Detroit Tigers’ prospect Steven Moya impresses and new rules tested in Arizona Fall League debut

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Yesterday we outlined the seven Detroit Tigers’ prospects participating in the Arizona Fall League, which kicked off on Tuesday afternoon. We made mention that Steven Moya would be one of the bigger names to follow in the development league and he lived up to the billing in the league’s opening game.

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Playing among fellow Tigers’ prospects and young players from the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Milwaukee Brewers, Moya stood out above the rest, going 3-for-5 with a double and three RBIs. Glendale beat the Mesa Solar Sox 9-3.

Moya started in right field and batted cleanup for Glendale.

Moya had a terrific year at AA Erie, racking up a .276 average, 71 extra base hits, 35 homers, 105 RBIs. His stellar season earned a September call-up with the Tigers, notching his first major league hit in his first major league at-bat on Sept. 1 in Cleveland. He made the most of his very limited playtime during the pennant race, notching three hits in eight at-bats.

Glendale, managed by Erie’s manager and 1984 hero Lance Parrish, used two Tigers’ pitching prospects in the contest. Zac Reininger pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, recording a strike out. Joe Mantiply allowed a run on one hit and surrendered a walk in a rocky ninth inning (seems fitting).

One non-Tigers’ related note. The AFL is experimenting with a couple of suggested rules changes to speed up the pace of the game.

Among the changes, per MLB.com:

"The AFL began experimenting with a host of time-saving measures, including restrictions on hitters stepping out of the batter’s box between pitches, limits on the time allowed between innings and for pitching changes, a change in how intentional walks are issued, reducing the number of conferences, and the modification of existing rules on the allowable time between pitches.Also in league-wide effect was the one mandating a hitter keep one foot in the batter’s box at all times. There are several exceptions to that rule, including a foul ball or a foul tip, but it did seem to have an impact. The afternoon games in Surprise and Glendale finished in 2:33 and 2:39, respectively. A total of 21 runs were scored in those two games, so it wasn’t just a matter of efficient pitching. The night game took 2:56, thanks largely to a long and sloppy first inning, bringing Tuesday’s average to 2:42. The AFL average time of game in 2013, by comparison, was 2:51.The opening game at Salt River Fields on Tuesday night was the first to utilize a pitch clock, set at 20 seconds, the time allotted for a pitcher to throw each pitch. The punishment for going over the time — an automatic ball — was not enforced in this game, though pitchers did a solid job of adhering to the 20-second limit in this first test."

The AFL is usually a Petri dish for suggested rules changes. Last season the expanded replay rules were used in Arizona and then adopted for the 2014 season.

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