The Arizona Fall League got off to an early start this year as the season kicked off this past Wednesday. This is a new schedule for 2019. It means players don’t have to hang around Arizona for a month (without pay) before the games start. Good for the teams and good for the players. Not so good for us fans, who used to look forward to the AFL as something to give us our baseball fix after the World Series ended. I guess there’s always Liga Mexicana del Pacifico.
The Solar Sox are off to a 2-3 start. They lost their first three games and then they’ve won their last two. The Solar Sox scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth on Sunday to win that game.
Here are seven players the Cubs have sent to the Solar Sox and how they’re doing so far.
Miguel Amaya: One of the Cubs’ top prospects, Amaya caught the entire game on both Wednesday and Thursday. In the first game, Amaya went 2 for 3 with an RBI single and a two-run double. He also walked once. In the second game, Amaya was 0 for 2 with two walks. He did not play in the next three games.
Zack Short: The Cubs’ shortstop is playing on the Solar Sox as a replacement for Nico Hoerner, who is otherwise occupied. Short has gotten one start at second base and two at DH. He’s 1 for 9 with three walks and four strikeouts.
Jared Young: Young had a rough 2019 season (after a great 2018) and he’s off to a rough start in the AFL. He’s played two games at first base and he’s 0 for 7 with a walk.
No Cubs pitcher has thrown more than one game so far. In fact, only three pitchers on the Solar Sox staff have more than one game pitched already.
Scott Effross: Effross pitched the fourth inning in Saturday’s win. He gave up a one-out single, but faced the minimum thanks to a caught stealing. He did not have a strikeout.
Keegan Thompson: The other three Cubs pitchers all pitched in Friday’s loss, so I’ll take them in the order they pitched. Thompson was injured almost the entire 2019 season, but he looked pretty good on Friday. Thompson started and allowed no runs and just one baserunner over his three innings, a one-out walk in the third. Thompson struck out five.
Erich Uelmen: Uelmen relieved Thompson in the fourth inning on Friday and gave up the lead when he allowed a run in the fifth inning after a hit-by-pitch, a stolen base and a double. The final line on Uelmen was one run on one hit over two innings. He struck out one and did not walk anyone, although he did hit two batters.
Jordan Minch: Minch took over for Uelmen in the sixth inning on Friday and took the loss when he gave up a run on a home run in the seventh inning. Minch’s final line wasn’t too bad though as he allowed one run on one hit over two innings. Minch walked one batter and he struck out four.
In addition to these seven players, former Cubs farmhands Isaac Paredes and Alex Lange, now both with the Tigers, are on the Solar Sox. Paredes is 2 for 10 with a home run and Lange has pitched twice, giving up one run over 2.2 innings.