The Arizona Fall League has always been Major League Baseball’s laboratory. The most promising players and managers are sent to the AFL to compete against their peers.
This week, the AFL is conducting a test of replay. MLB is poised to adopt a replay system for next year, and on Tuesday night, it had its first test run.
Four calls were challenged in the Salt River Rafters-Mesa Solar Sox game, and with former major league managers and current MLB executives Tony La Russa and Joe Torre watching, all four were upheld.
This week-long experiment will try to show any remaining skeptics that replay works, and won’t slow the game down.
The betting here is that a year from now, the only question will be: Why did it take us so long?
Orioles AFL update
The Surprise Saguaros, managed by Bowie’s Gary Kendall have the best record in the AFL, 15-7-1, and have won their last three. Kendall also managed the West to a win in Saturday’s AFL All-Star Game.
The regular season concludes on Nov. 14.
Henry Urrutia is batting .354 with two home runs and eight RBIs. Michael Ohlman, who starred for Frederick, and hopes to be added to the 40-man roster, is batting .350 with two homers and five RBIs in seven games. Cuban defector Dariel Alvarez is batting .255 with seven RBIs. Jonathan Schoop, who hasn’t played since Oct. 30, is batting .149.
Tim Berry, a onetime 50th round draft choice, is 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA with 10 strikeouts and three walks in 13 1/3 innings. There’s a chance Berry could also be added to the 40-man.
Eduardo Rodriguez has allowed six runs in 11 2/3 innings with 12 strikeouts.
Jason Gurka is 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA, but has allowed 17 hits and seven walks in 9 2/3 innings.
Branden Kline, the Orioles’ second-round pick in 2012, is 1-1 with an 11.81 ERA. In 11 2/3 innings, Kline has allowed 14 runs on 16 hits, but struck out 13.