Pic: Patrick Cavey

by AZRon

I attended today’s game at the Peoria Sports Complex, the home field for the Surprise Saguaros who easily topped the Mesa Solar Sox 6 to 1.

The scouts there confirmed that the AFL is not using the MLB baseball. That is, the baseball is the one that was used at all levels below AAA in 2019.

The game was completed in just over 2 1/2 hours.

Two (2) different pitchers were penalized once each with a called ball for exceeding the time limit (15 seconds with the bases empty and 20 seconds with any runner on base) to start their windup motion or to come set. No batters were penalized with a strike call for exceeding the the various time limits to be in the batter’s box (30 second timer between batters, batter must be in the box at the 15 second mark and ready to hit at the 5 second mark; 2 minute 15 second timer between innings, the batter must be in the box by the timer’s expiration; once an at-bat commences, the batter may only exit the box after a foul ball or a way-inside pitch).

I noted that, after the “ball” penalties were called on the pitchers, the timer was not reset — I’m assuming that this was an administrative error.

As to the Orioles’ farmhands:

Rylan Bannon played the entire game at 3rd and batted 3rd in the lineup. At 5 feet, 10 inches, he is one of the significant minority of players in the AFL who is listed below 6 feet in height.

He had 2 fielding plays — one was a parallel to the ground dive to his left (ala Brooksie) to spear a line drive on 1 hop with short-hop throw to first to nail the out; and a major league play on hard-hit bouncer to deep 3rd with a long short-hop throw to first to gain the out.

At bat, there were no whiffs and he exhibited some patience, but had only 1 hard hit ball — a low line drive single to the left of 2nd base; he advanced a base on a wild pitch and scored from 2nd on a single to short left-field.

David Lebron pitched 1 relief inning. The smallish right-hander (listed at 6 feet, 190 pounds) worked from a windup with the bases empty and throws full overhand. He was consistently around the plate, gave up 1 hard-hit ground ball single, and retired the other 3 batters on 2 softly hit infield liners and a ground ball.