The Arizona Fall League’s Fall Stars rosters have been released and the Cincinnati Reds had three players selected to the West team. Infielder Ivan Johnson will actually be playing in the game. Pitcher James Marinan was selected but won’t pitch, and outfielder Michael Siani was also selected but won’t be playing.

Ivan Johnson has been crushing the ball out in Arizona this fall. The recently turned 23-year-old has been playing second base for Surprise, though he saw action at both second base and shortstop during the regular season. Johnson’s six home runs are third most in the league. In his 15 games he’s hit .269/.371/.673 with 14 hits – nine of which have gone for extra bases. He’s also scored 11 runs and driven in 10.

Michael Siani won’t be playing in the game, but the outfielder still got recognition for his performance through 12 games. The 22-year-old has hit .333/.488/.515 with 9 walks, 10 steals, 11 runs, 3 doubles, and a home run while striking out just 5 times.

The results have been mixed for James Marinan so far. He won the league’s pitcher of the week award after his first two appearances, but he ran into some struggles the next two times out. He’s picked up 14 strikeouts in 13.1 innings and allowed just one home run, but his ERA currently sits at 5.40 in that stretch (the league average ERA is 5.84 this season).

The game will take place on Saturday at 7pm ET. You can watch the game on MLB Network and MLB.com.

Automated Strikezone Expanding?

In the 2021 season the Low-A Southeast was a guinea pig for the automated strikezone. The Daytona Tortugas were the only team in the league that didn’t have it set up in their home ballpark (the rest of the ballparks were spring training homes for big league clubs and had the new Hawkeye technology already installed there because teams want it for the big league data).

It would seem that in 2022 they won’t be the only league where that’s happening. MLB posted new job openings for “MiLB Tracking Operations” for “ABS Tech”. The description for the job notes that they are looking for operators in select spring training venues in Florida, the Triple-A West, and the Low-A Southeast. Interestingly, though, the Charlotte Knights are also on the list and they are in the Triple-A East.

5 Responses

  1. Doc

    I agree it needs to be in MLB but I would bring it in a level at a time. Start at Low A and then add High A, AA and AAA in successive years. It gives the players the opportunity to adapt and to carry that adaptation with them to each successive level. It also means that umpiring gets used to it so that umps who are promoted to MLB will be thoroughly used to it when they hit the big time. We haven’t had it for 100 years, a few more won’t matter, but I would like to see MLB umps graded against the automated zone in the meantime, with consequences for poor results.

    • MK

      I really don’t think there is much of a learning curve involved for the umpires. The home plate umpires get into same position behind the catcher and call balls and strikes and they only actually call if they disagree with the computer. Should make their day easier. However I kind of like the human element from an entertainment point of view. Something to debate and argue about.

    • Old Big Ed

      Sir, you are not allowed to ask that question. If the Reds told you, they would have to kill you.