I was looking forward to MLB Network’s coverage of the Arizona Fall League all week, as they were broadcasting Saturday night’s Military Appreciation Game. The game featured the Peoria Javelinas against the host Salt River Rafters. The Rafters had been on TV four times during the week, but it was the first and only time the Javelinas were featured. Unfortunately, just one KC Royal was in the starting lineup, and that was right fielder Lane Adams (who batted eighth).
Adams struck out looking in his first at-bat against Rafters starter Grayson Garvin (one of his seven strikeouts over five innings). I have to say, Adams had good ABs, but his swings were way late on the fastball. He walked twice and even picked up a single. However his defense left much to be desired. He misplayed a single into an RBI triple and then tried to dive and knock down a base hit that eventually rolled all the way to the wall for a triple to clear the bases. They must have showed the replays to these two plays a dozen times during the live broadcast.
I had heard Adams‘ defense was bad in the AFL, but it was the first time I was getting a live look at it. He picked up an error on the misplayed single, his fourth of the AFL season.
Saturday night was just Adams‘ second game in the AFL this week. In the other game, he went 1-for-4 with an RBI. He walked once and struck out once.
Shortstop Orlando Calixte got into the game for the Javelinas on Saturday night as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the sixth. He went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts and looked pretty ugly doing it. He was one of three strikeouts in the ninth for St. Louis’ Lee Stoppleman (great name for a reliever).
It was Calixte‘s fourth game of the week for Peoria. He entered as a pinch runner on November 4th and scored the tying run in the 8th inning. He started at second base the following day and went 0-for-2 with a strikeout. He was pinch hit for in the sixth. Calixte led off on November 7th and went 1-for-5 with a run scored. Unfortunately, he also struck out.
Just my luck, three Royals pitched on Friday for the Javelinas (they could not have waited one more day to pitch on TV). Jason Adam got the start and allowed three runs on four hits (two home runs, including one to leadoff hitter James Ramsey of the Cardinals) and two walks in the very first inning. He settled down to pitch four more scoreless innings. Overall, he struck out six and hit a batter. Adam threw 51 of his 76 pitches for strikes.
Angel Baez made his second relief appearance of the week and walked one while striking out two in his one inning of work (13 pitches, 8 strikes). It was much better than his first outing on November 6th, when he blew a save (1IP, 2H, 2R, 2BB, K).
Malcom Culver also made his second relief appearance of the week on Friday. He walked one and struck out one in his one inning (18 pitches, 9 strikes). His first relief appearance came on November 5th when he pitched a perfect 6th inning (13 pitches, 7 strikes).
Noel Arguelles was the lone Royal who did not pitch on Friday. He made two rather lackluster appearances last week. On November 5th, he was the losing pitcher. He only lasted 2/3 of an inning, but allowed four runs on five walks. He left with the bases loaded and two of them scored. He threw 34 pitches, but just 12 for strikes. On November 7th, Arguelles allowed a run on two hits, a walk, and a wild pitch over two innings. He threw 20 of his 35 pitches for strikes.
Jorge Bonifacio played just two games this past week. The right fielder went 0-for-3 with two walks and a strikeout on November 4th. Bonifacio had a great game on November 7th, as he threw a runner out at the plate. He also went 2-for-4 with a two out RBI.
Cheslor Cuthbert also only played two games. He played third base in both, but only went 1-for-6. He did score two runs, walked twice, and drove in one with a sac fly. Cuthbert did however strike out twice.
The AFL Championship Game will be televised on MLB Network this coming Saturday, but the AFL season will be over by then for Peoria. The Javelinas are just 10-17, 6.5 games back of first place.