AFL Update: Oct. 24, 2013

Matt Purke tossed five scoreless innings but came away with a no-decision as the Solar Sox were stung in extras, 2-1 by the red-hot Scorpions.

Purke allowed just a one-out walk in the 1st and leadoff single in the 3rd — erasing both baserunners with double-play balls to face the minimum of 15 batters for five frames. The 23-y.o. struck out three while throwing 36 of 54 pitches for strikes. In three starts, Purke is 2-0 with pitcher’s line of 0.00/1.95/0.50 with three walks and 12K’s over 12 innings.

Steve Souza, as usual, made the most of his limited playing time with another monster game: 3-for-4 with a run scored and three (3) stolen bases, which brings his AFL-leading total to nine (9) in just five games. Defensively, the 24-y.o. played centerfield and had one putout.

Matt Skole played third base, but had no defensive chances and saw his modest on-base streak of five games snapped with an 0-for-4 game.

Robert Benincasa couldn’t hold the 1-0 lead in the 9th, giving up a leadoff triple that came in on a passed ball. A single following a strikeout made the run earned. The 23-y.o. closed out the inning with a flyout and a groundout to finish with one run on two hits.

Scottsdale won it in the bottom of the 10th against A’s farmhand Ryan Dull, who gave up two singles and two walks (one intentional) without retiring a batter.

The loss to second-place Scottsdale, which won its fifth straight game, reduced first-place Mesa’s lead to 1½ games. Since starting the season with seven wins and one tie, the Solar Sox have gone 1-4. The two teams will rematch this afternoon in Mesa.

Lee Magenheim sat down with Adrian Nieto and talked about the catcher’s breakthrough 2013 season. Folks who may have difficulty with the embedded player — try clicking the image above, which will go directly to the audio file

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.

11 thoughts on “AFL Update: Oct. 24, 2013”

  1. Any scouting insight on Purke? How’s his velocity?

    The numbers look like vintage 2010 Purke, but is he hitting the mid-90s? How have his secondary pitches been?

    1. He was hitting 92-93 and his secondary pitches were spotty/inconsistent during the playoffs, which of course was almost eight weeks ago. One of the folks who was there said he touched 94 in the 1st and showed a decent change, so take that for what it’s worth.

  2. Keith Law mentioned about 2-3 weeks ago that he thought A.J. Cole looked like he had far more upside than Purke. FWIW.

    Putting Souza on the taxi squad is looking more & more dubious. Seems Souza is far removed from the immature kid prone to temper tantrums. I’ll defer to you Luke on this, but it seems Souza and Walters are competing for the same spot. He’s tearing the cover off the ball this month.

    1. I’d give the edge to Walters if the two were fighting for the same spot, but I have a feeling we might see Souza added to the 40-man and Corey Brown dropped. Still haven’t read/seen any explanation as to why he wouldn’t be a free agent after the World Series is over.

      1. Why would the Nationals drop Corey Brown to make room for Souza when they could drop Tyler Robertson? Or (since they also have to make room for Solis), Chris Marrero? At this point I’d keep Mauro Gomez over Chris Marrero. Marrero just doesn’t have the bat to justify a 1b spot. In the last three years Marrero has 25 HRs at AAA. Gomez has 75.

        They’ll have roster room for the 60 day DL guys (Detwiler and Garcia) because Haren and Tracy will be gone as free agents – thus opening spots for Detwiler and Garcia.

        1. Brown is out of options, but of course as you’ve pointed out there are plenty o’ other ways to skin this cat.

          1. Marrero let go today. I think that is to open a spot for Souza, who would otherwise become a free agent 5 days after the WS ended

  3. Luke–Thanks for the great AFL updates. What’s your take on Souza and his future? You saw a lot of him at Potomac, before and after he “quit.” His numbers the last two seasons have been strong, and he seems to be putting on a show in AZ. He’s got power and speed. But he doesn’t seem to generate much buzz among the folks who rate prospects, perhaps because he has been borderline old for the leagues. What do you think? Is he legit? From what little I have seen, he seems to have repented for his immaturity and rededicated himself, with obvious results.

    1. I’ve always thought he was very talented, but own his worst enemy. Unfortunately, once he seemed to have conquered his demons, the injury bug has struck. I have to wonder if that’s holding him back now more than his age. I’d like to see him added to the 40-man and given a shot at AAA in ’14.

  4. Luke….have you ever gone to the AFL games? I am thinking of taking a trip out there next Fall. If I recall correctly, the teams/stadiums are bunched up in a relatively small area, like the Arizona Spring Training sites.

    Any recommendations?

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