Hello fans, Jeff Sues here from Arizona representing the Pittsburgh Pirates in the AFL along with seven other Minor League players from the Pirates. A little background about myself: I was drafted in 2005 in the fifth round. Unfortunately, I was unable to pitch right away due to a lingering arm injury that was diagnosed as a torn labrum during my first Spring Training in 2006. I had surgery, then finally made my debut in low A Hickory in the summer of ’07. I was able to make eight starts for Hickory and I had a hard time adjusting to my first professional experience posting, a 3-1 record with a 7.18 ERA. I went into the offseason ready to prepare myself for ’08 Spring Training determined to play to my potential. I accomplished my goals, starting out in Lynchburgh (high-A) and after posting a 2.11 ERA, then got promoted to Altoona (Double-A) and threw 43 innings, striking out 55 and posting a 3.77 ERA. After the season I was named the PPirates’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Receiving that award made me feel that all my hard work was not going unnoticed, It is a great honor and I am very thankful to be nominated from a group of exceptional athletes. Enough about me, I now travel back to the present. Tonight is the first game starting the AFL, and everyone here is very excited. I am playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions with the rest of the Pirates Minor Leaguers along with players from the Giants, Red Sox, Angels, and Astros. Just from being at practice the last few days, I can see all talent on our team, watching batting practice is like watching home run derby. It’s impressive. Almost all the pitchers have live arms and plus stuff. Being around baseball this year and watching a few big leaguers come through Double-A I can see that there are many players that are on the brink of The Show. It will be an exciting seven weeks, and I will post a blog at least once a week to keep everyone in the loop.