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AFL Recap: Week 4 - Gonsalves Returns To Action

Author Note: Apologies on the late report this week, but it’s hunting season!

The Surprise Saguaros went 3-2 in the fourth week of the AFL season, and all of the Twins prospects were back in action on the week as Stephen Gonsalves made his return to the starting rotation after sitting out with a sore back.

Their squad was also no-hit in one of those losses, but we can take solace in the fact that none of the Twins players contributed to that effort!

To see how each of the Twins prospects performed in Week 4, read on!

(links provided to each player’s overall stats by clicking their name)
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs
Stephen Gonsalves – 1 game started, 2.0 IP, 2 ER’s, 1 H, 1 BB.

Gonsalves made his return to the starting rotation for Friday’s contest against the Salt River Rafters. As he had not pitched in a couple of weeks, it was a short appearance for him and he had to shake off a little rust.

He walked the first batter of the game, and then hit the second with a pitch to put two runners on. A line out to right field from the next hitter advanced the lead runner to third, and then a fielder’s choice ground out scored the first run but got an out at second. This means the batter ended up on first base and this is where the game recap gets a little confusing. With two outs, the next batter singled to center field, and the runner who was on first…scored? However this anomaly went down this accounted for the two earned runs allowed in Gonsalves’ line.

His second inning went much better and was of the one-two-three variety, with all three outs coming via ground outs to third base. Gonsalves threw thirty-three pitches total in his return to AFL action, with nineteen of those going for strikes.

Nick Gordon – 3 games, 4-12, 3 R’s, 3B, RBI, BB, 6 K’s, SB.

On Halloween, Surprise and Glendale were locked in 0-0 pitching staff duel until the eighth inning, when two Twins prospects broke the tie. Tanner English led off the frame with a single, and Gordon promptly drove him in with a triple for the game’s first run. Gordon scored his team’s second run on a double later in the inning and that was it in the 2-0 win.

In a somewhat scary play to start the game, Gordon shook off a 90-MPH fastball to his helmet to stay in the game and then stole his fifth base, but was left stranded.

On Wednesday, Gordon again was in the leadoff spot for the Saguaros 6-0 win over Peoria, but he didn’t factor into the box score much in this one. His 0-4 day included two strikeouts.

He would make up for that on Friday, though his team came out on the losing end in the extra-inning affair against Salt River. Down 2-0 after the top of the inning started by Gonsalves, Gordon led off with a single in the bottom half. He later scored on a double that also tied the game at two. After strikeouts to end each of the second and fourth innings, Gordon led off the seventh inning with a single, and trotted the bases on a home run from the next batter. With the game tied at six in the eighth, Gordon again reached base with a single, but was caught stealing second for the inning's final out.

Gordon was also the Twins lone representative in Saturday’s Fall Stars game, which his West division squad won 12-4. He was the leadoff man, and finished 0-3 with three ground outs before the mass substitutions came into play.

For some more reading, check out Baseball America’s feature on Gordon, where it discusses what he’s working on in the AFL.

Mitch Garver – 3 games, 1-11, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, 4 K’s.

It was a bit of a quiet week for Garver, but his lone hit was a big one that came in the first inning of Wednesday’s game against Peoria. With a runner on second, Garver blasted his fourth AFL home run to make it 2-0, and they never looked back in the 6-0 win. He was the designated hitter in this one.

Earlier in the week on Hallow’s Eve, Garver was 0-4 with a pair of strikeouts while playing catcher. He did however, cut down top Dodgers prospect Cody Bellinger at second on a steal attempt late in the game.

On Thursday Garver was back behind the plate, but finished his day 0-3. He drew a two-out walk in the third inning, but advanced no further than that. He also had a throwing error on the defensive side.

Tanner English – 3 games, 2-9, 2 R’s, 3B, RBI, BB, 4 K’s.

English saw action in the same three games as Garver during the week, playing center field in each.

As mentioned above, in their Halloween win English broke the stalemate with single leading off the eighth inning and came around to score the first run of the game on Gordon’s triple that followed.

In Wednesday’s shutout victory, he drew a walk in the second inning but played a bigger part in the Saguaros three-run fifth to break the game open. His triple drove in the first run of the inning, and he scored the second on a wild pitch.

In Thursday’s 3-1 loss to Mesa, English moved up a spot in the batting order to eighth, but went 0-3 with a pair of strikeouts to halt his hitting streak at six games.

Mason Melotakis – 2 games, 2.0 IP, 4 H’s, 2 K’s, 1.00 ERA (overall).

Melotakis picked up the win on Halloween as he pitched the top of the eighth inning before his organizational teammates accounted for Surprise’s two runs in the bottom half. He got through the inning without allowing a run, but it wasn’t quite that easy. Cody Bellinger led off with a single, but that’s when Garver cut him down trying to move into scoring position. An error and a single later put runners on first and third, but he got the final out on a pop-out to end the threat.

In Thursday’s loss to Mesa, Melotakis again got the eighth inning, and again he had to work out of a jam. The first two batters reached on ground ball singles to center field, but that’s when he bucked up. Two strikeouts and a grounder later he was out of the inning and had lowered his Fall League ERA to an even 1.00.

Randy Rosario – 2 games, 2.0 IP, 3 H’s, K, 5.59 ERA (overall).

The lefty Rosario got the sixth inning on Halloween and kept the game tied at zero with a scoreless inning. He did allow two singles including one to the leadoff batter, but with two outs and runners on the corners he closed the door on the rally with a strikeout.

Like Melotakis, Rosario also saw action in Thurday’s 3-1 loss, pitching the fifth inning in that one to relieve the Saguaros starter Tanner Anderson. The leadoff man again reached base with a single, but essentially two sacrifice bunts (one legit, one a weak tapper back to him on the mound) and a can of corn later he had a scoreless inning in the book.

John Curtiss – 2 games, 2.0 IP, 3 K’s, 3.72 ERA (overall).

Curtiss had two solid appearances on the week, pitching in Wednesday’s win and Friday’s extra-inning loss.

In the victory, he was the first reliever up after their starter finished the first four innings, and made quick work of the Javelinas lineup after the offense had made it 5-0 in the top-half. He bookended his inning with strikeouts and threw just ten pitches (seven for strikes).

On Friday he pitched the seventh inning, again making short work of the opposing lineup to keep the game tied at six. On eleven pitches he picked up two ground ball outs to third, and ended the inning with a strikeout, his fourteenth on the AFL season in 8.2 innings pitched (that’s a good ratio, if you were wondering).

Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the performances during the week!


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3 Comments

I'm wondering if game recap missed a stolen base, or balk or something.  

Photo
HitInAPinch
Nov 10 2016 08:25 AM

Hadto read your write up on Gonsalves a few times to figure out how those 2 runs scored  LOL

 

At still only 22 yrs old, I'm hoping Gonsalves can pickup a few mph on that fastball.Another year or 2 at AAA....

 

Hadto read your write up on Gonsalves a few times to figure out how those 2 runs scored  LOL

 

At still only 22 yrs old, I'm hoping Gonsalves can pickup a few mph on that fastball.Another year or 2 at AAA....

 

Yeah, I tried to demonstrate it in a way that made it as confusing for you as it was for me (haha), because no information I found made it apparent how the second runner would have even been in a position to score. There were no mentions anywhere I could find of that runner moving beyond first base before that single. No error, no steal, no balk... (shrugs shoulders)


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