No. 7 prospect Johnson among Cubs in AFL

Righty Black, catcher Contreras also headed to Arizona Fall League

No. 7 prospect Johnson among Cubs in AFL

CHICAGO -- The Cubs will have eight players take part in the Arizona Fall League, including three top 20 prospects, according to -- pitchers Corey Black and Pierce Johnson and highly-regarded catcher Willson Contreras.

Other Cubs prospects who will play for the Mesa Solar Sox include pitchers David Garner and Rob Zastryzny, catcher Cael Brockmeyer, infielder Jeimer Candelario and outfielder Mark Zagunis. Brockmeyer was named to the taxi squad.

Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach skipper Mark Johnson will manage the Solar Sox.

Top Prospects: Black, CHC

Black, acquired from the Yankees in the July 2013 Alfonso Soriano trade, was 3-5 with a 4.83 ERA in 34 games (nine starts) at Double-A Tennessee. Johnson, a sandwich pick in the 2012 Draft (43rd player overall), was 6-2 with a 2.15 ERA in 15 starts at Tennessee, including a complete game.

Contreras was batting .326 with eight home runs, 32 doubles and 72 RBIs in 121 games at Tennessee.

A third-round pick in 2014, Zagunis was batting .273 in 109 games at Myrtle Beach with eight home runs, 24 doubles, five triples and 53 RBIs.

Cubs honor Arrieta for no-no

• The Dodgers sent Jake Arrieta a package of items from Sunday's game at Dodger Stadium when he threw his first career no-hitter, including the pitching rubber from the mound.

"That no-hitter stands out because I think anyone who has followed Jake's development would say that no-hitter was earned," Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Tuesday. "It almost seemed inevitable. He worked his way toward it, he earned it, it was so well deserved. It's opposite of the fluke no-hitter."

Epstein recalls watching Bud Smith's no-hitter and how it "came out of nowhere." Not Arrieta's.

"Jake's, it seemed it was so well earned and he handled it with such class," Epstein said. "Throughout his transformation, he's been a model member of the organization on the field and off the field. He treats his teammates well, appreciates being a Cub, treats the fans well, is appreciative for what he has and what he's earned.

Arrieta hurls first career no-no

"He understands how much hard work there is and lies ahead for him," Epstein said. "He's put the team's interest above his own. That was reflected in how he handled the no-hitter, thanking his teammates, and talking about how great it was to contribute something meaningful for the organization. You appreciate a special person, a special talent and a special accomplishment and you're really, really happy for him."

• Even though the Cubs added outfielders Austin Jackson and Quintin Berry, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Kris Bryant could still see some playing time in the outfield. He's made four outfield starts so far.

"He's a good baseball player," Maddon said of Bryant. "I think he could be a shortstop -- I think he could play shortstop in the big leagues."

Maddon likes to move players around. Could Bryant play short?

"You never know," Maddon said.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.