Ajax steals the show in AzFL opener

Open Thread: Building a small market team
Mariano's surgery a success

AzFL Peoria (10-3 win over Surprise)
Austin Jackson: 2 for 4, 1 3B, 4 RBI – drove in a run with a sac fly, a single & two with a triple
Kevin Russo: 0 for 3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
Phil Hughes: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 7 K, 1 WP, 1 HB, 6-2 GB/FB – only 49 of 86 pitches were strikes (57.0%) … threw first pitch strikes to only 11 of 20 batters … could be rust from not having pitched in 13 days, but nah, he’s a bust

HWB Waikiki (8-4 win over Honolulu in 7 innings) no idea why they called the game after 7
Damon Sublett: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K – he’s gotten a hit in every game so far

Update (11:50pm): I just looked through the rosters, and 121 total pitchers have been assigned to the AzFL this year. Exactly 12 are younger than Phil.

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Open Thread: Building a small market team
Mariano's surgery a success
  • A.D.

    Nice debut for AJax and Hughes

  • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

    Kevin Russo stole that base off of Matt Wieters.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/ Double-J

    ould be rust from not having pitched in 13 days, but nah, he’s a bust

    I appreciate the sarcasm, but isn’t he supposed to beat up on these hitters? I’d be more impressed if those numbers came in something other than minor-league (or comparable) play. IMHO, of course. I still like Hughes.

    • Ivan

      Remember the AzFL is a hitter’s ballpark that’s one.

      second, the talent there is pretty damn good, and while they are minor leaguers, a good amount of them are legit top prospects form other organization. Add to the fact that alot of those players are around the same age as Hughes or slightly older or younger, really it’s not like he’s pitching in GCL.

      Plus, you have to take in account that Hughes at 22 would be a senior in college and just drafted this year, of course he was drafted 4 years ago.

      Like I said before, guys like Wieters and Beau Mills are the same age as Hughes.

      • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

        Dude, all you need to do is check out the top of the Javelinas’ batting order:

        1. Drew Stubbs
        2. Carlos Triunfel
        3. Austin Jackson

        Nasty.

        • Ivan

          More impressive is the outfield D of Stubbs and A-Jax, that’s pretty conforting as a pitcher to have two potential GG players in the same outfield.

      • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/ Double-J

        Sure, I can understand that. All I’m saying is that I’m glad he can consistently get guys out in the minors. I’m hoping he can transition it to the majors consistently too very soon.

  • Ivan

    Well A-Jax had a pretty good debut form the #’s. I understand that the AzFL is a hitter’s paradise but it would be great if A-Jax did well there.

    Im very intrigued by how well Humberto and Whelan do especially Whelan. Really his only problem is BB’s considering at every level he’s pitch his AVG against is always lower than .200 and His stuff is lights out with the FB and splitter combination.

    And Last but certainly not least, it was pretty good that Hughes pitch pretty well. Hopefully he works on the cutter which got serious potential and his change up and bulk up those innings. I want to know how his stuff was though.

  • Old Ranger

    This mean that A-Jax will be our starting CF next year? No! Well, let me rephrase that; unless he is so good at AA/AAA that he can’t be held back…then, maybe. Hay, one never knows, look they called up Melky (he was a bust at 1st) and the second time was a charm…for a while. I do hope, for his sake, they give him a chance to play the whole year at AAA (until sept call-ups).
    Good to see Phil pitch well, now that the rust is off, maybe he will pitch as well as some think he can/should.Phil can go a long way in justifying our faith in him with a very good showing in the AzFL competition…this also holds true for A-Jax, Russo and Damon. Isn’t Sanchez playing with them? Good luck guys! 27/09.

    • RollingWave

      I’m guessing that A-jax start at AAA next year and we stay with Damon as CF until something force itself.

      • whozat

        Damon’s 2007 already showed that he’s a liability on D in CF. Coming off the year he had, I think they have to trade him. He’s below average on D in CF and below average offensively in LF. But, some other team who wants a Proven Leadoff Man will take him on a one year deal, no problem.

        • steve (different one)

          major league average for LF was .269/.343/.442 in 2008.

          Damon hit .303/.375/.461

          not saying they shouldn’t trade him, they probably should. but his bat plays just fine in LF.

      • pat

        just a guess but probably bg in center damon in left xman in right and bobby in right at wrigley or shea. Again just a guess but theres so many corner outfield/dh options for next year matsui damon xman bobby manny, adam I hate baseball dunn.

      • Old Ranger

        A-Jax in AAA sounds good to me, and him!
        Damon must go, his liabilities are with out count. Matsui is our DH, we need a young athletic OF in his place, we already have Nady and Brett (until proven he can’t do the job). Optimistically, we could end up with a good defencive OF. Adding Tex to our line-up will help defray the loss of Bobby. Oh, by the way, without Johnny, Bobby, Jason we have one power left handed hitter…Matsui. Keeping this in mind, I would think we need Tex (switch hitter w/power) and production out of Jorge/Cano…it would be nice to get a power hitting (20-30 HR) lefty OF. 27/09.

        • pat

          damon still had a really good year at the plate and his defense while crappy for cf was well above that of the average left fielder

    • http://inmymothersbasement.blogspot.com Tremont

      Odds are that either Melky or Gardner will play well enough next season to keep CF from being a black hole again. Neither should block A-Jax if he blows the doors off in Scranton.

  • Steve

    I’m pretty sure the plan is to have A-Jax start 2009 in AAA, and then be a mid season or September call up as the situation dictates. The Yanks would still like to see him get his strikeouts down, and don’t forget when he was drafted he was really a basketball player. So he had a lot of Baseball to learn.

    I dont see them making a trade for a CF, but maybe a one year deal for a Cameron type makes sense. I know Girardi LOVES Gardner, so I can see him winning the CF job out of spring training over Melky. Then we’ll see if he can hit enough. If he can’t, and A-Jax is destroying AAA then you could see a june-july call up.

  • Geno

    Is this some kind of bust?

    Very impressive, yes.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Nicely done.

      For the AJax seeing time with the big club in 2009 talk, I was going to go with:

      “Well, let’s not start sucking each other’s d$#%s quite yet…”

  • GG

    Can AJ actually have a season where he mashes minor league pitching before we pencil him in for CF at Yankee Stadium?

    • AndrewYF

      You mean like 2007?

  • Miles Roche

    Guys, what’s the ceiling and probability of Kevin Russo?

  • radnom

    A couple things.

    1. “AzFL Peoria”

    Can we call someone to have that changed? It looks too much like Pedroia.

    2. “no idea why they called the game after 7″

    Volcano?

    • Charlie (in SD)

      hehe, in response to #2:

      It’s Hawaii – either the surf was up, or the luau was poppin’. Or both.

  • Baseballnation

    1) I’d love to know if Jackson is manning center or is it Stubbs? Because I believe Stubbs is one of the best fielding outfielders in the minors?

    2) Jackson needs to spend a whole year in AAA next year as he still rather inconsistent and he still very much needs the seasoning.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Mmmm, seasoning…

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

    Hey Mike, out of curiosity, who are the 12 pitchers younger than Phil?

    • Ivan

      Tommy Hanson 08-28-1986
      Luis Marte 08-26-1986
      Jeremy Jeffries 09-21-1987
      Alexandre Periard 06-15-1987
      Aaron Poreda 10-01-1986
      Andrew Carignan 07-23-1986
      Kyle Ginley 09-01-1986
      Chaz Roe 10-09-1986
      Dan Cortes 03-04-1987
      Brian Matusz 02-11-1987
      Beau Jones 08-25-1986

      There not even that much younger than Hughes.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Anyone rated on par or better than Phil? I remember seeing Jeffries and Poreda on some top prospects lists, and Matusz had #1 overall pick buzz in the draft.

        • http://inmymothersbasement.blogspot.com Tremont

          Out of that group? Matusz and Hanson might be a notch below. The rest aren’t in the same league.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

            Well, technically, they’re all kinda in the same league by definition, but I get your point…

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

            Matusz is the only real super elite guy of that group. Hanson and Danny Cortes are a notch below, but still very good. I’d rate them:

            1. Hughes
            2. Matusz
            3. Cortes
            4. Hanson

            • Miles Roche

              Hey, Mike, is Kevin Russo some kind of profanity, or am i on some kind of black list that i’m being heavily ignored?

              My feelings are hurt. . .

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                My bad yo, didn’t mean nothing by it. Russo’s a nice utility prospect, fits that “gamer” model. Not a real high ceiling or high probability either. An interesting player, that’s it.

                Chris Malec’s a better hitter and has more probability in my eyes.

                • Miles Roche

                  Thanks, and thanks for clearing the air ;-)

              • Miles Roche

                :-<

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