AFL Update: November 15, 2011

Just one National appeared in yesterday’s Scottsdale’s 6-5 win over Salt River. Yeah, you know it.

Batting fifth and playing left field, Bryce Harper went 1-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored, an RBI double, and two strikeouts. Defensively, he made four putouts and made no errors.

The two teams rematch this afternoon, with Rafters hosting the Scorpions.

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.

13 thoughts on “AFL Update: November 15, 2011”

  1. Sue – With the deadline for protecting players from the Rule V draft coming on Friday, who do you think will get added to the 40-man for the Nats?

    1. One player that they won’t need to protect is Paul Demny. I was double-checking this as a favor to someone and noticed that he was only 18 when he was drafted in ’08, which means the Nats get him for five seasons (08-09-10-11-12) before having to protect him.

      Mark Zuckerman has this story this morning.

      Norris and Moore are near-givens. Komatsu and Leon are on the fence. Of the two, Komatsu has a better chance because he’s proven he can hit above High-A. I think, like most clubs, they’ll let the injury history of Brad Meyers, Jack McGeary and Josh Smoker scare suitors off.

      As Zuckerman said in his story, they do have six slots available, but I can’t see Rizzo protecting more than three players.

  2. Thanks Sue! I agree Norris and Moore should be givens so I think that would put the 40 man at 35 and the big club still has a lot of holes to fill so I cannot see them protecting anyone else, although I agree with you that Komatsu would be attractive to other teams.

  3. If you look back over the last few Rule 5 drafts pitchers are most likely to be picked with very few position players taken. Yes Norris and Moore will be protected but maybe not any others.

    1. BA had a story singing that tune last November. I look at this way: We’re no longer in the position of wondering about who we might pluck away, nor are we too terribly concerned about who we might lose because we can absorb those losses.

    2. That’s a good point to keep in mind. Pitchers who can bring a 98+ fastball and live at 95-96 don’t just fall out of trees; They’re coveted (see Ramirez, Elvin). But the lower you go into another teams’ system you dip for a RuleV, the greater the risk (again, see Ramirez, Elvin).

      IMHO, Norris is a lock for a 40-man spot, Moore is highly probable, and Komatsu is a maybe. Regardless of my fretting over this issue earlier in the year, I now believe that Rizzo will risk exposing the rest due to 1) prior injury history (Meyers, McGeary), 2) age (Wilkie, Arnesen), or 3) current level (Smoker, et al). As Sue_D notes, we can now absorb those losses.

  4. Only guys worth protecting are Norris, Moore, Komatsu, Meyers, and maybe Smoker. If I was another team, I would have interest in Mandel, and Smoker, and McCoy.

  5. Rizzo knew of Komatsu’s Rule 5 eligibility when he made the deal, so I’m sure he’ll protect him. I know the GM in Milwaukee said they felt they couldn’t protect him and would lose him in the draft, so they wanted to get something in return.

  6. Josh Smoker: >>>****left-handed****<<<, mid nineties fastball. Some sparkling efforts in relief. I think you have to add him given that Slaten is currently the only left-handed short/situational reliever. Else they end up using Detwiler/Gorzelanny who are more starters/long relief types.

    Then there's Athualpo (did I spell it right?) Severino. Why is he on the 40-man … still???? MIght it be because he too is left-handed? Like Smoker?

    I think they protect Smoker and perhaps release Severino? 😉

    1. I think a lot of people have keyed on the X factor that while there may be six slots available, Nos. 31-34 on the roster aren’t exactly safe, either. About the only thing we know for sure under Rizzo is that the only thing harder than getting put on the 40-man roster is getting off being removed from it.

      1. True enough. The ideal position for a GM to be in going into the Winter Meetings is with a roster of 36-38 players. That leaves the flexibility to add FA’s / grab RuleV’s, or make trades without needlessly blowing more players off the 40-man roster.

        1. The only problem is that Rizzo has given away three slots to Harper, Rendon and Purke. Say whatever you want about Harper possibly being ready next Spring, but Rendon and Purke will most definitely not.

          I don’t begrudge Boras for this maneuver — putting guys on the 40 to speed up the arbitration clock — but I have to wonder if that might not be buried in the new CBA. There’s already been some talk about changing September callups (e.g. limiting the number of players recalled and/or having X # of players active, a la the NYPL) so it’s not that hard to think that the owners will create a 41st man and create… wait for it… the Boras Exception.

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