Sun Sets on 2009 Solar Sox

Mike Leake (CIN) threw four innings of shutout ball and Lance Zawadzki (SD) had three hits, including a solo home run and a two-run double, leading the Peoria Saguaros to an 8-1 victory over the Mesa Solar Sox at HoHoKam Park this afternoon.

box score

This was the final regular season game for both teams, as the Phoenix Desert Dogs (East Division Champions) and the Peoria Javelinas (West Division champs) will play in  the 2009 AFL Championship Game at Scottsdale Stadium on Saturday. The Solar Sox finished in last place in the AFL East Division, with the worst record in the league.

Starlin Castro, Josh Vitters, and Michael Brenly were in the Solar Sox starting lineup today, and went a combined 1-11.

Castro hit 2nd, played six innings at SS, and got three ABs, grounding out all three times (4-3, 5-3, 4-3). He also made only his second error of the AFL season, a bad throw to 1st base. Castro finished the 2009 AFL regular season with a .376 batting average (6th in the league) and nine stolen bases (tied for 3rd). 

Vitters returned to the lineup at 3B this afternoon and went 1-4, roping a double down the line into the LF corner with two outs in the bottom of the 4th. He also bounced out 6-3, popped-up to the shortstop, and was called out on strikes. Vitters finished the 2009 AFL campaign 9th in the league in hitting (.353).       

Michael Brenly was the Solar Sox catcher today, and went 0-4, flying out to RF, striking out (swinging), popping out to the second-baseman, and reaching base on an E-6 in the 9th. Brenly went 1-13 over his last four AFL games and hit .240 overall.    

LHP John Gaub and RHP Blake Parker (both vying for spots on the Cubs 40-man roster) made their final AFL appearances versus the Scorpions last night at Scottsdale Stadium.

Gaub struggled in his one inning of work, throwing 23 pitches, but only 11 strikes. He loaded the bases on two walks and an infield single, but was able to escape the frame with no runs scoring. Gaub struck out one batter (lefty-swinging SF 3B Brandon Crawford).

Parker threw one inning of shutout ball, allowing a two-out double before striking out Steve Susdorf (PHI) for the 3rd out. 

LHP James Russell completed his AFL season on Tuesday, working a scoreless 9th. Russell pitched very well, finishing 3rd in the league in ERA (1.26) and tied for 2nd in WHIP (0.98). Russell had a 0.00 ERA over his last ten appearances, allowing eight hits and two walks while striking out 12 over that ten game span.   

RHP Andrew Cashner made his final AFL start on Tuesday, and went three innings. He finished 10th in the league in strikeouts.

AZ PHIL'S 2009 AFL FIRST-TEAM ALL-STAR SQUAD:

P - Stephen Strasburg (WAS)

C - Nevin Ashley (TB)

1B - Brandon Snyder (BAL)

2B - Marcus Lemon (TEX)

3B - Brandon Laird (NYY)

SS - Starlin Castro (CUBS)

LF - Colin Curtis (NYY)

CF - Grant Desme (OAK)

RF - Casper Wells (DET)

DH - Matt McBride (CLE)

MVP: Grant Desme  

 

 

Comments

Thanks for all the reports, Phil.

I see you've got Strasburg as your pitcher- is this a best performance list or best prospects or a combination of both?

Submitted by The Real Neal on Thu, 11/19/2009 - 8:22pm.
Thanks for all the reports, Phil.

I see you've got Strasburg as your pitcher- is this a best performance list or best prospects or a combination of both?

================================

REAL NEAL: Best performance, but not just by stats. I also considered Donald Veal and Ian Kennedy for Pitcher, but after getting lit up in his first AFL start, Strasburg has been outstanding. His fastball has been consisently clocking 100 MPH+ in his last three starts. He supposedly will get the start on Saturday for the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the AFL Championship Game.

Hmm, maybe you should squeeze in one more AFL game report then ; )

Looking at his stats, you can see Strasburg's ERA is 'artificially' high. He rarely gave up fly balls, but managed to have three go out of the park. It wouldn't be possible to do that over a full season (give up 40 HR's with a 4:1 GB to FB ratio and all those K's).

In your mind is there any need for Straburg to pitch in AA next year (arbitration clock aside)?

"Strasburg was injured while shagging fly balls Thursday afternoon. He was then taken to a local hospital for X-rays, which revealed some inflammation in his left knee. The Nats released a statement terming it an issue that is "not considered serious," so he should be fine to continue his offseason regimen once the inflammation clears. He'll be good by the start of spring training."

Hmmmmmm. Thus began a series of freak injuries that dogged a career that held much more promise than it ever delivered.

If this ends up happening, he'll be mentioned along with Prior for more than his record-breaking signing bonus.

Mark Fydrich says "Hi"

Thanks for the great write-ups all fall. It's a treat for me to read.

seconded

Submitted by The Real Neal on Thu, 11/19/2009 - 9:35pm.

Looking at his stats, you can see Strasburg's ERA is 'artificially' high. He rarely gave up fly balls, but managed to have three go out of the park. It wouldn't be possible to do that over a full season (give up 40 HR's with a 4:1 GB to FB ratio and all those K's).

In your mind is there any need for Straburg to pitch in AA next year (arbitration clock aside)?

=============================================

REAL NEAL: If I was the GM of the Nats, I would want Strasburg to spend at least a month at AA, partly because it would push back free-agency for another season, but also to make sure he hits-the-ground-running when he does arrive (as happened with Kerry Wood in 1998).

To avoid eventual "Super Two" status, he would have to spend at least two months in the minors, but I wouldn't leave him at AA beyond a month if he shows he is obviously ready for The Show.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Imagine if he is very good in ST then they decide to send him down anyway - the players may not be too happy.

Submitted by Old and Blue
=============================================
Yes, Old, and Blue, I am the very best spring training/minor league reporter that has ever walked this earth. Why do you ask?

LMAO, well done.

Thanks as always Phil. I remember when you were just a poster here, seems so long ago.. =)

that grabes pic looks a lot like the Z pic from a while back...

Thanks Phil, head over to the Woodshed in Mesa on Dobson and University and have some chicken wings and tell them the King Salmon sent you.

According to Phil Rogers, who filed this while waiting for Miller's Pub to open today.

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2009/11/cubs-...

Oh, I lost the link, but Keith Law of ESPN graced us all with his top 50 free agents. According to MLBtraderumors he says Marlon Byrd is not a starter for a contending team.

Which of course makes me wonder if what Keith Law was doing during the 2009 season while Marlon Byrd was a starter for a contending team, and Melky Cabrerra won the World Series.

Rank Player
31 Marlon Byrd
Age: 32 Bats: R Throws: R
Position: Center field/Left field
'09 team: Texas Rangers Status: Free agent (Type B)

2009 STATS

GM
146HR
20RBI
89R
66OBP
.329SLG
.479AVG
.283Byrd is a classic fourth outfielder -- he doesn't play center field well enough to handle it on an everyday basis, but doesn't have quite the bat to play every day in a corner. His offensive line in 2008 was starter-worthy in a corner, but Byrd regressed in 2009; 25 regular corner outfielders beat his unadjusted .808 OPS. Plus, there's reason to doubt even that number for Byrd. Playing two years in a good hitters' park in Texas, Byrd has done much of his damage at home, posting a .290/.339/.415 line in 516 road PA over the past two years. A corner outfielder with a sub-800 OPS (that's light on OBP) who plays average to slightly above-average defense isn't a starter for a contending club.

Thanks, though that's going to get Rob upset (unless it's in the free bit which I doubt).

Since the Cubs are looking at him as a starter in CF - and even Law listed him as CF, and he played CF for a contending team which caught the ball better than expected in 2009, it doesn't make much sense to talk about him as a left fielder.

Any word on when 40-man roster moves will be made or at least what time the deadline is?

I'm sure AZ Phil has mentioned it in the last week, if you want to look around a bit. I want to say it's 15:00 EST...

Not sure if you guys are on twitter (what a stupid name) but just saw this:

[email protected]_JonHeyman - how could the Cubs be a suitor for Holliday? They're already right up against their budget limit.

Not sure where TF MLBTR got that one (and I asked), but thought I'd share.

Either Jimbo has a helluva trade up his sleeve to free payroll, Ricketts is opening the coffers even further, or.....

Somebody's full of shit and trying to stir up business where there is none.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/jon_...

Heyman lists Cubs among possible suitors for Holliday. What is he smoking, and where can I get some??

http://hotstove.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/11/range...

T.R. Sullivan, Rangers writer for mlb.com says phil rogers 3 way trade rumor "not happening"

(translation, rogers is a big bs'er)

Grabow deal is done--Heyman/Muskat--Twitter

Muskat says 2/7.5

Yuck.

I was reviewing Jeff Passan's FA list:

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-freeagent...

And there's a few guys I hadn't thought of before:

Brian Schnieder - if his defense is still good
Shawn Hill
Khalil Greene - who we discussed last year. A legitimate fielding SS.
Takashi Saito
Chan Ho Park

I think Saito's or Park's money probably just went to Grabow. The other guys I am talking about bringing in on ST invite type contracts.

Also from Heyman-- "• Cubs. New owner Tom Ricketts hasn't said how he will proceed. The general feeling is that new owners don't like to make waves, but they make big money and there are no guarantees."

I thought Ricketts already covered this?

He did, but Heyman is a national guy, not someone who agonized over every word of the introdcutory press conference like some of us.

Yeah, but he is aware that there must have been an introductory news conference, and that something about how they would proceed would almost have to be covered. I wouldn't think it would be difficult for him to find a transcript or adequate coverage to give him a flavor of what was said, so that he didn't blatantly lie by saying the Ricketts haven't said how they are going forward.

The media hasn't figured out how dumb Twitter makes them look by throwing casual, unfounded blurbs out onto the interwebs under the guise of "insider information."

In the back of my mind i think Ricketts is going to do something big to show he wants to win. Just an odd feeling of a big money free agent signing coming this way.

At worst he will go over the budget limit for a year to do it. He can fund that personally out of his own pocket.

At worst he will go over the budget limit for a year to do it. He can fund that personally out of his own pocket.

Assuming that the Cubs are a corporation, no he can't fund anything personally out of his own pocket. He could, in theory, issue some new stock and buy it for a ridiculous price - 10 shares at $1 million per - or something then later have the corporation buy the shares back at a $1 a piece, and earmark those funds for additional player salary, but that's all pretty convoluted, especially if it is a corporation that is owned by a partnership.

Anyway, there's no reason to do that. According to Scott Boras the Cubs are making $100 million in profit a year, so they can easily add $10 million in payroll and still get an outstanding ROI on the $850 million purchase price.

Are the Cubs a corporation?

I thought they were a family owned entity?

I assume they're a corporation for liability reasons. They could be a partnership, though, and they could be a corporation owned by a partnership (which doesn't make any money so they avoid getting double taxed).

If no one knows maybe we should ask Musket.

a question for the Mushbox

The Trib still owns like 5-10% of the team to help sale go through.

That would tend to imply that it's a corporation, at least for now.

Helpful for the topic, I think:

http://money.cnn.com/2009/09/21/news/companies/zel...

If the Ricketts followed their plan, it sounds like a partnership that owns a corporation, of which the

Helpful for the topic, I think:

http://money.cnn.com/2009/09/21/news/companies/zel...

If the Ricketts followed their plan, it sounds like a partnership that owns a corporation, or possibly a variety of corporations.

On the Illinois Secretary of State website, The Chicago Cubs Baseball Club is listed as a Limited Liability Company.

Thanks for the additional research.

I don't even know what a LLCompany is. Any Illinois tax or audit accountants around that can answer?

With a 90 year old ball park you would assume the owners need some protection from a law suit in case a grandstand collapses and kills 312 people.

Back to the original point. It would be difficult, but not impossible to throw some extra cash to the company without aquiring some new stock. I'd be surprised if Tom has got $10 or $15 million lying around, anyway. It would make considerably more sense to take the money out of the company and show a tax loss than it would to invest his own money is some convuluted charity program.

A LLC protects the owners personal property. If your business is a LLC, potential lawsuits can only be made toward the LLC, not the owner(s) themselves. In other words, a fan can't sue you and take your house if he slips on pee-pee.

Doesn't LLC typically stand for "Lesser Liability Corporation" though?

Limited Liability Corporation

I see what you are saying. He put Limited Liability Company instead of corporation. I can only assume he meant corporation.

Muskat sings 25 or 4 to 6...(something like the song, just off key)

http://hotstove.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/11/1120_...

Anyone know where we could get the latest details on additions to the 40 man? It seems like in years past it's just been sort of piecemealed togther until cubs.com puts up a new 40 man roster in 3 weeks.

Does this look accurate? I don't see Heilman on there so I'm not sure if this is up to date or outdated. I couldn't find a date on it obviously.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/team/roster_40man.jsp?...

nevermind. Sorry. That's only 33 players. My bad.

That's the one I was referring to. At some point it will be updated, but I doubt it will be today or tomorrow, probably in a couple of weeks.

You can edit your comments (until someone replies) by the way.

Alright, thanks. I was lazy on the counting.

No 40 man update at cubs.com but the Grabow Signing article.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=2...

He's the old man of the bullpen at age 31.

http://espn.go.com/chicago/columns/blog/_/post/467...

"I've had bone chips in my elbow for three years now," he said. "if you look at [veteran] pitchers, they usually have something going on in their shoulder or elbow. Throwing a baseball for all those years takes its toll. You learn to manage it."

No I meant Limited Liability Company. I always thought that LLC stood for Limited Liability Company which is kind of a hybrid between a partnership and a corporation.

A limited liability company or A company with limited liability (abbreviated L.L.C. or LLC or W.L.L) in the law of the vast majority of United States jurisdictions is a legal form of business company that provides limited liability to its owners. Often incorrectly called a "limited liability corporation" (instead of company), it is a hybrid business entity having certain characteristics of both a corporation and a partnership or sole proprietorship (depending on how many owners there are). An LLC, although a business entity, is a type of unincorporated association and is not a corporation. The primary characteristic an LLC shares with a corporation is limited liability, and the primary characteristic it shares with a partnership is the availability of pass-through income taxation. It is often more flexible than a corporation and it is well-suited for companies with a single owner.

All according to the arbitrator of all things good and holy, Wikipedia.

Personally, according to that, I have my doubts that they are a LLComapy. But, again, I'd look for an accountant who works in the state of Illinois to really clarify matters.

AZ Phil,
I was wondering what you project Jeffrey Antigua as. Do you think he has the potential to be a top of the rotation pitcher also what pitches does he throw? Last but not least, where do you rank him among other pitchers in the organization?

Recent comments

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  • Sure, no marks and some inconsistencies in the witness's statements. But firing your gun into garage wall immediately after an argument and punching out your car window is still threatening and out of control behavior. There was certainly enough for MLB to think it warranted a 30-game suspension.

    Charlie 22 min 14 sec ago view
  • I'd prefer they be flexible with the closing situation depending on matchups. You're not really adding a lefty reliever if you use him strictly as a closer.

    Charlie 22 min 46 sec ago view
  • Stockpiling young talent isn't only for trading for someone like Chapman though. Even with an elite closer winning the World Series is basically a crap shoot so the key is to get to the playoffs as much as possible and not just mortgage everything on one year. Once you get there an elite bullpen certainly helps but the playoffs can be won by one hitter or starting pitcher getting hot (Murphy, Molina, Baumgardner) and a closer might not be able to stop that.

    johann 47 min 5 sec ago view
  • I'm also not crazy about press convictions. As the police report noted, there were no marks on the lady in question. There's a TMZ link (of course) to her police pictures, as well.

    I think the only way this trade goes real bad is if Cubbery intervenes and Chapman is suddenly bad for some reason.

    Old and Blue 50 min 26 sec ago view
  • I am right there with you closing in on 60.

    I don't care that much about "mortgaging" one player who is not only blocked by two guys, but is not ready to hit the majors for at least a couple years.

    There is no reason why this team, this year, can't have a real shot at something NONE of us have experienced.

    Further, I don't feel that even if they fall short that they have ruined their farm system.

    I have made my opinion clear here, with others, Warren was shit on the Cubs save one spot start.

    The E-Man 2 hours 20 min ago view
  • Trading for Warren, Warren sucking, getting Warren back for Chapman plus 3 prospects, sounds like Revenge of The Yankees on the former Boston executive. Old rivalries never die.

    I pray to the heavens above Chapman doesn't suck for some reason, or he'll be booed out of town faster than a Todd Hundley revival meeting.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 27 min ago view
  • I'm kind of nostalgic for the Schwarber-for-Miller rumors.

    Brick 2 hours 39 min ago view
  • This offseason, after some ridiculous playoff run and Chapman saving every game from here until the end of the postseason striking out 27/9innings, I welcome anyone to quote this thread and call me a dummy: I hate this trade, and my hate is 2 parts Chapman makes this team less likeable and 1 part that's a ridiculous overpay for 30 regular season innings and, at tops, 10 postseason innings. Already hoping they don't extend him.

    Charlie 2 hours 41 min ago view
  • btw...Thanks AZ Phil. I'm really enjoying your take on this trade.

    Cubster 3 hours 3 min ago view
  • I'm a bit disappointed on the Warren experience. Essentially they gave Castro away for crickets (OK, well they signed Zobrist with the Castro salary dump). Otherwise one might look at it as Chapman for Castro and our #1 minors prospect (Torres) + McKinney/Crawford. Seems pricey for a 2 month rental. We will see if this price tag is that steep in a relative way based on the remaining deadline deals for relievers.

    Cubster 3 hours 4 min ago view
  • Yep. One of the great things about this team (in addition to being really good at baseball) was the "likable" factor. Feels a bit different now. Who knows...maybe Chapman will be the king of the dance parties.

    billybucks 3 hours 12 min ago view
  • Here are some possible corresponding minor league moves we might see in the aftermath  of the Chapman trade: 

    SOUTH BEND to MYRTLE BEACH: OF Donnie Dewees and INF Bryant Flete  

    EUGENE to SOUTH BEND: OF Robert Garcia and INF Vimael Machin 

    There is really no reason to replace Billy McKinney at Tennessee because both Chris Coghlan and Jorge Soler are doing their rehab at Tennessee.  

    And there are plenty of pitchers at Iowa. No need to replace Warren at AAA. .  

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 33 min ago view
  • I am 70 years old. The Cubs last played in the World Series in 1945. I was born in 1946. I hate to lose a prospect like Torres, but when the opportunity is there to get that World Series ring, you go for it. This was the idea in stock piling all this young talent. I would like to see Reddick added now and the Cubbies should be done.

    Hagsag 4 hours 3 min ago view
  • I would expect Richard to accept an optional assignment because based on how he's played this season, there is a decent chance that he won't find work elsewhere. Rather stay and potentially get a ring. Same goes for Coghlan since he's struggled mightily this year.

    Edwards should not go down. He's pitched very well and Maddon is very impressed with him. I would expect Grimm to go down for Cahill so he can get back on track (he's pitched better in July, but he's not getting enough appearances).

    chitownmvp01 4 hours 7 min ago view
  • chitownmvp01: Indeed Clayton Richard would seem to be odd man out once Chapman reports, but Richard might accept a minor league assignment if he is promised a return to Chicago on 9/1 when MLB Active List rosters expand (Richard has minor league ioptions left).

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 10 min ago view
  • The only player in the deal that would cause me a second thought is Gleyber Torres.

    McKinney and Crawford are decent prospects but both are redundant/replaceable in the system and Warren was really only a middle-reliever or #6 starter, so to me it's really just Torres for Chapman.

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 30 min ago view