2019 Arizona Fall League Schedule Announced

9/17 UPDATE

SS Zack Short (replacing Nico Hoerner) and RHRP Scott Effross have been added to the Mesa Solar Sox roster. 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

8/28 UPDATE #2


One pitcher still TBA, but here are the Cubs assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox (AFL):

Miguel Amaya, C 
Nico Hoerner, INF
Jordan Minch, LHRP  
Keegan Thompson, RHSP  
Erich Uelmen, RHSP 
Jared Young, 1B-OF
TBA, P 

Jamie Vermilyea, Pitching Coach 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

8/28 UPDATE #1


The Cubs have assigned SS Nico Hoerner to the Mesa Solar Sox.  

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

8/26 UPDATE

Cubs (South Bend) Pitching Coach Jamie Vermilyea has been named pitching coach for the Mesa Solar Sox. (The Cubs are responsible for providing the MSS pitching coach in 2019). .  

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

7/31 ORIGINAL POST: 

The has been announced.

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE (AFL)

The Arizona Fall League (AFL) is an MLB developmental league (approximately equivalent to "AA") that operates in the Phoenix metropolitan area for six weeks after the MLB-affiliated minor leagues have concluded their seasons. It was founded in 1992 (it was the "brain-child" of long-time MLB executive Roland Hemond) and has operated continuously for 27 seasons. Games are played in MLB Spring Training stadiums.

The AFL schedule will change in 2019, beginning and ending three weeks earlier than in years past. This will allow less down-time between the end of the minor league season and the start of the AFL for minor leaguers assigned to AFL teams. It also means that minor league players who are eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 free-agent (second-contract FA or 6YFA) on the 5th day after the conclusion of the World Series can play in the AFL without first signing a minor league successor contract for the next season.  
NOTE: Because the AFL season formerly ended two or three weeks after the conclusion of the World Series, a player eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 minor league FA was not eligible to play in the AFL unless and until he signed a minor league successor contract for the next season. 

2019 AFL Opening Day will be on the third Wednesday in September (9/17) and the AFL regular season will conclude on the Friday of the sixth week (10/25). The AFL Championship Game (pitting the winner of the East Division against the winner of the West Division) will be played on the Saturday at the end of the sixth week (10/26 in 2019).  

The AFL schedule will continue to feature a 30-game "regular season" (each AFL team will play five or six games per week), and an All-Star Game (formerly called the "Rising Stars Game," but now known as the "Fall Stars Game") played on the Saturday at the end of the fourth week (10/12). For the first time AFL games will be played on Sundays, and five teams from the Mexican Pacific League (Culiacan, Hermosillo, Los Mochis, Mexicali, and Obregon) will play games against AFL teams over a ten-day period starting on 9/24. 

The Cubs (as well as the other 29 MLB clubs) usually assign some of their better prospects to the Arizona Fall League, and sometimes minor leaguers who are eligible for selection in the MLB Rule 5 Draft might be sent to the AFL to give them a chance to play their way onto the MLB 40-man roster. Depending on what positions they are asked to fill on the Mesa squad, I would not be surprised to see the Cubs assign some combination of position players and pitchers such as catcher Miguel Amaya, 2B Chase Strumpf, SS Nico Hoerner, SS Aramis Ademan, SS Zack Short, C-INF P. J. Higgins, 1B-OF Jared Young, INF Andy Weber, OF Brennen Davis, OF Nelson Velazquez, and/or OF Cole Roederer, starting pitchers Brendon Little, Brailyn Marquez, Erich Uelmen, Jack Patterson, and/or Ryan Jensen (SP assigned to the AFL are usually pitchers who didn't throw a whole lot of innings in the minor league regular season either because of injury, rehab, or because they spent part of the season working out of the bullpen), and relief pitchers Oscar de la Cruz, Craig Brooks, Wyatt Short, Jordan Minch, Tommy Nance, Ryan Lawlor, Chad Hockin, and/or Danny Hultzen. .    

Here are the current (2019) AFL eligibility rules & restrictions. 

1. There are six AFL teams, and each AFL team is affiliated 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. (The Scottsdale Scorpions will be playing home games in the stadium at Salt River Fields while Scottsdale Stadium is under renovation). 
NOTE: CLE, DET, LAA, and OAK will be the other four MLB organizations affiliated with the Mesa Solar Sox in 2019. (BOS, DET, LAA, and OAK were the other four MLB organizations affiliated with the Mesa Solar Sox in 2018, DET, HOU, OAK, and WAS were the other four MLB organizations affiliated with the Solar Sox in 2017, and BAL, CLE, MIA, and OAK were the other four MLB organizations affiliated with the MSS in 2016).

2. Each MLB organization must assign a minimum of seven players under its control to its AFL affiliate, including a minimum of four pitchers (preferably at least one pitcher capable of starting) 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). 
NOTE: RHRP Bailey Clark, INF-OF Trent Giambrone, C-INF P. J. Higgins, SS Nico Hoerner, C Jhonny Pereda, LHSP Justin Steele, RHSP Erick Leal, LHRP Manuel Rondon, and OF D. J. Wilson were the Cubs players assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox in 2018, RHSP Adbert Alzolay, RHRP Pedro Araujo, INF David Bote, OF Charcer Burks, RHSP Alec Mills, C-1B Ian Rice, RHRP Jake Stinnett, and 3B-1B Jason Vosler were the Cubs players assigned to the Solar Sox in 2017 (RHSP Oscar de la Cruz was removed from the Solar Sox roster on 9/18 due to injury and was replaced Alzolay), and C-1B Victor Caratini, RHRP James Farris, 2B-OF Ian Happ, LF Eloy Jimenez, RHRP Ryan McNeil, RHRP Steve Perakslis, and RHSP Duane Underwood Jr were the Cubs players assigned to the MSS in 2016.

3. An MLB organization can assign additional position-players to its AFL team's "Taxi Squad." Players assigned to an AFL team's "Taxi Squad" can play in no more than two games per week (it used to be Wednesday and Saturday games only, but now it's just no more than two games per week regardless of the day), but a player can be transferred from the Taxi Squad to the 35-man Active Roster to replace an injured or inactive player. 
NOTE: INF-OF Trent Giambrone and C Jhonny Pereda were assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox Taxi Squad in 2018, C-1B Ian Rice was assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox Taxi Squad in 2017 and he replaced David Bote on the MSS Active Roster with about two weeks left in the AFL season after Bote left the team to attend to a personal matter, and while the Cubs initially did not assign any players to the Solar Sox Taxi Squad in 2016, OF-DH Kyle Schwarber was briefly assigned to the MSS Taxi Squad 10/22-10/25 while preparing to play in the World Series. 

4. A player can be selected to play in the AFL more than once. 

5. All MLB and minor league players under the control of an MLB organization are now eligible to play in the AFL. 
NOTE: Prior to 2019, an MLB player (including players selected in a preceding Rule 5 Draft) with less than one year (1+000) MLB Service Time accrued (not including time spent on an Injured List) as of September 1st and players who were on the Active List, Injured List, or Temporariliy Inactive List of an MLB minor league affiliate (regardless of classification) on August 15th were eligible, international players frrom the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, and/or Australia were eligible only if the player was not on the reserve list of a Winter League club from the player's home country, and a player who was on a minor league or MLB Injured List at the close of the regular season was eligible to play in the AFL as long as the player had been reinstated, but there could 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"). 

6. A player must be invited by his MLB organization to participate in the AFL and then the player must accept the invitation before he can be assigned an AFL team.  

7. A player on an MLB or minor league injured list must be reinstated before he can be assigned to the AFL.
NOTE: OF-DH Kyle Schwarber was added to the 2016 Mesa Solar Sox Taxi Squad on 10/22 only after being reinstated from the Cubs MLB 60-day DL (so therefore it was NOT considered a "rehab assignment"), and he played in two AFL games before re-joining the Cubs for the World Series on 10/25.  

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

9. A player assigned to the AFL who is not on an MLB Active List does not accrue MLB Service Time, and MLB Service Time can only be accrued prior to the conclusiion of the MLB regular season.

10. Beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season all players receive the same salary and the salaries are paid out of a special fund managed by MLB.
NOTE: A player assigned to the AFL is paid by his club prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season.  

11. 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, a pitching coach, or a hitting coach to its affiliated AFL club (assignments rotate every year). The Cubs provided the hitting coach to their affiliated AFL club in 2018.

CUBS ASSIGNED TO MESA SOLAR SOX in 2019 (updated 8-28-2019): 

Miguel Amaya, C 
Nico Hoerner, INF
Jordan Minch, LHRP 
Erich Uelmen, RHSP 
Keegan Thompson, RHSP 
Jared Young, 1B-OF 
TBD (pitcher)

Jamie Vermilyea (Pitching Coach) 

Comments

Probably the single most significant effect of the change in the 2019 AFL schedule (starts three weeks earlier and ends three weeks earlier than in the past) is that players who are eligible to be Rule 55 minor league second-contract or six-year free-agents five days after the conclusion of the World Series can now play in the AFL without having to first sign a minor league successor contract for the next season, since the AFL season will end a week prior to the conclusion of the World Series. (The AFL season used to end the week prior to Thanksgiving, which was a couple of weeks after the conclusion of the World Series). 

i'm not much of a fan of the AFL season start move, but it makes sense and i find it hard to argue against.  the time between the end of the minor league season for most players and the start of AFL was too long for too many guys to stay game ready.

thanks for the preview/review and primer for the season.

i hope we get more live TV coverage this year.  It gets a little better every year, but I'm ready for wall-to-wall coverage.

i would love to live in a world where we got AFL + various winter leagues for fall/winter coverage.  i don't even need an english language feed for winter league, just gimmie some action and crowd noise.  some of the winter league stuff is great.  if you're a fan of bat flipping and pitchers celebrating inning ending Ks with extreme celebrations, winter league ball is for you...plus, you get to see a bunch of "oh damn! i remember him!" guys.

The Cubs have acquired Nick Castellanos in exchange for Paul Richan and Alex Lange.

Edwards to the Padres for Brad Wieck

Only SS Nico Hoerner and pitching coach Jamie Vermilyea have been announced so far. The other Cubs AFL players are still TBD. 

C Miguel Amaya, INF Nico Hoerner, LHRP Jordan Minch, RHSP Erich Uelmen, RHSP Keegan Thompson, and 1B-LF Jared Young have been assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox (AFL), with one pitcher still TBD. 

nice mix of legit (for the cubs system) prospects.

Keep in mind that with the new relaxed eligibility rules in place in 2019 (see original post above) - ANY - player under the control of an MLB organization (including major league players) can now play in the AFL. 

Since there are no longer any roster restrictions on AFL players, Cubs RHSP Kendall Graveman (presently rehabbing from July 2018 TJS) could pitch in the AFL. Also, clubs who are participating in the MLB post-season can assign pitchers and position players to the AFL to stay in game shape in case they are needed in the LDS, LCS, or World Series.  

Again, players who are eligible to be MLB or minor league free-agents post-2019 can now play in the AFL because the AFL season will end prior to the conclusion of the World Series. The AFL season used to conclude in mid-November two weeks after the conclusion of the World Series, so players who were eligible to be minor league free-agents had to sign a minor league successor contract for the next season before they could play in the AFL. That is no longer the case.   

SS Zack Short (replacing Nico Hoerner) and RHRP Scott Effross have been added to the AFL Mesa Solar Sox roster. 

Phil, what is your scouting report on Effross?

HAGSAG: College teammate of Kyle Schwarber at Indiana... two-pitch reliever (90-92 T 93-94 FB & 81-84 sllder)... nothing special...  

First thing I'll point to, depending on the final order of finish, is the fact that, for the second year in a row we took the lead off of Hader in the 8th inning of a key late-season game @ Milwaukee & couldn't keep it. The second thing will be the game we led 5-0 after 7 & managed to lose. Nats next face Marlins. Cards come to town licking their chops/beaks to finish us off...

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Arizona Phil 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    CHARLIE: Austin Riley is actually a third-baseman but he had to play LF for the Braves in 2019 because he was blocked by Josh Donaldson, and Cristian Pache is considered to be the best defensive centerfielder in the minors and his bat has improved enough over the past year or two to where he is now rated in or just outside the top ten overall prospects in MLB.

    So a package that includes Riley and Pache and one of the Braves young MLB or MLB-ready SP would probably be more than enough to get the Cubs to bite.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Max Fried or Bryse Wilson

     

  • crunch 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    https://www.espn.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/27828247/...

    t.skaggs story keeps getting deeper.

    allegations the team knew about skagg's drug abuse (also his family).  teams are required to report this to MLB.

     

  • Charlie 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Except for the headline, the linked post reads more like a trade hypothetical than a trade rumor. I like the idea of looking at this package as a discussion point for expected return for Bryant. I would say it feels a little light to me. It's deep, with two decent outfield prospects with upside and two OK pitching prospects. But Riley doesn't help the team solve the CF problem right now, so he's either redundant to Bote or sort of a Schwarber replacement. Muller's inflated BB% at AA this year worries me a bit too.

     

  • Cubster 2 days 16 hours ago (view)

    I might have missed something and it's been talked about regarding a KB trade rumor from about 10-9-19. 

    https://apple.news/AJUMyEWodQ2GX1cj1gE4ENQ 

    Braves receive: 3B Kris Bryant 

     

  • crunch 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    they get 3 guys and the cubs get 1 guy.  sounds like a slam dunk for the angels.  pencil trout in the cubs lineup.  he's got upside.

     

  • Jackstraw 4 days 8 hours ago (view)

    I'd hate to part with both Kemp and Chatwood, but if it will bring that Trout guy back, we could even throw in Almora.

     

  • crunch 4 days 11 hours ago (view)

    the ricketts got a brazillian dollar tax break...they need to trickle that down and flex on the entire league.

    we gonna get grandal, rendon, castellanos, g.cole, strasburg, ryu, a.chapman...maybe sign bumgarner and odorizzi to work the pen.

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 11 hours ago (view)

    CHARLIE: If the Cubs trade Quintana and his new club pays 100% of his 2020 salary his new club assumes 100% of his salary AAV liability, but if the Cubs agree to pay a portion of Quintana's 2020 salary as part of the trade, whatever portion of Quintana's 2020 salary that is paid by the Cubs would count against the Cubs 2020 AAV. 

     

  • Charlie 4 days 12 hours ago (view)

    PHIL: Thanks for that Boston context--I hadn't realized the trend there. If the Cubs did decide to pick up Quintana's option and then trade him (assuming the Cubs would not agree to pay part of the contract as part of the trade), do they have to do that by a certain date in order for Quintana's contract not to count against them for the CBT? I haven't been able to find any dates attached to the CBT in a quick internet search.

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 13 hours ago (view)

    My presumption in the Cubs declining Jose Quintana's 2020 club option as well as declining the club options on the veteran relievers who have one and non-tendering Addison Russell (and this also applies to Joe Maddon not returning as manager in 2020) is that after the monumental late-September collapse of 2019 on the heels of the 2018 Game #163 and Wild Card game defeats Ricketts will no longer accept the Cubs payroll going over the CBT threshold ($208M AAV in 2020) or extending a manager making $5M a year.   

     

  • crunch 4 days 18 hours ago (view)

    i actually like ATL the team...the fans and the 3+ hours of tommy hawk chawpin' non-stop is beyond annoying before even getting into how messed up it is they're still doing that in 2019.  it's all they do, just that 1 single thing...for hours...

    fans were so upset about not getting foam hatchets pre-game yesterday (that was the club's way to "dial it back") they were busy letting the "PC police" know they're here to chant and chop as loud as they could before the first pitch was even thrown.

    it took about 10 runs to shut them up.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 days 8 hours ago (view)

    Damn. Atlanta was the only team in the NL I was hoping would advance. I don’t know what I was hoping in LA vs WAS series. Cataclysmic event? (Side note, I live in the DC area, what a dreadful group of fans. They deserve nothing good ever.)

     

  • crunch 5 days 10 hours ago (view)

    i live in the south.  my personal hell has been ATL fans by a huge amount more than STL (or even CWS) fans.

    i've made my decision to sell out my people for personal comfort.

     

  • Hagsag 5 days 11 hours ago (view)

    No more reports. I am sick.

     

  • crunch 5 days 11 hours ago (view)

    ...and m.fried walks j.flaherty (STL's starting pitcher) to make it 5-0

    they were highschool teammates, btw.

    ...and d.fowler gets a 2 RBI double.  7-0, 1 out, men on 2nd/3rd

    ...and wong makes it 9-0...still only 1 out.

    the lack of tommy hawk chawping is it's own music.

    10-0 on a passed ball.  pile it on.  see you in 2020 ATL.