Catching up on some Cubs news.
IF Javier Baez will play in the World Baseball Classic for Puerto Rico and will team with World Series foe Francisco Lindor to anchor the middle of the infield. Puerto Rico begins Pool D play on March 10 against Venezuela in Mexico. Italy and Mexico are the other two teams in Pool D. The finals will be held March 20-22 at Dodger Stadium.
The World Series Trophy is making a tour of the Midwest and will be at Naperville City Hall from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7. The trophy will be in Freeport at the Masonic Temple, 305 W. Stephenson St., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 8, and in Rockford the same day for the IceHogs game at the BMO Harris Bank Center from 3:30 to 6:45 p.m. The Cubs have a website set up so you can find when the trophy is coming to your area.
The first spring training games will begin on February 25 as the Cubs host Oakland at Sloan Park and travel to Scottsdale to face the Giants for a split-squad game. The Cubs head to Vegas for two games with the Reds (March 25-26) and wrap up the exhibition season with two games at Minute Maid Park against the Astros.
Arizona Fall League
Cubs sent four pitchers to the AFL and today we’ll feature James Farris. Drafted in the ninth-round out of Arizona in 2014, the right-hander has made a quick rise through the Cubs system as a reliever and showcased his talents in the AFL. Using a fastball that touches the mid-90s and a plus slider, the 24-year-old was nearly unhittable in eight AFL outings, not allowing a run while yielding five hits and two walks over 10 innings. He fanned 12 and was named an AFL Rising Star. Farris started the season in Myrtle Beach (1-2, 2.40 ERA, 8 SV, 30 IP, 36 K, 0.93 WHIP) and was promoted to AA early June. At Tennessee, Farris added five more saves and sported a 2.75 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP in 36 innings. The Arizona native will likely start 2016 back in AA but could force his way to AAA before the corn gets too tall in Iowa.
Venezuelan Winter League
DH Bryant Flete (.248) went 1-for-4 with a run scored in Zulia’s 6-4 win over Caracas.......SS Carlos Penalver (.220) went 0-for-4 in Aragua’s 5-3 loss to Lara. Jhondaniel Medina, Lara, earned his fourth hold retiring both batters he faced and stranding a runner in the eighth. In 18 games for Lara, the right-hander sports a 4.50 ERA over 20 innings with 16 K and a .211 BAA.
Dominican Winter League
Licey beat Aguilas 4-1 in the opening night of the playoffs while Escogido and Gigantes were rained out.
Puerto Rican Winter League
Miguel Mejia (1-2, 1.71 ERA) got charged with his second blown save and took the loss, allowing two unearned runs in the eighth inning as Caguas lost to Carolina 4-3. Mejia has appeared in 21 games, fanning 16 over 21 innings for Caguas. The 29-year-old pitched in 30 games for AAA Iowa last year and re-signed with the Cubs during the off-season.