The AFL Pitching Debate

Much has been said about the lack of pitching in the Arizona Fall League. On the surface, the lack of pitching is simply a result of an innings cap that many teams now employ for their top prospects. However, there are always quality pitchers that don’t get enough innings during the year because of injury or other miscellaneous issues. In fact, Humberto Sanchez made a name for himself during the ’05 season when he put up a 2.15 ERA while making up for lost time.

So why is the pitching so consistently bad, you ask? Well, the problem is two-fold. [Read more…]

Ohlendorf perfect in relief

AFL Javelinas (7-6 loss to the Scottsdale Scorpions in 10 innings)

Brett Gardner: 1-5, 1 R, 3 K’s. Beat the pitcher to 1B for an infield single
Juan Miranda: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K. Picked off second base.
Steven Jackson: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K’s. His grandfather, Scott Jackson, was a three-year letter winner at Clemson in the 1950’s
Ross Ohlendorf: 1 IP, zeros. 3-0 GB/FB ratio. Say goodbye to the taxi squad.

Remember when I said that outfielders don’t get errors if the sun was in their eye. Well that goes for the moon as well. Miranda’s double was a sinking line drive but the left fielder got a terrible jump and the ball skipped under his glove when he tried to make a diving catch. It was originally ruled an error but later changed to a hit. [Read more…]

Rising Stars Showcase

Keven Whelan is the only Yankee that made the cut this year. The game will be played on Friday, 10/26. The Rising Starts Showcase is really more of a who’s-who among prospects and it’s not necessarily based on performance. This year Brett Gardner was overlooked in favor of Javelinas teammates Justin Maxwell and Dexter Fowler who are batting .190 and .211 respectively. Our boy was robbed…. and I bet they didn’t even wear a mask.

Ohlendorf added to AFL roster

Ross Ohlendorf was assigned to the taxi squad, which means he’s only eligible to play on Wednesdays and Saturdays. He probably wasn’t going to pitch more than two days a week, so the taxi squad is really a non issue. What it does mean is that Eric Wordekemper will most likely stay with the AFL team rather than giving his roster spot back to Ohlendorf. The taxi squad is used when a team assigns more than 7 players to the AFL.

Wind-Assisted Pitchers Duel

miranda-first.gif

AFL Javelinas (2-0 loss to Surprise Rafters)

Brett Gardner: 0-4, 2 K’s – In true Johnny Damon fashion, Gardner was the DH and hit lead off. It was his first game without a hit.
Juan Miranda: 0-4, 1 K – Has batted Cleanup in every game he’s played.
Reegie Corona: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 K – Still looking for his first hit from the right side.

It’s amazing what a little wind can do in a hitters league like the AFL. There was a 25mph wind blowing in from RF and the Javelinas were held to just two hits and no runs. One of the hits came from Corona and it was a ball that a cheap pair of sunglasses should have caught without a problem. They have a strange rule in the AFL – if the fielder looses the ball in the sun and he doesn’t touch it – it’s ruled a hit (or a double in the case of Corona). For what it’s worth, Gardner hit the deepest fly out of the day. He hit the ball straight into the wind and the right fielder caught it on the edge of the warning track. The game photo’s are on the other side. [Read more…]

AFL Javelinas win

The Peoria Javelinas defeated the Scottsdale Scorpions 8-5

Brett Gardner: 2-5, 1 R – one of the outs was a line drive to LF. He also turned a routine grounder into a very close play at first.
Juan Miranda: 1-4, 2B, 1 RBI, 1 R.
Eric Wordekemper: 1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER

The Javelinas batted around in the first inning by scoring 6 runs and never looked back. Brett Gardner started in LF and and it’s a good thing he did because the center fielder was taken off the field on a cart during the 6th inning after crashing hard into the center field wall. They’re calling it a concussion but it looked a lot worse. Gardner took over in CF for Schafer.

Update: Ross Ohlendorf will report to the AFL soon, as mentioned by Fred in the comments. The official report can be found here.

[Read more…]