AFL: Eppler and Williams Look Solid in Fall Season Finale

The Arizona Fall League wrapped up it’s schedule on Thursday, with Glendale taking home a 5-1 win. Both Tyler Eppler and Trevor Williams came in out of the bullpen and Reese McGuire batted second and started behind the plate.

Tyler Eppler came on to pitch the fourth inning. He started with a strikeout, then gave up a line drive single to left field. Eppler then had an eight-pitch battle, which included six strikes, before picking up his second strikeout. He followed that up with a line drive to shortstop for the final out. He threw 16 pitches in the inning, 14 for strikes.

The second inning was more of the same for Eppler. He filled the strike zone and got through the inning without any trouble, throwing 12 pitches, ten for strikes. That was the end of his game. He had just three walks coming into the game in 14.2 innings, so his control has been strong all fall. The results haven’t been there with a 7.56 ERA and .343 BAA, but he needed the extra innings after missing the beginning of the season due to elbow soreness.

Trevor Williams came on to pitch the seventh inning after Glendale pitcher Tom Windle had to leave due to injury. Williams inherited a runner on first, with no outs. He erased that runner with a 1-4-3 double play. The next batter hit a ground-rule double, but Williams got a strikeout on three pitches to end the inning. He threw nine pitches in the inning, seven for strikes.

Williams came out for a second inning and allowed a lead-off single on the first pitch. A soft grounder to third base moved the runner up, as the out was recorded at first base. Another grounder to shortstop moved the runner to third base, but resulted in the second out. Williams finished the inning with a grounder to shortstop. He threw 23 pitches, 16 for strikes. This was his longest outing with the Pirates, though he threw two innings in his only appearance with Mesa before being acquired from the Marlins.

In his first at-bat, Reese McGuire grounded out to first base. When he came up again in the third inning, he took three straight called strikes. In the fifth inning, McGuire faced former Pirates’ prospect Buddy Borden with two outs and two runners on base. McGuire flew out to right field to keep the game at a 1-1 tie. He came up in the seventh with the bases empty and struck out swinging. In the ninth, he flew out to right field for the final out. That last at-bat dropped him below the .300 mark, as he finished with a .294/.379/.412 slash line in 51 at-bats. McGuire had four doubles and a triple. He drew seven walks and struck out seven times

  • Do you think that McGuire’s strong showing in Arizona may be enough of a nudge to convince the front office that he can handle the jump to Altoona?

  • Good to see Eppler just competing – he definitely needs the activity. Trevor Williams finishes with a 2.89 ERA overall and a 1.23 ERA in his 7 IP with the Pirates since the trade. And, a 7.00 GO/AO ratio – 4 GB’s/0 FO’s in this game. I think McGuire had a solid AFL experience.

    Buddy Borden finished his AFL experience with another bad outing bumping his ERA up to 15+. He had shown some real promise with the Pirates with a lot of inconsistency thrown in, but those are not the type of numbers expected.

  • I saw that Robbie Grossman was released by Houston today. I remember not being to thrilled when they traded him for Wandy. But searching for articles on the trade is how I found this site, so worked out OK I guess!

    • I saw that too and thought that he would be a good minor league signing with an invite to ST. Perhaps he’ll get a Major league deal somewhere but I wouldn’t think so

    • eric: That was a controversial trade with many, but the prospects we gave – Grossman, Colton Cain, and Rudy Owens have never quite hit the mark the Astro’s were looking for when they made the trade. I doubt the Bucs will sign him because of the sheer numbers of quality OF’s we have in the minors, and he has a problem hitting RHP’s. Not a major issue when he was with the Pirates in the lower levels of the minors, but a problem in AA, AAA, and MLB. Still remember the 105 Walks when he was in Hi A in Bradenton! He was the guy the Astro’s wanted.

  • Do you think any moves will be made before the 40 man rosters are set?