We will try to recap the AZ Leagues as much as we can. Unfortunately I am not there as I have in years past, but AZ Phil from the The Cub Reporter is and we have box scores. We hope to be covering the Winter Leagues as well, but more on that at another time.
AZ Fall League: Mesa Solar Sox
- Addison Russell started at DH and for 8 innings, was responsible for driving in team’s only runs with a 2 run single. He went 1 for 4 overall.
- Who drove in the only other run? Well, that was Jacob Hannemann, who hit a 9th inning sac fly in his only plate appearance.
- Dan Vogelbach entered the game late a well and struck out.
- Kyle Schwarber is a dangerous man with the bat no matter where you play him on defense. He’s down in AZ to learn how to catch but pitchers down there will get a good sense of what they’ll have to work on when it comes to getting professional hitters out. So far Schwarber is taking the young Cubs pitchers to school, going 4 for 7 with two doubles and a stolen base. He has caught in one game and DH’d in another.
- Mark Zagunis is also off to a good start with a 3 for 5 start with a double and a stolen base.
- I am going to keep giving Charcer Burks some love even if BA didn’t. Burks has gone 3 for 5 with 2 walks and a double.
- The Cubs have gotten 2 innings of scoreless work from prospects Trevor Clifton, James Conway, Erick Leal, and David Garner as well as recent
- . Clifton and Conway were particularly good with no hits and 3 Ks. Clifton walked one hitter.
Notes from AZ Phil,
- Kevin Encarnacion played RF for Team Johnson, his first game action since suffering a near career-ending shoulder injury and 3rd degree burns in a car crash in the Dominican Republic last December. He (understandably) looked rusty both in the field and at the plate, committing an error on a ground single to right (he bobbled the ball, allowing a baserunner to advance from 2nd to 3rd), and he went 0-3 at the plate with two strikeouts (both swinging) and a weak infield pop out. Probably because of the injuries he sustained in the car crash, Encarnacion is now hitting only left-handed (he previously had been a switch-hitter). In his one AB batting LH against a LH pitcher (Jordan Minch), Encarnacion struck out on three pitches.
- Gioskar Amaya is giving catching a go and also played some 3B, according to AZ Phil, “Gioskar Amaya got the start at catcher for Team Gonzalez, and handled himself well behind the plate for the four innings he spent there. (Amaya is in the Catcher Conversion Program at Instructs). He then moved to 3rd base for the final three innings and made the defensive play of the game, a run-saving stop & throw to end the top of the 5th. Amaya had a fine day offensively, too, with a line-drive double into the LF corner, a walk, and a stolen base. “
- A guy I’m rooting for is Scott Frazier. He has great stuff but had some terrible issues with wildness this past season. I saw him in his one Kane County appearance and he appeared to have the yips. He didn’t come close to throwing strikes most of the time. Anyway, here is what AZ Phil had to say,” For some reason, Cubs coaches wanted Scott Frazier to face only LH hitters in his one inning of work, so the lineup was adjusted to accomodate the plan. Frazier has what some in the Cub organization believe to be the best pure stuff in the system, but the big right-hander from Pepperdine has struggled to throw strikes going all the way back to Minor League Camp in March. The Cubs have tried almost everything to try and fix the problem, with facing only LH hitters being the latest attempt. “
Filed under: Fall/Winter Baseball