Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook – October 31, 2021

photo: Juan Yepez and Lars Nootbaar (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Glendale Desert Dogs beat the Salt River Rafters in a one run contest on Saturday. Two Cardinals saw action, as Lars Nootbaar and Juan Yepez each drew a walk.

Desert Dogs 5, Rafters 4

The Glendale Desert Dogs edged the Salt River Rafters in a close game on Saturday night at Camelback Ranch.  Cardinals Lars Nootbaar, hitting lead off and playing in right field, and Juan Yepez, hitting cleanup as the designated hitter, were in the starting lineup for the Desert Dogs.

Salt River got on the board first with one run in the second inning.  Glendale tied the score in the bottom of the second on an RBI double by the Dodgers’ Jacob Amaya.

The Desert Dogs took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning on a solo home run by the Dodgers’ James Outman. The Rafters jumped ahead with three runs in the top of the fifth, but Glendale brought one run home to cut the deficit to one in the home half of the fifth on an RBI ground out by Grae Kessinger of the Astros.

In the sixth, Amaya drove in a run on a double.  The White Sox’ Yolbert Sanchez plated a second run in the inning on a single as the Desert Dogs took a 5-4 edge they held the rest of the way.

Lars Nootbaar

Nootbaar (0-for-4) popped out, walked, grounded out twice, and struck out in his five plate appearances.  Yepez (0-for-3) flied out, lined out, popped out and walked in his four plate appearances. No St. Louis pitchers took the mound Saturday.

Juan Yepez

Nootbaar is hitting .341 with a 1.281 OPS in 11 games played in the AFL.  Yepez is hitting .311 with a 1.089 OPS in 12 AFL games.

Glendale is 8-7 and in second place in the AFL West, four games back of Surprise.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled.

Other AFL News

To replace Jordan Hicks on the Desert Dogs’ roster, the Cardinals have added Springfield reliever Garrett Williams.

Garrett Williams

The 27-year-old left-hander was selected in the minor league phase of the 2020 Rule 5 Draft from the Angels. Williams spent 2021 with Memphis until he was sent down to finish the season with Springfield after the Double-A club was hit by a rash of COVID cases on August 10.

Between the two stops, the Texan posted a 5.40 ERA in 37 outings covering 51 2/3 innings, all in relief.  Williams fanned 62 and held opposing hitters to a collective .223 average, but issued a whopping 43 passes and hit nine batters. Improving command should be his focus in the desert.

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