The Arizona Fall League ended on Saturday with the Salt River Rafters beating the Surprise Saguaros 5-1 in the Championship Game.
The Mesa Solar Sox, the AFL team that the Cubs share with the Angels, Athletics, Indians and Tigers, finished the campaign with a 15-13-1 record, two games behind Salt River in their division. But they certainly finished the season strong. Mesa played four games over the final week and did not allow a run in any of them, a streak of 34 innings. (The final game of the year was a scheduled seven-inning contest.) You’d think they’d have a perfect record since they didn’t allow a single run, but they tied Salt River 0-0 on Thursday, giving the Solar Sox a 3-0-1 record for the week.
As you might expect, the Cubs pitchers on the Solar Sox had a great week.
Moving the AFL season up so that it ended before the World Series is great for the players, who are now free to join up with a winter league team in the Caribbean or just look for seasonal work to pay the bills until next season. For us fans, it was really pretty awful as it was hard to pay attention to the AFL while the playoffs were going on.
Here’s the final update on the seven Cubs players on the Solar Sox.
Miguel Amaya: Amaya struggled down the stretch in the AFL, which could just be the result of a long season. Amaya played two games this past week. He doubled and scored in the ninth inning of Monday’s 4-0 win over Surprise. That double snapped an 0 for 11 slump for Amaya. He was 1 for 4 in Monday’s game and 0 for 4 in Thursday’s scoreless tie with Salt River.
Amaya played 13 games in the AFL this year and went .224/.291/.286 with five runs and seven RBI.
Zack Short: Short, on the other hand, finished the AFL strong after struggling at the beginning of the campaign. Short played shortstop in the first three games before sitting in the final game of the year. Short went 4 for 10 with a double and a walk in those three games.
Short played 22 games in the AFL and posted a batting line of .234/.359/.325 with a home run and three steals. Short scored nine runs and drove in four runs.
Jared Young: Young played the final two games of the week. He was 1 for 3 with a double and a walk in the scoreless tie with Salt River and was 0 for 2 in the 3-0 win over Scottsdale in the final game of the season.
Young played 14 games in the AFL and went .196/.315/.304 with one home run. Young scored four runs and had four runs batted in.
Scott Effross: Effross relieved fellow Cub farmhand Keegan Thompson to start the fifth inning of the scoreless tie with Salt River. Effross retired all six batters he faced, striking out one.
For the season, Effross threw 10 innings over eight relief appearances. He allowed two runs on 12 hits for a 1.80 ERA. Effross struck out nine and walked just one.
Jordan Minch: Minch had one relief appearance over the final week, pitching two scoreless innings in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Surprise. Minch retired the side in order in the fifth inning. In the sixth, he gave up a leadoff triple to Luis Garcia. The next batter hit a fly ball that turned into a double play when Garcia tried to score from third and was thrown out at the plate. Minch then gave up a two-out infield single before getting a strikeout to end the inning.
Like Effross, Minch threw 10 innings in eight relief appearances and he gave up two runs for a 1.80 ERA. The lefthanded Minch allowed just eight hits over the AFL season. He struck out 14 and walked just one.
Keegan Thompson: Thompson started pitched the first four innings of the scoreless tie on Thursday. He gave up two hits. He struck out four and did not walk anyone.
Thompson did not allow a run over nine innings in his final two starts.
Thompson made seven starts and threw 25⅓ innings. He allowed 13 runs on 20 hits for a 4.62 ERA. He struck out 26 and walked 6.
Erich Uelmen: Uelmen finished his season with two scoreless innings of relief in last Monday’s 4-0 win over Surprise. In the sixth inning, he issued a two-out walk. In the seventh, he walked a batter with one out and then ended the inning with a double play. He did not have a strikeout in either inning.
Uelmen gave up just one run over 12 innings in seven relief appearances. He gave up just five hits and three walks while striking out nine. He also hit two batters.