
Leones del Escogido
Escogido took some steps to separate from the field in round-robin play as they defeated Licey 6-1 on Sunday. Ryan Court remained at lead-off and was 2-for-4 with a walk, two stolen bases, and a run scored in the win. Escogido 6 - Licey 1
Back in action on Wednesday, the Leones could not gain any traction as the lost to Oriente 4-1. Ryan Court was back setting the table as he went 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI in the loss. Oriente 4 - Escogido 1
On Thursday, the Pride used some new-found offensive punch to overwhelm Este 7-1. Along with adding veteran Mexican League outfielder Chris Roberson, Escogido activated infielder Phillip Evans to the lead-off role as he went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored. Ryan Court also contributed by going 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. Escogido 7 - Este 1
Escogido remains in a pitched battle to break a three-way deadlock in round-robin play as they defeated Licey 7-5 on Friday. Ryan Court moved to DH and was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI in the win. Escogido 7 - Licey 5
The Lions could not keep up the pace on Saturday, as they lost to Este 7-3. Ryan Court drove in two as he went 1-for-3 and was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the eighth to bring in a run. Este 7 - Escogido 3
Roberto Clemente League
Criollos de Caguas
Caguas ended their season on a high note as they defeated Mayaguez 6-2 on Sunday. Victor Caratini lined up at catcher and was 1-for-3 with an RBI, while Vimael Machin went 1-for-5 with a double and two RBI as the designated hitter. Caguas 6 - Mayaguez 2
Gigantes de Carolina
After five scoreless innings on Thursday, Mayaguez unleashed their offense to defeat Carolina 7-4. The Giants were already down by four runs when Raidel Orta was asked to mop up in the eighth. Orta allowed an earned run on a walk and two hits as he tossed two innings. Carolina 7 - Mayaguez 4
Venzuelan Winter League
Navegantes del Magallanes
Magallanes made no doubt of the end result as early as the second inning on Thursday, as they crushed Anzoategui 13-5. With the game well in hand, Daury Torrez pitched the ninth and allowed an earned run on three hits while striking out two batters. Magallanes 13 - Anzoategui 5
Australian Baseball League
Brisbane kept the heat on front-running Sydney on Wednesday as they defeated Aukland 9-4. Newly signed Wynton Bernard lined up in left field and second in the batting order and went 2-for-5 with a walk in the win. Brisbane 9 - Aukland 4
The Bandits throttled up the offense once again on Thursday as they totally destroyed Aukland 15-4. Brisbane may have wondered where Wynton Bernard had been keeping himself this offseason as he exploded on offense. Bernard went 4-for-6 with a double, a home run, and RBI, a stolen base, and three runs scored while playing both left and centerfield. Brisbane 15 - Aukland 4
After Geelong-Korea stormed back with five runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game 5-5 on Sunday, their pitching could not hold as they lost to Melbourne 11-8 in ten innings. Kwang-Min Kwon played his heart out as he was 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored, as his three-run homer in the bottom of the tenth kept Geelong’s hopes alive. Melbourne 11 - Geelong 8
Once again, Geelong got their offense in gear far too late on Thursday as they were crushed by Adelaide 13-7. The Koreans were actually tied at 1-1 going into the bottom of the seventh before allowing 12 runs. Geelong put up 6 in the top of the ninth to make the rout more palatable as Kwang-Min Kwon played both right and center field and went 1-for-4 in the loss. Adelaide 13 - Geelong 7
The Cubs have named Jonathan Mota their Minor League Infield Coordinator. A player in the Cubs' system for 11 years, Mota managed the Cubs-2 team in the Arizona Rookie League last season.
Outfielder Wynton Bernard, who played at both Tennessee and Iowa, has joined the Brisbane Bandits of the Australian Baseball League.
Infielder Phillip Evans has been activated by Leones del Escogido of the Dominican Winter League.
South Bend INF Jhonny Bethencourt has joined Bravos de Margarita of the Venezuelan Winter League.