Arizona Fall League Update: Week Four

Mesa remains two games out of first place in the Arizona Fall League American division standings, but a pair of Tiger players continue to stand out in the AFL each and every time they get an opportunity.

Humberto Sanchez has been leading the charge for the Solar Sox, and certainly has not disappointed in his four starts for the club. Sanchez is second on the team with 17 1/3 innings, while still not yet earning a decision. In his most recent start, Sanchez struggled a bit with his command, walking four batters in 4 1/3 innings. He did give up three runs on three hits, but still is sporting a 3.63 ERA. Sanchez still has three starts left in the season, where he can continue to build on his improving fall season.

Kody Kirkland meanwhile continues to receive limited at bats, but is making the most of his opportunities. In 20 at bats, Kirkland leads the team in both average (.400) and slugging percentage (.700). His numbers pale in comparison to a great number of the others on his team, but so long as he continues to produce when he gets the opportunity, it'll be a good fall for the third baseman.

Mark Woodyard and Adam Peterson meanwhile both continue to struggle in their relief appearances, as Peterson currently has an ERA near 7 (6.75) and Woodyard's ERA has now reached an incredible 12.60. In just five innings, Mark Woodyard has now allowed 12 runs, and while only seven of those have been earned, it cannot be taken as a good sign that Woodyard's WHIP has now reached a 3.6 level.

Power is a priority for David Espinosa, but after a month of work, Espinosa's power numbers have continued to tail off. He entered the week with an .862 OPS, but a very slow week has dropped that number all the way down to .722, with his average dipping down to .261. Espinosa's patience still remains solid (seven walks to just six strikeouts), but patience can only get one so far.

Much like Espinosa, Don Kelly saw a similar dip in his numbers at the plate in week four. The only good news for Kelly was that while his average dipped to .236, he had a pair of doubles on the week, his first extra base hits of the fall season. He did however commit another error playing at shortstop – he continues to lead the team, now with four errors.

With just two weeks remaining in the season, the Tigers are now hoping to see some of their players pick up their production in the final stretch to give them something to build off of moving onto the 2006 season.


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