The Arizona Fall League started last Monday and we’ve got a week of games to look back at. We will have regular updates on Mondays throughout the AFL season.
As a reminder, the Arizona Fall League is a league where minor league ballplayers can get more experience at a tougher level of competition. The AFL was designed for minor leaguers who have competed at the Double-A level or above, although there are exceptions to that rule.
There are six teams in the AFL and each team consists of players from five different teams. One of the things that players say that they like the best about the AFL is getting the chance to work with coaches and make friends with players from different organizations.
The Cubs, like they do every year, send their players to the Mesa Solar Sox, who play their home games at Sloan Park, the Cubs’ Spring Training home. The Athletics, who also train in Mesa, are also always members of the Solar Sox. This year, the other three teams sending players to the Solar Sox are the Astros, Orioles and Yankees.
The Solar Sox went 3-3 over the first week of the season. Unsurprisingly, that puts them in a tie for third place with Surprise. Their games were:
October 2: Lost to the Surprise Saguaros, 13-8.
October 3: Beat the Salt River Rafters, 8-1.
October 4: Lost to the Peoria Javelinas, 11-5.
October 5: Lost to the Javelinas, 10-5.
October 6: Beat the Rafters, 6-1.
October 7: Beat the Scottsdale Scorpions, 1-0.
Here’s how the Cubs players for Mesa did this week.
Alcántara played in four of the six Solar Sox games this week and played two games in right field and one each in center and left. Alcántara went 4 for 19 with a home run. He walked twice and struck out seven times. That works out to .211/.286/.369. He also stole two bases, drove in three runs and scored twice.
Three of Alcántara’s hits [VIDEO], including the home run, were in Wednesday’s 11-5 loss to Peoria. The home run went a long way.
Franklin was a last-minute substitution for Alexander Canario, who got in some extra at-bats in the majors at the end of the season. Canario will instead play in winter ball in his native Dominican Republic.
Franklin played in three games, once in right field and twice in center. He was 3 for 11 with a double, no walks and four strikeouts. That’s .273/.273/.368 for those of you who don’t want to do the math. Franklin scored twice and drove in one run.
Triantos got off to a torrid start to the AFL campaign. Triantos played in four games. He started two at second base, one at third and came in as a pinch-runner and stayed in at second base in one more game.
Triantos was 6 for 12 with a double, four walks and just one strikeout. That gives him a triple-slash line of .500/.647/.583. Triantos went 1 for 2 stealing bases. He drove in three runs and scored twice.
Here are Triantos’ two hits on Saturday, including a ground-rule double. [VIDEO]
Hull was the only Cubs pitcher to get a start this week and it did not go well. Hull started and got the loss in Wednesday’s 11-5 loss to Peoria. Hull was rocked for five runs on three hits, a walk and a hit batsman over four innings. One of those three hits was a two-run home run to the Padres’ Graham Pauley, their 19th-ranked prospect according to Baseball America.
Hull struck out just one batter.
Kachmar pitched the final two innings in Thursday’s 10-5 loss to Peoria. Kachmar allowed a solo home run in the eighth inning to the Padres’ Jakob Marsee, their 15th-ranked prospect. Otherwise, he retired the other six batters he faced, striking out one.
Laskey pitched the top of the ninth in Wednesday’s 11-5 loss to Peoria. The game was already a blowout, but Laskey gave up a leadoff double to former 1st-round pick Jacob Berry. But he then settled down and retired the next three batters in order, stranding Berry on third. He struck out two.
Romero relieved Hull in Wednesday’s game and pitched the first inning. Romero allowed a run on a hit and two walks over one inning. Romero struck out one.
Wednesday appears to be the day that the Cubs’ staff works because Santana relieved Romero in that blowout loss. But he probably wished he hadn’t (or that he pitched better) because Santana got knocked around for five runs, four earned, on five hits over 2.1 innings. Santana walked two batters and hit one more. Most of the damage was done on a three-run home run by Mariners’ number-one prospect Harry Ford. Santana also hit one batter.