The rosters for this year’s Arizona Fall League were supposed to be announced at 2PM EST today, but they very uncoolly made us wait until nearly 2:30. The Phillies are sending Aaron Altherr, Cameron Rupp and Kelly Dugan as position players, plus pitchers Kyle Simon, Mike Nesseth, Austin Wright and Ken Giles, (per Ryan Lawrence – update – Lawrence has a roster that shows Giles – The AFL Website does not include him). The season begins October 8 and runs through the 16th of November.
As discussed last week, the Phils needed to send six guys, but they seem to typically send seven. Only one man from below A Ball is supposed to be allowed to go to the AFL from any organization, so the picks of Giles and Altherr are a little confounding. Perhaps since The Phils are sending 7 guys, they were allowed an extra A Ball player, or maybe the rules have changed and just not been posted on the AFL site. Don’t know. The roster rules also states that any man not on a AA or AAA roster by August 1 counts and an A Baller, and players from any level who are currently on or recently came off the DL cannot be included. Nothing in there has been violated by the Altherr/Giles addition, so I still don’t know. Whatever.
(Update on the rules - After they tweeted Giles as part of the roster, I asked the AFL Twitter account and got a response that two A Ball exceptions are allowed per team. This must be new for 2013, and the roster rules weren’t updated on the website).
Altherr is up for a 40-man spot. Giles has one more year before than decision has to be made. Even though Perci Garner has a 40-man decision looming, he wasn’t above CLR by 8-1, so I’d figured he would have needed to supplant Altherr. Extra spot or not, him not making it is not a surprise.
I thought Adam Morgan would go to the AFL as a starter, if healthy. Not sure what his exclusion means, but I won’t read too much into it. It’s not abnormal for frontline starting candidates to be left out of the AFL, just because of innings limits and the like. Thanks to injuries, Austin Wright and Kyle Simon likely have some innings to work with this year, and we’ll have to see if either of them is used as a starter. Simon was used as one last year in the AFL, with less-than stellar results. Neither man has a 40-man decision looming this off-season.
Tyler Knigge, who’d have been be vying for a 40-man spot, was left off. Mike Nesseth, in a similar situation, was included. His promotion to AAA recently made it pretty clear the org is happy with his progress. If he doesn’t implode in the AFL, I would guess he’s in line for a 40-man roster spot. If not, he would almost certainly be taken in the Rule 5 draft.
For the field, I felt like Kelly Dugan was an easy pick. He’s got a 40-man decision looming, but frankly, he’s made that decision for the team based on his play. Cameron Rupp also was a strong candidate, in my mind, especially since he shared time with Sebastian Valle for much of the first two months of the year and didn’t have a huge season workload because of it. Another 40-man decision there, and another easy one. He seems likely to be up with the big club in September anyway.
So here was my guess from last week - for the position players, I had Altherr, Dugan and Rupp. For the mound - Morgan, Wright and Colvin, plus Knigge, based on his contract situation. If Morgan didn’t go, I thought it would be Hollands. And since Colvin went down, and someone mentioned Mike Nesseth, I was assuming that was they way the club would go. So I got the position players right, and two relievers with the backup for injury in Nesseth. plus they changed the rules on me or whetever. So not exactly Nostradamus, but not bad.
What do you all think? Satisfied with this contingent? It seems a pretty good one to me, with seven guys that have to be considered at least fringe if not true prospects.