AFL Update: Nov. 15, 2016

img_0058Mesa broke open a 1-1 game with a four-spot in the 3rd and poured it on with multiple big innings in a 13-5 romp over Glendale.

Two Nationals appeared in yesterday’s game.

Andrew Stevenson (pictured) remains red-hot as he reached base four times with a walk, two singles, and a triple while batting leadoff and playing centerfield. He had two putouts on defense and fielded five balls total.

Drew Ward started at 3B and batted sixth. He walked twice and scored a run while going 0-for-3.

The loss lowered the Desert Dogs’ elimination number to one. They visit the first-place Saguaros this afternoon, with Austin Voth scheduled to make his final start.

AFL Update: Nov. 13, 2016

ryan-brinley-11-13-16Glendale twice rallied back from one-run deficits to edge Scottsdale, 4-3.

Drew Ward was the Desert Dogs’ designated hitter and batted third. He went 1-for-4 with a double, his sixth of the fall season.

Two Nationals relievers saw game action. Jake Johansen dispatched the final two batters of the 8th inning to earn his third hold while Ryan Brinley (pictured) garnered the save with a 1-2-3, six-pitch 9th to notch his first save for Glendale.

The Desert Dogs remain 1½ games behind Surprise with four games left to play. Glendale hosts Mesa tomorrow, then hit the road for games against Surprise, Mesa, and Peoria.

PROGRAMMING NOTE
Tomorrow morning I go under the knife to fix what put me out of action in late August. Should be out of the hospital by the end of the week, but have no idea when I’ll be next be able to post. It’ll depend on the painkillers 😉

AFL/Offseason Update: Nov. 12, 2016

The Desert Dogs got two-spots in the 5th and 7th innings to overcome a 2-1 deficit and beat the Scorpions, 5-2. Combined with a Peoria loss, Glendale returned to within 1½ games of the AFL West lead.

Osvaldo Abreu got the start at shortstop and batted ninth. He reached base three times with a single and two walks and stole his fourth base. Defensively, he committed his fourth error while collecting five putouts and two assists, including a double play.

Nick Lee made his eighth fall appearance and got four outs in relief, allowing one hit, no runs, no walks, and struck out one. In ten innings, he’s allowed four runs (two earned) on ten hits and nine walks while striking out eleven.

The two teams switch venues this afternoon to finish out the last full week of the 2016 AFL season.

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FREE AGENTS
On Tuesday, minor-league free agency began, which saw 20 guys become former Nationals farmhands, some for the first time:
RHP – Erik Davis, Justin DeFratus, Paolo Espino, Michael Brady, Mitch Lively, Sam Runion, Boone Whiting
LHP – Aaron Laffey
C – Brian Jeroloman, Devin Ivany, Andruth Ramirez, Adderling Ruiz
IF – Steve Lombardozzi, Jose Lozada, Jason Martinson
OF – Matt den Dekker, Kevin Keyes, Narciso Mesa, Drew Vettleson

It’s worth noting that Ivany and Ramirez were player-coaches, so their free agency may merely be a formality. As aforementioned, for a few of these guys it’s their chance to hook on elsewhere and get a second chance (or an easier path) to The Show.

WINTER LEAGUES

To me it seems like a smaller group than usual, but let’s a take a quick peek at how some of the non-AFL guys are doing:

DWL – Rafael Bautista, .276/.338/.293, 5SB, 6BB, 8RBI in 15G
DWL – Jose Marmolejos, .231/.268/.410, 1HR, 2BB, 8RBI in 13G
DWL – Raudy Read, 1-for-2 in 2G
DWL – Wander Suero, 1IP, 1H, 0R, 1BB, 2K in 1G
DWL – Philips Valdez, 0-0, 0SV, 0.00ERA, 1.07WHIP in 3G
MWL – Matt Skole, .237/.367/.320, 2HR, 7RBI, 24K in 27G
PWL – Neftali Soto, .442/.444/.674, HR, BB, SF, 5RBI in 10G
VWL – Aldrem Corredor, .133/.235/.133, 2SB, 2BB, in 9G
VWL – David Ramos, 1-0, 0SV, 2.45ERA, 1.23WHIP in 6G/7⅓ IP
VWL – Greg Ross, 3-1, 2.25ERA, 1.16WHIP in 7GS/32IP

AFL Update: Nov. 11, 2016

ryan-brinley-11-11-16Glendale fell behind 3-0 after the first three outs and couldn’t catch Surprise as they lost another one, 3-1.

Andrew Stevenson and Drew Ward were tablesetters in the Desert Dog lineup, playing LF and 3B respectively. Stevenson went 1-for-4 at the plate with two strikeouts and had four putouts on defense. Ward was 1-for-3 with four assists and no errors.

Ryan Brinley (pictured) tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning with two groundouts and a strikeout on just nine pitches, seven for strikes.

The loss lowered the Desert Dogs’ tragic number to four games with six games remaining in the fall campaign, but just one vs. the first-place Javelinas (next Thursday). Glendale visits Scottsdale tonight before switching venues tomorrow afternoon.

AFL Update: Nov. 10, 2016

austin-voth-11-10-16Led by Austin Voth, five Desert Dog pitchers combined on a six-hit shutout of the Rafters, 10-0.

Voth pitched the first five innings and allowed just three hits, no walks, and struck out three to lower his fall ERA to 6.20 even his AFL record at 2-2. He threw 74 pitches, 49 for strikes.

Three Nationals position players got the start.

Andrew Stevenson batted leadoff and played CF. He went 1-for-5 and had three putouts on defense.

Drew Ward was the cleanup man and reached base three times with a double, single, and a walk. He scored three runs and made a pair of 5-3 plays in the field.

Osvaldo Abreu batted eighth and drove in three with a two-run single and a sacrifice fly while going 1-for-4 overall. Defensively, he turned a double play and had four assists total.

Glendale hosts Surprise this afternoon and remains 1½ games behind Peoria in the AFL West.

AFL Update: Nov. 9, 2016

drew-ward-11-9-16The Desert Dogs took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st only to see it vanish in the bottom half of the inning as the Scorpions stung them for 10 runs before an out was made in a 13-3 smackdown yesterday afternoon.

Drew Ward (pictured) doubled and scored the third Glendale run in the 8th. He finished the game at 1-for-4 with a strikeout and an assist on defense.

Andrew Stevenson lost his hit streak but extended his on-base streak to ten games with a walk as he went 0-for-4. He also stole two bases.

Jake Johansen came on in the 1st with the bases loaded and nobody out and let in all three runs and two of his own before getting three outs. He pitched a scoreless 2nd to finish with a line of two runs allowed on four hits and a walk and strikeout over two innings.

Glendale visits Salt River this afternoon with Austin Voth slated to make the start. The Desert Dogs remain 1½ games behind the Javelinas in the AFL West, but their elimination number was lowered to six.

AFL Update: Nov. 8, 2016

andrew-stevenson-11-8-16Glendale and Andrew Stevenson both remain red hot as the former won its fifth straight while latter got five hits in a 15-3 romp over Peoria.

Stevenson singled four times and homered once while driving in two. He scored three times while going 5-for-6 from the leadoff spot, which extended his hit streak to nine games. He did get caught stealing for the second time.

Osvaldo Abreu batted ninth and played shortstop. He struck out three times, but reached base twice with a walk and a single.

Nick Lee also appeared in the game, working around his ninth walk of the fall while striking out nos. nine and ten in a scoreless 6th inning.

The win improves the Desert Dogs to 11-12 and tightens the AFL West race to 1½ games between first and third place. Glendale visits Scottsdale this afternoon with a chance to get back to .500 for the first time since the Desert Dogs were 2-2 after four games.

AFL Update: Nov. 6, 2016

ryan-brinley-11-6-16The AFL West put up four-spots in back-to-back innings as they cruised to a 12-4 win the 2016 Fall Stars Game.

Both Nationals representatives appeared in the game. Drew Ward started at 3B for the AFL West and batted cleanup while Ryan Brinley (pictured) appeared in the 9th.

Ward got the scoring with an RBI single in the 3rd and went 1-for-5 with a run scored for the game. He had one putout and one assist on defense.

Brinley gave up a home run to the first batter he faced, then walked the second batter before he was lifted for another reliever. He threw nine pitches, but just three were strikes.

The AFL resumes play tomorrow with the Desert Dogs rematching against the Javelinas. Glendale is on a four-game win streak while Peoria has dropped its last two. Two and a half games now separate the two teams as they enter the last full week of play.

AFL/Offseason Update: Nov. 5, 2016

andrew-stevenson-11-05-16The Desert Dogs got three in the 1st and cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Javelinas for their fourth straight win.

Spider-man Andrew Stevenson was the sole National to play yesterday. The 22-y.o. led off for Glendale and reached base four times with two singles and two walks, which pushed his fall line to .327/.368/.500 in 13 games. In the field, he made three putouts (all in the 6th inning).

Tonight is the Fall Star game, for which Drew Ward and Ryan Brinley have been named to the West Division roster. It will be broadcast on the MLB Network at 8 p.m. Warning: Tom Verducci, a.k.a. proof that writing and broadcasting are two very different skills, may be on the telecast.

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TRANSACTION UPDATE
Minor-League Free Agency will coincide with Election Day (or the apocalypse, depending on your political leaning or choice of cable news provider) on Tuesday, but the latest dispatch from Baseball America has some re-signs and a release:
• Re-signed – RHP Whit Mayberry, C Nick Rickles
• Released – OF Brian Pruitt

I’d love to know exactly why the Nationals chose to keep Pruitt, a 2008 34th Rd. Pick who hit .172/.293/.234 in parts of two seasons with the Vermont Lake Monsters, on the Reserve List for more than six years. Maybe it’s an early 30th birthday present? Sadly, it may be as simple as: Because they could.

HAGERSTOWN SUNS FOR SALE

In the short term, this is mostly meaningless – the franchise has a PDC with Washington through 2018 and a lease on Municipal Stadium for the same period of time. In other words, the franchise is at its maximum possible value and this is a trial balloon to guage interest.

As longtime readers know, buying the team is only part of the equation, and relatively easy. Getting a stadium is the other part, and much, much, much harder. Something to keep an eye on, of course.

THE SYRACUSE CHIEFS

Were it not for tradition, I might start with the Chiefs to cleanse the palate. In seven seasons of this site’s existence, they’ve had two (2) winning seasons. In four of the other five, they were within shouting distance of .500. In 2016, they were just plain awful.

How bad? They had the worst record in the I.L. (61-82) and the second-worst in AAA (Omaha was 58-82). Statistically, they had league-average pitching (3.96 R/G) and somehow weren’t the worst-hitting team (3.55 R/G, Buffalo was 3.47) or the worst-fielding team (12th of 14 by FA; though dead-last in CS% at 22 percent). Even more surprising, Syracuse had a winning home record (37-34).

Somehow, there’s a list of four players to highlight that can be extracted from this morass, five if you’re disregarding stats, six if you’re feeling generous (and looking the other way on age):

1. Koda Glover, RHRP — 1-1, 2SV; 2.25/2.92/0.79
2. Pedro Severino, C — .995FA, .226 GPA
3. Brian Goodwin, OF — .267 GPA, .438 SLG%, 14HR, 15SB in 119G
4. Austin Voth, RHSP — 7-9, 3.15/3.53/1.24 in 157IP
5. A.J. Cole, RHSP — 8-8, 4.26/3.96/1.33 in 22GS
6. Matt Skole, 1B/3B — .261 GPA, 24HR, 66BB in 140G

Folks interested in seeing the full stats can find them here.

AFL Update: Nov. 4, 2016

osvaldo-abreu-11-4-16It’s now a winning streak as Glendale took its third straight, 2-1 over Scottsdale, yesterday afternoon.

Austin Voth turned in a more Voth-like outing — 5IP, 3H, 0R, 2BB, 2K — to win for the frst time in five fall starts. He threw 65 pitches, 37 for strikes.

All three Nats position players got the start in their usual defensive positions.

Andrew Stevenson led off and went 1-for-3 with a walk and had one putout in center.

Drew Ward batted second and was hitless for the first time this fall. He combined with Voth on a 1-5 DP in the 3rd and started a 5-4-3 DP in the 6th.

Osvaldo Abreu singled twice and scored a run while batting from the No. 7 slot in the lineup. He also took park in double play (there were four total) taking a relay from left field to gun down a runner at the plate.

Jake Johansen also appeared in the game, retiring the only batter he faced to get the last out in the 7th.

The last-place Desert Dogs finish the shortened week with a trip to Peoria this afternoon to visit the first-place Javelinas.