Some of you may know reader and roster guru AZ Phil from the comments and roundtable discussions and well he doesn't get that name for nothing. He'll be checking in from Arizona while he catches some of the Mesa Solar Sox games over the next few weeks. He's kindly offered to provide us with his scoop from the ballpark on how the lil' Cubs are doing. Thanks to Phil and hope you enjoy
Although the Solar Sox
lost again today(5-3 to the Peoria Javelinas), I got to see†another fine offensive performance by Matt Murton and Brandon Sing. (Murton hit 5th and played LF, Sing hit 6th & was the DH).
Murton was 2-3 with a walk, including two doubles, one sliced into the†right-field corner, and the other smoked to left-center.†Murton scored both times he doubled. The one time he came up with men on base (bases loaded, one out),†he rolled into a 6-4-3 DP. It was nice to see Murton play a single to the outfield aggresively and make an immediate throw home without thinking about where to throw it,†something you all may remember he failed to do a few weeks ago playing†behind Carlos Zambrano.†††
Sing is a right-handed†clone of Hee Seop Choi. Very, very patient.†He will drive Dusty Baker crazy, man. He had a ten pitch walk last week, and today he was 2-3 with a walk & a strikeout plus two singles.†It appears as though somewhere along in his career he figured out he couldn't hit breaking balls, but he†DOES recognize them (he just can't hit 'em), so he†doesn't swing at them. He forces pitchers to throw strikes. He takes a LOT of pitches. I'm just†not sure how good a hitter he is. He has power to be sure, but I'm talking about pure hitting.†We'll have to take a look at him at AAA to see if he has a future as maybe a right-handed version of Ross Gload.
David Aardsma had a nice outing (1.1 IP, 1 BB, 2K, including Prince Fielder). Aardsma's fastball sat†at 91-92 in both innings, and even though he had no command of his second pitch (which I guess is supposed to be a slider), he did very well. †
John Koronka pitched two masterful innings (remember, the AFL IS "advanced AA"), and mixed all of his pitches well and threw strikes.†His fastball had a little bit more zip on it than I remember seeing in the past. I†think of him†as a poor man's version of Glendon Rusch.
When looking at AFL results, remember it is a supreme HITTER'S LEAGUE. Sun-baked, rock hard infields, no humidity, temp in the 80's or 90's, wind blowing out, and minor leaguers playing†defense. So don't put too much stock in the offense and pitching numbers. They are skewed toward the hitters.
Next game: October 11th, 3:05 PM CST vs. Peoria Javelinas