2013 Arizona Fall League Schedule Released
The 2013 Arizona Fall League (AFL) schedule has been released, and rosters should be announced later this month
There are three AFL games scheduled every day Monday through Saturday (there are no games on Sunday), beginning with AFL Opening Day on Tuesday October 8th and extending up through Thursday November 14th. The AFL Rising Stars Game will take place at Surprise Stadium Saturday night November 2nd (there are no league games scheduled that day), and the AFL Championship game will be played at Scottsdale Stadium on Saturday November 16th.
The Cubs usually assign some of their better prospects to the AFL. Depending on what positions the Cubs are asked to fill on the Mesa squad, I would not be surprised to see some combination of position players like SS Javier Baez (who played in the AFL last year), RF Jorge Soler (if healthy), 2B Arismendy Alcantara (if he doesn't play in the Dominican Winter League), 3B Kris Bryant, Mike Olt (if Bryant isn't assigned to the AFL), or Christian Villanueva (if he doesn't play in the Mexican Pacific League and if Bryant or Olt aren't assigned to the AFL), CF Matt Szczur, Jae-Hoon Ha, or Albert Almora (Szczur played in the AFL last year), 1B Dustin Geiger or Dan Vogelbach, and/or Rafael Lopez (if the Cubs are asked to supply a catcher), and (if they have not exceeded their max proscribed IP) a AA starting pitcher like LHP Eric Jokisch or RHP Matt Loosen, and relievers like LHP Zac Rosscup and Kyler Burke and RHP Trey McNutt, and Tony Zych (McNutt and Zych have pitched in the AFL before).
Alcantara is a lock to get added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster post-2013, but Rosscup, Ha, Loosen, and Burke might have to prove themselves in the AFL first. (Rosscup, Ha, and Loosen are Rule 5 eligible post-2013, and Burke can be a minor league FA if he isn't added to the 40-man roster by the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series).
They have changed a bit over the years, but here are the current AFL eligibility rules:
1. There are six AFL teams, and each AFL team is affilated with five MLB clubs. SD/SEA (Peoria Javelinas), KC/TEX (Surprise Saguaros), LAD/CHW (Glendale Desert Dogs), AZ/COL (Salt River Rafters), CUBS (Mesa Solar Sox), and SF (Scottsdale Scorpiions) are the permanent "host organizations" for the six AFL teams, but the affiliations of the other 20 MLB clubs can vary from year-to-year. Besides the Cubs, the other four MLB organizations affiliated with the Mesa Solar Sox this year will be DET, LAA, OAK, and WAS. (NOTE: The Desert Dogs move from Phoenix Municipal Stadium to Camelback Ranch this season, and the Peoria Javelinas will be playing home games at Surprise Stadium while Peoria Stadium is undergoing renovation).
2. Each MLB organization must assign a minimum of seven players to its AFL affiliate, including a minimum of four pitchers (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 conference call 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 the Disabled List) as of September 1st are eligible.
6. Any player on a AA or AAA roster on August 15th is eligible.
7. Two players on an organization's Advanced Class-A (A+) affilate's roster on August 15th can be assigned to the AFL..
8. Two additional players who were on the roster 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. Players cannot be sent to the AFL to rehab from an injury. (A player rehabbing from an injury is supposed to be assigned to the MLB organization's Instructional League team, not to its AFL affiliate).