mesa solar soxYou may have noticed that, in years past, I chat a bit about my fantasy football teams in this space about once a week. Not because you care, but because I like to chat. I haven’t done that much this year. Not because I realize you don’t care, but because my teams suck.

  • The Mesa Solar Sox dropped the Arizona Fall League Championship Game yesterday 2-0, and will now have to live with the shame of having not won the AFL all winter long. The Cubs’ bats did nothing to help the cause, with Kris Bryant going 0-4 with 2 Ks, and Jorge Soler going 0-3 with a K. (Albert Almora did not play, but I saw a stray tweet or two that he was available if needed, so whatever injury – if he suffered one at all – he had in the last game of the regular season was exceedingly minor.) On the pitching side, Dallas Beeler got the start, and threw five excellent innings. He gave up just one earned run on a couple hits and one walk, and he struck out five. He look effective, for those who weren’t able to watch the game, and the Cubs now have a difficult decision to make on him with respect to the 40-man roster. Beeler is eligible this year for the Rule 5 Draft.
  • I’ll soon have a full recap on the AFL for Cubs prospects.
  • Bruce Levine is finally back on the air. Several weeks after parting ways with ESPN, Levine has joined The Score, and will talk baseball every Saturday morning from 8am to 9am CT with Ben Finfer.




  • A fascinating read on what it’s like to be an agent this time of year, with a heavy focus on minor league free agents (that’s the majority of players at this point – it’s easy to get focused on Boras and the superstars, and they’re probably not going to give you an inside look).
  • A look at pre-arbitration extensions for young pitchers, and in the aggregate, they seem to have worked out well. Something to consider as the Cubs plan for the future with respect to Travis Wood, who is eligible for arbitration for the first time next year.
  • More and more pitchers, especially relievers, are averaging 95 mph+ with their fastball.
  • While we’re on the subject, a chart that includes the reaction times a hitter has for each MPH between 85 and 105. There is a significant swing, but it’s all still less than half of a second. Hitters are amazing.



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