¡Feliz Navidad! Debuts were the theme of this past week for the Cubs in winter ball. Pitcher Felix Pena made his first appearance of the winter in the Dominican Republic, while newly signed Luis Parra, Juan Perez and Jean Machi made their Cubs debuts.
Over in the Roberto Clemente League, Javier Baez lined up for the first time in center field.
Getting a jump on the New Year is today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Note: Coverage of the Winter Leagues runs from Sunday to Saturday
Dominican Winter League
Cibaenas was able to double-up Este on Friday, beating them 6-3. Newly signed outfielder Juan Perez capped a four-run fourth inning with a two-run homer as he went 1-for-4 with two RBI in the game.
Estrellas de Oriente
Oriente gained a piece of first place in the DWL on Wednesday as they beat Cibaenas 11-3. Newly added Tennessee Smokies’ pitcher Felix Pena struck out two as he tossed a perfect ninth inning.
Tigres del Licey
While secure with a spot in the DWL playoffs, Licey is still in a battle for first place as they defeated Cibao 7-3 on Friday. Playing second base, Arismendy Alcantara went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Mexican Pacific League
Yaquis de Obregon
Obregon keeps trying to slug their way back into contention as they pummeled Mexicali 11-1 last Sunday. Christian Villanueva was at DH and went 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored.
One big inning wasn’t enough for the Yaquis on Tuesday as they lost 4-3 to Los Mochis. Christian Villanueva was again the designated hitter and was 1-for-3 with a walk.
The first two innings were critical for the Tribe on Wednesday, as Obregon scored the only two runs they needed in beating Los Mochis 2-1. Christian Villanueva was once again the DH and went 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Obregon lost the rubber game of their series with Los Mochis on Thursday, bowing to the Caneros 4-3. Christian Villanueva lined up at designated hitter for the fourth straight game and went 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.
Back home against Culiacan on Friday, the Yaquis flexed their muscles in a 15-4 victory. For the fifth consecutive game, Christian Villanueva was the DH as he went 1-for-3 with a walk, two RBI, and a run scored.
The Tribe grabbed a piece of first place on Saturday as they used a solo home run by Leo Heras to defeat Culiacan 1-0. Designated Hitter Christian Villanueva was 1-for-4 in the win.
Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League
Cangrejeros de Santurce
It was a rare win for Santurce on Tuesday as they beat Caguas 7-4. Javier Baez started at second base and was 1-for-4 with a stolen base. Fernando Cruz came on with two outs and walked a batter, but got the final batter on a strikeout. Joining Santurce from the Criollos, Andres Santiago pitched a perfect inning and had a strikeout.
The Cangrejeros made it two in a row on Wednesday as they shut out Carolina 5-0. Javier Baez remained at second base and was 1-for-3 with two walks.
While the Crabbers lost again on Friday, bowing to Mayaguez 6-3, the focus was on Javier Baez. The much-hyped debut in center field for Baez turned into more of a storm-in-a-teacup, at least for now. Baez went 0-for-2 with a walk.
Venezuelan Winter League
Navegantes de Magallanes
Magallanes was able to eke out a victory on Friday, holding on for a 4-3 win over Aragua. Newly acquired Jean Machi allowed the Tigers to creep back into the game, giving up an earned run on a solo home run in the seventh inning.
The Navs were not capable of mounting an attack on Saturday, as they were defeated by Caracas 4-2. Jean Machi came on in the eighth and had a strikeout in a scoreless inning.
News and Notes
The Cubs signed OF Kelly Dugan, OF Juan Perez, RHP Brandon Gomes and LHP Jack Leathersich to minor league contracts.