AFL: Tyler Eppler Pitches Well in First Fall Start

On Friday afternoon in the Arizona Fall League, Tyler Eppler made his first start for Glendale. It has not been a great time for him in the AFL, as he has ran into trouble in all but one of his outings. Eppler came into the game with a 10.97 ERA in six appearances, giving up 13 runs over 10.2 innings, with just two strikeouts and a .408 BAA.

Eppler worked quickly and efficiently in the first inning, retiring the side in order on just seven pitches. The second inning started the same, with a three-pitch at-bat that ended with a fly ball to center field. However, Eppler surrendered a solo homer to the fifth place hitter. He got the next two outs quick and kept his pitch count through two innings at 22 pitches, with 18 going for strikes.

Eppler began the third inning with a fly out to center field on his second pitch. He then allowed a single from the ninth place hitter. He got another quick out on a ground ball that retired the runner going to second base. The inning ended two pitches later on a line drive to center field. Eppler again was efficient, throwing nine pitches.

In the fourth, Eppler recorded his first strikeout of the game and only his third of the season. He gave up a single after that, but got a double play to end the inning and his outing. He threw a total of 45 pitches, with 35 going for strikes, so he really pounded the strike zone in this game. That’s been the case during his entire time in the AFL, walking just three batters in 14.2 innings, though the BAA indicates he’s probably getting too much of the zone too often. This was by far Eppler’s best AFL outing and he saw his ERA drop by over two runs.

Reese McGuire was in the lineup batting fifth and catching. He came up in the second inning with a man on first and no outs. McGuire popped out to shortstop on an 0-2 pitch. Leading off the fourth inning, he lined out to left field on the first pitch. He grounded out to second base in the sixth inning, then in the eight inning, McGuire came up in a big spot. He had two men on base and his team was trailing 6-2, with one out. He couldn’t get a hit, but his ground out allowed both runners to move up a base. He finished the day 0-for-4.

Glendale dropped the game to Peoria by a 6-3 score. They now have an 11-13 record, with five games left and they are just one game away from being eliminated from next Saturday’s championship game.

  • Wow, I didn’t think anyone would actually overpay to the level of the Padres wants in a Kimbrel deal, but hell if Boston didnt just unload a chunk of the farm for a closer. A big chunk.

    • Sure seems like a lot to give up for a guy to pitch 60-70 innings a year. Could you imagine the uproar here if we did that!

    • Looks like Tim was right about teams taking shortcuts to become winners. This trade only strengthens NH’s bargaining position.

    • I was going to comment on this but didn’t want to steal Epplers article. But now that we’re on it, given two less years under control what could Melancon get? For the record I’m a bury my head in the sand and go one more year with Watson/Melancon cause winning is fun but I’m curious now that we’re on the subject .

      • Even if you figure less control cuts that deal in half, half that deal is a steal.

      • Obviously the Pirates won’t be getting two top 50 prospects and then another two from the team’s top 30. But there are definitely other teams out there looking for a closer so they can win now, I think with Detroit and Washington both reportedly on the market there are enough to take both Chapman and Melancon. This trade sets a ridiculous market and I don’t think it hurts the Pirates at all. In fact, even if Chapman goes next it could just leave one of those teams desperate for Melancon.

    • That makes the price for Melancon go up for sure.