ICS: Former MLBer Yuniesky Betancourt Added to FEPCUBE Preliminary Roster

Yuniesky Betancourt of the Milwaukee Brewers gets a hit in the 10th inning against the New York Mets on September 28, 2013 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

Former Major League infielder Yuniesky Betancourt has been added to the preselection roster for the Cuban Professional Baseball Federation team that will play in the 2024 Intercontinental Series in Barranquilla, Colombia, FEPCUBE announced on their X account on January 6. 

Betancourt was not on the listed preliminary roster released by FEPCUBE on Dec. 29. 

The Intercontinental Series will be played from Jan. 25 to Feb. 1, 2024, with the champion of the Liga Profesional de Béisbol Colombia representing Colombia. Curacao, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Mexico, the United States, are reportedly also participating in the event.

All teams will have on-field batting practice on January 25 prior to the first day of games on January 26. 

FEPCUBE will play their first game of the 2024 Intercontinental Series against Japan on January 26 at Estadio Edgar Renteria in Barranquilla, Colombia at 2 p.m. EST. 

All of the 2024 Intercontinental Series games will take place at Estadio Edgar Renteria. 

Betancourt, 41, was born in Santa Clara, Cuba, and has not played in Major League Baseball since the 2013 regular season with the Milwaukee Brewers. He played with the Seattle Mariners from 2005-09, the Kansas City Royals from 2009-10, the Brewers in 2011 and 2013 and the Kansas City Royals in 2012 before playing in Nippon Professional Baseball with the Orix Buffaloes in 2014.

During Betancourt’s nine seasons in MLB, he played in 1,156 games and batted .261 with 1,057 hits, 218 doubles, 29 triples, 80 home runs, 457 RBI, 30 stolen bases, 143 walks, 435 strikeouts, and a .673 OPS. 

Betancourt has played 18 seasons, including four seasons with Naranjas de Villa Clara from 2000-04 in Serie Nacional, before he left Cuba to pursue a career in the United States. The last time Betancourt played a full season was the 2018-19 in the Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacífico with the Águilas de Mexicali. 

In his 18 seasons, Betancourt has a lifetime average of .276 in 2,001 games, with 2,001 hits, 394 doubles, 60 triples, 158 home runs, 907 RBI, 98 stolen bases, 317 walks, 742 strikeouts, and a .717 OPS. 

The FEPCUBE team has several Major League Baseball players, including Aroldis Chapman, Yandy Diaz, Jorge Soler, Yulieski Gurriel, Lourdes Gurriel Jr, Aledmys Díaz, and Yennier Cano listed on the preliminary roster for the 2024 Intercontinental Series.

Players who elected free agency such as Yulieski Gurriel, Soler, and Chapman could play in this tournament. 

Aledmys Diaz, Yandy Diaz, Cano, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. are under contract with a MLB organization, and the Intercontinental Series is not part of the Winter League Agreement.

Brayan Pena will be the manager for the FEPCUBE team for the Intercontinental Series. Mandy Llanes is the president of FEPCUBE. Former MLB Cuban born pitcher Orlando Hernandez is the vice president and general manager of FEPCUBE.

FEPCUBE has no relationship to the Federacion Cubana de Beisbol or the Cuban government.

The FEPCUBE entry for the Intercontinental Series will hold a training camp at Miami-Dade College North Campus’s Demie Mainieri Field from Jan. 6-22, before traveling to Barranquilla, Colombia, for the Intercontinental Series. 

FEPCUBE has no relationship to the Federacion Cubana de Beisbol or the Cuban government.

The 2024 Intercontinental Series will be streamed at https://ipbseries.kiswe.com/ for a fee. 

FEPCUBE 2024 Intercontinental Series Schedule 
All games will take place at Estadio Edgar Renteria 

Friday, Jan. 26, 2024 
2 p.m. EST – FEPCUBE vs. Japan

Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024 
2 p.m. EST – FEPCUBE vs. South Korea

Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024 
2 p.m. EST – United States vs. FEPCUBE

Monday, Jan. 29, 2024 
7 p.m. EST – Colombia vs. FEPCUBE

Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024 
2 p.m. EST – Curacao vs. FEPCUBE  

Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024 
2 p.m. EST – Semifinal No. 1
2 p.m. EST – Semifinal No. 2

Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024 
7 p.m. EST – Championship Game

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