Cub Prospects Make AFL Debuts

Four Cub prospects -- three position and one pitching -- made their respective debuts in the Arizona Fall League on Wednesday for the Mesa Solar Sox.

The three position prospects who debuted were SS Buck Coats, 2B Eric Patterson and 1B Brandon Sing. All three had impressive openings with each recording at least one hit.

Coats, a member of the "taxi squad," meaning he is allowed to play on Wednesday's and Saturday's only, was 2-for-5 with an RBI double. Patterson was 1-for-5 with two strikeouts and a run scored, and Sing had the best day of the three, going 3-for-4 with three doubles and a walk. The Solar Sox lost to the Phoenix Desert Dogs, 8-7.

The Fall League schedule officially kicked off on Tuesday with Phoenix beating Mesa, 11-6. Only one Cub prospect saw action in Tuesday's opener, however: right-hander David Aardsma, who gave up three runs (all earned) in one and one-third of an inning, striking out two and yielding one walk.

"The first thing you're trying to do down here is just get your feet wet," said Aardsma, 4-1 with a 3.91 ERA in 33 appearances at Double-A West Tenn this season. "What goes through your mind is that you're facing some of the best players out there. It's a proving ground. The people having good seasons down here are definitely proving themselves."

Angel Guzman started for the Solar Sox and gave up two runs on six hits in four innings Wednesday. He struck out five without allowing a walk and has now fanned 19 since allowing his last walk on Aug. 20 in the Arizona Rookie League.

"Pretty much everything he did (Wednesday) was impressive," added Aardsma, who took in Guzman's performance from the bullpen. "He was throwing that fastball by them and getting ahead of hitters with good, solid strikes."

Since his injury shortened 2005 season began in early August with the Mesa Cubs, Guzman has struck out 29 and walked only one.

The entire Fall League is off Thursday and will return to action Friday. The Solar Sox, which houses prospects from the Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers, are scheduled to host the Grand Canyon Rafters (Marlins, Mets, Rangers, Twins and Yankees prospects) at 7:05 p.m. at HoHoKam Park Friday.

(Photo by Jerry Hale.)

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