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Thursday, December 1, 2022

AFL: Joely Rodriguez Pitches Well, Two More Hits For Josh Bell

Scottsdale had an early start on Tuesday in Mesa and Joely Rodriguez was on the mound for his second start. Dan Gamache and Josh Bell were both in the lineup for the Scorpions. Scottsdale defeated Mesa 10-7 to move to 5-2 on the season.

Joely Rodriguez went 2.1 innings and gave up one run on four hits and a walk in his season debut. On Tuesday, he got a ground out to start the game, then gave up an infield single, with the runner advancing to second base on an errant throw. Rodriguez got the next hitter to fly out to center field, which advanced the runner to third base. He got a line drive to center field for the third out. Rodriguez threw 14 pitches in the first, eight went for strikes.

In the second inning, Rodriguez walked the first batter on four pitches. He then threw three straight balls to the next hitter before recovering to pick up his first strikeout. Rodriguez threw a wild pitch that advanced the runner to second base, then got the second out on a 3-1 pop out to second base. He retired the fourth batter on a swinging strikeout to end the inning. It was a long frame for Rodriguez, who threw 21 pitches, with just nine for strikes.

In the third, he got a one pitch ground out to shortstop to start the inning. He got a ground out to second base, then recorded his third strikeout. In was a very quick inning, needing just seven pitches, with six going for strikes. That ended his day and Rodriguez left with a 9-0 lead. In three innings, he gave up one hit and one walk. According to Rich Wilson at the game, his fastball was 90-93 MPH.

Josh Bell batted fifth and was the designated hitter. He doubled in his first at-bat, which followed a double in his last at-bat last night. Bell came around to score the first run for his team. Leading off the third inning, he grounded back softly to the pitcher, something he did twice last night. In his third at-bat, Bell hit an RBI single to right field. He batted right-handed in his first two at-bats, before switching over to lefty. Bell flew out to left field in the sixth inning. In the eighth, he grounded out to the pitcher for the fourth time in two days. He finished 2-for-5 and has four hits in his last two games.

Dan Gamache has been switching between second base and third base, which he played on Tuesday. He batted third in the lineup and struck out in his first at-bat. He came up in the second inning with the bases loaded and one out and hit a sacrifice fly that scored Scottsdale’s fourth run. Gamache lined out to shortstop in the fourth inning. He made the final out in the fifth inning, flying out to center field. In the seventh, he grounded out to first base to end the inning. He finished 0-for-4 with an RBI.

Adrian Sampson came in for the seventh inning and retired the side on six pitches, though he did give up a single, which was immediately erased on a double play. In the eighth, he gave up a single and a homer to the first two batters. After two fly ball outs, Sampson gave up another single, then got a ground ball to first base to end the inning. In his two innings, he allowed two runs on four hits.

A bit of old news, but Nick Kingham has confirmed that he won’t be participating in the AFL despite being on the initial list from the Pirates. No reason was given. Kingham exceeded his innings from last year by 15.2 and he faced 71 more batters than the previous season, so it’s possible he was shutdown due to his innings.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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