Welcome everyone to the CCO’s coverage of off-season baseball.
In today’s report, Bijan Rademacher has a big night as the Mesa Solar Sox win their first game in the Arizona Fall League. Meanwhile, down in the Venezuelan Winter League, Cubs pitching prospects are having mixed results.
For all the highlights, take a look inside today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Editor’s Note: Coverage runs from Sunday to Saturday.
Arizona Fall League
The Mesa Solar Sox opened league play Tuesday with a 9-3 loss to Glendale. Addison Russell started at designated hitter and was 1-for-4 with two RBI. Both Dan Vogelbach (0-for-1) and Jacob Hannemann (0-for-0 with an RBI) entered the game as substitutes.
After rain washed away Wednesday’s game, the Mesa Solar Sox were back in action Thursday and lost to Salt River 7-3. Dan Vogelbach started at first and drew three walks while going 0-for-2. Shortstop Addison Russell went 0-for-4. Jacob Hannemann got the start in right field and was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.
In was Cubs’ pitching day on Friday as the Mesa Solar Sox were battered by Surprise 14-3. Despite the gaudy run total, Cubs pitcher did not do too badly. C.J. Edwards started and allowed an earned run in two innings while striking out a batter. Zach Cates followed and posted a nearly identical line to Edwards. Cates gave up only one hit to Edwards’ three. The Sox were already down 10-3 when Gerardo Concepcion entered the game with two out in the seventh inning. Concepcion uncorked a wild pitch and gave up a two-run ground rule double before getting out of the inning. Concepcion then yielded two more earned runs in the eighth. Dan Vogelbach started at first base and was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Mesa was finally able to put one into the win column Saturday as the Solar Sox beat Peoria 6-3. Ivan Pineyro took the mound in the fourth inning and gave up two hits and two walks, while allowing no earned runs and striking out a batter in 1.1 innings. Bijan Rademacher started in right field and was 1-for-3 with a stolen base and an outfield assist. Rademacher cut down Cardinals prospect Jacob Wilson at second base. Designated Hitter Jacob Hannemann was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts.
Venezuelan Winter League
Cardenales de Lara
In their season opener on Thursday, the Cardinals lost to Zulia 5-4. Eduardo Figueroa came on in relief in the top of the sixth inning and gave up a single after recording the first out. Figueroa was replaced and the runner eventually scored as Figueroa was charged with an earned run.
Leones del Caracas
The home opener for the Lions was spoiled Thursday as they lost to Aragua 4-1. Iowa Cubs pitcher Yoanner Negrin started for Caracas and allowed two earned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four in three innings as he suffered the loss.
Caracas used two big innings on Friday to get past Margarita 6-3. The Big Cats scored three runs in both the second inning and the fifth, as right-handed reliever Loiger Padron, off for the 2014 season due to an injury, tossed a perfect inning.
Navegantes del Magallanes
The Navigators were only able manage one run on Saturday as they lost to Zulia 3-1. Relief pitcher Greyfer Eregua, who had a brief appearance at Short-Season A Boise this past season, retired the only batter he faced.
Bravos de Margarita
It was a tough night for the Braves on Saturday as they lost to La Guaira 8-3. Rookie League outfielder Arnaldo Calero entered the game in the eighth inning and went 0-for-2.
Tigres de Aragua
It was a nice way to open on the road Thursday as the Tigers beat Caracas 4-1. Daytona’s Willson Contreras started at catcher and was 0-for-4 in the contest.
In a close ballgame Friday, Aragua fell apart down the stretch and lost to Magallenes 4-1. Willson Contreras (0-for-3) continued to struggle at the plate.
News and Notes
In Fall Instructional League action, Arizona Phil reports that Daytona outfielder Billy McKinney edged pitcher Scott Frazier, who pitched for Kane County, Boise, and the AZL Cubs last season, in the inter-squad home run derby.
Minor League Play-By-Play Interviews
For those that may have missed the Q&As and Interview with Robbie Aaron, Mick Gillispie and Randy Wehofer, here are the links:
- Cubs Prospects Q & A with Daytona Cubs Broadcaster Robbie Aaron
- Cubs Prospects Interview with Tennessee Smokies Broadcaster Mick Gillispie
- Cubs Prospects Q & A with Iowa Cubs Broadcaster Randy Wehofer