Results tagged ‘ Joe Niekro Foundation ’

Final tally for AFL Aneurysm Awareness Week

Saturday was the final day of Brain Aneurysm Awareness Week, the effort held in the Arizona Fall League in conjunction with the Joe Niekro Foundation.

They worked together this year to
raise awareness and funds for research on brain aneurysms. As part of
that, we counted strikeouts from the pitchers in each of the seven
organizations Joe Niekro pitched for over the course of his Major League
career. Natalie Niekro, Joe’s daughter and founder of the foundation is
donating $36 per strikeout for all K’s from those organizations this
week. In addition, the Cubs, Tigers, Twins and Yankees have agreed to
make a similar donation for their pitchers’ strikeouts as well. And Linda Inglett (find out about her at BAHELP.com) is chipping in with $10 per K as well.

(Other ways to get involved: You can always text STRIKEOUT to 20222 to donate $10 to the Joe Niekro Foundation  any time you want. The Joe Niekro Foundation is having their annual big shindig in Houston on Saturday, Nov. 13 at Minute Maid Park. It’s called the Knuckle Ball
(get it?). It’s a fantastic, fancy-shmancy dinner/fund-raiser that
brings in a lot of money to help the Foundation do its very important
work. I’ll be there (hope the ol’ tux still fits). You can be to,
hobnobbing with some of the greats of baseball, bidding on fantastic
auction items, seeing outstanding live entertainment, all while helping a
fantastic charity.)

Lets take a look to see how many K’s were record on Friday and Saturday for this cause:

Friday saw just four strikeouts, courtesy of the Padres’ Alexis Lara and the Braves’ Benino Pruneda. That brought in $112 total, to bring the grand total to $2320.

As for Saturday…it was a much more productive day:

Cubs — 5
Padres — 5
Tigers — 3
Yankees –1
Braves — 1

That’s 15 strikeouts in total. Nice way to finish up. The donation for Saturday is:

$540 (Natalie Niekro’s donation)+$150 (Linda’s donation)+$324 (team donation) = $1014

That’s the highest one-day total for the week! And it brings the overall total of money raised for the Joe Niekro Foundation to: $3334.

The final team standings:

Twins — 9
Cubs — 8
Padres — 8
Tigers — 7
Yankees — 7
Astros — 6
Braves — 3

Thanks to the four teams who agreed to participate, an additional $1116 was added. So next time you run into someone from the Twins Cubs, Tigers or Yankees, thank them for the help. And if you ever meet Linda Inglett, thank her for all that she’s doing for this issue, including the $480 she’s contributing to the Joe Niekro Foundation as a result of this effort.

Day Four of AFL Aneurysm Awareness Week

It was a quiet day on the strikeout front for the Joe Niekro Foundation in the Arizona Fall League on Thursday. Only four strikeouts were recorded for the effort:

Yankees — 3 (Thank you Manny Banuelos)
Tigers — 1

So that’s $328 total ($144 from Natalie Niekro, $144 from the teams participating and $40 from Linda Inglett). That brings the week’s total to: $2136

The overall standings:

Twins — 9
Yankees — 6
Astros — 6
Tigers — 5
Cubs — 3
Padres — 1

As a reminder, the Joe Niekro Foundation
and the Arizona Fall League are working together again this year to
raise awareness and funds for research on brain aneurysms. As part of
that, we’re counting strikeouts from the pitchers in each of the seven
organizations Joe Niekro pitched for over the course of his Major League
career. Natalie Niekro, Joe’s daughter and founder of the foundation is
donating $36 per strikeout for all K’s from those organizations this
week. In addition, the Cubs, Tigers, Twins and Yankees have agreed to
make a similar donation for their pitchers’ strikeouts as well. And Linda Inglett (find out about her at BAHELP.com) is chipping in with $10 per K as well.

You can always text STRIKEOUT to 20222 to donate $10 to the Joe Niekro Foundation  any time you want.

The Joe Niekro Foundation is having their annual big shindig in Houston on Saturday, Nov. 13 at Minute Maid Park. It’s called the Knuckle Ball (get it?). It’s a fantastic, fancy-shmancy dinner/fund-raiser that brings in a lot of money to help the Foundation do its very important work. I’ll be there (hope the ol’ tux still fits). You can be to, hobnobbing with some of the greats of baseball, bidding on fantastic auction items, seeing outstanding live entertainment, all while helping a fantastic charity.
rzep.jpg
While certain hitters keep raking (Johnny Giavotella had two more hits and his hitting .441; Ben Revere‘s three hits brought his average up to .411) and others had huge games on Wednesday (Derek Norris homered and drove in five runs; Conor Gillaspie went 4-for-4 with a pair of solo shots), I’m going to stay on the mound again for Wednesday’s Star of the Day. Any time a pitcher goes six innings in the AFL, it’s worth noting. That’s exactly what Blue Jays lefty Marc Rzepczynski did on Thursday. The 25-year-old has some considerable big-league time over the past two years and he’s pitched well now in three AFL outings, allowing just two earned runs in 14 innings. Hitters have hit him to the tune of a .291 average, but he’s also been an extreme ground-ball pitcher, with a 4.00 GO/AO rate. On Wednesday, he became the first AFL hurler this season to go six innings, allowing one run on six hits and picking up the win for the Javelinas.

In case you missed it, I had a story run the other day on the impact the Giants’ and Rangers’ farm systems have had on the current World Series rosters. I want to go back a little further in time, mostly because it’s rare I get the opportunity to show how smart we can be around here.

Back in March of 2009, then-colleague Lisa Winston (you can now read her coverage of the indy Atlantic League scene on Queen of Diamonds) and I wrote a kind of point-counterpoint piece on the top farm systems in baseball. The idea then was to focus more on which team’s system would have the biggest impact in 2009, but with an eye to what might happen beyond that. Well, wouldn’t you know it. I wrote about the Texas Rangers and Lisa wrote about… yep, you guessed it, the San Francisco Giants. Guess we were just a tiny bit ahead of our time…

Day Three of AFL Aneurysm Awareness Week

We’re through three days of Brain Aneurysm Awareness Week in the Arizona Fall League …

As a reminder, the Joe Niekro Foundation
and the Arizona Fall League are working together again this year to
raise awareness and funds for research on brain aneurysms. As part of
that, we’re counting strikeouts from the pitchers in each of the seven
organizations Joe Niekro pitched for over the course of his Major League
career. Natalie Niekro, Joe’s daughter and founder of the foundation is
donating $36 per strikeout for all K’s from those organizations this
week. In addition, the Cubs, Tigers, Twins and Yankees have agreed to
make a similar donation for their pitchers’ strikeouts as well. And Linda Inglett (find out about her at BAHELP.com) is chipping in with $10 per K as well.

Here’s the update from Wednesday (it was a very good day):

Twins — 6
Astros — 4
Yankees — 2
Cubs — 2
Total: 14 K

Amount raised for the day: $504 (Niekro donation) + $288 (team donation) + $140 (Linda) = $932

Add that to the first two days and we’ve got a grand total of: $1808

David Bromberg probably wasn’t thrilled with his outing, but he deserves kudos for his 4-K contribution to this cause. The overall standings:

Twins — 9
Astros — 6
Tigers — 4
Cubs — 3
Yankees — 3
Padres — 1

As for Star of the Day, we have to stay on the mound for Wednesday. Eric Hurley was ahurley.JPG first-round pick of the Rangers back in 2004, taken 30th overall. He spent three-plus seasons in the Minors before making his big-league debut in 2008. That would also be the last time he would pitch competitively until now, in the Arizona Fall League, thanks to shoulder surgery (left wrist surgery to his left wrist didn’t help, but didn’t really keep him off the mound so much). Had things gone according to plan, he might be in the Rangers rotation during the World Series. Instead, he’s trying to get some innings under his belt with the Surprise Rafters. On Wednesday, he made them count, firing five shutout innings. The right-hander, now 25, allowed only two hits and walked none while striking out five.as the Rafters shut out the Saguaros, 7-0.

Day Two of AFL Aneurysm Awareness Week

First off, I have to give a big shout out to Linda Inglett (check out her story on BAHELP.com). If you didn’t see it on yesterday’s post, Linda announced that she would donate $10 for every strikeout for the week!!!

As a reminder, the Joe Niekro Foundation
and the Arizona Fall League are working together again this year to
raise awareness and funds for research on brain aneurysms. As part of
that, we’re counting strikeouts from the pitchers in each of the seven
organizations Joe Niekro pitched for over the course of his Major League
career. Natalie Niekro, Joe’s daughter and founder of the foundation is
donating $36 per strikeout for all K’s from those organizations this
week. In addition, the Cubs, Tigers, Twins and Yankees have agreed to
make a similar donation for their pitchers’ strikeouts as well.

And now we have Linda to add to the mix. So lets see how things went on Tuesday:

Twins — 2
Yankees — 1
Tigers — 1
Padres — 1
Total: 5 Ks

Total amount raised for the day: $180 (Niekro donation) + $144 (team donation) + $50 (Linda donation) = $374 for Tuesday

Add that to Monday’s total of $432, along with the $70 from Linda for Monday’s K’s and we’re up to $876. Not too bad… anyone else out there want to step up and make a per K donation? And remember, you can always text STRIKEOUT to 20222 to donate $10 to the Joe Niekro Foundation  any time you want.

The overall team standings:

Tigers — 4
Twins — 3
Astros — 2
Cubs — 1
Yankees — 1
Padres — 1

For Star of the Day, as tempting as it is to go with Mariners pitcher Maikel Cleto for hisThumbnail image for Harrison.JPG threeinnings of one-hit, four-strikeout ball, it’s hard to look past the offensive achievements of the folks in that 18-9 Mesa win. Mesa had 22 hits in that one, with the top two in the lineup with four hits apiece (Josh Harrison and Jeremy Moore). Two others had three hits and the Pirates’ Andrew Lambo had four RBIs to go along with his three knocks. Both Harrison and Moore homered and drove in three. But the edge goes to the Pirates’ Harrison, for also doubling twice and scoring five runs from the leadoff spot

Day One of AFL Aneurysm Awareness Week

Well, it wasn’t exactly a rip-roaring start to Brain Aneurysm Awareness Week in the Arizona Fall League on Monday, but every little bit helps.

As a reminder, the Joe Niekro Foundation and the Arizona Fall League are working together again this year to raise awareness and funds for research on brain aneurysms. As part of that, we’re counting strikeouts from the pitchers in each of the seven organizations Joe Niekro pitched for over the course of his Major League career. Natalie Niekro, Joe’s daughter and founder of the foundation is donating $36 per strikeout for all K’s from those organizations this week. In addition, the Cubs, Tigers, Twins and Yankees have agreed to make a similar donation for their pitchers’ strikeouts as well.

After Day 1, here’s where we stand:

Tigers — 3
Astros — 2
Cubs — 1
Twins — 1
Total: 7 Ks

Total amount raised: $252 (Niekro donation) + $180 (team donation) =  $432

Pat Urckfitz (Astros) and Brooks Brown (Tigers) are the early individual leaders, each with a pair of punchouts.

And hey, B3 fans… no comments or involvement from my post yesterday? Come on, pick a team to pull for this week. Get in on the act and tell me which team you think will strikeout the most batters and how many  they’ll whiff.
Thumbnail image for cory.JPG
Star of the Day is a slam dunk from Monday and it’s great because I get to plug our AFLbloggers at the same time. Braves prospect (and blogger) Cory Harrilchak went 4-for-4 on Monday for Phoenix in its 8-6 win against Mesa. The outfielder had three RBIs, two coming on a home run in the second inning. He also scored two runs and stole a base. Harrilchak has gone 13-for-28 (.464) in seven games so far. He’s third in batting average, third in OBP, fourth in SLG and third in OPS. Not a bad start. 

Off and running in the AFL

Gotta love this time of year, with the start of winter leagues, especially the Arizona Fall League. They are two games in — looks like Scottsdale’s running away with it, huh? — and high time I start blogging about what’s going on there. (The big news, of course, is that Bryce Harper will be there on Scottsdale’s taxi squad)

Every fall, I make the claim that I’m going to try and pick a Star of the Day each day (at least weekdas) of the AFL. It doesn’t always work out that way, but it’s worth at least giving it a shot, right?

Since two days have passed, we’ll just do one for the two games. While many hitters have

Michael_Taylor.JPG

gotten off to good starts — Ryan Adams went 3-for-3 yesterday to improve to 4-for-7 with a homer and five RBIs, as an example — but the first Star of the Day(s) has to go to Michael Taylor in the A’s organization. The outfielder who went from the Phillies to the Blue Jays to the A’s during the whole Roy Halladay trade extravaganza has shown the power he was known for, but was missing during the 2010 season, so far. He’s homered in both games and gone a combined 5-for-8 with the two homers, four RBIs and 12 total bases (for a 1.500 SLG). He’s even swiped a base.

Pitchers, obviously, have only gone one game, at best, but several have started out well in a league that is notoriously hitting-friendly. Casey Kelly (you can follow him on Twitter @caseykelly23) is the only one to go four innings, allowing just two unearned runs. Brad Holt, Carlos Hernandez, Alex Cobb and Josh Collmenter all went three scoreless in their debuts.

In case you haven’t checked them all out yet, we’ve got a number of prospects blogging from the AFL this year. Here’s the menu for your perusal (all have been pretty active, so check early and often for updates!):

Please read them and leave them comments. Interactivity is the name of the game!

Finally, before I go, there’s something important I want to promote. I did it last year, so for those of you who come to B3 often, they’ll know all about the Joe Niekro Foundation. Natalie Niekro, Joe’s daughter, started it to raise funds for research and to raise awareness about brain aneurysms. Part of that effort will be the second annual Aneurysm Awareness Week in the Arizona Fall League, Oct. 26-30. In addition to having lots of information and appearances in parks during the week to let AFL fans know about aneurysms and the work the foundation is trying to do, a number of pitchers will be doing their part to raise some funds. Here’s how it works:

Joe Niekro played for seven teams over the course of his illustrious career. For the week of Oct. 26, the strikeouts for the pitchers in the AFL from each of those seven organizations will be tallied. Not only has the foundation found a donor to donate $36 per strikeout for the week, but most (I’m working on getting them all) of the teams have committed to making similar donations (You can donate to the foundation by clicking here.).

I’ll be pushing this a lot, especially as we get closer, but if you want to have a rooting interest, here’s a list of the pitchers from each organization who’ll be helping to strikeout aneurysms. And I tell you what, lets get some fan interest going here — the organization who gets the most votes — leave your rooting interest in comments — will get a donation in their name by yours truly. So get behind your team and help raise funds for this worthy cause:

Cubs: David Cales, Chris Carpenter, Jake Muyco, Kyle Smit
Padres: Brad Brach, Erik Davis, Colt Hynes, Alexis Lara
Tigers: Brooks Brown, Matt Hoffman, Chance Ruffin, Brendan Wise
Braves: Michael Broadway, Kyle Cofield, Erik Cordier, Cory Gearrin
Astros: David Carpenter, Kyle Greenwalt, Matt Nevarez, Pat Urckfitz
Yankees: Manuel Banuelos, Craig Heyer, George Kontos, Ryan Pope
Twins:   David Bromberg, Carlos Gutierrez, Tyler Robertson, Kyle Waldrop

Final AFL Joe Niekro Foundation update

Hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween weekend. While we were out picking up candy on Saturday, Arizona Fall League pitchers were collecting K’s for one last day as part of Aneurysm Awareness Week.

The Arizona Fall League was teaming up with the Joe Niekro Foundation for a great
fundraiser/awareness-raiser last week. Any pitcher from one of the
seven organizations Joe Niekro pitched for who strikes out a batter
this week helps raise money for aneurysm awareness and research. Four
sponsors agreed to donate $36 (Niekro’s number during his playing
days) per strikeout. That’s $144 per K.

The participating pitchers saved the best for last, racking up 17 K’s on Saturday, the most for any one day this week. Here’s how it broke down:

Steve Hirschfeld, Twins (Solar Sox) — 2 K
James Russell, Cubs (Solar Sox) — 1 K
Andrew Oliver, Tigers (Javelinas) — 1 K
Thad Weber, Tigers (Javelinas) — 1 K
Evan Englebrook, Astros (Saguaros) — 1 K
Brandon Gomes, Padres (Saguaros) — 2 K
Craig Kimbrel, Braves (Saguaros) — 2 K
Jeff Lyman, Braves (Saguaros) — 3 K
Zach Kroenke, Yankees (Rafters) — 4 K
Day total: 17 K x $144 per K = $2448
Grand total: 77 K= $11,088

Keep in mind, these are unofficial numbers and the league will be sure to confirm the amount. Whatever it is, it was a great week for a wonderful cause. If you watch MLB Network’s broadcast of the Rising Stars Showcase on Saturday, Nov. 7, you might be able to see Natalie Niekro on hand for the check ceremony.

And she might be able to celebrate more than just the $11,000+ from the fundraiser. Several teams, when they found out about the week’s events, agreed to step up and make a donation in honor of their pitchers performing in the Fall League. The Cubs, Astros and Yankees all said they would make a donation, particularly if their pitchers struck out the most batters this week. Details to come on just what’s being done — and if other teams agree to join in. Here’s how the standings finished:

Yankees — 15 K
Tigers — 15 K
Astros — 10 K
Braves — 10 K
Cubs — 9 K
Twins — 9 K
Padres — 9 K

And, in case you were curious. Here were the individual leaders:

Robbie Weinhardt, Tigers — 7 K
Zach Kroenke, Yankees — 6 K
Andrew Oliver, Tigers — 5 K
8 pitchers tied with 4

Astros join the Aneurysm Awareness Week effort

Got another exciting update on the Arizona Fall League and Joe Niekro Foundation front.

The Arizona Fall League is teaming up with the Joe Niekro Foundation for a great
fundraiser/awareness-raiser this week. Any pitcher from one of the
seven organizations Joe Niekro pitched for who strikes out a batter
this week helps raise money for aneurysm awareness and research. Four
sponsors have agreed to donate $36 (Niekro’s number during his playing
days) per strikeout. That’s $144 per K.

But it’s gotten more interesting the past couple of days. Earlier in the week, the Cubs stepped up and agreed to make a donation to the foundation if the Cubs pitchers in the AFL led the seven organizations in strikeouts for the week.

Now they are not alone. The Astros, with whom Joe Niekro spent 11 of his 22 years in the big leagues, have jumped in as well. If the group of Houston arms in Arizona end up with the most K’s for the week, the Astros will make a donation to the Joe Niekro Foundation as well.

So lets take a look at what happened on Thursday and where things stand:

Mike Minor, Braves (Saguaros) — 2 K
Wilton Lopez, Astros (Saguaros) — 2 K
Chia-Jen Lo, Astros (Saguaros) — 2 K
Mike DeMark, Padres (Saguaros) — 2 K
Evan Scribner, Padres (Saguaros) — 2 K
John Gaub, Cubs (Solar Sox) — 2 K
Day Total: 12 K x $144 per K = $1728
Grant Total: 44 K = $6336

Nice job by those Saguaros yesterday! Looks like the Yankees’ Ian Kennedy and the Tigers’ Scot Drucker are both starting today. Here’s the updated organizational standings (I’ve bolded the two teams who have officially told me they’re “putting their money where their arms are”):

Tigers — 7 K
Twins — 7 K
Cubs — 7 K
Astros — 7 K
Padres — 7 K
Braves — 5 K
Yankees — 4 K

parisi.jpgIt’s hard to pick a Star of the Day for hitters for a change. There were no home runs hit yesterday in the Fall League. That happens about as often as Fox News is Fair and Balanced. I guess we’ll give today’s nod to Carlos Rivero from the Indians, who went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs in the Saguaros’ 4-0 blanking of the Desert Dogs.

There are more pitching choices from a day that saw two shutouts and a grand total of 12 runs scored. Lopez deserves a shout out for his four shutout innings (not to mention his 2 K’s for the Joe Niekro Foundation), but Mike Parisi has to be the guy. The Cardinal hurler coming back from Tommy John surgery went five scoreless, allowing just two hits and walking none while striking out four as his Surprise Rafters beat Scottsdale, 3-0.

Putting money where his arms are

I love it when someone is willing to stand behind his team. I’ll get to exactly what I mean in a minute.

As I’ve discussed the last couple of days, the Arizona Fall League is teaming up with the Joe Niekro Foundation for a great
fundraiser/awareness-raiser this week. Any pitcher from one of the
seven organizations Joe Niekro pitched for who strikes out a batter
this week helps raise money for aneurysm awareness and research. Four
sponsors have agreed to donate $36 (Niekro’s number during his playing
days) per strikeout. That’s $144 per K.

But now there’s more to make this interesting. Oneri Fleita is the VP of Player Personnel for the Chicago Cubs, one of the seven teams Niekro played for. When he heard about what was going on in the AFL involving his pitchers, he wanted to get involved. So he’s standing behind them and putting his money where his arms are. Should the Cubs pitchers strike out the most batters this week, he will make a donation to the Joe Niekro Foundation in his pitchers’ names.

I’m hoping the other six teams involved in this great effort will see how Fleita has stepped up and will follow suit. It would make for an exciting contest — as well as raise more money and awareness for the Foundation if every team got involved in this way. I’ll be sure to update here if and when others make the same fantastic pledge Fleita has made.

With that in mind, let’s see what the totals are after Day 2 of Aneurysm Awareness Week:

Andrew Oliver, Tigers (Javelinas) — 4 K
Daniel Meszaros, Astros (Saguaros) — 2 K
Day Total: 6 K x $144per K = $864
Grand Total: 17 K = $2448

OK, Tuesday was a little light, but there weren’t that many pitchers from those organizations going. Today, the Padres’ Steve Garrison gets the start for the Saguaros, as does the Cubs’ Andrew Cashner for the Solar Sox (a good chance for Fleita’s Flock to jump into the lead). And it sometimes works that the relievers coming in back of the starters are from the same organizations, so here’s hoping for a huge Wednesday. Here are the organizational standings through two days:

Tigers — 7 K
Twins — 5 K
Astros — 3 K
Cubs — 1 K
Yankees — 1 K

Some quick notes and Stars of the Day. Royals’ first round pick Aaron Crow, discussed in this brilliant article (OK, it was written by me) not long ago, makes his AFL debut today for the Rafters. As for stars, going to make them brief:

Hitter: Jose Tabata, OF, Pirates (Scorpions) — Hitting leadoff for Scottsdale, Tabata went 3-for-6 with a double, a homer and six RBIs. That’s no easy feat, driving in a half-dozen from the leadoff spot. His home run came in the second inning off of Nick Hill, a three-run shot with two outs to highlight a four-run second. Tabata, at age 21, seems to be prepping for the start of his big-league career. He’s hitting .326 and slugging .535 so far this fall and by all accounts simply punishing the baseball on a regular basis.

Pitcher: Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Nationals (Desert Dogs) — As much as I wanted to give it to Oliver for racking up 4 K’s for the Niekro Foundation, it’s hard to look past what Strasburg did in this bounce-back effort. The No. 1 overall pick went four innings without giving up a hit, allowing just a single base knock in the fifth before leaving the game. In 4 1/3 IP, he gave up just the one hit and one run, while walking two and striking out five. No Pitch FX from that game, so I’m not sure what he was throwing, but it seemed to be working for him on Tuesday.

K for Aneurysm Awareness Update/Stars of the Day

As I mentioned yesterday, the AFL is teaming up with the Joe Niekro Foundation for a great fundraiser/awareness-raiser this week. Any pitcher from one of the seven organizations Joe Niekro pitched for who strikes out a batter this week helps raise money for aneurysm awareness and research. Four sponsors have agreed to donate $36 (Niekro’s number during his playing days) per strikeout. That’s $144 per K. So lets see how things went for the first day:

Mike McCardell, Twins (Solar Sox) — 4 K
Robbie Weinhardt, Tigers (Javelinas) — 3 K
Spencer Steedley, Twins (Solar Sox) — 1 K
John Gaub, Cubs (Solar Sox) — 1 K
Chia-Jen Lo, Astros (Saguaros) — 1 K
Grant Duff, Yankees (Rafters) — 1 K
Total: 11 K x $144 per K = $1584

Not a bad start. If pitchers come up with 11 K’s a day, that will lead to a donation of just over $9500 for the foundation ($9504 to be precise). I’ll keep tabs every day here to keep everyone updated.

Just for fun, let’s also keep a running standings of which organization racks up the most K’s for this cause.

Twins — 5 K
Tigers — 3 K
Cubs — 1 K
Astros — 1 K
Yankees — 1 K

Now on to Stars of the Day for Monday’s action:

Hitter

Going crazy and giving out 2 hitter awards. The second one is more for “body of work” than just for one game, but he’s still worth noting.

Nevin Ashley, C, Rays (Desert Dogs):
Ashley had just one hit for Phoenix, but it came atnevin_ashley.jpg apretty good time. With the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Ashley hit his second homer in as many games, a walk-off grand slam. He’s now hit in all seven of the games he’s played in, for a .379 average. 

Grant Desme, OF, A’s (Desert Dogs):
He hit his 8th homer of the AFL season on Monday and drove in three runs. That’s eight home runs in 10 games, tops in the league. His 16 RBIs also lead the AFL. SLG and OPS? Yup, tops in those categories as well. The only thing he hasn’t been doing is running, a little surprising after he went 30-40 during the regular season. But we’ll cut him a little slack considering his 1.047 SLG looks more like an OPS and his OPS of 1.547 is ridiculous. Oh, and his .442 average is second highest in the circuit. As his AFL teammate Josh Bell said on his Twitter account (@JBellAFL): (Oakland A’s
Desme) Half man half amazing… DES is like a created player on a
nintendo game every category 100 except his power is 200
. Then, he added: Oakland A’s (Desme) is no longer half man half amazing, we have come to figure out he’s not human he’s a machine!!

Quote of the day comes from Ashley about Desme: “He’s my favorite player right now. I tell him that every day. I try to eat what he
eats, sit next to him to get the good vibes. It’s been working so far.”


Pitcher

Justin Cassel, RHP, White Sox (Javelinas): This isn’t just because the family bloodlines make for a cool story. Yes, Cassel’s brother Jack has pitched in the bigs with the Padres and Astros and was with Triple-A Columbus (Indians) this past season. His other brother, Matt, is the QB for the Kansas City Chiefs. The 2006 7th-round pick tossed four scoreless innings for the win on Monday, allowing just three hits and one walk in the process. He narrowly edges Zach Putnam, who tossed three scoreless and how has 5 IP over two outings without allowing a run.

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