It’s Monday and that means we check in on the Cubs’ Boys of Fall playing for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League.
In case you’ve forgotten, the Mesa Solar Sox is a team of minor leaguers from the Cubs, Athletics, Rays, Marlins and Yankees. They play their home games at Sloan Park, the Spring Training home of the Cubs.
The Solar Sox went 2-3-1 over the past week. That puts them at 8-8 with two ties. They are tied for third place in the league with the Glendale Desert Dogs, 2½ games behind the first place Surprise Saguaros. But they are also only a half a game behind the second-place Scottsdale Scorpions.
Here are this past week’s results. The home team is listed last.
Monday, October 17: Desert Dogs 6, Solar Sox 3.
Tuesday, October 18: Solar Sox 6, Desert Dogs 3.
Wednesday, October 19: Solar Sox 8, Scorpions 8.
Thursday, October 20: Solar Sox 6, Salt River Rafters 10.
Friday, October 21: Peoria Javelinas 4, Solar Sox 0.
Saturday, October 22: Saguaros 9, Solar Sox 12.
Here is how the individual Cubs did this past week.
First baseman Matt Mervis
“Mash” Mervis is known for his power and is still tied for the AFL lead in home runs with four. But this week he was more of an on-base machine with speed and he left his power at home.
Mervis played in three games this past week, starting at first base on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. He went 5 for 11 with a walk and he was hit by a pitch. All five of his hits were singles. Mervis scored three runs and had one run batted in. He also stole a base on Tuesday, his first of the campaign.
This week raised Mervis’ batting average in the AFL to .314 with a .375 on-base percentage. He has two doubles, four homers and a .714 slugging percentage.
Outfielder Owen Caissie
Caissie struggled over the first two weeks of the AFL, as to be expected with someone who had never played above High-A. But he seemed to find a groove this past week and he even hit his first home run of the season in Saturday’s win.
Caissie had an especially good game on Saturday, going 2 for 4 with a two-run double and a two-run home run. He even stole a base and scored twice.
Overall for the week, Caissie went 4 for 11 with a walk, the double and the home run. He had six RBI and he scored three times. He also stole a base on Tuesday, so he had two steals this past week. This raised Caissie’s batting average up to .242 with an OBP of .282 and a slugging percentage of .424.
Infielder BJ Murray Jr.
Murray played in just one game this past week. In Tuesday’s win over Glendale, he played third base and went 1 for 4.
In four games this year, Murray is hitting .182/.250/.455 with one home run.
Outfielder Brennen Davis
Davis has now missed two weeks’ worth of games with “general soreness.” That’s all the Cubs are telling us. He was supposed to play this week but we got the whole “abundance of caution” spiel again. Let’s hope that all it turns out to be and that Davis plays this upcoming week.
Left-hander Bailey Horn
Bailey Horn continues to impress in the AFL and he’s yet to give up a run over six appearances and ten innings. This past week, Horn made another two appearances. In the first one on Tuesday, he pitched the final two innings of Mesa’s 6-3 win over Glendale and got his first save. He allowed one hit, a single, but he walked no one in struck out two.
Horn pitched the fifth inning of the Solar Sox 12-9 win over Surprise on Saturday. He issued a two-out walk, but retired the other three batters he faced. He did not record a strikeout.
Horn has a 0.00 ERA and one save. In those ten innings, he has allowed just four hits. One downside is that he’s walked six batters to match his six strikeouts.
Right-hander Zac Leigh
Leigh only had one appearance this past week and it didn’t go that well. He gave up two runs on three hits and a walk over 1⅔ innings in Wednesday’s tie with Scottsdale. He did strike out two.
So far in the AFL, Leigh has thrown 6⅓ innings over five appearances. Leigh is 1-0 with a 5.68 ERA and no saves. He’s given up seven hits, walked three and struck out six.
Left-hander Riley Martin
Martin also only pitched in Wednesday’s tie, but his appearance went better than Leigh’s. Martin threw two scoreless innings and allowed just one single. He struck out four and walked one.
Martin has appeared in five games in the AFL, totaling 7⅔ innings. He has a record of 0-1 with no saves and a 3.52 ERA. Martin has given up eight hits and three unearned runs. Martin has 11 strikeouts and three walks.
Right-hander Sheldon Reed
Reed pitched in two games this week. The first one went well in the end and the second one was a bit shakier. On Tuesday, Reed pitched the fourth inning of Tuesday’s win over Glendale and he loaded the bases with two singles and a two-out walk, but he got a ground out to end that threat with no runs scoring.
Reed entered Saturday’s game in the third inning with runners on first and third, two outs and the Solar Sox trailing 6-4. The first batter Reed faced, Johan Rojas, lined a 3-2 pitch to right for a two-run double. Reed stayed in the game to pitch the fourth inning and allowed a run of his own.
Reed’s final line on Saturday’s game (which the Solar Sox came back to win) was one run on two hits over 1⅔ innings. He walked two and struck out three.
Overall for the year, Reed has pitched in five games and has posted a 3.68 ERA and one save in 7⅓ innings. Reed has given up eight hits. He walked four and struck out eight.