Javier Baez Apparently Can Do Whatever He Wants in the AFL, Too

Five Cubs saw game action in tonight's AFL Opening Night at Salt River Fields between the Mesa Solar Sox and the Salt River Rafters:  



MATT SZCZUR: Played CF and hit lead-off, grounded out 6-3 leading off the game, then laid-down a 5-3 sac bunt in the 3rd, walked his next two times up, and popped up to the first-baseman in his final PA. He saw 19 pitches in his five ABs.


JAVIER BAEZ: Got the start at SS and batted 7th in the Solar Sox order, absolutely crushing a 450+ ft HR over the CF Batter's Eye on a 1-1 pitch (94 MPH fastball) off Rockies RHP Tyler Chatwood in his first AFL AB, and then lining a two-run double (with a lot of top-spin) into the LF corner in the top of the 6th. Baez also struck out (swinging) twice, the first time on an 0-2 pitch (slider away in the dirt) and the second time on a 1-2 pitch (also in the dirt, after taking two strikes). Baez also advanced to 3rd base after his two-run double when the Rafters catcher tried to pick him off 2nd base, and Baez alertly just kept running to 3rd (was scored as a WP). BTW, at age 19 Baez is the second-youngest player in the AFL. (The youngest player is Rangers SS Luis Saldina, who is also 19, but is 5-1/2 months younger than Baez). FWIW, Starlin Castro was also 19 when he played in the AFL in 2009. 


RUBI SILVA: Pinch-hit for DH Aaron Westlake leading off the 8th and lined an opposite-field single just to the right of the diving SS, eventually coming around to score the go-ahead run.


KEVIN RHODERICK: Relieved starter Jarred Cosart in the bottom of the 4th (Cosart retired the first ten batters he faced), working 1.2 IP (23 pitches - 18 strikes) and allowing no runs on one hit (a hustle double where the batter looked to be out at 2nd base) and no walks with three strikeouts. Rhoderick has had major control issues throughout his career, but he was firing strikes tonight.  


TONY ZYCH: Was called into the game with two outs in the bottom of the 8th after the Rafters had taken a 6-5 lead off Orioles LHRP Mike Belfiore, and he struck out the one batter he faced (Blue Jays OF Jake Marisnick) on three pitches (the last one a 97 MPH heater).


A number of Cubs execs (including Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Jason McLeod) were at the game, as were about a half-dozen Instructs Cubs (most of whom were teammates of Javier Baez just six months ago in Extended Spring Training).      

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Hopefully Pirates don't call up A. Lincoln.

    jacos 9 hours 19 min ago view
  • j.buchanan going friday...should be...baseball...or something like it.

    crunch 9 hours 26 min ago view
  • Wow. I didn't know they could do that.

    Nice for Willson, not so much for Addy.

    billybucks 9 hours 42 min ago view
  • Game is officially called...also officially a tie.

    Stats count, no make-up date of course.

     

    Rob G. 9 hours 44 min ago view
  • Yeah -- seeing the weather -- I hope KB and Rizz are inside, wrapped in blankets and drinking hot chocolate.

    billybucks 10 hours 31 min ago view
  • rain delay...thanks obama.

    crunch 11 hours 9 min ago view
  • Thanks again Phil. We actually were in Mesa and drove around. Hopefully, I am back for some Fall League. If not I have all of spring training (like the smart people who move here!)

    rvimpeny 12 hours 13 min ago view
  • What Rob G said.  I can't speak for Piittsburgh, but the other end of the state has had absolute crap weather for two days. Perfect day to take it easy.

    Transmission 12 hours 16 min ago view
  • tarp came off 10 minutes ago...let's do this.

    crunch 12 hours 30 min ago view
  • He will not pitch another game for Cubs

    /Unless injury in playoffs

    jacos 12 hours 47 min ago view
  • ~fart~

    jacos 12 hours 48 min ago view
  • Today is bullpen day

    jacos 12 hours 48 min ago view
  • 10/450 if they win WS

    jacos 12 hours 49 min ago view
  • Carrie Muskat [email protected]
    Even though Hammel is missing start, don't assume he'll not be on #Cubs postseason roster. Maddon says elbow problem isn't that bad

    Carrie Muskat [email protected]
    Maddon on #Cubs postseason rotation: "I don't want to announce anything. We haven't talked to anybody yet"

    Carrie Muskat [email protected]
    Maddon hopes Soler can take BP in Cincy, play in sim game Tue. "All of that should give us some kind of indication of where he's at"

    crunch 13 hours 6 min ago view
  • tarp on the field 40 minutes before gametime...meh.

    crunch 13 hours 9 min ago view
  • travel day + rain in Pittsburgh. Why risk injury?

    Rob G. 13 hours 12 min ago view