Good morning, and welcome to Cubs Den's comprehensive coverage of off-season baseball. Three leagues, the Arizona Fall League, the Dominican Winter League, and Venezuelan Winter League, all began play this week.
Note: Coverage runs from Sunday through Saturday.
Arizona Fall League
Mesa Solar Sox
Opening night on Tuesday saw the Solar Sox rally from a two-run deficit to defeat Scottsdale 4-3. Nico Hoerner was the starting shortstop and went 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts in his first game in nearly three months. Mesa 4 - Scottsdale 3
It was turnabout on Wednesday as Scottsdale took it to Mesa 10-3. The Solar Sox starting catcher was Jhonny Pereda, who was 1-for-4 on the night. Bailey Clark came on with one out in the 8th inning and struck out two with a walk in 1.2 scoreless innings. Scottsdale 10 - Mesa 3
Mesa almost let one slip away on Thursday as they scored in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game and went 10 innings to beat Peoria 10-9. Justin Steele started for the Solar Sox and gave up 4 earned runs on 5 hits and 2 walks in 1.2 innings. Manuel Rondon was part of the salvaging effort, entering to start the 4th and tossing 2 shut-out innings. Third baseman Trent Giambrone had a big night, going 4-for-6 with an RBI and 2 runs scored. DJ Wilson led off for Mesa and was 1-for-6 with a run scored, while catcher PJ Higgins drew 2 walks as he went 0-for-3 with an RBI. Shortstop Nico Hoerner continued to struggle, going 0-for-5 with a strikeout, but driving in a run. Mesa 10 - Peoria 9 (10 innings)
The Solar Sox flexed their muscles on Friday, pounding out 12 hits as they blanked Peoria 8-0. The only Cubs prospect not to play yet, Mesa may have saved the best for last in Erick Leal. Friday’s starter fanned 3 while giving up 2 hits and 2 walks in 2.1 scoreless innings. Moving to DH, Nico Hoerner finally got going at the plate as he was 3-for-5 with a run scored. DJ Wilson drove in a run as he was 0-for-3 in right field. Mesa 8 - Peoria 0
Mexican Pacific League
Tomateros de Culiacan
The Mexican Pacific League kicked off on Friday and the contest between Navojoa and Culiacan looked like a meeting of former Cub pitching prospects with James Russell and Marco Carrillo, as the Tomateros lost 8-2. Iowa’s Casey Coleman entered in the 7th inning and gave up an earned run on a walk and three hits, as he struck out two batters. Navojoa 8 - Culiacan 2
Venzuelan Winter League
Cardenales de Lara
Friday saw the Cardenales come from behind with 3 runs in the 7th inning as Lara defeated Margarita 5-3. Yapson Gomez backed up a start by former Cub farmhand Williams Perez , entering in the seventh and giving up a hit in 0.1 innings. Lara 5 - Margarita 3
Caribes de Anzoategui
In their home opener on Friday night, Anzoategui could not hold off Zulia in the late innings as they lost 5-3. Erick Castillo started at catcher and was 1-for-1 before being lifted in the 6th inning. Zulia 5 - Anzoategui 3
The Australian Baseball League, which begins November 15, has added two teams to the league. The new members are the Aukland (New Zeeland) Tautara and Geelong-Korea. Geelong is a city in the Australian state of Victoria and will host a team comprised mainly of Korean prospects.
Tags: Arizona Fall League, Bailey Clark, Casey Coleman, DJ Wilson, Erick Castillo, Erick Leal, Jhonny Pereda, Justin Steele, Manuel Rondon, Mexican Pacific League, Nico Hoerner, PJ Higgins, Trent Giambrone, Venezuelan Winter League, Yapson Gomez