The Arizona Fall League kicked off play on Tuesday, October 13 with seven Rockies representing the organization for the Salt River Rafters. The two biggest names the Rockies sent to Arizona are Kyle Freeland (#5 PuRP) and Raimel Tapia (#6).
In addition, the club sent LHP Sam Moll, who spent the majority of his 2015 season with the Modesto Nuts before a late July promotion to New Britain, OF Jordan Patterson (#16), who is listed as an infielder and looks to get a majority of his playing time at first, RHPs Matt Carasiti and Carlos Estevez and finally catcher Chris Rabago.
At the end of week one the Rafters sit at 2-1 after a Friday night clash with the Peoria Javelinas was cancelled due to inclement weather. This resulted in an already short week (four games instead of six) becoming even shorter.
As a whole, it wasn't a great week for the Rockies' seven. Freeland was blown up in his first start and couldn't get out of the first inning. In two-thirds innings pitched, he gave up five hits (including two home runs), walked two and allowed six runs, taking the only loss the Rafters have recorded so far, 13-3 at the hands of Scottsdale. Obviously, it's not exactly what Rockies fans hoped to see out of the lefty. You should expect to see Freeland on the mound again soon, most likely Wednesday, October 21 against the Desert Dogs.
Matt Carasiti and Sam Moll have each made one relief appearance, with Carasiti pitching one scoreless inning in which he struck out two and walked one in the Rafters' opening day win over Scottsdale. Moll has not fared quite as well, pitching the bottom of the fourth in the Rafters' 9-7 win over Peoria on Thursday, surrendering two runs on three hits and a walk in his inning of work. Carlos Estevez, who has now worked two scoreless, hitless innings in two games, has picked up two saves and thus far been the Rockies' lone bright spot on the mound.
As for the position players, Jordan Patterson finished week one at 1-for-9 with a single, four strikeouts and one stolen base in two games played. Raimel Tapia had similar numbers through three games, going 1 -for-8 with a single and three strikeouts. Chris Rabago has appeared in only one game, a Rafters' loss to the Scorpions, in which he was used as designated hitter. He made it count though, turning four plate appearances into a 1-for-2 night with two walks and a double, leaving him as the lone bright spot on a night when Tapia and Patterson were a combined 1-for-8 with four strikeouts.
The Rafters begin next week with games Monday and Tuesday against the Surprise Saguaros, followed by two with Glendale on Wednesday and Thursday. They'll wrap up against the Mesa Solar Sox on Friday and Saturday.
A quick look ahead: on Monday night, October 19th, Estevez picked up his second save of the fall with a scoreless ninth inning of work against the Saguaros. Tapia was 1-for-2 in that game, raising his fall average to .200. We'll have much more from that game and week two in the next weekly AFL review come Monday, October 27.