It usually arrives much sooner than this for Chicago Cubs fans – at least in recent years – but we’ve officially entered that part of the year where there are still Cubs-related players playing baseball, but only in offseason leagues.
Let’s do a quick check-in on some of the Cubs prospects playing in the Arizona Fall League …
- Lefty Rob Zastryzny started yesterday, allowing a couple earned runs on six hits in five innings, which may not sound all that great, but: (1) he struck out seven with no walks, and (2) the in-person take from John Arguello was that Zastryzny looked solid, and maybe shouldn’t have even given up those two runs with a little better defense. Also, as always, you have to keep in mind the possibility that players are working on specific things that could impact their results – in Zastryzny’s case, for example, Arguello says it’s obvious he’s working on his curveball.
- Willson Contreras had a double and a walk in that game, and, a couple games prior, he had a huge day, with three hits: two doubles and a homer. On the fall, through seven games, he’s hitting .296/.406/.630, carrying forward his breakout in the regular season.
- Relievers Corey Black and David Garner also got in an inning of work yesterday. Black struck out two but allowed a run on a couple hits; Garner pitched a clean inning with one K. Each is a guy who could rise quickly to the Cubs’ big league bullpen in 2016.
- Despite notching just one hit in his last couple games, Jeimer Candelario’s line is still an inflated .478/.500/1.043 thanks to his first week of action, which netted him player of the week honors.
- Mark Zagunis has appeared in just five games, but, despite a .182 average, his OBP is an hilarious .526. He’s walked at least once in all five of his games. Given his polished, patient approach, and given how many pitchers in the AFL are working on their command, perhaps all the walks shouldn’t be a surprise.
- Pierce Johnson has made two starts, and should be in line for another start early this week.
- Cael Brockmeyer, who is on the taxi squad, has appeared in just one game.