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AFL Notebook: What you need to know from Day 2 of the Arizona Fall League


For the second consecutive day, the Glendale Desert Dogs fell to the Peoria Javelinas.

After yesterday’s 8-7 defeat, they lost again today, 7-4. Two days into the Arizona Fall League and the Desert Dogs – consisting of seven New York Yankees prospects – are winless.

If you missed today’s game action, don’t fret. Here’s what you need to know from the first two days of the fall season:

Jordan Foley

Right-hander Jordan Foley started Tuesday’s Opening Day game for Glendale. He threw 2.1 innings of one-run ball, striking out five hitters and walking two.

Foley spent the entire 2018 season at Double-A Trenton, where he posted a 4-4 record and 2.98 ERA in 37 games. The 25-year old logged 66.1 IP with the Thunder. He walked 35 hitters and struck out 67. Glendale manager Dave Anderson said after the game Wednesday he liked the way Foley threw on Tuesday, despite it being his first outing in some time.

Estevan Florial

Estevan Florial  (Zachary Lucy/Four Seam Images via AP)

Estevan Florial is the Yankees’ No. 2 prospect and MLB.com’s No. 46 overall. He missed some time in 2018 due to a fractured hamate bone in his right hand. After undergoing surgery in mid-May, Florial returned to game-action in early July. He slashed .283/.377/.422 spanning three levels in 2018.

Due to the lost time – which is detrimental to the development of a highly-touted 20-year-old like Florial, he’ll see plenty of playing time in the fall league. Said Anderson: “I think we’ll play him as much as we can [this fall]. There’s no question we’re going to play him as much as we can.” Two games into his second consecutive AFL stint, Florial is 1-for-10 with an RBI single that came in Wednesday’s 7-4 loss. He also flashed his strong throwing arm in the first inning when he hosed Buddy Reed from left field when Reed tried stretching his base hit into a double.

Thairo Estrada

Thairo Estrada (Rick Scuteri/AP Images)

Similar to Florial, Thairo Estrada will benefit from playing in the fall league after lost time in 2018. Estrada was robbed and shot in the offseason, and then had a season-ending back injury. He played in just 18 games across two different levels this year.

Back for his second AFL season, Anderson said he thinks it’ll take some time for Estrada to find his groove at the plate. The 22-year-old is hitting .200 (2-for-10) with an RBI through two games with the Desert Dogs. Anderson said that both Estrada and Florial would play as much as they can in Arizona to make up for their injury-riddled 2018 seasons.

Kyle Zurak

Kyle Zurak (Mike Janes/Four Seam Images via AP)

Kyle Zurak was rudely welcomed to the Arizona Fall League in his debut Wednesday by the Javelinas, who roughed him up to a line of 0.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER. Milwaukee’s Keston Hiura hit a grand slam.

Zurak spent the 2018 season across two different levels, posting a 3.02 ERA in 35 games out of the ‘pen. In 59.2 IP, he surrendered just two home runs. So, that blast Hiura hit came as a bit of a shock.

Steven Sensley

Steven Sensley (Robert M. Pimpsner)

First baseman Steven Sensley didn’t play Wednesday after going 0-for-5 with an RBI on Tuesday. The 23-year-old played at two different levels this summer, slugging .449 with 17 home runs and 38 RBI. He’ll likely split time at first with Los Angeles’ Jared Walker.

Matt Wivinis

Matt Wivinis (Robert M. Pimpsner)

Like Sensley, pitcher Matt Wivinis didn’t play today after playing in the opener. Wivinis was charged with the loss in Glendale’s 8-7 defeat. He threw just one inning but gave up a run and walked three.

Wivinis was excellent spanning three different teams in 2018, allowing only 15 earned runs in a career-high 56 innings. He held opponents to a .184 batting average.

Hobie Harris

Hobie Harris (Robert M. Pimpsner)

Hobie Harris, the right-handed reliever, made several trips to the disabled list in 2018. When healthy, he was great. Across three different levels, Harris worked to the tune of a 2.66 ERA in 27 appearances. He walked just 15 hitters in 47.1 IP, also punching out 55 hitters.

Harris has yet to appear in any AFL action for Glendale. I’d expect to see him get some work in either tomorrow or Friday, considering he’s one of several arms who have yet to throw.