Mexican Winter League
The playoffs are underway and a pair of Cubs players on the 40-man roster are squaring off. Obregon is led by 3B/DH Christian Villanueva and newly acquired relief pitcher Spencer Patton has joined the Los Mochis roster. In the opener of the best-of-seven series, Obregon won 7-4. Villanueva was 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored. Patton faced three hitters in relief, striking out two while walking one in his 12-pitch outing. Los Mochis evened the series on Saturday with a 6-1 win. Villanueva was 0-for-3 with a walk and Patton earned a hold, retiring all three hitters he faced in the 8th on 15 pitches, eight for strikes. Los Mochis took a 2-1 series lead on Jan. 4 with a 2-1 win. Patton fired the final two innings and got the victory, allowing a hit while striking out two of the six hitters he faced in the 25-pitch outing. Villanueva went 1-for-4 and scored the only run for Obregon.
Dominican Winter League
Licey leads round-robin play with a 6-1 record while Estrellas (3-4), Escogido (3-4) and Toros (2-5) find themselves in an early deficit.
Jan 3—Arismendy Alcantara entered the game as a pinch runner in the 9th, stole second, and scored the winning run in Licey’s 2-1 win over Escogido. OF Juan Perez was 0-for-5.
Jan. 2—Juan Perez, who signed a minor league deal with Cubs after spending three seasons with the Giants, had himself a day in Licey’s 16-5 win. The outfielder went 3-for-3 with a three-run homer and a RBI double. He also walked once and scored four times. Arismendy Alcantara came off the bench to hit a two-run homer, ending the night 1-for-2.
Puerto Rican Winter League
Jan. 4—2B Javier Baez knocked in a pair of runs with a single to give Santurce a 2-0 lead in the third inning but they couldn’t hold on and fell to Caguas 7-4 to fall to 2-1 in round-robin play. Baez finished 1-for-4 with a walk. Fernando Cruz, who pitched for Myrtle Beach and Tennessee last season and signed a free agent deal in the off-season, got the final out for Santurce, but allowed an inherited runner to score on a single.
Jan 3—Javier Baez played second and singled in three plate appearances in Santurce’s 1-0 win over Mayaguez.
Jan. 2— Miguel Mejia, recently signed to a minor league deal, appeared in 10 games for Caguas, tossing 10.2 innings with a 0.84 ERA with 11 K and 1 BB. In his first playoff appearance, Mejia didn’t retire a hitter, surrendering two hits and allowing an inherited runner to score and tie the game against Mayaguez. He was charged with a blown save but Caguas won 2-1 in 10 innings.
Venezuelan Winter League
Jan. 3—Signed by the Cubs to a minor league deal, RHP Jean Machi earned the hold in Magallanes’ 2-0 win over Caracas. Machi allowed a hit and threw 13 pitches, getting a pair of groundouts and a fly ball to end the frame...... Armando Rivero, who hadn’t pitched since the end of November, earned the save in Aragua’s 4-3 win over Margarita to even the best-of-seven series after two games. Rivero worked around a pair of hits in the ninth, striking out one hitter in the 18-pitch outing.
2015 Draft Profile
Marcus Mastrobuoni, C, 25th Round, Cal-State Stanislaus
The first catcher to hear his name called by the Cubs last June, Mastrobuoni was a two-time all region player at the Division II school, hitting 357/.425/.522 with 3 HR, 30 RBI, 17 BB, 20 K, and 15 doubles in 43 games as a senior, after winning the conference batting title (.370) as a junior. He earned co-MVP honors with Walker Buehler in the Cape Cod League playoffs in 2014, after hitting a homer and knocking in five runs in the final series. After inking his pro contract on June 18, the 22-year-old saw limited action in the Arizona Rookie League, appearing in 16 games, 15 behind the plate. He threw out nine of 30 base runners, and was charged with two errors and three passed balls. Making his pro debut July 3, the California native went 0-for-2 with a pair of walks against the A’s. He collected his first pro hit July 10, a double, and finished the year 7-44 (.159) but drew more walks (6) than strikeouts (3). Mastrobuoni participated in fall instructs and will likely start the season at extended spring training.