Winter League Highlights: Searle’s success down under


(Photo by Rodger Wood)

All the Winter League talk this offseason has been related to play in the Caribbean. The leagues in Venezuela, the Dominican, Mexico and Puerto Rico are the most notorious offseason destinations for Cubs players and rightfully deserve their mention. There are however a few leagues being played around the world, including one in Australia, where a Cubs reliever is thriving in a prominent role.

Australian-born Ryan Searle started playing for his hometown Brisbane Bandits squad in late November. Acting as the team’s closer, the right-handed pitcher has seen much success in his six appearances this season.

In his 12 innings pitched in Australia, Searle has a 1.50 ERA with a 1-0 record and three saves. Though he’s walked five batters, the 23-year-old has struck out 10.

Searle bounced around the Cubs’ system in 2012. His early struggles in Double-A Tennessee led to an early demotion to High-A Daytona, where some of his totals improved. The reliever’s walks numbers improved from 4.1 batters per nine to 3.0, which improved his WHIP in the process. Searle also struck out one more batter per nine innings than he had in Tennessee. For his efforts he spent a few games in Triple-A to wrap up Iowa’s season.

In 2012, Searle finished with a combined 8-5 record with a 3.87 ERA in 42 games.

News in the Caribbean:

Johermyn Chavez had a base hit and a pair of walks for the Caribes de Anzoategui of the Venezuelan League.

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