Archive for the ‘ 2012 AFL ’ Category

Mesa Solar Sox Recaps – October 11 Through October 13

Thursday October 11, 2012
FULL BOX SCORE

The Solar Sox fell behind early 5-1, but scored in five of the last six inning to win their first game of the season 6-5.  Dae-Eun Rhee got the start for the Solar Sox, and got knocked around a bit.  Rhee went two innings in his AFL debut, giving up two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out two.  Tony Zych was the only other Cubs pitcher to get into the game, and he earned the win by pitching a scoreless inning and striking out one.  Matt Szczur led off again for the Solar Sox, he finished the day 1-for-4 with an RBI, a run, and another walk, something he seems to be doing a lot of right now.  Javier Baez bounced back from a rough game the day before as he went 2-for-5 with a double, and an RBI.

Friday October 12, 2012
FULL BOX SCORE

For the second game in a row the Mesa Solar Sox fell behind early before roaring back from a come from behind victory.  Kevin Rhoderick made his second appearance of the AFL season, and was the only Cubs pitcher to get into this one.  Rhoderick was decent, he lasted one inning giving up one run on one hit while striking out two.  Matt Szczur made his presence felt at the top of the order again in this one, he finished the night 2-for-5 with an RBI, and two stolen bases.  Javier Baez got the day off, but Rubi Silva did get a start in right field and was 1-for-5 and had two stolen bases of his own.

Saturday October 13, 2012
FULL BOX SCORE

Mesa reversed roles today by jumping out early and giving up the lead, however they were able to battle back to earn their third straight victory.  Nick Struck made his second appearance of the AFL season working one inning giving up one run on one hit while striking out two.  Tony Zych also got into this one, he tossed a scoreless inning giving up only one hit and has yet to give up a run this season.  Rubi Silva got his second straight start in RF and replaced Szczur at the top of the lineup.  Silva delivered going 2-for-5 with two runs scored, he is now hitting .313 for the Solar Sox.  Javier Baez got back in the lineup today, and the day off must have done him some good as he launched his second home run of the season, a three run shot.  Baez finished 1-for-4 with a home run, and three RBI’s in the win.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Solar Sox Crushed; Cubs Quieted

FULL BOX SCORE

As good as Tuesday night was, Wednesday was equally as bad.  The Solar Sox were crushed by the Salt River Rafters 11-3, and it was really all over by the fourth inning when the Rafters built a 7-1 lead.  Javier Baez had a rough night, to say the least, he finished 0-for-4 with two strikeouts at the plate and also committed two errors.  Matt Szczur led off once again for the Solar Sox and went 1-for-4 while registering his first stolen base of Fall League play.  Rubi Silva got his first start of the season in left field and went 1-for-5 at the plate.  The only Cubs pitcher not to make an appearance opening night was Nick Struck, he was able to get into this one.  Struck might have been a little too amped up for his AFL debut as he walked three over his 1.1 innings of work.  Struck struck out one, and did not allow a run despite his command issues.  The Solar Sox will look for their first win of the AFL season this afternoon at 1:35 PM CST against Surprise, it’s not a surprise, that’s just the team name.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Baez Stars In AFL Debut

FULL BOX SCORE

It really didn’t take long for Javier Baez to make his presence felt in the Arizona Fall League.  The first 93 mph fastball he saw landed at least 430 feet away beyond the center field wall.  Baez wasn’t done there as he also added a double, and finished with three RBI’s, unfortunately the Solar Sox couldn’t hang on to an early lead and lost 6-5.  I would say that it was a pretty successful debut for all the Cubs involved.  Matt Szczur got the start in CF and finished the night 0-for-2 at the plate, but had a successful sacrifice bunt, and earned two walks from the lead off spot.  Rubi Silva was the only other Cub to swing the bat last night, and he came through with a pinch hit single.  The Cubs excelled on the mound as well in this one as Kevin Rhoderick and Tony Zych each had a scoreless outing. Rhoderick was impressive going 1.2 innings giving up only one hit and striking out three.  Zych worked a scoreless .1 of an inning in his AFL debut, all in all a great start for the Cubs prospects.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Arizona Fall League Starts Tonight!

I wrote up a piece about the AFL earlier, you can read it here, but it’s finally ready to start tonight!  I’m excited because we get to see some guys that we haven’t seen in a while, okay, only a month or so.  But, these players made this season so fun, here is a snippet from my last post about who will be participating for the Cubs.

“Cubs players will be grouped with players from the Orioles, Astros, Tigers, and Dodgers to form the Mesa Solar Sox.  Click here for the full roster, the Cubs will be sending Javier Baez, Matt Szczur, Rubi Silva, Dae-Eun Rhee, Nick Struck, Tony ZychKevin Rhoderick, and Zach Rosscup.” 

I think I’m most excited to see Baez and Szczur, for obvious reasons.  Baez is on the cusp of greatness it seems and Szczur is looking to prove himself, again.  Sure Szczur was bumped to Tennessee this year, but his season left something lacking, and if he can have a solid AFL performance that could help his chances to stay with the organization.  If not, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him packaged in a deal somewhere in the offseason for pitching, that might happen regardless.  Baez on the other hand was the star of the MWL for the Peoria Chiefs, his numbers were eye popping.  Because of that he was promoted to Daytona and struggled, of course it’s hard to get into a groove when you play once a week because of rain.  Towards the end of the season Baez started to round into form, it will be fun to see how he stacks up in the AFL which is full of high level talent.  We will recap every game as we can actually get box scores for them, so I’m pretty excited about that, going through minor league withdrawals already, yes, I have a problem.

First pitch is 7:35 PM CST tonight, as the Mesa Solar Sox take on the Salt River Rafters.  If I get a lineup ahead of time I will let you know if any Cubs are starting.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Announce Arizona Fall League Roster

I wish the Arizona Fall League was closer to Chicago, obviously there are reason’s why it’s not, I’m not a complete moron.  I wish it was closer so I could see games because the rosters are made up of some of the best prospects from all over baseball.  There are six teams competing in the league, here is the breakdown of Major League team participation.

Cubs players will be grouped with players from the Orioles, Astros, Tigers, and Dodgers to form the Mesa Solar Sox.  Click here for the full roster, the Cubs will be sending Javier Baez, Matt Szczur, Rubi Silva, Dae-Eun Rhee, Nick Struck, Tony Zych, Kevin Rhoderick, and Zach Rosscup.  The purpose of this league is to get a look at guys, could be guys that didn’t play too much during the season or guys that are ready to jump a level, possibly to the major league level, or are on the bubble for a 40 man roster spot.  If they are not added to the 40-man roster they will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft and could be lost to another team.  The three players vying for a spot on the 40-man roster are Rhee, Rosscup, and Struck, all others are already on the 40-man roster.  So this league is clearly important, it could be make or break for some guys, or it could be an important building block for others. 

One glaring omission is Jorge Soler as he didn’t get too much time to play here in the States this year.  My guess is that he will be playing somewhere this offseason, most likely a winter league as the organization would like to see him get more 2012 at bats.

Thanks for reading,
– George

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