Monday, September 23, 2013

AFL Update

  So, after our post about the 7 Blue Jays prospects headed to the Arizona Fall League in October was made, some roster changes have taken place.
   A.J. Jimenez was placed on the temporary inactive list by AAA Buffalo in late August due to nerve irritation in his throwing elbow.  This would be the elbow, of course, that Jimenez had Tommy John surgery upon in May of 2012, and cost him a full calendar year.  Jimenez had a good season at three levels, and seemed poised for a promotion to the big club when major league rosters expanded on September 1st.  The assignment to the AFL was a good idea in our eyes, because it would extend his season a bit, and give him a taste of high level competition.  Now he's been shut down, and likely won't pick up a baseball again for at least another three-four weeks, if not longer.  Jimenez' place on the Salt River Rafters roster will be taken by Derrick Chung, who caught at High A Dunedin this season.
   Lefthanded starter Sean Nolin also won't be making the trip Southwest. Nolin appears headed to winter ball in the Caribbean, which is something of a surprise.  MLB teams prefer the AFL because they can monitor their prospects' more closely, and play under better conditions.  Righty Drew Hutchison, who has had an up-and-down recovery from Tommy John, will take his place, and get some extra innings in.
   Southpaw reliever Tyler Ybarra, who was lights out in the High A Dunedin pen this year, also won't be making the trip to Arizona now.  No reason was given, but Ybarra did work a career-high number of appearances and innings this season, so he may be shut down.  Righthander John Stilson, who had a solid year after being transitioned to the pen for Buffalo, will take his place.
   Righthander Marcus Stroman, who had a great year for AA New Hampshire, is high among the list of prospects's Jonathan Mayo is looking forward to seeing:

   Stroman is still starting, and it looks like he should stick there, proving to everyone that an undersized right-hander can fill that role. He had a tremendous year in the Double-A Eastern League in his first full season (10.4 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, .234 BAA, 3.30 ERA), so even though he missed a chunk of the year, he's really not behind the development curve at all. Stroman threw 111 2/3 innings, so he should still have plenty left in the tank.
That doesn't bode well for the AFL hitters, but it works out just fine for those of us who can't wait to see Stroman's electric stuff on the mound.

 Righthanded SP Aaron Sanchez, 3B Andy Burns, and OF Kenny Wilson will be joining Hutchison, Chung, Stilson, and Nolan on the Rafters' roster.
   No one likes to see summer come to an end, of course, but these guys almost make one look forward to October.

   This is big in Salt River, apparently....

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