Despite a three-run eighth inning, Mesa put itself into too deep a hole Tuesday, falling to Salt River 7-3. Cubs prospect Kris Bryant registered his sixth home run of the fall, and Matt Loosen pitched two solid innings in relief to headline the North Siders’ efforts. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action.
Albert Almora, CF – Almora led off the game with a single to center. He also drew a walk in the fifth inning to finish the game 1-for-4.
Kris Bryant, 3B – Bryant recorded the Sox’s first run on a leadoff homer in the eighth inning. The third baseman was 1-for-5 on the afternoon. He leads the AFL with six home runs.
Lendy Castillo, RHP – Castillo came on in the sixth, and struck out the first batter he faced, Jacob Wilson (Cardinals, No. 20 organizational prospect, according to MLB.com). But he followed that with three walks and a double. His final line read: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 3 BB.
Matt Loosen, RHP – Loosen replaced starter Matt Purke (Nationals) in the fourth and made an immediate impact, striking out his first two hitters faced, Dustin Garneau (Rockies) and James Ramsey (Cardinals, No. 10 organizational prospect). He then induced a ground out to end the inning. After giving up a one-out base hit in the fifth, Loosen forced Kyle Parker (Rockies, No. 9 organizational prospect) to fly out and fanned Richie Shaffer (Rays, No. 9 organizational prospect) to end the inning. His final line read: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 3 K, 0 BB.
Jorge Soler, RF – Soler went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Mesa heads to Scottsdale to take on the Scorpions Wednesday afternoon. Cubs prospect Dallas Beeler is scheduled to pitch. He has a 2-0 record with a 5.40 ERA this fall. Opposite the right-hander will be Phil Irwin (Pirates). First pitch is scheduled for 2:35 CST.
Much of the hype from Monday’s contest between Mesa and Salt River surrounded Rafters starter Aaron Sanchez. The Blue Jays’ top prospect (No. 20 overall, according to MLB.com) surrendered just one hit over 4.1 innings against the Solar Sox, leaving Mesa on the wrong side of a 3-2 decision. Though the Sox mustered only five hits in the game, Cubs prospects Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler were responsible for two of them, and Bryant drove in both runs. Here are the highlights from yesterday’s action.
Kris Bryant, DH – Batting third for Mesa, Bryant earned a walk in the bottom of the fourth inning. He reached second when Soler walked, but they were both left stranded. With Mesa trailing 3-0 heading into the bottom of the eighth, Bryant smashed a two-run homer, his fifth of the fall, to score David Freitas (Athletics). He finished the day 1-for-3 with a walk.
Jorge Soler, RF – Batting fifth for Mesa, Soler walked in the bottom of the fourth inning. With the Solar Sox trailing by a run in the bottom of the ninth, the Cuba native led off with a single to left. Cubs farmhand Albert Almora came in to pinch run, but he was left stranded at first to end the game. Soler finished 1-for-3 with a walk.
Mesa heads to Salt River Tuesday to take on the Rafters. Matt Purke (Nationals) is scheduled to start, opposite Grayson Garvin (Rays). First pitch is scheduled for 8:35 CST.
Almora, Bryant and Soler were also selected to the AFL’s midseason Fall Stars Game, which will be played on Saturday.
Apparently, Cubs No. 3 prospect Jorge Soler didn’t like watching teammates Kris Bryant and Albert Almora have all the fun in the Arizona Fall League. After a few days of rest, Soler came back strong, racking up three hits to lead the Mesa Solar Sox to a 7-4 win over visiting Scottsdale Thursday afternoon. The Cubs arms also figured into the decision, as Dallas Beeler, Matt Loosen and Lendy Castillo combined for seven innings, surrendering three earned runs. Here are the highlights from yesterday’s action.
Jorge Soler – Soler began the fall season on a seven-game hitting streak, but was batting only .229 during that stretch. On Thursday, he broke out with a 3-for-4 day to raise his AFL average to .282. Soler put Mesa up early with a first inning single to left field off Scottsdale starter Phil Irwin (Pirates) that scored both Brian Goodwin (Nationals) and Devon Travis (Tigers). Soler singled again in the bottom of the third and eventually scored on an Addison Russell (A’s) sac fly. The Cuban prospect singled to left field for the third time in the fourth inning, but was left stranded. He finished the day 3-for-4 with two RBI and one run.
Dallas Beeler – Beeler got off to a rocky start, surrendering two runs to the first two batters he faced on a Mason Williams (Yankees) single and a homer by Alen Hanson (Pirates). But that’s all Beeler would give up in four innings of work Thursday. His final line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K.
Matt Loosen – Loosen followed Beeler with two strong innings. He picked up three strikeouts, but gave up a sixth inning home run to Tommy La Stella (Braves). His line: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K.
Lendy Castillo – Former Cubs major leaguer and Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo continued to impress in the AFL Thursday with one scoreless inning. He also continued to struggle with control, giving up two walks and throwing 19 pitches. His line: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K.
Mesa is back in action Friday against Peoria at Surprise Stadium. Michael Roth (Angels) will take the mound for the Solar Sox opposite Kyle Hunter (Mariners). First pitch is scheduled for 2:35 CST.
Both Kris Bryant and Wes Darvill got starts Wednesday night, while Albert Almora came in as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning for Mesa. Bryant and Darvill each recorded hits, but it wasn’t enough, as the Solar Sox fell to Scottsdale 2-1 in 10 innings. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action.
Kris Bryant, DH – Batting third for Mesa, Bryant got off to a fast start, ripping a one-out double to left that advanced Taylor Lindsey (Angels) to third in the top of the first inning. Both runners were left stranded. That was Bryant’s only hit of the day. He finished 1-for-5.
Wes Darvill, RF – Darvill opened up the scoring in the top of the sixth, driving in Steven Souza Jr. (Nationals) from third. Almora was brought in as a defensive replacement for Darvill in the bottom of the ninth. Darvill finished 1-for-4.
Cubs prospect Dallas Beeler is scheduled to make his third start of the fall on Thursday. The right-hander will go up against Scottsdale’s Phil Irwin (Pirates). Beeler is 1-0 with a 6.00 ERA over six AFL innings. Jorge Soler is expected to bat sixth and play right field for the Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 2:35 CST.
(Photo by Aldrin Capulong/Daytona Cubs)
Though the minor league season finished more than a month ago, the Cubs organization keeps picking up accolades. Daytona Cub C.J. Edwards is the most recent farmhand to receive praise, as he was named Starting Pitcher of the Year by MiLB.com Wednesday.
Edwards started the 2013 campaign as a relative unknown, though that changed quickly. The 22-year-old former 48th-round pick was 8-2 with a 1.83 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 93.1 innings for Texas’ Class-A Hickory Crawdads of the Sally League.
On July 22, “String Bean,”—a nickname given for his 6-foot-2, 155-pound frame—was sent along with Justin Grimm, Mike Olt eventually Neil Ramirez to the Cubs in exchange for Matt Garza. And the right-hander did not disappoint when he got to High-A Daytona, a club in the midst of a title race.
“The transition [to the Cubs] is going great,” Edwards told Vine Line prior to the postseason. “I had one goal with my last team, and that was to have a playoff run. Once I got traded, I found the same mentality here. I’m here to help them.”
In six starts for the D-Cubs, Edwards recorded no decisions, but posted a 1.96 ERA over 23 innings, fanning 33 batters. His efforts were good enough to help lead Daytona to a Florida State League championship. On the season, he finished 8-2 with a 1.86 ERA, 12.0 K/9, a 1.01 WHIP and just one home run allowed over 116.1 innings.
Fellow farmhand and Cubs pitcher of the year Kyle Hendricks was also among the 12 finalists.
Cubs prospects drove in both runs in a 4-2 Solar Sox loss to Surprise Tuesday night. The defeat drops Mesa to 8-3-1 on the season. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action.
Albert Almora, CF – In Almora’s third at-bat, he reached on a fielding error, but after a pair of singles, the outfielder was left stranded on third. Almora put Mesa ahead in the seventh with a single, scoring Adrian Nieto (Nationals) from second. He finished the day 1-for-5 to drop his average to .379.
Kris Bryant, 3B – With runners on first and second in the top of the first inning, Bryant hit a line drive to center, scoring Brian Goodwin (Nationals) and giving the Sox an early lead. He singled again in the sixth inning to finish 2-for-4. Bryant leads the AFL in batting average (.438), home runs (4), RBI (13) and slugging percentage (.906).
Mesa heads out to Scottsdale Wednesday, where Matt Purke (Nationals) will take the mound for the Solar Sox opposite Hansel Robles (Mets). First pitch is scheduled for 2:35 CST.
Mesa got back to its winning ways, taking down Surprise 9-6 Monday afternoon. Cubs prospect Kris Bryant fared well at the bat, though Armando Rivero didn’t have the same level of success. Here are the highlights from yesterday’s action.
Kris Bryant, 3B – Batting fourth in the order and leading off the second inning, Bryant drew a four-pitch walk to head the frame. A single put him on second and a groundout moved Bryant to third before Devon Travis (Tigers) drove him in on a single to the left side of the infield. Again in the fifth, the 21-year-old drew a four-pitch walk. He got to second when Tyler Collins (Tigers) reached on an error and got to third on a walk before being driven in by Travis on a sacrifice fly. With one out in the sixth, Bryant recorded his third double of the season, this one to left field, moving Taylor Lindsey (Angels) from first to third. He finished 1-for-2 with two walks.
Armando Rivero, RHP – Rivero came into the game in the seventh and surrendered back-to-back singled to start off the inning. He got Joe Wendle (Indians) to strike out before inducing another walk to load the bases. A Garin Cecchini (Red Sox) single scored two and another single subsequently loaded the bases. But Rivero forced Henry Urrutia (Orioles) into an unassisted double play to end the inning. His final line read: IP, 4 H, 2 ER, BB, K.
Tommy Collier (Tigers) takes the ball for the Solar Sox Tuesday, as they take on southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez (Orioles, No. 84 prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com) and Surprise. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 CST.
As a team, Mesa struggled this weekend, falling 11-9 on Friday and 8-2 on Saturday. Despite not getting the best results, a few Cubs had some stellar games. Albert Almora and Kris Bryant are at or near the top of nearly every offensive category. Here are the highlights from this weekend’s action.
Friday, Oct. 18
Albert Almora, CF – In the bottom of the seventh inning, Mesa’s leadoff hitter ripped his fourth double of the fall, though Adrian Nieto (Nationals) was thrown out at home on the play. Almora went 1-for-6 Friday night.
Dallas Beeler, RHSP – Beeler had a rough second AFL start, going three innings and giving up three earned runs. His only strikeout was against Tyler Naquin (Indians), who led off the game. He faced four batters in the second inning, and got Garin Cecchini (Red Sox) to ground into a double play to end the frame. But Beeler just couldn’t stay out of trouble in the first and the third. His final line read: 3.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K. He owns a 6.00 ERA through two starts.
Kris Bryant, 3B – With men on first and second and one out in bottom of the third, Bryant ripped a ground-rule double to left-center field, scoring Taylor Lindsey (Angels). Jorge Soler drove him in two batters later. With Lindsey on second in his next at-bat, Bryant ripped a homer to left field. But the 2013 first-round pick wasn’t done there. In the fifth inning, he hit a solo shot to right-center field for his fourth homer of the fall. Bryant was 3-for-5.
Armando Rivero, RHP – Rivero came on in the ninth and gave up one earned run on two hits and a walk. He was credited for the loss.
Jorge Soler, RF – Soler singled in the bottom of the third to left field, scoring Bryant and moving Matt Skole (Nationals) to second. He singled again in the fourth, finishing the night 2-for-5.
Saturday, Oct. 19
Lendy Castillo, RHP – Castillo surrendered one hit in a scoreless sixth inning.
Wes Darvill, 3B – Darvill went hitless in four at-bats.
Matt Loosen RHP – Loosen fanned James Ramsey (Cardinals) and Mike Freeman (Diamondbacks), pitching a 1-2-3 fifth inning for Mesa.
Jorge Soler, RF – Soler recorded one of Mesa’s three hits in Saturday’s loss. He led off the seventh with a single, advanced to third on a throwing error and scored on a Jett Bandy (Angels) double. He was 1-for-4 at the plate.
Mesa hosts Surprise Monday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 1:35 CST. Sammy Solis (Nationals) takes the mound for the Sox, opposite Miguel Pena (Red Sox). Bryant is expected to hit fourth and play third base for Mesa.
The Mesa Solar Sox ran their record to 7-0 in the Arizona Fall League Thursday behind four scoreless innings from Nationals prospect Matt Purke. The only Cub to see action was outfielder Albert Almora, who continues to impress after an injury-plagued 2013 season with Kane County. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action.
Albert Almora, CF – Almora is hitting a cool .500 thus far in the prestigious fall league. The Cubs No. 2 prospect, according to MLB.com, led off the third inning with a single to left field but was caught stealing by catcher Austin Hedges (Padres) one batter later. Almora finished the day 1-for-4.
The Sox are on the road to face Surprise in a Friday afternoon tilt. Cubs prospect Dallas Beeler will take the mound for Mesa opposite Will Lamb (Rangers). Almora, Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler are all in the starting lineup.
The Cubs’ bats were relatively quiet, but the Solar Sox still racked up another victory Wednesday afternoon. Kris Bryant went hitless for the first time in the AFL (he did draw a walk), while reliever Lendy Castillo picked up the slack on the mound. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action.
Lendy Castillo, RHP – Entering the game with a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth, Castillo surrendered a leadoff double and then a bloop single to put runners on first and second with nobody out. That’s when the reliever went to work. He forced Aaron Altherr (Phillies) into a double-play and then struck out Jonathan Mayer (Astros) to end the game. Castillo recorded his first save of the fall. His final line read: IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 K.
Wes Darvill, 2B – Darvill hit ninth Wednesday and lead off the third inning with a single to right. He finished 1-for-4.
The Sox host Peoria Thursday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:35 CST. Matt Purke (Nationals) will take the ball for Mesa, opposite Johnny Barbato (Padres). Albert Almora is expected to lead off and play center field.