It’s still 2012 for a few more months. But it’s a new season, fall, and a time for fresh starts. Lenny Linsky had an absolute nightmare of a 2012 season thanks to a shoulder injury and horrific performance after he returned. But finally in the Arizona Fall League he is finally getting back on track. If he can keep up his level of performance from Wednesday, a lost 2012 might just go down as a success.
Arizona Fall League: Surprise Saguaros 7, Phoenix Desert Dogs 3
Finally some progress. The Desert Dogs had a tough game, losing 7-3, but the Rays could only smile looking at how their representatives did. The game certainly didn’t start that way as Rays prospects went 0 for 2 with two big errors in the first 2 innings of the game, one each by Richie Shaffer and Tim Beckham. Shaffer had a tough day, going 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts and the error, but everyone else had a positive day. Hak-Ju Lee, moved from the leadoff spot to the 2-hole, went 1 for 3 with an RBI and 2 walks, Beckham came back 0 for 5 in each of his last 2 games to go 1 for 4, making progress, and Kevin Kiermaier went 1 for 3 with a double, a walk, a stolen base (his 5th in 6 games), and 2 runs scored. And then there were the pitchers. Lenny Linsky tossed the 4th and 5th innings and was incredible, allowing 2 hits but striking out 4 while walking none. It was his first appearance with 3 or more strikeouts since way back on August 25th, 2011. It’s only one game, but it’s a great sign for Linsky. He was supposed to move quickly through the minor leagues, and although his progress was halted in the 2012 regular season, hopefully a strong AFL performance can jolt him to Triple-A by the end of 2013. Lefty Chris Rearick tossed the 8th for Phoenix, working around a walk by forcing 3 groundouts. Great to see just about everyone playing well, and hopefully more great days are ahead for the Rays prospects in the AFL.
Venezuelan Winter League:
Rays players are all over the place in the Venezuelan Winter League, so let’s keep this simple and discuss each player in one paragraph. In the Zulia-Magallanes game, Robinson Chirinos went 0 for 3 for Magallanes- nice to see him healthy- while Ryan Reid allowed a run on 2 hits in the 9th for Zulia, although he got a strikeout along with 2 groundouts. In the Lara-Caracas game, Henry Wrigley went just 1 for 4 for Caracas but finally drilled his first extra base hit of the season, a solo homer. Hopefully the homer can get him going as he has had a rough go so far in Venezuela.
In a non-prospect note, Esteban Yan, who was selected by the Rays in the expansion draft and spent 5 years in Tampa Bay from 1998 to 2002, spending two seasons as the Rays’ closer, is surprisingly still around despite pitching his last big league game way back in 2006. He started for Aragua against Caribes and went 3 innings of 1-run ball in a game Aragaua won 3-1.