No Lead Safe When Playing AZL Cubs

Cubs 2008 20th round draft pick and current AZL batting leader LF Jericho Jones (who is now hitting .437) rapped out four hits (three singles and a double), 1B Bryan Jost reached base five times (two singles, a triple, and two walks), and RHP Ryan Searle returned from Australia to throw three innings of no run/no hit relief (0/5 BB/K), as the AZL Cubs rallied from an early 8-0 deficit to edge the AZL Brewers 9-8 at Fitch Park Field #3 Saturday morning. 

box score

The 19-year old Searle spent the past two months at the MLB Australian Academy, where he led all MLBAAP startng pitchers in wins, ERA, WHIP, and K. He attended Cubs Minor League Camp and Extended Spring Training in both 2007 and 2008, but yesterday was his first "official" minor league appearance. It was the most dominating outing by any AZL Cubs pitcher at Fitch Park so far this year, with the possible exception of 1st round pick Andrew Cashner's one-inning pro debut on Thursday.   

The MLBAAP concluded it's season last week amidst heavy rains that forced cancellation of the last couple of games. In addition to Searle's superior performance, 18-year old left-handed hitting OF Sean Williams hit 330/412/455, good for 3rd in the league in BA, 5th in OBP, and 7th in SLG. He also finished 3rd in doubles and 4th in hits, as well as tying for 2nd in the league in RBI and 4th in runs scored. 

At least four Australians (Searle and Williams, plus two 17 year old pitchers--LHP Cody Hams and RHP Adam Spencer) will be attending Cubs Minor League Camp next March.

A former Australian cricket star (bowler), Hams attended Minor League Camp and EXST at Fitch Park this season before returning to Australia with Searle on May 21st for the MLBAAP season. 

Korean SS Hak-Ju Lee also attended the MLBAAP this year, but he participated only in the "Two Week Phase" before returning to South Korea.

Like the four Australians, Lee will be at Cubs Minor League Camp next season, and he might possibly also attend the AZ Instructional League at Fitch Park in September-October 2008 (still TBD), as RHP Dae-Eun Rhee (currently rehabbing from recent Tommy John Surgery) did last year. 


Wow, Phil. AZL Cubs games sure sound like a hell of a lot of fun these days. I imagine you'll be bummed out when all these dominant players are promoted. Given the sheer number of good players, there seems like there is gonna have to be a pretty big shakeup of the whole system to make room for all of them... Or maybe they'll just keep them there and wait until next year...

I think they ought to send a few of these players up now while they're swinging the hot bats.They can give the Boise team a shot in the arm offensively that they're lacking right now.The players that have continued to struggle in Boise should be moved down to Mesa.

AZ Phil,

Do you know why Vitters hasn't played for Boise in over a week? Is he hurt?

epat debut for OAK...led off and played LF...0-3, 2bb 1k

murton was sent down to make room for epat.

The Murton curse again.

When will the horror end?

Arizona Phil,

What is the scoop on 2008 Cubs 9th round pick Jay Jackson, 20 year old right-handed pitcher from Furman U. His combined Boise-Peoria stats are pretty impressive -- shows apparent command of the plate coupled with an ability to miss bats consistently:
28.1IP, 3.18ERA, 26H, 5BB, 44K, 3HR allowed in 8 (mostly long relief) appearances.

Did you see him pitch while he was in Arizona? Does his stuff translate for success at higher levels? His last 3 appearances with Peoria have been exceptional, averaging almost 2K per IP: 12.1IP, 10H, 2ER, 22K, 1BB

While you wait for Arizona Phil, you might enjoy this

Teflon Tim at it again! Damn!

Thanks for the link, Nav. Looks like the kid could get a shot down the road...

Thanks for the link navigator. Per the article, the guy can evidently spot a low 90's fastball pretty well ... have to think he came up with a new wrinkle since last year to go along with his command of the fb.

He has a pretty good slider which Cubs scouts believe will be a plus pitch. I think I heard that once his mechanics are cleaned up, he could throw a little harder. He's only relieving because he's teamed up with rehabber Jose Pina (who can't pass 3 innings), otherwise he'd be starting.

Anybody know what happenned to AZ Phil? He hasn't posted anything about the AZL Cubs since July 27th. Maybe he works nights and can't get to the 7:00 pm games.I sure miss the updates

Recent comments

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  • May the best team win, and subsequently humiliate the Cardinals.

  • I love arriving here first thing in the morning, adding a few moronic posts (moranic for any Cardinals fans who may be trolling), and reading the sage posts of all you guys. Most knowledgeable fans on any forum, by far. So post like crazy today and help give TCR some visibility!

    I told my wife last night that I'm going to need a support system for tonight's game. Tonight is going to be a lot harder on me than it is going to be on these rookie bad asses.

  • James Russell elected free agency.

  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.