AFL over the weekend

Greetings all. Lots to talk about.

Let’s start with our continued efforts to provide AFL interactivity online. First, in the blogosphere, head over and say hello to Jeff Lyman, the Braves reliever who just posted for the first time. You guys have done a great job in leaving comments for the Giants’ Steven Edlefsen, so do the same for Jeff, will you?

And on Twitter, we’ve had a veritable explosion. Rather than just point out the new ones, here’s a complete list of all the AFLers who are “tweeting” from Arizona:

Richie Lentz, Red Sox — @RLentzAFL
CJ Retherford, White Sox — @CJRetherfordAFL
Jonathan Gaston, Astros — @JGastonAFL
Scot Drucker, Tigers — @Utbaseball30
Garrett Parcell, Marlins — @GParcellAFL
Hank Conger, Angels — @HCongerAFL
Trayvon Robinson, Dodgers — @TRobinsonAFL
Joseph Dunigan, Mariners — @JDuniganAFL
Drew Storen, Nationals — @drewstoren

Drew’s also blogging, so if 140 characters isn’t enough for you, check out his thoughts over on Notes from NatsTown.

Rather than go back and hand out Stars of the Day for Friday and Saturday, I figured I’d look at the first week of AFL action and nominate some candidates for Player and the Pitcher of the Week. Feel free to vote for your own in comments. The AFL might be doing an official version of that later today, but here are my own thoughts:

Player of the Week Nominees

Brandon Laird, Yankees: Starting off 10-for-16 isn’t too shabby. That’s a .625 batting average and he’s got a 1.500 OPS. He went 9-for-11 in his first two games and though he had just one hit in his third game, it was a homer and his 3 RBIs in that game give him 7 in the early going.

Mike Stanton, Marlins: Sure, he strikes out a bit (6 in 4 games), but he’s also hitting .533 (8-for-15) during his four-game hitting streak. He hit a monster homer on Oct. 17 and expect more of that before the AFL is over. He’s got three steals to boot.

Chris Heisey, Reds: Heisey’s following up a 20-20 season with a hot start in Arizona. The outfielder is also off to an 8-for-15 start. His 15 total bases tie him for the league lead (two doubles, a triple and a homer).

Andrew Lambo, Dodgers: He’s tied with Heisey with 15 total bases, having gone 8-for-17 in four games. He’s got five RBIs and two steals as well.

Casper Wells, Tigers: In three games, Wells has gone 7-for-13 with a 1.533 OPS and 6 RBIs. Three of his seven hits have been for extra bases.

Russ Mitchell, Dodgers: He’s tied for the league lead with his 8 RBIs and he’s got 2 homers as well. His 1.667 OPS tops all AFL hitters.

Clearly, there are plenty of hitting candidates for the week. But what about the pitchers?

Pitcher of the Week Nominees

Chia-Jen Lo, Astros: He’s been close to perfect in his two outings thus far. In four total innings, he’s yielded just one hit and one hit batter while walking none and striking out six. The 6 K’s lead the AFL.

Donnie Veal, Pirates:
It was just one outing, but it was perfect. The lefty went two innings in his stint and struck out three, giving up no hits and more importantly for him, no walks.

Dustin Richardson, Red Sox:  He’s made two appearances thus far and over 3 1/3 IP, has allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out five.

Sergio Santos, White Sox:  Like Lo, he’s gone four innings without allowing a run. He has yielded five hits, but hasn’t walked anyone and has struck out four. Plus, it’s a cool story since Santos played in the Fall League a few years back as a shortstop.

Stephen Strasburg, Nationals:
I’m checking the fine print, but I think I’m contractually obligated to mention him every time I talk about pitching in the AFL this fall. Besides, now I can include him in my Tags. In his “pro debut” of sorts, Strasburg went 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out two. He goes again on Thursday in Peoria, so you can check out the Pitch FX on Gameday to see just how his stuff is playing.

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