The calendar says it’s Monday so that means we need to check in on the Boys of Fall with the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League.
Quick reminder: The Mesa Solar Sox are a team made up of minor leagues from the Cubs, Athletics, Marlins, Rays and Yankees. Their home games are played at the Cubs’ Spring Training home of Sloan Park.
The Solar Sox went 3-2 this past week as they had their first non-Sunday off-day on Tuesday. This put them into second place with a record of 11-10-2. They are just one game behind the first-place Surprise Saguaros. However, only three games separate first place from last place, so all six teams are still in the playoff chase.
The big news for Cubs fans wasn’t good news, as the Cubs said that they do not expect outfielder Brennen Davis to play the rest of the AFL season. Obviously this is bad news, especially since Davis had gotten off to a good start to the AFL season after missing most of the minor league season after back surgery. But while this is a setback, there’s no reason to think it is anything more than that at this time.
Here are this past week’s results. The home team is listed last.
Monday, October 24: Salt River Rafters 1, Solar Sox 3.
Wednesday, October 26: Solar Sox 4, Surprise Saguaros 5.
Thursday, October 27: Saguaros 3, Solar Sox 6.
Friday, October 28: Scottsdale Scorpions 3, Solar Sox 0.
Saturday, October 29: Solar Sox 10, Glendale Desert Dogs 3.
Here’s how the Cubs on the Solar Sox did this past week.
First Baseman Matt Mervis
Mervis hit a solo home run in his second at-bat of the week in Wednesday’s loss. It was his fifth home run of the fall season, which ties him with Orioles prospect Heston Kjerstad for the most in the AFL. Unfortunately, that was the only hit Mervis had all week. He played two games at first base and went 1 for 7. No strikeouts however.
On the season, Mervis is hitting .286/.340/.690 with nine runs scored and ten RBI over 12 games. He also has two doubles in addition to the five home runs.
Outfielder Owen Caissie
Caissie played in three games this week, one as a DH and two in right field. He had a good game on Monday, doubling in the tying run in a win over the Rafters in the fourth inning and then scoring the go-ahead run in the eighth. He was 2 for 3 in that game.
Overall for the week, Caissie went 2 for 11 with a double and a walk. He struck out five times, which isn’t good. For the fall, Caissie is hitting .238/.289/.405 with four doubles and a home run. He’s scored seven runs and driven home nine.
Infielder BJ Murray Jr.
Murray played one game again this week, going 0 for 2 as the third baseman on Friday. Murray’s line for the season is 2 for 13 (.154) with a home run and a walk over five games.
Left-hander Bailey Horn
Horn only pitched in one game this past week, Friday’s 3-0 loss to Scottsdale. However, he entered the game in the top of the seventh with the bases loaded and only one out and he kept any of the inherited runners from scoring. The two batters he faced popped out and struck out.
Horn has yet to allow a run over 10.2 innings in the AFL. He 0-0 with one save. He’s allowed four hits. Horn has struck out seven and walked six batters.
Right-hander Zac Leigh
Leigh also pitched in just one game this week, but he got the save in Monday’s win over Salt River. Leigh was called on to pitch the top of the ninth inning and protect a 3-1 lead. He walked a batter with two outs, but that was the only baserunner he allowed. He did not strike anyone out.
For the AFL season, Leigh is 1-0 with one save and an ERA of 4.91. He’s pitched 7.1 innings over six appearances and has allowed seven hits. He struck out six and walked four.
Left-hander Riley Martin
Martin, like every Cubs’ pitcher on the Solar Sox, pitched once this past week. Martin got a hold after throwing a perfect eighth inning in Thursday win over Surprise. He did not strike anyone out.
Martin has tossed 8.2 innings over six appearances and has a record of 0-1 with a 3.12 ERA. He’s allowed eight hits and has walked three. Martin has struck out 11.
Right-hander Sheldon Reed
Reed was the only Cubs pitcher to not have a good outing this past week. But since his outing was in Saturday’s 10-3 blowout win over Glendale, it didn’t end up making much difference.
Reed walked the first batter he faced, who promptly went to third base on a stolen base and a balk. He then walked the second batter, who then stole second base. But Reed struck out the next two batters and it looked like he was about to get out of the jam, but then he balked for a second time in the inning to force in a run. Reed then ended the inning with a fly out to right field.
Reed has pitched 8.1 innings over six appearances. He’s 0-0 with a 4.32 ERA and one save. Reed has allowed eight hits and has issued six walks. He’s struck out 10 batters.