Oct 282011

Ho hum. Another day, another four RBIs for Bryce Harper.

Granted, the last three did come on a walkoff home run that turned a 7-5 deficit into an 8-7 win for the Scottsdale Scorpions.

Harper went 2-for-5 overall while once again playing left field. Defensively, he was charged with his third error of the fall on an errant throw but made three putouts.

The news was not all good though as Matt Purke had yet another rough outing, giving up three runs on four hits in the 5th inning. He walked none but struck out one and also threw a wild pitch. As the old saw goes, you know things are going bad when such an outing lowers a pitcher’s ERA — from 30.86 to 29.70

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Brad Peacock was chosen the best AA starter in the 2011 MiLBYs, minor-league baseball’s desperate attempt to feed the PR beast postseason awards. It’s the second award given to a Nationals farmhand since its inception in 2005, when it was known as “This Year in Minor League Baseball Awards,” with Tyler Moore named the best Class-A Advanced hitter last season.

In transaction news, the Nationals have released Johan Rodriguez (GCL) while resigning veterans Chris McConnell and Chris Rahl. Rodriguez appeared in 66 games over two years in Viera, but posted an OPS of just .510 while committing 20 errors on defense. McConnell and Rahl were both key cogs for the Senators in 2011 and will likely be asked to be role players in either Harrisburg in Syracuse in 2012.

  9 Responses to “AFL Update: October 28, 2011”

  1. Great to see Harper go deep in the 9th yesterday. The kid is really hitting his stride lately. Also, Norris is picking up where he left off last year in the AFL. These two guys can hit!

  2. […] Matt Purke’s first AFL start?  Not good.  22 pitches, just 10 for strikes, sitting 89-91 on his fastball and getting hit hard (line: 1/3 IP, 7 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR).  Keith Law’s tweet said “Washington LHP Matt Purke 87-91 in first, nothing sharp, has given up five runs so far after seven batters.”  Now, its clear he’s got quite a bit of “rust” from not facing live pitching since May, so we won’t over-react TOO much.  But 87-91?  That’s not good.  His subsequent appearances have been rough as well. […]

  3. Nice to see they re-signed Rahl; His versatility played well for Harrisburg last year.
    I noticed that in order for Purke to play in the AFL, he had to sign a minor-league contract. Would that count as a technical option move, or is it just a split contract situation?

    • Most likely a split. Here’s the explanation from BA:
      “Much like the Mariners did with No. 2 overall pick Danny Hultzen, the Nationals had to sign third-rounder Matt Purke to a minor league contract before they could assign him to the Arizona Fall League. Washington signed him to a major league deal at the August deadline.”

      • That was the comment that raised the question in the first place. My initial thought was that Purke (and others) who are under a MLB contract but had yet to see time with that club (ref: Harper in 2010), would be allowed to play in the AFL without restriction; Clearly I was wrong on that assumption.

  4. Nice to see Rahl and Mconnell back. I still belive that the only guys I would be disapointed to see go would be Gilbert, and Martis.

  5. Rahl fills a spot in the organization that could get him an opportunity with the big club. He can play all three outfield spots well, he runs well, he can steal a base, he throws extremly well, and can hit eespecially against lhp. This sounds like a 4th outfielder on a club with a lot of slow or lefthanded hitting ofs.

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