Brewers front office man and MLBlogger John Steinmiller landed in Phoenix yesterday for a week of Arizona Fall League baseball and caught up with right-hander Justin James, the pitcher claimed off waivers by Milwaukee from Oakland. James is pitching for the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the AFL, and, according to Steinmiller, will continue to do so, but in a Brewers uniform. The rest of the Brewers prospects are with the Surprise Rafters.
You can read all about John’s first day in the desert and check out photos on his blog, John and Cait Plus Nine
. Here’s what James had to say:
“I found out about the claim just before today’s game,” James said. “When I found out, you know you don’t have control over that stuff, you just want to compete. Being here in the Fall League really opens up a lot of other doors for you as a player and for many people to see you. There are a large number of scouts at every game watching everyone.”
James has bounced around throughout his career between the Reds, Blue Jays and A’s organizations as well as a stint in 2009 in the Independent Northern League with Kansas City. He made his Major League debut this season with the A’s.
“If I’m not pitching for Oakland or another organization, I might as well be pitching for the Brewers. I really am looking forward to being with Milwaukee and I think I can help the organization win. I want to finish up strong here in Arizona with the Fall League, do what I did last year and come back ready to go in Spring Training.”
In the Fall League this season, James has made six relief appearances of one inning each and has a 4.50 ERA.
“It’s been going well here in Arizona,” James said. “Numbers-wise it might not be the best, but I’m learning a lot and competing. I’m throwing my change up a little bit more because that needs to be a little more polished. I’m just trying to throw strikes more consistently.”
I’ll link to more of John’s stuff from Arizona over the coming days.