Arizona Fall League

The Arizona Fall League (AFL) is an MLB developmental league (approximately equivalent to "AA") that operates for six weeks after the conclusion of the MLB regular season. The AFL features a 31-game "regular season" schedule plus the "Bowman Hitting Challenge" (first Saturday of the season), an All-Star Game (formerly called the "Rising Stars Game," but now known as the "Fall Stars Game") at the end of the fourth week, and the AFL;Championship Game (pitting the winner of the East Division against the winner of the West Division) on the Saturday at the end of the 6th and final week.

There are no games played on Sundays, on the day of the Bowman Hitting Challenge, or on the day of the Fall Stars Game, but otherwise there are three games scheduled every day Monday through Saturday during the AFL regular season, beginning with Opening Day on the second Tuesday following the conclusion of the MLB regular season (which is October 13th in 2015) and extending up through the Thursday of the 6th week (which is November 19th in 2015).

Here are the current AFL eligibility rules & restrictions (NOTE: Some of the eligibiility rules & restrictions have been changed over the past couple of years):

1. There are six AFL teams, and each AFL team is affilated with five MLB clubs. SEA & SD (Peoria Javelinas), KC & TEX (Surprise Saguaros), LAD & CHW (Glendale Desert Dogs), AZ & COL (Salt River Rafters), CUBS (Mesa Solar Sox), and SF (Scottsdale Scorpions) are the "host organizations" for the six AFL teams, but the affiliations of the other twenty MLB clubs can vary from year-to-year. Besides the Cubs, the other four MLB organizations affiliated with the Mesa Solar Sox in 2015 will be LAA, MIA, OAK, and TB. (LAA, OAK, TOR, and WAS were the other four MLB organizations affiliated with the Mesa Solar Sox in 2014). 

2. Each MLB organization must assign a minimum of seven players to its AFL affiliate, including a minimum of four pitchers (preferably one pitcher capable of starting plus three relievers) and a minimum of three position players (specific positions needed to be filled by each organization TBD by a conference call "position draft" between the Player Development Directors of the five MLB organizations affiliated with that particular AFL team).

3. An MLB organization can assign additional pitchers and/or players to its AFL team's "Taxi Squad" (players assigned to an AFL team's "Taxi Squad" can be activated on Wednesdays and Saturdays only, but a player can be transferred from the Taxi Squad to the 35-man Active Roster to replace an injured player).

4. A player can be selected to play in the AFL more than once, as long as the player continues to meet eligibility for selection.

5. MLB players (including Rule 5 players) with less than one year (1+000) MLB Service Time accrued (not including time spent on a Disabled list) as of September 1st are eligible.

6. Any player on a AA or AAA Active Roster or Disabled List on August 15th is eligible.

7. Two players on an organization's Advanced Class-A (A+) affiliate's Active Roster (or Disabled List) on August 15th can be assigned to the AFL.

8. Two additional players who were on the Active Roster or Disabled List of a minor league affiliate below AA (A+, A, SS-A, R) on August 15th can be assigned to the AFL.

9. Internatiional players from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and/or Australia are eligible only if the player is not on the reserve list of a Winter League club from the player's home country. Otherwise, there is no maximum limit on the number of international players an MLB organization can assign to its AFL team.

10. A player on the Restricted List, Military List, Disqualified List, Ineligible List, or Voluntary Retired List is not eligible to participate in the AFL. 

11. A player who was on a minor league or MLB DL at the close of the regular season is eligible to play in the AFL as long as the player has been reinstated, but there can be no special limits or restrictions placed on the player's playing time (other than the automatic restrictions imposed on a player assigned to an AFL team's "Taxi Squad"). 

12. A player cannot be assigned to the AFL on a Minor League Injury Rehabilitation Assignment by a club participating in an MLB post-season series (LDS, LCS, and World Series). 

13. Players assigned to the AFL do not accrue MLB or minor league service time, each player receives the same salary, and the salaries are paid out of a special fund managed by MLB. 

14. Only players who are under control of an MLB organization are eligible to play in the AFL  A free-agent (unsigned player) is not eligible to play in the AFL.  

Each MLB organization provides either the manager, pitching coach, hitting coach, or athletic trainer to its affiliated AFL club (assignments rotate every year). The Cubs are responsible for providing the manager to their affiliated AFL club in 2015. 

CUBS ASSIGNED TO 2015 MESA SOLAR SOX  (updated 9-1-2015)
Corey Black, RHP 
Cael Brockmeyer, C (Taxi Squad) 
Jeimer Candelario, 3B 
Willson Contreras, C 
David Garner, RHP 
Pierce Johnson, RHP 
Mark Zagunis, OF 
Rob Zastryzny, LHP  

MANAGER
Mark Johnson  

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  • Apparently the Yankees had the choice of either Gleyber Torres or Eloy Jimenez in the Chapman deal, and they chose Torres. 

    link 

    Arizona Phil 34 min 31 sec ago view
  • Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.

    chitownmvp01 4 hours 26 min ago view
  • Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.

    He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.

    chitownmvp01 4 hours 34 min ago view
  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 6 min ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 10 hours 9 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 19 hours 12 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 19 hours 55 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 20 hours 6 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 20 hours 12 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 20 hours 16 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 20 hours 27 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 20 hours 33 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 20 hours 48 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 20 hours 49 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 23 hours 40 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 1 day 2 hours ago view