October 2012

10/23 AFL update

Cubs prospects Matt Szczur had two hits and Javier Baez was 1-for-5 in Mesa Solar Sox’s 5-4, 10-inning loss Monday in Arizona Fall League play. The Solar Sox play Phoenix on Tuesday. Baez is leading the AFL with 12 RBIs.

— Carrie Muskat

10/17 Brenly leaving Cubs

Cubs television analyst Bob Brenly informed WGN-TV he will not return to the team’s broadcast booth in 2013, and instead will seek another baseball broadcasting position. There is speculation Brenly will join the Diamondbacks’ TV broadcast team, replacing Mark Grace. Fans who may want Grace to replace Brenly should keep in mind that the former Cubs first baseman is facing DUI charges in November.

Said Brenly: “For the last eight years, I’ve had the unmitigated joy of going to Wrigley to work with one of the best play by play men in the game. I had as much fun as you could have in the last eight years. I have nothing negative to say. It was great.”

— Carrie Muskat

10/17 Winter ball

Winter League baseball is underway, and several Cubs prospects, including infielder Junior Lake, are participating. Here’s an early list of the players and the team they are on:

Mexican Pacific League

Alfredo Amezaga (Obregon)

Esmailin Caridad (Obregon)

Greg Rohan (Mazatlan)

Christian Villanueva (Obregon)

Dominican Winter League

Arismendy Alcantara (Licey)

Jeffry Antigua (Toros de Este)

Jairo Ascencio (Este)

Diory Hernandez (Este)

Junior Lake (Oriente)

Venezuelan Winter League

Juan Apodaca (Zulia)

Eduardo Figueroa (Caribes de Anzoategui)

Yoanner Negrin (Caracas)

Loiger Padron (Caracas)

Luis Valbuena (Lara)

Ty Wright (Aragua)

Note: Tony Campana and Miguel Socolovich also were to play for Caracas in Venezuela

10/17 AFL update

Cubs top prospect Javier Baez had two hits and one RBI but it wasn’t enough as the Mesa Solar Sox lost 4-2 on Tuesday to Peoria in Arizona Fall League play. Matt Szczur and Rubi Silva both started, and were hitless. Baez, who is tied for the AFL lead in RBIs, started at third for the second time in AFL play. Kevin Rhoderick gave up one hit and struck out two in one inning of relief, and Nick Struck threw one hitless inning in relief. On Wednesday, Mesa travels to Scottsdale for a game. First pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. MT.

— Carrie Muskat

10/16 Ticket prices drop for 2013

The average price for Cubs’ season tickets will be 2 percent lower in 2013, and Wrigley Field bleacher tickets on average will drop by 10 percent. The Cubs notified season ticket holders on Tuesday of the changes, saying season ticket prices/invoices will either be flat or reduced for the second straight season. Also, for the second year in a row, Cubs season ticket holders will pay less when compared to individual game ticket buyers. On average, a Cubs season ticket will be $1 to $2 less per game than individual game tickets in the same location for next year.

Here are some of the details sent to season ticket holders:

Bleacher tickets:

Bleacher season ticket prices and individual game prices will decrease on average by 10 percent per ticket. The 2013 season marks the second straight year that bleacher tickets will experience a double-digit percentage price decrease. The top Marquee level bleacher individual ticket prices will be reduced from $78 to $69 (plus fees), and there are less than half as many Marquee games next year (six in 2013) than the just-completed season (13 in 2012).

The Cubs also said there will be seven fewer Marquee and Platinum level bleacher games in 2013, dropping from 22 in 2012 to 15 in 2013. There will be 66 Bronze/Silver/Gold bleacher games in 2013 instead of 59 in 2012.

The Marquee home games for the bleachers include Opening Day, April 8, against the Brewers; July 6 vs. the Pirates; July 12-14 vs. the Cardinals; Aug. 3 vs. the Dodgers; and Aug. 17 vs. the Cardinals. The Platinum level bleacher games will be May 29-30 vs. the White Sox; June 1 vs. the Diamondbacks; June 8 vs. the Pirates; June 22 vs. the Astros; July 5 vs. the Pirates; and Aug. 2 and Aug. 4 vs. the Dodgers.

Seating bowl tickets:

For the second straight year, there will be no increase in the 2013 invoice for daily season ticket holders compared to 2012, and some will see a decrease. All Terrace Reserved Outfield seating for both season ticket holders and the average individual game price will be reduced by an average of 5 percent. The Cubs also said all Upper Deck Reserved seating for both season ticket invoices and average individual game price will be reduced by an average of 10 percent. There will be 26 Marquee/Platinum seating bowl games in 2013, down from 29 in 2012, and there will be 55  Bronze/Silver/Gold bleacher games in 2013, up from 52 this year.

The nine Marquee home games for the seating bowl will include Opening Day, April 8, against the Brewers; May 29-30 against the White Sox; July 6 vs. the Pirates; July 12-14 vs. the Cardinals; Aug. 3 vs. the Dodgers; and Aug. 17 vs. the Cardinals.

— Carrie Muskat

10/16 Cubs complete Baker deal

The Cubs acquired right-handed pitcher Marcelo Carreno from the Tigers to complete the Aug. 5 trade for infielder Jeff Baker. Carreno, 21, went 9-8 with a 3.23 ERA in 27 starts for Class A West Michigan, striking out 119 batters and walking 28 over 139 1/3 innings. He was ranked No. 11 prospect in the Tigers’ system by MLB.com The trade is now complete, with the Cubs receiving Carreno and a cash consideration for Baker. Baker, 31, batted .269 in 54 games with the Cubs before he was dealt to the Tigers, and batted .200 in 15 games with them before he was designated for assignment on Aug. 31, then traded to the Braves. He was 2-for-19 in 14 games with Atlanta.

— Carrie Muskat

10/16 AFL update

Cubs prospect Matt Szczur was 3-for-4 with a double and one RBI and Javier Baez drove in a run but it wasn’t enough as the Mesa Solar Sox lost 9-2 to Peoria on Monday in Arizona Fall League play. The Solar Sox travel to Peoria, AZ, on Tuesday for a game at 12:35 p.m. MT.

— Carrie Muskat

10/15 Join Rizzo in his fight against cancer

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo will host his first “Walk Off for Cancer” on Dec. 9 at Pine Trails Park in Parkland, Fla. The event will include a 5K walk, entertainment and refreshments. It’s family friendly and appropriate for all ages. Pre-registration is required for the walk. For more info, go to www.Rizzo44.com, and click on “Registration.”

And if you won’t be in Florida for the walk, you can make a donation to Rizzo’s foundation. The goal is to raise $30,000, and as of Monday night, the foundation had already received more than $15,000. If you make a $100 donation, you’ll receive an autographed photo of Rizzo. If you donate $500, you’ll receive an autographed photo and autographed baseball. A $1,000 donation will get you a photo, baseball and autographed bat. And if you go to MVP status and donate $2,500, you’ll receive a signed photo, baseball, bat plus an autographed jersey.

This is a first step for Rizzo, a cancer survivor, whose goal is to raise money for cancer research. He hopes to have an event in Chicago next year.

— Carrie Muskat

10/14 Front office changes

Jimmy Bank, who just finished his 20th season as the Cubs traveling secretary, was dismissed this week. Bank joins a list of front office staff now gone, including Oneri Fleita and Chuck Wasserstrom. The Cubs notified Bank on Thursday about the change. No replacement has been named.

— Carrie Muskat

10/14 AFL update

Javier Baez hit a three-run homer, his second in the Arizona Fall League, to help the Mesa Solar Sox beat Phoenix, 8-3, on Saturday. Baez is batting .294 in the AFL. Rubi Silva was 2-for-5 and scored two runs. Tony Zych pitched the ninth. He has given up one hit over 2 1/3 scoreless innings in three outings, striking out two. The Solar Sox have Sunday off, then return to action Monday, playing host to Peoria at HoHoKam Stadium at 12:35 p.m. MT.

— Carrie Muskat