Erie MLN: AFL Rosters Announced

Satterwhite's AFL status is uncertain

The Arizona Fall League rosters were announced earlier this week, with the Erie SeaWolves representing the bulk of the selections. Cale Iorg, Ryan Strieby, Cody Satterwhite, Robbie Weinhardt, and Thad Weber are all slated to take their hacks there this fall, along with Scott Sizemore. Unfortunately, two of those guys recently hit the disabled list and their situations appear grim, at best.

Cody Satterwhite and Ryan Strieby, who have both been battling injuries throughout the last month, could possibly be replaced on the roster depending on the extent of their injuries.

For the rest of the bunch, they will be starring for the Peoira Javelinas, who will play their home opener on October 13 against the Surprise Rafters.

For Thad Weber this is an opportunity to take the next step in his rapid progression through the Tigers system this summer.

"I've been pretty proud of what I've been able to do. I started up and down, but since the All-Star break I've figured a lot of this out. My command of the fastball has been a lot better. I've been able to pound the zone and be more aggressive," Weber said. "It's an unbelievable opportunity for me. It's a pleasant surprise."

"The Arizona Fall League is notorious for producing big league players year in and year out. I'm looking at this opportunity to go down there and pitch against some of the best players in the game and prove that I belong," Weber said.

Strieby, who has missed over 35 games this season with reoccurring pain in his surgerically repaired hamate, was recently placed on the disabled list and is expected to miss the rest of the season.

As stated, this has been an ongoing problem for him, but it appears that he has finally gotten to the bottom of the situation after his third visit to the doctor's office this year.

The first doctor that he saw thought that the pain he was experiencing was merely because he had developed some arthritis in his left wrist. The second doctor believed that he had developed bone spurs. The third, and final, doctor that he saw discovered a leftover piece of bone that was left behind while he was on the operating table.

Satterwhite has fallen victim to the disabled list for a second time with shoulder stiffness and is currently in Detroit getting evaluated by team doctors.

The outlook for both these players can only be classified as questionable at this point, and they both could possibly be replaced in the coming weeks.

"I haven't heard anything yet, I'm sure there will be implications if they can't go. We only get so many, so when you can't go, we don't want to lose a spot," manager Tom Brookens said.

Losing these two players is not only problematic for their own immediate future; it poses a significant problem for Erie's postseason hopes.

They were only a game back of Reading in the Southern League wildcard race, deadlocked with Bowie at 68-64, on Monday. They need all the firepower they can get at this point.

"We're still in it and fighting. I like our chances if we can just get hot. We got a couple guys down right now, but if we keep our heads up through some tough games I think we could really do some damage in the playoffs," Brennan Boesch, who was recently named to the Eastern League's year-end All-Star team, said.

"It's felt like we've been fighting through injuries all season. That's part of minor league baseball. You just try to be someone that is consistent for the team. You can't worry about who's there and not there. If everyone does their job we are going to win," Boesch said.

To get there, they are going to have to play some great baseball over their last eight games. First they'll have a four game set against Harrisburg (65-67), who have been one of the hottest teams in minor league baseball, going 52-33 since June 2. They'll then head to Akron to finish up the regular season.

Bowie will get Binghamton (51-81) and Harrisburg to close out their season and Reading with face off against New Britiain (67-67) and Connecticut (79-55, Nothern Division winners).

Reading recently shut down Kyle Drabek, who reached his innings cap after hitting 158, 100 more than he has thrown in any other season.

"All we can do is focus on beating Harrisburg now—they've been playing as good as anybody the last month, month and a half," Brookens said. "We'd like to have head to heads against who you have to beat and have them at home. That'd be our ideal scenario because we've had a lot of success at home and not so much on the road. It is what it is, but these last two wins have given us a boost of confidence."

"It's been a lift for us."

Umm, Jon? There's a game going on

Jon Kibler can't pitch in the first inning of games. Seriously. When the bell rings and it's time to toe the rubber, he can't perform. For whatever reason he has to get knocked around a little bit before he comes to his senses and realizes that a game is going on.

"It's getting a rhythm and getting comfortable out there—I haven't been able to do it lately. I go from the bullpen, where I feel fine, to the mound and just absolutely lose it. For some reason it takes me an inning or two to find it again. I can't do that game after game. It's something I should be able to correct, and eventually I will, it just hasn't happened this year," Kibler.

This isn't something that is just a once and a while deal. All season long Kibler has gone out and gotten rocked to start off the game, and once that happens he settles down.

Look at his inning-by-inning splits:
1st Inning: 6.12 ERA, 25 IP, 13 SO, 12 BB
2nd Inning: 3.24, 25, 15, 9
3rd Inning: 5.70, 23 2/3, 9, 12
4th Inning: 3.27, 22, 11, 8
5th Inning: 1.71, 21, 12, 9
6th Inning: 3.60, 20, 10, 8
7th Inning: 0.00, 8, 6, 2

Like Kibler said, this is something serious that he needs to put behind him if he wants to move forward in this organization.

"I can't think of anything that would create that. He does settle down after the first inning and pitch pretty good," Brookens said.

Notes:

-Brennan Boesch was named to the season ending Eastern League All-Star team. He was one of one of thirteen players to earn the honor.

"I'm not thinking of personal accomplishments right now. I'm focusing as hard as I can to help this team down the stretch right now. It's cool and all, but I'm not worried about that stuff right now. I just want to win games," Boesch said.

-Michael Bertram was named the Eastern League Player of the Week. He batted .346 with a pair of doubles, two triples, two homers, 11 RBI, three walks and an .808 slugging percentage over six games. Bertram is currently on an eight game hitting streak.

-L.J. Gagnier made his first start of the season in Erie on Monday and went 6 1/3 with two earned runs, one walk, and seven strikeouts.

"I struggled in Erie last year, it's a little different this year. This atmosphere here is great, it's a lot different than the Florida State League. I had the majority of my pitches going for me, and my catcher, Adrien Casanova, called a hell of a game," Gagnier said.

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