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Ask Earning your runs

Minor League fans have questions, we've got some answers
August 19, 2010
Minor League Baseball fans have a lot of questions about the game and its players. We at attempt to answer some of those curiosities. No promises, though.

Have a question? Shoot us an email at [email protected]

Please explain how a run that is initially "unearned" can become an earned run. Can an "earned" run become an "unearned" run under any circumstances. If so, please explain how an "earned" run can become "unearned." -- Kirk W.

Aside from scoring changes, there are some possibilities. It is possible for a run that is unearned when it scores to become earned when later events would have scored the run without the error.

For example, a batter triples and scores on a wild throw. Run is unearned, but the next batter hits a home run, making the first run now earned, since the first player would have scored from third on the home run. This can never happen in reverse. An error later in an inning cannot make a run that had scored on a play previous to the error unearned.

Also, a run can be charged as earned to a pitcher but unearned to a team. For example, say a batter reaches base on an error with two outs in an inning. The pitcher is replaced by a new pitcher who promptly gives up a two-run home run. The run scored by the player who hit the home run (and any other earned runs scored that inning) is charged as earned to the new pitcher but unearned to the team.

Last year there was talk of a Junior Arizona Fall League to replace Hawaii Winter Baseball. There was an informal league between some teams at their Phoenix area complexes. Is there going to be a formal league this year for Class A players? If not, is MLB still considering it? -- Marc G.

You're right, there were some rumors about a second AFL floating around last fall once the Hawaiian program ended. Word is that it will not happen this year. The Arizona Fall League program is run by Major League Baseball, though -- it's not MiLB's call.

Is there any way you can tell me what happened to Yorman Rodriguez? He was replaced in the middle of a ballgame on July 29, I think. I can't find any info about him since. -- Dave M.

Rodriguez, one of the Reds' top outfield prospects, was injured on July 30 while with Class A Short-Season Billings and missed about two weeks before returning on Aug. 17. He had five hits in his first two games back.

When a pitcher gets suspended for whatever number of games, is he suspended for that number of starts also? -- Tyral H.

Players are suspended for games, not starts. If a starting pitcher is suspended for a disciplinary incident in a game -- for instance, throwing at a batter -- his suspension tends to be at least five games so that the suspension actually has an effect. Anything less than four games and a suspension could be sandwiched between starts.

Can bloggers still receive press credentials to Minor League games? If so, how does one acquire those credentials? --Ryan G.

The granting of credentials is left to the discretion of each club, so you'd have to contact a team's media department.

Not sure I understand how you guys go about picking the Players of the Week, nor do I want to give the impression to anyone that I know as much about baseball as your beat writers, but I would like to ask you guys if you looked at a player in the Southern League on West Tenn, Joe Dunigan III? Kris Negron is one of the better players in the League, but for the week ending Aug. 15, Dunigan was the better offensive player. --Joe D.

The Southern League's front office selects its Players of the Week -- has no input in the Southern League's decisions.

Which is the top team in MiLB in terms of merchandise sales? -- Bob F.

Minor League Baseball does not release its clubs' rankings in merchandise sales because all financial information is considered confidential.

In regards to last week's question about a list of Minor League player development contracts, Brian M. writes: "In fact, there is a web site, Minor League Source, that lists and tracks every Player Development Contract between Major League teams and their Minor League affiliates. I hope you see fit to mention this in your next column. I'm sure many people are interested in finding out when their favorite team's PDC expires."

Rarely, if ever, is Lehigh Valley on MiLB.TV and the Reading Phillies, who almost always sell out their stadium, are NEVER on. We get the same teams night after night after night. -- "hms154"

The schedule for MiLB.TV's broadcasts are easily viewable for the remainder of the season. Not all teams televise their games, and only teams that participate in MiLB.TV will be shown. It doesn't matter if a team sells out their ballpark. Click 'view calendar' to see if your favorite team(s) will be televised this year. More teams are likely to be added to MiLB.TV in the future.

If a Minor League player is released from a team, is his information circulated or will it be released immediately that he is available for other teams to pursue? Are all MiLB teams aware of players who have been released? How can a player find his way back into the system after being released? -- "bound4hven"

All Major League clubs have access to player transactions, so, yes, they are aware. Minor League Baseball clubs do not sign players -- they are assigned them by their MLB affiliate. Free agents are free to attend open tryouts or sign with teams. That's why many players have an agent who can investigate opportunities.

I am looking for the Minor League record for my deceased father-in-law, Donald W. Trautner. He pitched in the Minors for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1939-1941 before joining the Army Air Corps. -- Bill T.

I was wondering if you guys have archive photographs of past players. I am looking for a photograph of Brian McGee, who played for Peoria in 1992 and for the Bend Bucks in 1991. -- Dave M.

We don't have any historical records for Mr. Trautner, nor do we have photos that old. You may want to contact the teams they played for or the leagues they played in -- they may have some archival material or can point you toward someone who does.

I have a nephew playing for the AZL Dodgers. How can I listen to or watch the games? -- Michael E.

Arizona and Gulf Coast League games are not broadcast. Games are played at Spring Training facilities operated by personnel of MLB clubs -- they play most of their games during the day and do not charge admission for them. You can, however, follow his progress each day with our box scores, recaps and at his player page.

Have a question? Shoot us an email at [email protected], and please be as specific as possible so that we can accurately respond to your inquiry.