It’s Monday, which means it’s time to check in on the Boys of Fall playing with the Mesa Solar Sox.
As a quick reminder, the Mesa Solar Sox are the Cubs’ affiliate in the Arizona Fall League and they play their home games at Sloan Park, the Spring Training home of the Cubs. They share the team with prospects from the Athletics, Marlins, Rays and Yankees this year.
In case you missed the introduction or last week’s recap, you can read them at those links.
I’ll also let you know that they are streaming some of the AFL games for free this year on the official Arizona Fall League site. It seems to be kind of a surprise (no pun intended, Saguaros) as to which day and games will get the video treatment, but check in each day if you’re interested. Or follow their Twitter account.
The Solar Sox went 3-2-1 over the past week. They lost the first two games this week, won the next three and then tied the final game on Saturday. This gives the Solar Sox a record of 6-5-1, which puts them in third place in the league, one game behind the first-place Surprise Saguaros.
Here are this past week’s results. The home team is listed last.
Monday, October 10: Peoria Javelinas 11, Solar Sox 8.
Tuesday, October 11: Solar Sox 2, Surprise Saguaros 3.
Wednesday, October 12: Solar Sox 9, Javelinas 2.
Thursday, October 13: Glendale Desert Dogs 7, Solar Sox 9.
Friday, October 14: Solar Sox 9, Saguaros 2.
Saturday, October 15: Solar Sox 1, Desert Dogs 1.
Here is how the individual Cubs did this past week.
First baseman Matt Mervis
We are starting here because Mervis had a breakout week for Mesa in week 2. After going 2 for 12 with a home run in week one and 0 for 3 in Tuesday’s loss, Mervis had the game of the season on Thursday. Mervis went 3 for 4 with two home runs and a double in the Solar Sox 9-7 win over the Desert Dogs. Mervis followed it up on Friday with yet another home run, his fourth of the campaign.
For the week, Mervis went 4 for 12 with a double, three home runs and a walk over four games. His four home runs is tops in the AFL so far this season. In week two, Mervis had six RBI and scored three times. Overall in the AFL, Mervis is hitting .250/.296/.833 in seven games.
Here’s the first home run on Thursday.
A perfect bat flip for a perfect homer— MLB's Arizona Fall League (@MLBazFallLeague) October 14, 2022
Matt Mervis leaves the yard for the second time this season, putting the Solar Sox within one of the Desert Dogs! #AFL22@Cubs @NBCSCubs pic.twitter.com/d3xr4hVjFu
And the second one.
OH MY MATT MERVIS— MLB's Arizona Fall League (@MLBazFallLeague) October 14, 2022
Mervis smashes his second no-doubt homer and third extra-base hit of the night! @Cubs @NBCSCubs pic.twitter.com/kkyQChLmCD
And Friday’s blast.
THIS IS NOT A REPLAY— MLB's Arizona Fall League (@MLBazFallLeague) October 14, 2022
Matt Mervis has crushed three homers in less than 24-hours The @Cubs prospect is making a name for himself at the Arizona Fall League! #AFL22 @WatchMarquee @NBCSCubs pic.twitter.com/16UBObpJsj
Outfielder Brennen Davis
The news was not as good for Davis, who had one at-bat on Monday and then left the game before taking a second at-bat. There was no announcement why he was taken out and the Cubs said they expected him back in the lineup this past weekend, but he did not return as scheduled. Hopefully Davis will return this week. The Cubs have made no move to replace Davis on the roster.
Outfielder Owen Caissie
Caissie played three games this past week and went 2 for 9 with a walk. Caissie scored one run. He played two games in right and was the DH for one game. On the season, Caissie is hitting .182/.217/.273 in six games.
Infielder BJ Murray Jr.
Murray played two games this past week. He started at third base on Thursday and hit a two-run home run his first time at the plate. He was 1 for 3 with the home run and a walk on Thursday.
Murray came in as a sub at third base on Saturday as the entire Solar Sox starting lineup got subbed out after two plate appearances on Saturday. Murray struck out his only time at bat, but he scored the Solar Sox only run when he started the eighth inning as the automatic runner on second.
Murray is 1 for 7 with a home run and a walk in three games so far this fall campaign.
Left-handed pitcher Bailey Horn
Horn pitched twice in relief this past week. On Monday, he pitched two innings and faced the minimum. One runner reached on an error, but Horn erased him with a double play.
Horn struggled more in his second outing on Thursday, but he managed to get out of the jams with no runs scoring. Horn entered the game in the top of the first after five runs had already scored off of starter Alex Ayala Jr. He then gave up a leadoff walk and got out of that jam with a double play. With two outs, Horn loaded the bases with a single and two more walks, but again escaped the jam. Horn allowed another hit in the third inning and erased that baserunner with his third double play of the week.
For the week, Horn threw 4⅔ innings and allowed no runs on two hits and three walks. He struck out two. For the fall campaign, Horn has a 0.00 ERA over seven innings. He’s allowed three hits and walked five while striking out four.
Right-hander Zach Leigh
Leigh also had a good week. He threw a 1-2-3 bottom of the eight in Tuesday’s loss and pitched a scoreless sixth inning in Saturday’s tie and faced the minimum. He gave up a leadoff single and then got the next hitter to ground into a double play.
Leigh has now thrown 4⅔ innings over four appearances in the AFL. He sports a 1-0 record with a 3.86 ERA. Leigh has allowed four hits, he’s walked two and struck out four.
Left-hander Riley Martin
Martin also had two relief appearances this past week—one bad and one good. The bad one came on Monday when he gave up three runs over two innings, including one on a solo home run by Nationals prospect Drew Millas.
Martin pitched again on Friday, allowing no runs on one hit over 1⅓ innings. He struck out three batters in this game.
For the week, Martin gave up three runs, but only one earned, on four hits over 3⅓ innings. He struck out four and walked no one.
On the fall season, Martin is 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA over four appearances. He’s allowed seven hits and issued two walks over 5⅔ innings. Martin has struck out seven.
Right-hander Sheldon Reed
Reed also pitched two games in relief this past week and like Martin, the first one was bad and the second one was good. In Monday’s loss to Peoria, Reed had to enter the game in the top of the first inning when starter Holt Jones of the Marlins was rocked for four in just a third of an inning. Reed got out a of a runners-on-the-corners, one-out jam with no further runs scoring, but then he went on to pitch the second inning and Reed allowed two runs of his own.
But in Thursday’s win over Glendale, Reed pitched the final two innings, did not allow a run and got the save.
For the week, Reed pitched 3⅔ innings and allowed two runs on four hits. He walked one and stuck out two.
For the season, Reed is 0-0 with a 3.86 ERA and a save over three appearances. He’s thrown five innings and has allowed four total hits. Reed has walked one and struck out three.