Cubs Pitching Rules Fall League

Entering the week you would have almost needed a microscope to pinpoint the miniscule ERA's of the Cubs four pitching prospects in the Arizona Fall League.

Twenty and one-third innings total: two earned runs. Result: 0.90 ERA.

Those were the numbers of the Cubs' four pitching prospects with the Mesa Solar Sox through the first 12 games of Arizona Fall League play.

In that span, Justin Berg allowed one run and four hits in six innings; Matt Avery no runs and three hits in 4.1 innings; Sean Gallagher () no runs and three hits in six innings; and Rocky Roquet no runs and four hits in four innings.

All four pitchers have to date appeared only in relief. Gallagher and Berg spent the past season – and their entire minor league careers – as starters, but neither pitcher has made a start in Fall League play to date.

Each organization is given "priority" spots with the respective Fall League team that hosts the players from said organization, meaning that players with the priority tag must get the majority of starts at their respective position(s).

The Cubs designated no players for priority spots. The organization also has none of its minor league coaches on staff with the Solar Sox, which features prospects from the Cubs, Astros, Cardinals, Brewers and Red Sox organizations.

Just how much does that help?

"It's always good to have somebody else looking at you with different eyes," said Roquet, who spent most of the past season at Double A Tennessee. "Our pitching coach, (Mark) Riggins, has done a really good job and doesn't really tell you too much. He doesn't want to change you too much. It's always good to hear different opinions on what you should work on or what you have. And also, the catchers haven't caught you before so they're giving you feedback as well."

HITTERS EXCEL

OF Sam Fuld () didn't see a whole lot of playing time in Chicago after garnering September call-up honors, but he's benefited from playing in every game with Mesa thus far. The lefty hitting Fuld picked up two hits on Thursday to raise his Fall League average to .364 in 15 games. His 20 hits lead the Solar Sox and place second overall in the league.

INF Josh Lansford, the Cubs' only allotted player in the Fall League to have spent the past season in Class-A ball, has started most every other day at third base and batted .280 through his first nine games in Arizona.

"The AFL is a great challenge for our players and we are pleased with the way they are competing," said Cubs Farm Director Oneri Fleita.

LATE ADDITION

Cubs catching prospect Steve Clevenger was added to the Solar Sox roster this week in place of Astros catching prospect J.R. Towles, who returned home after appearing in just four games in Arizona.

Clevenger was drafted as a middle infielder in the seventh round in 2006 from Chipola Junior College in Florida, but made the transition to catcher beginning in the Cubs' annual Instructional League last fall.

He began 2007 in Extended Spring Training, then hit .373 in 22 games with Class Low A Boise before being promoted to High A Daytona, where he batted .323 in his final 43 games of the season.

Clevenger made his Fall League debut on Wednesday, going 0-for-4 at the plate. Opposing runners stole four bases in as many attempts off him.

FALL LEAGUE STATISTICS THROUGH OCT. 25

PITCHERW-LERAIPHBBSOWHIP
Matt Avery0-00.005.14   4   51.50
Justin Berg1-15.147.08   1   51.29
Sean Gallagher0-00.006.0 3   0   50.50
Rocky Roquet0-00.004.2 5  4  71.93
BATTERAVGGABRHHRRBIOBPSLG
Steve Clevenger.0001  400  0   0.000.000
Sam Fuld.36415551420  211.470.636
Josh Lansford.241102907  0  4.281.310
Joe Simokaitis.192102665  1  1.250.308

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