Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Astros Arizona Fall League Game 29 Eyewitness Report

Wallee is back with his thoughts on your Astros in the Arizona Fall League and his man crush for Joe Sclafani is getting stronger!

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Joe Sclafani was instrumental today in the Salt River Rafters’ clinching of the Arizona Fall League East crown … Joe went two-for-three, scored two, drove in two and had a walk and a whiff in the Rafters’ 8-4 win over the hapless Scottsdale Scorpions. The Mesa Solar Sox did their part in the clinching process by losing their third game in a row and will have to settle for second place … the Scottsdale squad, loaded with Yankees’, Mets’, Phillies’, Pirates’ and World Champion San Francisco Giant prospects are on their way to a twenty loss campaign in a thirty game league – what ever happened to East Coast baseball that they can’t buy a championship any more?

Sclafani, hitting eighth and DHing this afternoon, is now hitting .351 for his 42 appearances in ten games this fall … you’ll recall he was a ‘taxi squad’ member of the Rafter roster, eligible to suit up Wednesdays and Saturdays only – but Tyler Heineman’s eye infection cleared the way, apparently, for Joe to assume a regular roster spot. His DH role today might indicate that Miami Manager Andy Haines may be intent upon allowing Joe to accumulate sufficient At Bats to qualify for the batting title … then again, Joe’s presence might simply be a reminder to the other middle infielders on the roster that there’s always someone who can take your place – they did display some slick work with the leather today, until the ninth inning that is. Joe was the only Astro to make it onto the field today … Andrew Aplin was a last minute scratch from the leadoff position.

The Peoria Javelinas come to Salt River Field tomorrow … the Rafters are only 3-2 versus the Javelinas this fall. Peoria, Surprise and Glendale are locked in a virtual dead heat coming to the final three games of the fall … Peoria has a half-game lead on Surprise, and a two-game lead on Glendale, who visit Salt River Wednesday evening. Our Rafters can most likely hand the AFL West title to Surprise, against whom we’re 4-1-1 this fall, by beating both Peoria and Glendale.

The Rafters will be in the televised AFL Championship game this Saturday from Scottsdale Stadium … since it is impossible to get to Scottsdale Stadium early enough to secure a parking place within a half-mile of the stadium I’ll be watching the televised version with the rest of y’all - with any kind of luck, an Astro may even participate in the contest, though it will not be Mark Appel who is throwing Wednesday night. The highly touted top D-back prospect, Archie Bradley, who has been slapped around a bit, should throw on Thursday leaving the Championship game to Miami’s Anthony DeSclafani, who truly deserves the honor … but as we have seen previously with the Fall Star selections, worthiness is not a requisite for selection in MLB land.

~ Wallee Wright ~

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