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AFL Recap


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#1 Spriggs

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 07:42 AM

Thursday 10/10

Almora did play Thursday night, so he is definitely not on the Taxi Squad.  He is listed as the Cubs representative in the Bowman Hitting Challenge on Saturday night.  Supposed to be one player from each of the six teams in some type of hitting skills contest?

 

Wes Darvill is on the Taxi Squad.  Normally taxi squad members can only play on Wed. and Sat., but an exception is this week, where they will be able to play on Friday since there is no game on Saturday due to the Hitting Challenge thing.

 

At the game on Thursday, Soler and Bryant did not play.  Almora played RF and had two hits including a 3 run triple in the ninth.  His first hit was a soft infield topper that could have been an error (wide throw, a good would have had him for sure).  On the base paths, he scored from 3rd on routine grounder to first, but it was a risky move by Albert.  The fielder looked him back (he was almost half way home) and just as Almora turned and headed to third, with the first baseman turning to tag first, Almora spun around and sprinted home, just beating the throw.  A perfect throw gets him, but chalk up a good and exciting running play by Albert.  The more you see him, the more there seems to be to like!

 

Armando Rivero pitched a scoreless 9th with no walks or Ks. 

 

The Solar Sox might be the team to beat this year! 

 



#2 ced landrum

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:00 AM

thanks for the report. 



#3 college_of_coaches

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 12:40 PM

Great stuff Spriggs!



#4 Mike Taylor (no relation)

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 12:49 PM

I think we will see Armando Rivero in the pen for SEPT call ups. Dude has been nothing but lights out since signing. Probably worth the $3.1M signing bonus. 



#5 King Jeff

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 09:43 AM

I've been hearing good things about Rivera, hope he can help in the bullpen next year.



#6 Spriggs

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 09:30 AM

The AFL teams were off Saturday, but they did hold the Bowman Hitting Challenge at Salt River Fields. Albert Almora represented the Cubs. The contest was entertaining, but VERY poorly designed. The big reward points were home runs, so the hitters without a lot of power had no chance at all. The skills targets were poorly thought out and required WAY more luck than skill to hit (who is going to aim at and hit a bat standing up vertically in the outfield?). I believe Almora and Byron Buxton had the two lowest scores - though they didn't even post their scores (if they were not the lowest, they didn't have a lot of company at the bottom). I could go on and on about how poorly designed it was - but suffice it to say - it was a goofy event.

PS...Pete O'Brien (NYY) won the contest.

#7 college_of_coaches

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 09:44 AM

From the hitting contest, it sounds like Buxton's offensive ceiling is Darwin Barney... (currently ducking for cover)



#8 Spriggs

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 07:05 AM

Here is a brief recap of the Cubs players for Monday night's game won by the Solar Sox 7-6, who have not lost a game yet. A beautiful evening in Scottsdale Stadium (no wind).

 

Almora did not play.

 

Bryant had one hit, a solid ground ball single between third and short.  He reached base on three different errors (liner to 3rd, grounder to SS, and a dropped pop fly to RF).  His other AB was a SKY high SF just short of the warning track in RF. 

 

After strikeouts in his first 2 ABs, Soler hit a deep fly to right center that was caught on the run right in front of wall (about 380 feet). It was very nice catch by the CF'er (Mason Williams, NYY).  His next AB was a scorching shot off the top of the left center field wall that Williams counldn't come up with.  The dimensions in Scottsfield Stadium are bigger than Hohokam (430 to straight-away center), but I still can't believe that ball wasn't a homer.  Neither could Soler, who jogged in to second (the fans didn't appreciate the lack of hustle).

 

Loosen came in to pitch out of a jam in either the bottom of the 3rd or 4th by striking the first batter he faced to end the inning.  He pitched 2 more innings and was hit pretty hard, giving up two runs, but was constantly in trouble.  Both innings ended with runners getting thrown out stealing (Neito, the National's catcher displayed a strong arm tonight).

 

I would guess the attendance was about 500 or so.



#9 TWC

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 08:33 AM

These are the longest tweets ever, Spriggs...



#10 TWC

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 08:34 AM

But seriously -- only 500 people?!  Amazing.  How much are the games?  $5?  $10?



#11 Spriggs

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:17 AM

But seriously -- only 500 people?!  Amazing.  How much are the games?  $5?  $10?

$7. They do a horrible job of marketing. Everyone who I've talked to, who has been to both spring training and the AFL, prefer the AFL hands down.  Of course some of that might have to do with the sparse crowds, so stay away.



#12 Spriggs

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 11:42 AM

Friday, 10/18 game

Bryant had another great game today.  Two monster shot HRs, one to left and one to right.  A ground rule double that seemed to be a HR as well.  The ball nicked the top of the fence padding above the 390 sign in left-center and went over and onto the berm.  Thought it was an HR for sure, but they stopped Bryant between 2nd and 3rd and told him to go back to 2nd.  There must be some ground rule about the top of the fence, but there is no yellow line or anything like that - just a padded section at the top of the fence.  The umps met after the Solar Sox manager questioned the call - but they upheld their call... ground rule double.  I still don't get why. 

 

Almora hit the ball hard 4 of the 6 times he batted.  He smacked three line shots to the OF, one went for a double in the right center gap.  He played some stellar CF again. 

 

Soler had 2 gound ball singles between 3rd and SS.  He still looks rusty and nothing seems in sync with his swing or his play in general.  He doesn't appear to be playing or running at 100% either.  He is playing like an older injured guy who is protecting himself.  Something doesn't seem right. Hope he can start to click.

 

Beeler struggled in his 3 innings and was in trouble right from the start when he called out the trainer to have a look at something on his right forearm.  He struck out the first hitter and seemed OK, but couldn't put hitters away after that. He caught a liner right back to him that he turned into a DP and averted a big disaster (in the 2nd inning I think).



#13 college_of_coaches

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 01:29 PM

Thanks Spriggs, I really appreciate being able to read these posts.  It takes my mind off of the theodicy of fall baseball that I find myself questioning during these times (why does evil flourish? = why do the Cards always succeed?).



#14 Spriggs

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 10:43 AM

Saturday Night game - 10/19

No Bryant, no Almora Saturday night.  Soler played right and got one broken bat bloop single to short right.  Didn't have a good swing all night. 

 

Matt Loosen looked good in his 1 inning of work, with 2 Ks and no walks.  Lendy Castillo also pitched an inning and stranded the leadoff double he surrendered. Soler couldn't quite reach the soft liner on a head first diving attempt toward the right field line - came up about 10 feet short!  Looked like the famous clip of Santo sliding head first into 2nd.

 

Wes Darvill played 3rd and went 0 - 4 with 2 Ks.

 

The Solar Sox led 2-1 going into the ninth, but imploded and wound up losing 8-2.  It was like watching a Cubs game.  Comical error on the pitcher, nobody covering 2nd on a DP grounder, check swing hits, questional calls, etc. A small obnoxious band of about 20 followers of the Salt River Rafters team (read D'back D'bag fans) was loving it. You see them at all the SRR gaves. Multiply that band of 20 by about 3 and it was just about like being at a D'backs game.  Insults to Cubs fans and all. They are world series experts and we are just losers - in case you didn't know. A real imaginative group.



#15 King Jeff

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:27 AM

Is Soler looking rusty or just lost in general?






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