You may not have noticed because the Cubs major league team has been a little more dramatic at the moment, but the Arizona Fall League has been underway in Mesa since Tuesday.
The Mesa Solar Sox are 1-2 in their first two games, but the big news is who is and isn’t here. Oscar de la Cruz, who was named earlier to the squad, was pulled because of a pectoral injury. The Cubs insist that the injury is minor and that they are just being cautious, but we’ve heard this song before. No pitcher in the Cubs system has as much upside as de la Cruz, but he is hurt so often that it is hard to envision him being a mainstay in a major league rotation at the moment. De la Cruz only threw 56 innings this season and he’s never thrown more than 73 innings in a season.
But the good news is that de la Cruz was replaced on the Cubs roster by Adbert Alzolay, whose major league future looks brighter every day.
Here’s an update on how each Cubs prospect has done in the first three games:
Adbert Alzolay: Alzolay came on in relief in the Solar Sox first game on Tuesday and pitched two perfect innings, striking out four.
Pedro Araujo: Araujo relieved Alzolay in that game on Tuesday and pitched one inning, giving up one run on a home run to Mets prospect Tomas Nido. Araujo also gave up another single later in that inning. He struck out two and walked no one.
Alec Mills: Tuesday was Cubs pitching day, apparently, Mills started that game and got hammered for four runs over three innings, taking the loss. Mills gave up six hits, including a three-run home run. He walked one and struck out three.
Jake Stinnett: Stinnett is here in Arizona after pitching only 22.2 innings this season because of injuries. He pitched two innings of relief in yesterday’s game and was touched for two runs on four hits over just two innings. It could have been worse, but a runner was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first on a single. (Don’t ask me how — I wasn’t at the game. That’s what the record shows.) Stinnett walked one and struck out two.
David Bote: Bote has played in two games so far and hit a three-run home run off of Angels minor leaguer Adam Hofacket in Mesa’s only win on Wednesday. Overall, Bote is 5 for 8 with a walk. He’s tied for the team lead in RBI with four and has scored twice.
Ian Rice: Rice was the DH in Wednesday’s win and was 1 for 3 with a walk and one RBI. That’s the only game he has played so far.
Jason Vosler: Vosler is off to a rough start in the AFL. He’s played in two games and has gone 0 for 8 with a walk. At least he had one RBI on a fielder’s choice and he scored one run in Wednesday’s win.