MARSON ON THE WAY?: Phillies C Lou Marson was supposed to be on the AFL roster but has yet to arrive. He stayed with Philadelphia for its entire championship run as an extra catcher in case of injury. He was expected to make it out by this weekend. Tuffy Gosewisch, a Phillies prospect who lives in the area, was added to the Solar Sox roster until Marson arrived.
WHO'S HOT: 1B Logan Morrison hit for the cycle on Oct. 30. He's riding an eight-game hitting streak, during which he's 19-for-36 (.528) with 13 RBIs to raise his average to .453. ... 1B Jeff Larish homered in three of four games. ... C Tyler Flowers was Week 3 Player of the Week after going 7-for-11 with five RBIs and five runs scored. He hit four homers in three games the previous week and is batting .419 with six homers, tied for tops in the league.
(Brewers, Mariners, Rays, Reds, Yankees)
THIS WEEK: The Javelinas went 1-5, winning on Monday but dropping five in a row to fall three games behind Phoenix. The Javs have a .288 team average, good for fourth in the league, while their 6.42 ERA is fifth.
THE LONE RANGER: Rangers 2008 first-round pick Justin Smoak wasn't getting much playing time as a member of the Surprise Rafters taxi squad. So he was "traded" to the Javelinas, so the switch-hitting first baseman could pick up a few more at-bats. Since making the move, the University of South Carolina product has gone 5-for-15 with a homer and a double.
HARD-NOSED PLAYER: It's hard not to feel badly for Brewers 3B Taylor Green. Last week, he got hit in the face by a pitch and suffered a broken nose. The just turned 22-year-old Canadian clearly has a hockey mentality because rather than shut it down, he decided to finish out the season. In his first game, a ground ball got him in the nose again, officially ending his AFL season. He'll undergo and was replaced on the Javelinas roster by aptly named Brewers IF Brent Brewer.
WHO'S HOT: 1B Ryne Hughes leads the league in triples, is third in hits and sixth in average. ... RHP Kevin Whelan has a miniscule 0.90 ERA, good for fifth in the league. ... The Javs lead the league with six saves and RHP Carlos Fisher has three of them.
(Cardinals, Mets, Nationals, Padres, White Sox)
THIS WEEK: The Saguaros went 4-2 to drop a game behind Mesa in the American Division. Their .295 team average is third in the league, while they rank second with 4.64 ERA.
BOWMAN OUT, BAXTER IN: Mets 3B Shawn Bowman was taken off the Saguaros' roster and returned home for personal reasons. To replace him, Padres OF Mike Baxter was activated from the taxi squad. Now that he's gotten enough at-bats to qualify, Baxter leads the league with a .485 average.
MURPHY'S LAW: Mets IF/OF Daniel Murphy, here to learn how to play second base, hasn't returned to game action since cutting his arm at the Rising Stars Showcase. He had been hitting .400 in 40 at-bats and has been able to participate in pregame activities.
WHO'S HOT: Baxter had a 5-for-5 game. ... OF Jordan Danks, recently added to the roster, went 4-for-4 and has hit in all four games he's played, adding up to a .563 (9-for-16) average. ... RHP Bobby Parnell became the league's first three-game winner and hasn't allowed a run at home. Fellow Mets LHP Jason Vargas was the league's Pitcher of the Week after throwing five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, on Oct. 23. He added three more shutout frames on Oct. 30 and hasn't allowed a run in 15 2/3 IP, yielding only seven hits overall.
PHOENIX DESERT DOGS
(A's, Blue Jays, D-backs, Rockies, Twins)
THIS WEEK: The Desert Dogs went 5-1 to move into first place in the National Division, three games ahead of the Javelinas. They have a .300 team average, good for second in the league, and their 5.32 ERA puts them third.
REID ALL ABOUT IT: When RHP Max Scherzer packed up and went home, that left a spot on the regular roster. Fellow Diamondbacks prospect RHP Reid Mahon was happy to oblige. The right-hander was upgraded from the taxi squad to the regular roster once Scherzer left.
INSIDE THE PARK IN GRAND STYLE: On Oct. 28, OF Eric Young Jr. hit a grand slam, but it wasn't your garden variety bases-clearing blast. "EY" hit a drive to right-center field, where Surprise CF Julio Borbon dove ... and missed. From there, it was off to the races. Young used a head-first dive to elude the tag at the plate.
WHO'S HOT: Young has a 16-game-hitting streak. He leads the AFL with 31 hits, 14 steals and 28 runs scored, while his .431 average is fifth in the league. ... C Michael McKenry had a three-homer game on Oct. 27. He had hit one the day before, then slugged another -- along with a double -- the following day, giving him five in three games. He's tied with teammate OF Sean Doolittle and Mesa C Tyler Flowers atop the AFL with six homers.
(Angels, Astros, Giants, Pirates, Red Sox)
THIS WEEK: The Scorpions went 2-3 to bring their record to 7-15, nine games behind Mesa in the American Division. They are fifth in team average (.282) and fourth in ERA (5.63).
FRANNIE HEATING UP: IF Kevin Frandsen, the 2006 winner of the AFL's Dernell Stenson Award, is back after missing all season with an injured Achilles. He's been heating up of late, going 9-for-22 (.409) during a five-game hitting streak. He's had three multi-hit games during the streak.
BUT CAN HE CATCH?: During the 2008 season, Drew Sutton saw time at second base, third and shortstop for Corpus Christi, the Astros' Double-A affiliate. He's added the two corner outfield positions this fall while continuing to get work at short and third as he prepares to try to make the big-league club next spring as a utilityman.
WHO'S HOT: Pirates 2B Shelby Ford homered in back-to-back games on Oct. 28-29. He's 8-for-26 (.308) during a six-game hitting streak. ... Sutton had an extra-base hit in six straight games, a streak that ended on Oct. 25. He heated up again near the end of the week and is hitting .415 with a 1.321 OPS. ... RHP Kevin Pucetas was outstanding in beating the Javs on Oct. 28. The Giants prospect went five scoreless innings, allowing four hits. ... RHP Clay Buchholz bounced back from a poor outing on Oct. 22 when he went five innings and allowed one run at Mesa on Oct. 29.
(Dodgers, Indians, Orioles, Rangers, Royals)
THIS WEEK: The Rafters won their final game to complete a 1-5 week that brought their record to 5-17, eight games behind Phoenix. They are last in the league in batting (.243) and ERA (8.04).
RAFTERS WIN! RAFTERS WIN!: Surprise snapped a 10-game losing streak on Nov. 1 by beating Scottsdale, 7-1. RHP Justin Orenduff got the win, while OF Nolan Reimold and OF Julio Borbon homered.
SWING AND A MISS: The Rafters pitching staff hasn't performed all that well, overall, but it's racked up a fair number of strikeouts along the way, leading the AFL with 185. RHP Willie Eyre is second in the league with 23 in 16 innings, Orenduff is fourth with 18 in 17 IP and RHP Josh Tomlin has 15 in 14 IP, good for ninth overall.
WHO'S HOT: 3B Wes Hodges has been a consistent run-producer and leads the AFL with 20 RBIs. He's also fifth in hits and 11th with a .393 batting average. ... RHP Andrew Laughter has been the club's most consistent pitcher, with a 1.80 ERA in 10 innings out of the bullpen. The Rangers prospect is unscored upon in his last three outings.