10/17 Giants vs. Royals

After two thrilling Championship Series, the field for the World Series is set. The Giants, who beat the Cardinals 6-3 on a walk-off home run by Travis Ishikawa on Thursday, will represent the NL; the red-hot Royals, who haven’t lost a game this postseason, won the AL pennant.

Game 1 of the best of seven series is Tuesday in Kansas City. Who do you like and why?

10/17 AFL update – Thursday’s game

Dan Vogelbach went 2-for-4 with one RBI and Addison Russell had a hit and scored two runs in the Mesa Solar Sox’s 6-2 win over the Peoria Javelinas Thursday in Arizona Fall League play. Vogelbach doubled in the fourth, driving in Russell, for the Solar Sox’s first run.

Vogelbach admitted he was pressing at the start of the AFL season.

“Early on, I was trying to do too much and not swinging at good pitches,” he said. “A combination of that and pitchers here being as good as they are, it’s not going to work.”

Vogelbach and Russell know each other well, having played on a travel team while in high school in Florida.

“He’s fun to watch and it’s even better when you’re on his team,” Vogelbach said of Russell. “He has the ‘it’ factor that they talk about. He takes good at-bats all the time. When he hits the ball, it’s loud. I’m not a pitcher, but I think I speak for them that he’s a guy you want at shortstop or second base.”

Ivan Pineyro, who pitched for Double-A Tennessee this past season, started and threw three scoreless innings, giving up four hits and striking out three. Zach Cates threw two scoreless innings in relief. On Friday, the Solar Sox play host to the Surprise Saguaros at Cubs Park in Mesa.

10/16 AFL update – Wednesday’s game

Addison Russell hit a RBI double and C.J. Edwards threw three scoreless innings in the Mesa Solar Sox’s 5-2 win over Peoria Javelinas in Arizona Fall League play Wednesday. Bijan Rademacher had two hits for Mesa. Edwards gave up one hit, walked one and struck out three in his second AFL start.

“It was pretty good,” Edwards said of his outing. “I went in today just focused on throwing strikes, trying to get ahead and stay ahead.”

The Solar Sox play host to the Javelinas on Thursday at Cubs Park in Mesa. First pitch was scheduled for 6:35 p.m. MT.

10/15 AFL update – Tuesday’s game

Addison Russell scored two runs but it wasn’t enough as the Scottsdale Scorpions beat the Mesa Solar Sox, 10-7, in Arizona Fall League play Tuesday. Gerardo Concepcion gave up three runs on one hit — a home run — and two walks over 1 2/3 innings. The Solar Sox travel to Surprise Stadium Wednesday to face the Peoria Javelinas. C.J. Edwards is scheduled to make his second AFL start for Mesa.

10/14 AFL update – Monday’s game

Addison Russell was 1-for-3 and Dan Vogelbach and Jacob Hannemann a combined 0-for-8 in the Mesa Solar Sox’s 2-1 loss to Scottsdale Scorpions on Monday in Arizona Fall League play. The Solar Sox are 1-4 so far in AFL play, and face the Scorpions Tuesday in Mesa.

10/12 AFL update

Cubs prospect Bijan Rademacher went 1-for-3 in Mesa’s 6-3 win over Peoria in Arizona Fall League play. Jacob Hannemann started as DH and was 0-for-3 in the game. Ivan Pineyro picked up a hold, giving up two hits and walking two over 1 1/3 innings in relief. Sunday is a day off for the AFL, and play will resume Monday with the Solar Sox facing the Scottsdale Scorpions.

10/12 Project 1060

On Saturday, the Cubs officially celebrated the start of the Wrigley Field renovation project. The Ricketts family, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, Kerry Wood and city and state officials, community and corporate partners took part in the ceremony, now titled The 1060 Project.

The four-year plan includes structural updates; improved player facilities; new signage, including video boards in left and right field; expanded concessions; new and improved restroom facilities and more. It will be done in four separate phases. The privately funded $575 million project will create approximately 2,100 jobs and generate $1.2 billion in net new revenue to the local economy over the next 30 years.

The team’s primary focus in the first phase is infrastructure work. The ballpark’s structural steel and foundation will be strengthened, while much of the concrete in the Budweiser Bleachers will be replaced. The first phase also includes the expansion and improvement of the left- and right-field bleachers, which will provide more room for fans in the concourse, additional concession areas and new group terraces.

Several new outfield signs will be added, including a 3,990-square-foot video board in left field and a 2,225-square-foot video board in right field.

Subsequent phases will address improvement and expansion of player facilities; new bullpens and batting tunnels; new restrooms, concessions, seats, luxury suites, clubs, restaurants, retail and entertainment spaces for fans; additional commissary space for food preparation; and an improved press box.

For additional information about The 1060 Project, go to http://www.wrigleyfield.com.

10/11 Cubs payroll

Theo Epstein was asked Friday about the Cubs 2015 payroll. He didn’t expect a huge spike next year.

“We haven’t reached that next level yet where the payroll is going to significantly increase,” Epstein told reporters. “The TV deal is really the magic bullet, the paradigm-shifter that’s going to put us in a whole new level. And then some of the improvements to Wrigley over time will certainly move the needle. But for right now, we have all the payroll flexibility we need at this moment for 2015.”

The Cubs 2014 payroll was nearly $93 million, the first time since 2007 it was under $100 million. That included $14 million paid to Alfonso Soriano, which is no longer on the books. As of today, the Cubs have $31.160 million committed to five players next year (Edwin Jackson, Starlin Castro, Jorge Soler, Anthony Rizzo, Ryan Sweeney). They have 11 arb eligible players: Travis Wood, Justin Ruggiano, Luis Valbuena, Wesley Wright, Pedro Strop, James McDonald, John Baker, Chris Coghlan, Felix Doubront, Jake Arrieta and Welington Castillo.

10/11 Wrigley Field groundbreaking

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, MLB commissioner Bud Selig and other dignitaries attended the official groundbreaking of Wrigley Field on Saturday. Fans can follow the $575 million renovation at wrigleyfield.com.

10/11 AFL update – Friday’s game

C.J. Edwards gave up one run on three hits and one walk over two innings, striking out one in the Mesa Solar Sox’s 14-3 loss to Surprise in Arizona Fall League play Friday night in Mesa. Edwards threw 39 pitches, 25 strikes in his first AFL outing. Zach Cates gave up one run over two innings and Gerardo Concepcion was charged with two runs on three hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings. Dan Vogelbach was 1-for-4 for the Solar Sox, who play host to the Peoria Javelinas at Cubs Park on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. MT.


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