Rays Winter Ball Recap: Richie Shaffer Helps Salt River to 20 Runs

By Robbie Knopf

When you hear 20-0, what’s your first reaction? Probably a blowout in football, impressive but commonplace. When you hear that 20-0 was actually a baseball score, though, that’s a totally different story. The Salt River Rafters beat the Peoria Javelinas 20-0, and Richie Shaffer was right in the thick of things.

Arizona Fall League: Salt River Rafters 20, Peoria Javelinas 0

We could spend a good 1500 words discussing the Rafters offense in this game (not to mention their pitching staff, which tossed a 5-hit shutout), but let’s stick to the Rays. There is still plenty to talk about. Richie Shaffer entered Saturday’s game apparently seeing the ball well, walking 3 times even as he went just 1 for 9. As we have seen with Wil Myers, sometimes a run like that can be the harbinger of a hot streak, and this game could be just that. Shaffer went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles, 2 walks, 2 RBI, and 5 runs scored. Suddenly, despite Shaffer’s struggles to begin the AFL season, his overall numbers are quite solid: he has a .259/.333./.417 line with 2 doubles, 4 RBI, and 10-7 strikeout to walk ratio in 36 plate appearances. The doubles were his first two extra-base hits of the year, but if he keeps controlling the zone as well as he has, his raw power will come out. Richie Shaffer had a tough 2013 season. If he keeps progressing in the AFL, the year may be a positive after all.

Mike Montgomery also tossed a shutout inning for Salt River, allowing a hit but quickly erasing it on a double play. He struck out Patrick Kivlehan on a nasty changeup. Shaffer is the story this morning, but Montgomery has been even better since a rough first appearance, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits in 6 innings, striking out 8 while walking just 1.