Results tagged ‘ Tony Zych ’

Tony Zych earns win in AFL Rising Stars Game

It was more a case of being at the right place at the right time, but Cubs farmhand Tony Zych earned the win in Saturday afternoon’s Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game, as the East team scored a 9-4 victory over the West.

Zych entered the game with one out and a man on first in the fifth inning. Reds speedster Billy Hamilton singled on a bunt and advanced to third on a throwing error by first baseman Jonathan Singleton (Astros). Pinch-runner Nick Ahmed (Braves) scored from first on the error. Former Cubs prospect Hak-Ju Lee (Rays) singled up the middle, scoring Hamilton and giving the West a 4-3 lead. Padres prospect Rymer Liriano doubled on a soft fly ball to right, putting runners on second and third. After that, Zych settled down, striking out Hunter Morris (Brewers) and getting Nick Franklin (Mariners) to pop out to shortstop.

But luck was on Zych’s side because in the bottom half of the fifth, the East offense scored six, putting the game away. Zych was the only Cubs prospect to play in the game. Javier Baez also earned an invite, but a thumb injury effectively ended his AFL season.

On Friday the Solar Sox lost 7-5 at the hands of Peoria.

Outfielder Matt Szczur went 0-for-4 with a walk and drove in a run on a fielder’s choice in the second inning. He also stole his seventh base of the season in the second inning. Kevin Rhoderick saw three batters, getting the first two to fly out to the outfield. The third batter, Cody Asche (Phillies), doubled and Rhoderick was removed. Asche would score later score on a Rymer Liriano single.

Mesa hosts Scottsdale Monday night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 local time. Dae-Eun Rhee is scheduled to pitch for the Solar Sox.

How the Cubs have fared:

Szczur’s big day not enough for Mesa

Despite Matt Szczur’s offensive display, a four-run sixth inning was the difference as Peoria pulled away from Mesa, handing the Solar Sox a 7-3 loss Thursday afternoon. On the plus side, the Cubs center field prospect had his most productive day at the dish this fall.

In the bottom of the third inning, Szczur hit his first home run of the AFL season on a line drive to left field off Reds righty Tim Crabbe. In the bottom of the fifth, with runners on first and third, he ripped a line drive into center field to score Astros prospect Bobby Borchering. He recorded another single in the seventh, finishing the day 3-for-5 with a homer, two RBI and a run scored.

Cubs righty Tony Zych got the ball in the ninth, surrendering one run on two hits and a walk.

Mesa heads to Peoria on Friday, with first pitch scheduled for 12:35 local time.

Injury Report: Jed Hoyer told ESPN yesterday that top prospect Javier Baez will officially be out for the rest of the fall with a nondisplaced fracture at the tip of his left thumb.

How the Cubs have fared:

Solar Sox capture win vs. Phoenix

Mesa held off Phoenix for a 7-5 win Wednesday, though it was a quiet day for Cubs’ bats.

With Javier Baez likely out for the fall and Matt Szczur taking the last few days off, Rubi Silva was the lone Cub hitter in the order. He finished the day 0-for-4, drawing a walk in the ninth inning.

Tony Zych earned his first save of the fall, surrendering an earned run on two hits in the ninth. He struck out the final batter of the game. That earned run was just the second for Zych in eight appearances in the hitter-friendly league.

Kevin Rhoderick entered the game as a reliever in the fifth inning. The righty saw three hitters, striking out two and getting the third to pop out to second.

Mesa hosts Salt River on Wednesday, with first pitch scheduled for 12:35 local time.

How the Cubs have fared:

Mesa splits weekend matchups

Mesa finally snapped its long losing streak Friday, taking down Scottsdale 8-4 in comeback fashion, but lost again Saturday to bring their record to 4-12.

Trailing 4-1 on Friday, Mesa scored seven runs after the fifth inning and cruised to the win.

Javier Baez started the comeback in the sixth with a two-run single, scoring Aaron Westlake and Jonathan Schoop. With the next batter—Cubs utilityman Rubi Silva—at the plate, Gorman Erickson stole home while Baez swiped second. Silva would later walk. Baez was 1-for-5. Silva finished 1-for-3 with a single and the aforementioned walk.

Matt Szczur entered the game in the bottom of the seventh and popped out to the shortstop in the eighth in his only at-bat of the day.

Cubs pitchers held down the fort late in the game. Kevin Rhoderick pitched a scoreless eighth, striking out two, and Tony Zych allowed one hit and no runs in the ninth.

Though the Solar Sox dropped their Saturday game to Salt River 12-6—and were down 4-0 before they even got an at-bat—there were a few impressive Cubs performances.

In the bottom of the third, Matt Szczur ripped a triple to right. He was driven in two batters later on a Nick Castellanos sacrifice fly. In his next at-bat in the fifth, Szczur singled to right. Bobby Borchering hit a homer to score the pair a batter later. Szczur walked in the eighth but was caught stealing second to end the inning.

Baez was 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts before being replaced in the sixth inning by Silva, who went 0-for-3.

Nick Struck pitched the sixth inning for Mesa, allowing one run on one hit and two walks.

Mesa heads to Surprise Monday with first pitch scheduled for 12:35 local time. Cubs prospect Dae-Eun Rhee will start for the Solar Sox.

How the Cubs have fared:

Solar Sox earn 7-7 tie with Phoenix

Mesa had a 6-2 lead over Phoenix heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, but Marlins prospect Kyle Jensen ripped a 450-foot grand slam to center to tie the game. Each team tacked on one additional run, but the game was called a 7-7 tie after 11 innings.

For his second straight outing, Dae-Eun Rhee cruised through his first three innings before surrendering runs in the fourth. This time he gave up a pair—one on an RBI ground out and another on an inherited sacrifice fly after he left the game. He went 3.2 innings, giving up six hits and two earned runs. Of his 58 pitches, 43 were strikes.

Javier Baez drove in his 13th run of the fall on a single up the middle in the fifth. In the seventh, he reached on an error and scored two batters later on a Joc Pederson single. He finished the day 1-for-5 and committed two errors at third, bringing his total to nine.

Tony Zych pitched 1.2 scoreless innings of relief and surrendered three hits.

The Solar Sox host Scottsdale on Wednesday, with first pitch scheduled for 12:35 local time.

How the Cubs have fared:

Early deficits too much for Solar Sox to overcome

Mesa’s struggles continued this weekend, though it wasn’t for a lack of offense. On Friday the Solar Sox were on the losing end of a 10-6 decision to Phoenix and followed that up Saturday with a 16-10 loss to Surprise.

In Friday’s contest, Rubi Silva entered the game in the sixth, and tripled to center in the eighth, scoring Gorman Erickson from second. He was ejected from the game in the ninth inning.

Matt Szczur went 0-for-5 while Baez was 0-for-4.

Nick Struck pitched 2/3 an inning, surrendering three earned runs on two hits and three walks. Kevin Rhoderick pitched a scoreless eighth inning, allowing one hit.

The Mesa bats came alive on Saturday, and despite Baez’s big day offensively, it wasn’t enough. Baez would reach on an error in the third and later score on a Rafael Ynoa single. In the top of the eighth, he hit his third home run of the season, a three-run shot to center field, scoring L.J. Hoes and Jonathan Singleton. Baez did commit two errors defensively however.

Szczur was solid at the plate Saturday also. He forced a bases-loaded walk in the second inning, and would later score on a Hoes ground out. He also drew another walk in the third. In the fifth he scored Jiovanni Mier on a single up the middle.

Tony Zych surrendered his first earned run of the season in the ninth, but also struck out a batter.

Mesa will take on Salt River Monday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 local time.

How the Cubs have fared:

Offensive woes continue for Solar Sox

Mesa’s offensive struggles continued Tuesday night, as the team fell 5-2 to Scottsdale on the road. Matt Szczur led off the game with a single but was caught stealing. He drew a walk in the top of the ninth and scored four batters later. He finished 1-for-3 on the night.

Dae-Eun Rhee made his second start of the fall and surrendered just two hits through the first three innings. But his solid outing was spoiled by a tough fourth. He opened up the frame allowing back-to-back singles. The base runners advanced on a balk. Angels first-rounder Caleb Cowart drove in a run on a sacrifice fly, and Giants prospect Ricky Oropesa followed with a two-run homer. Rhee struck out four batters but was charged with three earned runs.

Tony Zych pitched another scoreless ninth inning, surrendering one hit.

Mesa hosts Scottsdale Thursday, with first pitch scheduled for 12:35 local time.

How the Cubs have fared:

Solar Sox pick up first AFL win

Tigers prospect Nick Castellanos hit a homer in the top of the ninth to give Mesa its first win of the Fall League season, a 6-5 decision over the Surprise Saguaros. But there were plenty of Cubs farmhands who chipped in on the victory.

Matt Szczur led off for the Solar Sox for the third straight game. He walked in the top of the first, advanced to second on an errant pickoff attempt, got to third on a ground ball to the first baseman and scored on a wild pitch. Szczur singled in his next at-bat and drove in a run on a groundout in his third plate appearance.

Top prospect Javier Baez bounced back from a shaky game on Tuesday with a pair of hits, including an RBI double in the fourth.

Reliever Tony Zych (1-0) earned the win, pitching a scoreless eighth inning and striking out one. Righty Dae-Eun Rhee didn’t have one of his better starts, giving up two runs on six hits in two innings pitched. But he did fan two batters.

Mesa hosts Surprise Friday, with first pitch scheduled for 12:35 local time.

On the season:

For stats on the entire Mesa squad, check out’s Arizona Fall League page.

Cubs kick off Arizona Fall League with a bang

Javier Baez went 2-for-4 with 3 RBI in his Arizona Fall League debut. (Photo by Rodger Wood)

Things couldn’t have started much better for the Cubs top prospects in the Arizona Fall League yesterday. Though the Solar Sox dropped the 6-5 opener to the Salt River Rafters Tuesday night, much of Mesa’s offense came from Cubs representatives.

Nobody had a better outing than shortstop Javier Baez, who got things going in the top of the second inning with a home run to center to make the game 1-0. Later in the game, Baez ripped a double into left, scoring two.

Leadoff man Matt Szczur was 0-for-2, but drew a pair of walks and dropped down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner to second in his second at-bat. Pinch-hitter Rubi Silva led off the eighth inning with a single that got by the shortstop. Three batters later he would score to give the Solar Sox the 5-4 lead.

Even in limited action, Cubs pitchers fared well. Right-handed reliever Kevin Rhoderick gave up one hit and struck out three in 1.2 innings while righty fireballer Tony Zych struck out the only batter he faced in the ninth.

The Solar Sox have their home opener Wednesday at 12:35 local time. Again they’ll face Salt River, a team comprised of prospects from the Diamondbacks, White Sox, Rockies, Blue Jays and Nationals.

Solar Sox Notes: According to, Dodgers prospect Yasiel Puig will sit out the Solar Sox season with a staph infection in his right arm. He is rated the organization’s No. 2 prospect.

Prepping for the Arizona Fall League

The month-long Arizona Fall League kicks off tomorrow night, pitting some of minor league baseball’s top young talent against each other through Nov. 15. Seven members of the Cubs organization will take part in the league with the Mesa Solar Sox. When the teams were announced in late August, Vine Line broke down the Cubs representatives. The Solar Sox will also include prospects from the Astros, Dodgers, Orioles and Tigers. Below is a list of the pitchers and position players, as well as how they fared during the 2012 season.

Pitchers: Astros prospect Jarred Cosart is the most highly touted arm on Mesa’s staff. Ranked the 76th-best prospect in baseball by, the 38th-round draft pick has a fastball that can reach the high-90s with a solid curve and the beginnings of a great change-up. Fellow Houston farmhand Nick Tropeano had a solid 2012, posting a 3.02 ERA over 158 innings. The righty features a plus change-up, complemented by a nice fastball and slider. Orioles lefty Mike Belfiore made the transition to the bullpen in 2011, maximizing his strong fastball/change-up combination. The lone arm to see the majors this year was Tigers righty Luke Putkonen, who is from the Chicago suburb of Winfield. The 6-6, 210-pounder pitched in 12 games out of the Detroit bullpen, striking out 10 in 16 innings and posting a 3.94 ERA.

Catchers: Tigers farmhand James McCann headlines the trio of catchers playing for Mesa. A solid leader, McCann recorded 22 doubles this season and has a decent arm. He also recorded five stolen bases, which is nothing to scoff at for a catcher.

Infielders: The strength of the Solar Sox comes from the infield corps, which includes top Cubs prospect Javier Baez. It will be interesting to see where Tigers prospect Nick Castellanos sees time. With Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera locked in at third for the Tigers, the top third base prospect in baseball saw a lot of time in the outfield this season. Astros first baseman John Singleton is a smooth-swinging lefty who hits for average and power, as evidenced by his 21 homers and 27 doubles in 2012. Singleton, seen as baseball’s top first base prospect, also has a solid glove.

Outfielders: There will be a lot of eyes on Dodgers prospect Yasiel Puig this fall. In June, the Dodgers front office paid $42 million over seven years for the 21-year-old Cuban defector. Known for his raw power, Puig often draws comparisons to Cubs prospect Jorge Soler. Free-swinging Astros prospect George Springer still managed to hit .302 and draw 62 walks in 2012, while hitting 24 home runs and driving in 87. The five-tool prospect also stole 32 bases.