mesa solar soxWhen the Cubs announced that Javier Baez and Arodys Vizcaino would not be participating in the Arizona Fall League as previously expected, there was a vacuum-sucking sound of disappointment. Once that cleared, however, there was only a set of questions: Who will replace Baez? Will it mean Albert Almora comes off the taxi squad? Who will replace Vizcaino?

Well, we’ve got the first two questions answered now: Wes Darvill and Yes.

Taking Baez’s spot on the full Mesa Solar Sox roster is Albert Almora, who’d previously been assigned to the taxi squad, which would have allowed him to play only twice a week. Almora, who missed a great deal of time this year with a variety of injuries, figures to be extremely young in the league this year, and could find it quite a challenge. From the Cubs’ perspective, though, I’d think they’re happy to get him some additional game action this season as they look ahead to his placement in 2014.

Taking Almora’s place on the taxi squad is Wes Darvill, a utility prospect about whom many of you probably haven’t heard. A 5th round pick out of high school in 2009, Darvill has worked his way up through the Cubs’ system slowly and steadily. He’s light with the bat – this year was the first that he kept his OPS over .700, split between low and high-A. Darvill just turned 22 earlier this month, and doesn’t strike out much. He can play all over the field, so there’s potential future utility value. Darvill is a Rule 5-eligible player, so there was an additional incentive to get him some extra playing time before any decisions have to be made. That said, regardless of his performance in the AFL, it would be a surprise to see him added to the 40-man this winter.

As for the final question – who replaces Vizcaino – we don’t yet have an answer. Vizcaino, who hasn’t pitched competitively in two years after Tommy John surgery and then elbow debridement surgery, was scratched from the AFL in favor of the instructional league. We’ll see if and who the Cubs send to the AFL in Vizcaino’s spot.

  • MightyBear

    Does anybody know what happened to the kid from BYU we drafted in the second round? He got hurt at Boise but I didn’t see his name in the instructional league and I haven’t heard anything. Is he still hurt? Any info would be appreciated.

    • Josh

      I thought I heard he tore something in his non-throwing arm…..not sure if that is true though

    • http://BN Sacko


    • #1lahairfan

      Hannemann had a season ending tear in his non-throwing elbow elbow.

  • http://BN Sacko

    Since I didn’t like the comparison of Almora/Barney how does Almora/Biggio sound?
    Floor Barney ceiling Biggio.

    • Jackson Scofield

      Who compared him to Barney? If that was the case, he would have no business near any Top 100, much less his current rank in the Top 30 haha.

      • http://bleachenation Sacko


  • jim

    Think ill root for phillies next year instead of the father/eldest son card fans who control cubs. Btw the real cub owners r the bondholders. Opm!

    • DarthHater

      Bye. Don’t let any Wrigley coyotes bite you in the ass on your way out the gate.

      • Rizzovoir Dog

        And stay out

    • notcubbiewubbie

      please go by some white sox gang banging gear.

  • Zachary

    They need to put vizcaino in the bullpen. The guy never stayed healthy as a starter in the minors.

    • willis

      The guy has never stayed healthy. IF they can ever get him to throw a ball in a competitive fashion, I agree. Bullpen is the better spot. But I get the feeling he’ll be on the shelf way more than he is pitching in games.

      • http://bleachernation Vinniethefixer

        The next Kerry Wood

    • Funn Dave

      I’d give it about an 80% or perhaps higher chance that the majority of the pitching Vizcaino does in the majors over the rest of his career (assuming he makes it that far) will be out of the bullpen.

  • AJ

    Whatever happened to Luke? I love his minor league analysis. Is he not writing for the site any more?

    • Patrick W.

      Well, in as much as there are no Minor League games going on right now, until AFL starts up, there isn’t a whole lot to write on, is there?

      • AJ

        You’re right, there is absolutely nothing to analyze once the season ends…lol.

        So does that mean he ONLY does in season recaps and analysis now? Because that clearly wasn’t the case previously.

        • #1lahairfan

          That actually has been the case ever since he volunteered to write the Cubs minor league segments.

  • Cubs Prospects

    According to AFL website it looks like Lendy Castillo took Vizcaino’s spot on the roster:

    8 Cubs players on the roster.

  • Die hard

    Do you think they will pay Cubs to take Garza and Soriano back?