Winter Leagues Week in Review

In this edition of Winter Leagues Week in Review, look out for who had a big week on the mound in Arizona. Who keeps swinging the hot bat in the AFL? Who had the big start in Hawaii and who is keeping their scoreless innings streak going? Look inside for the answers to those questions and more.

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE:

Shawn Bowman: 1-for-8, 2B

Bowman only saw two games this past week, last Monday and Wednesday. Though he is still .297 [11-for-37] overall, he has just one hit in last 12 at-bats and has not drawn a walk since October 9.

Daniel Murphy: 5-for-15, 4 RBI, 2 R, 2 2B

Murphy continues to swing a red-hot bat as his last week despite his last week actually lowering his AFL batting average to .400 which is good for ninth in the league. He went 0-for-4 last Monday but recovered with 3-for-5 and 2-for-6 efforts on the 21st and 23 respectively, driving in two runs on each night. His 11 RBI tied him for 11th in the AFL. Defensively, it was an errorless week for Murphy who seems to be taking to second base very cleanly.

Josh Thole: 6-for-12, 2 RBI, 3 R, 2B, 2 BB

After a bit of a slow start, Thole came on strong last week with two multi-hit nights led by a 3-for-3 night last Monday. His double that evening was his first extra-base hit of the season. Perhaps more impressive than his production has been his plate discipline as in seven games played, he has walked five times and has yet to strikeout. A continuation of a strong pattern that saw Thole strikeout just 38 times in 111 games played during the regular season.

Eddie Kunz: 2 G, 2 IP, ER, 2 H, K, 2 BB

Despite a very rough game that saw him surrender eight earned runs prior to this last week, Kunz still gets the ball in the ninth. Last Monday, he pitched a perfect ninth inning in a 4-2 Saguaros loss. He returned to the mound on Wednesday night, but this time gave up one earned on two hits in the ninth inning when his club had an 8-0 advantage. Though his AFL ERA stands at 12.79, he has still tossed five scoreless outings out of his seven appearances.

Bobby Parnell: Win, 4 IP, H, 5 K

After throwing two brief outings in his first two appearances, Parnell once again got the start last Wednesday but went four innings and was impressive in doing so. After walking four batters in 1 1/3 innings in his previous outing, Parnell was efficient and commanded the strike zone. So far, in 6 1/3 total AFL innings, right-handers are hitting just .071 off Parnell and batters have mustered just a .143 overall average. It was his second victory of the season.

Tobi Stoner: IP, H, K, BB

Stoner too got in on the action last Wednesday as he threw the eighth inning in the Saguaros 8-1 win. He has now thrown 6 2/3 scoreless innings over his last four appearances and owns a 1.04 ERA this fall, the lowest of any pitcher aside from the four remaining AFL hurlers who have yet to allow a run.

Jason Vargas: Win, 5 IP, H, K

Vargas is one of those pitchers who has not allowed a run. The 25-year-old left-hander is having, what has to be considered, the most impressive performance of any pitcher in the AFL. With 12 2/3 total innings under his belt [tied for third], he has allowed just five total hits and has yet to give up a run while walking just one batter. Out of the 17 pitchers who have thrown double-digit innings, Vargas is the lone pitcher to still be pitching a shutout, and he is doing it while inducing contact as he has struck out only seven batters so far.

HAWAIIAN WINTER LEAGUE:

Jordan Abruzzo: 0-for-8

The second-year catcher continues to struggle in Hawaii as his hitless week dropped his HWL average to .176 [6-for-34]. He struck out twice in each of his two games this week, both times slotted as the designated hitter.

Ruben Tejada: 1-for-2, R

Tejada appeared in just one game this week as he has been slowed by an injury, but has not left Hawaii. However, he did play an important role during his one start this week as he scored the first of two runs in the Sharks' 2-0 victory over Waikiki. After tiring a bit down the stretch in the regular season, Tejada is now hitting .318 in 13 HWL games.

Greg Veloz: 0-for-14

No one has hit a colder streak than Veloz whose 0-for-14 week dropped his overall average to .219 in 18 games, and .121 over his last ten following a hot start. He struck out six times last week running his total to 21 for the season. He has zero RBI and zero extra-base hits over his last ten games.

Junior Guerra: Loss, 1 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 2 BB

It was a tough week for the 23-year-old right-hander as he gave up the go-ahead run(s) in both of his outings. Last Tuesday, he entered the game in the ninth with the score tied 2-2, but allowed an unearned run on a single in the bottom of the ninth. It was his first loss of the season. On Friday night, he entered the game trailing 4-2, but in just 2/3 of an inning he allowed four earned runs on four hits while walking two, inflating the deficit to 8-2.

Roy Merritt: IP, 3 K

It was a simple yet very effective week for the second-year southpaw. Though trailing 7-0 at the time, Merritt fanned the side. Since giving up a run in 1/3 of an inning back on October 8, Merritt has tossed 6 2/3 of scoreless ball while striking out nine against three walks. In 13 1/3 total innings [nine games], he has struck out 17 with five walks while maintaining a near 3-to-1 groundball/flyball ratio.

Scott Shaw: Loss, 2 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 K, 2 BB

In what can be classified as Shaw's worst outing of the winter league season, he took his second straight loss and dropped to 1-2 for the season. However, in 18 1/3 innings pitched, the opposition is still hitting just .129 off Shaw as he has fanned 21 against four walks. Right-handers are hitting a meager .083 off him.

Josh Stinson: 4 IP, 2 H, 5 K, 2 BB

Stinson rebounded from his poor outing on the 15th to tie his season-high for innings while recording his most strikeouts in his start last Tuesday, missing out on his third victory of the season due to a leaky bullpen. In 16 2/3 total innings, he has a 11-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio and kept the opposition to a .233 batting average.