On Wednesday afternoon in the Arizona Fall League, Thomas Harlan took the mound, with Josh Bell and Dan Gamache both in the lineup for Scottsdale. The Scorpions went down 6-0 early, as Harlan struggled and they ended up losing 9-3 to drop them to 7-7 on the season.
Harlan allowed a single to the lead-off batter. After a fly out to center field, he gave up a stolen base, followed by an RBI single. Harlan got the clean-up hitter to fly out to right field on one pitch for the second out. Harlan walked the next batter on four pitches, as he had control issues during the inning. He struck out the final hitter swinging, but not before he threw 29 pitches in the inning, with just 13 going for strikes.
In the second inning, Harlan again allowed a lead-off single. This time, the second batter followed with a single, hitting a line drive on the first pitch to center field. Harlan walked the bases full with no outs, then walked in the first run of the inning. That was the end of his day. He retired just three batters and threw 25 of his 46 pitches for balls. All three runners came around to score after he left, giving him five earned runs in one inning.
Angel Sanchez came on to pitch the fifth inning and had a rough start to his inning. He allowed a single, stolen base, made a throwing error, gave up a walk and then allowed another stolen base. With no outs and two runners in scoring position, he got a ground out to third base that brought home a run. He finished the inning with two more ground outs, giving up just that one run. Despite the walk and facing five batters, he used just 15 pitches to get through the inning.
In his second inning, Sanchez got two quick outs before allowing a single and hitting a batter. He got a fly ball to end the inning and his day. Sanchez threw a total of 24 pitches and now hasn’t allowed an earned run in five innings over three appearances.
Josh Bell was back at first base after being used as the DH yesterday. With his team already down 6-0 in the second inning, Bell drew a walk. It was his third walk in two days after drawing just one walk in his first nine games. In the fourth inning, Bell struck out swinging. In the sixth, he lined out to center field on the second pitch of the at-bat. In the ninth, he grounded out to the pitcher, leaving him 0-for-3 with a walk. Bell is hitting .256/.333/.372 in 43 at-bats. He is 39th in the AFL in OPS and eighth among Scottsdale players.
Gamache was at third base and batting sixth, right behind Bell in the lineup. With runners on first and second and no outs in the second inning, Gamache grounded out, getting Josh Bell forced out at second base. Gamache came around to score one batter later on a three-run homer. In the fourth, he flew out to center field. He ended the sixth inning with a ground ball back to the pitcher. Gamache walked in the ninth inning. He went 0-for-3 with a walk.
The AFL and MLB Network released their television schedule and as of now, no Scottsdale games will be shown. The games that will be televised seem to center around games played in Salt City, where the “pace of game” rules are in effect, so it seems like they will be showcasing the quicker games to gauge reaction to them. The tv schedule could change still, since the Fall-Stars game isn’t on the schedule and it has been televised in the past.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
Sounds like Bell continues to hit the ball hard while keeping plate discipline. When do the games start airing on MLB TV?
There is a game on next Thursday, but no Scottsdale games are on MLB TV either, as of right now