AFL Update: Week Two

While the Tigers Fall Instructional League wrapped up last week, Fall Ball is not completely over, as the Arizona Fall League is still under way, with another month to go in the season. How are the Tigers doing down in the Desert after two weeks?

It was a good news/bad news week for Brent Clevlen. On one hand, he was named to the AFL's Rising Star Showcase (the AFL's All Star game), and was the only Tiger to earn the honor. On the other hand, his average has now dipped below the Mendoza line, currently sitting at .182. One bright spot has been Clevlen's patience despite not recording a lot of hits, his eight walks give him a .341 on base percentage. But the Tigers would still like to see Clevlen doing more with his bat.

Kody Kirkland managed four more hits this past week, and surprisingly enough, two of them were actually singles. Kirkland added another double and a home run, leaving him with a respectable .259 batting average, and a very impressive .519 slugging percentage. Kirkland currently ranks 4th on the Desert Dogs, with a .912 OPS.

Meanwhile, the final position player, Mike Rabelo, hasn't made an appearance over the past week. Rabelo hasn't been removed from the roster, just hasn't seen action as of late, a likely byproduct of being the team's third catcher.

Moving to the mound, Jordan Tata made another start this past week, taking a no decision for his mirror performance from the last week. Once again, Tata gave up a run over three innings, but this time didn't have the strikeouts going (struck out just one).

As you might remember, Virgil Vasquez had a start he'd like to forget in his debut outing in the AFL; he did much better in his second go of it. Vasquez pitched five shutout innings, as he picked up a win for the Desert Dogs. Vasquez was incredibly impressive, giving up just a hit and walking one while striking out six, proving that his opening start was just a hiccup.

Preston Larrison has been working exclusively in middle relief after being a long time starter, and so far, he's had mixed results. In three appearances over the past week, Larrison gave up a pair of runs over 2 1/3 innings. That week has brought his ERA up to 6.23. One other concern with Larrison; he's now walked more than he's struck out, with five walks compared to just four strikeouts.

Meanwhile, Corey Hamman put together another solid week, giving up a run over 3 2/3 innings, lowering his ERA to 2.70. Hamman also has excellent strikeout and walk ratios, with a 10.8 K/ 9 IP ratio, and with eight strikeouts and just one walk, his K:BB ratio is obviously impressive as well.

Currently, the Phoenix Desert Dogs stand in first place in the East division with an 8-5 record, one game up on Mesa.


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