Former Keys Pitchers Hard at Work in AFL


Although the Minor League Baseball season has been over for a few weeks now, some young players were selected by their big league squad to participate in the Arizona Fall League.

For those of you who have never heard of this, the Arizona Fall League is an off-season league owned and operated by Major League Baseball which operates during the fall in Arizona at five spring training venues. The season runs from early October until the middle of November. It consists of six teams, each of which has prospects from five MLB teams.  Each Major League team provides seven players who team up to fill the 35-man roster of each team. For example, the Mesa Solar Sox have young players that come from the Orioles system along with the Cubs, Astros, Dodgers and Tigers. The Phoenix Desert Dogs, Scottsdale Scorpions, Peoria Javelinas, Salt River Rafters and the Surprise Saguaros comprise the rest of the teams.

Today we take a look at the pitchers from the Orioles system that are playing in this year’s Fall League.


Currently with a record of 3-9, the Orioles AFL team (Mesa Solar Sox), is struggling to find it’s groove when it comes to starting pitching. Out of the five starting pitchers on the team, none have an ERA below 6.00. One of those pitchers is former Frederick Key, Mike Wright. Sporting an 0-2 record and an ERA of 9.00 through three games is not exactly where he would like to be. After an impressive stint to start the 2012 season in Frederick (5-2, 2.91 ERA in eight starts), Wright was called up to Double-A, where he started twelve games, but had an ERA just below five. In the Fall League, Wright gave up six earned runs in his first two starts, which spanned only four innings combined. His latest outing on October 22nd, was his best thus far, giving up one run over three innings while striking out three. Wright may be the only  former Keys starter on the team, but a pair of relievers also find themselves in action for the Solar Sox.

Clay Schrader spent time in 2012 with the Keys before getting called up to Bowie. He went 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA in Frederick over 35 innings before getting the call. He pitched 23 innings of relief for the Baysox, going 1-0 with a 2.74 ERA. He hasn’t found too much success so far in the AFL, giving up three earned runs in just 4 1/3 innings of work. Schrader has had a good reputation in the O’s system, holding his ERA to a combined 1.72 over the last two seasons.

The other reliever on the Solar Sox is Chris Petrini. He has appeared in five games thus far and has a 4.15 ERA. Since this ERA spans only 4 1/3 innings, Petrini has also pitched two scoreless frames in the AFL. Chris spent time in both Frederick and Bowie this season, where he combined for a 6-4 record and an impressive 2.49 ERA. At the age of 25, Petrini’s 2012 season could give him a spot in the Tides bullpen come 2013. His 1.88 ERA in Frederick and 2.62 ERA in Bowie warrant a promotion or a chance next season.

Tomorrow we look at the Orioles hitting prospects in the Arizona Fall League.


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