AFL Update: October 30, 2011

The Scottsdale Scorpions couldn’t make it three in a row, falling 4-3 to Salt River.

Derek Norris pushed the safety skein to eight games (hey, that rhymes!) while going 2-for-5 with a strikeout. Defensively, it was a mixed bag: a passed ball, 1-for-2 in runners caught stealing.

Sammy Solis scattered five hits over four innings, but needed 71 pitches to do it. He walked two and allowed an unearned run (Norris PB) while striking out five.

Pat Lehman ended his in-game BP tendencies with a scoreless inning — his first in more than three weeks — retiring all three batters he faced in the 6th, two by way of the K.

Unfortunately, Rafael Martin’s fifth appearance was marred by a 9th-inning solo HR that gave the Rafters its fourth and deciding run. Martin was tagged with the loss and had no walks and no strikeouts.

It’s a five-game this week as the AFL holds its “Rising Stars” game on Saturday, which will be televised on MLB Network at 8 p.m. Rosters are expected to be announced on Tuesday.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

8 thoughts on “AFL Update: October 30, 2011”

  1. I was at the game and it was good to see Norris keep up his solid run at the plate. Martin hung a slider in the 9th but other than that, looked good. Solis sat at 94 and hit 95 and 96 several times. He’s only been throwing a traditional overhand curve ball for 3 weeks now and struck out several batters with it. Kudos to Paul Menhart for helping him develop it.

    1. Good to hear. If Solis can add a curve to his bag of tricks (FB, slider, change), that could boost his status.

    2. Has Solis raised his arm angle overall? One of his weaknesses I saw was a tendency to “hang” his breaking pitches, and I have to wonder if they’re working on bringing that arm slot up a notch.

  2. Anyone know first hand if Norris has made progress on his catching this Fall…..Passed Balls……saw this a lot last fall….I did not see him this summer.

    1. Keith Law was asked about this recently on one of his prospect chats and he said he still believes that Norris will be serviceable as a MLB catcher. Most folks in the chats, of course, have been fixated on his low BA the past two seasons while others are concerned about the lack of power. This, of course, is relative. His SLG in ’09 was .513, it dipped to .419 last season, and improved to .446 this past summer, third best in the Eastern League.

  3. “serviceable”……interesting concept….Not many good teams have this type of starting catcher. Am I correct in thinking that in this new era of Baseball (post steroids) and especially in the NL that good catchers are the way most teams are headed? Like I said I have not seen him this year but last year and two years ago….he had trouble just catching the baseball.

    If my premise above is correct then the Nats will not likely ever us him as a catcher so is he trade bait to an AL team?

  4. In the end Norris ends up as a backup to Ramos. From there they can work with him to further improve his catching skills as they did with Flores both this year and when he was picked up as rule 5 from the Mets. Perhaps teach him another position as well.

    Have to figure they trade Flores who is doing well offensively in the winter leagues but that arm … it looked a lot better toward the end …

    Norris with that high OBP plus power gives Johnson a lot of great options off the bench. I can see him making the 24 in 2012.

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