Rays Prospects

Rays Winter Leagues Recap: Luke Maile Homers Off Matt Lollis

By Robbie Knopf

Some research is definitely warranted to confirm this, but the Tampa Bay Rays could very well have made MLB history yesterday (or at least tied it) after they acquired Mark Sappington from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for Cesar Ramos. The reason is that Sappington’s acquisition now gives them current prospects on three different teams in the Arizona Fall League. Most of their players are on Peoria, but Luke Maile has been serving as an extra catcher for Surprise and Sappington is on Mesa. In any event, Surprise took on Peoria on Wednesday, and the game saw Maile penalize his 2014 teammate with the Montgomery Biscuits.

Arizona Fall League: Surprise Saguaros 5, Peoria Javelinas 3

The Javelinas handed Matt Lollis the ball in the eighth inning holding a 3-1 lead. But the first batter that Lollis faced, fellow Rays prospect Luke Maile, took him deep for a solo home run, and that was only the start. Lollis lasted just a third of an inning allowing 4 runs on 4 hits to raise his ERA to a scary 17.18 for Peoria.

Luckily, everyone aside from Lollis had something to smile about. Maile went 1 for 3 with that homer at the plate and was 1 for 3 catching attempted basestealers. Maile is only playing around every four days in the AFL, but he has looked good of late, delivering multiple hits in his last game and then delivering his home run in this contest.

Speaking of Rays catching prospects, Justin O’Conner also had a great game, going 2 for 3 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored. He also threw out the only baserunner who tried to steal against him. O’Conner has hit just .132 in his last 10 games after getting off to a great start in the AFL, but this could be the type of his game that gets him going again. Patrick Leonard also went 0 for 2 in the game for Peoria, but he did draw a pair of walks.

Mesa Solar Sox 11, Glendale Desert Dogs 2

Mark Sappington appeared in this game for Mesa, tossing a perfect relief inning with a pair of groundouts. Overall in the AFL, Sappington has tossed shutout ball in five of his eight appearances, but a pair of poor outings have him at a 6.00 ERA and a 7-4 strikeout to walk ratio in 9 innings pitched. Of particular note is that he has a 5-1 strikeout to walk ratio against right-handed batters, but just a 2-3 mark against lefties. Sappington has an excellent arm, touching 97 MPH, but the Rays do have some kinks they need to work out before he’s a big league option.