The other Opening Day

Game Three: Cy Young, here we come
Phil Hughes and his changeup

New year, same great DotF. It’s only fitting that Phil Hughes drew the start for the big league squad the day the minor league season kicked off. I remember when he was just a spunky little 18-year-old mowing down Sally League hitters… Ah, memories. Hard to believe this is my third season doing this. But enough reflecting. Let’s hit the stats (full lineups as per Opening Day tradition).

Triple-A Scranton (4-0 win over Lehigh Valley)
Brett Gardner: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 K, 1 SB – First hit of the year went for extra bases. I never woulda guessed it.
Justin Christian: 1 for 4, 1 K, 1 CS
Cody Ransom: 0 for 4, 2 K
Jason Lane: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K
Juan Miranda: 0 for 3
Alberto Gonzalez: 1 for 2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K – He’s been hittin’ the snot outta the ball since playing winter ball.
Eric Duncan: 2 for 3, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 K – He’s been crushing the ball since the last few weeks of Spring Training.
Nick Green: 1 for 3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
Chad Moeller: 1 for 3
The Ghost of Kei Igawa: 6 IP, zeroes, 7 K, 2-9 GB/FB – 44 strikes, 16 balls … Yanked from the perfecto because of his pitch count. RAB’s inside guy said he was starting to get hit hard towards the end of his outing.
Scott Patterson: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 0-3 GB/FB
Edwar: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K – Typical Edwar.
Jose Veras: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K

Double-A Trenton (2-0 loss to Binghamton)
Ramiro Pena: 0 for 3, 1 BB
Austin Jackson: 0 for 4 – that’s
Jose Tabata: 1 for 4, 1 K, 1 SB – a stacked
Colin Curtis: 0 for 3, 1 BB, 1 K – outfield
Matt Carson: 1 for 4, 1 K
Cody Ehlers: 0 for 4, 3 K – Remember when he drove in 108 runs for High-A Tampa? Me neither.
PJ Pilittere: 0 for 2, 1 BB
Marcos Vechionacci: 0 for 3
Reegie Corona: 0 for 2, 1 BB
Chase Wright: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HB, 7-7 GB/FB – He was their Opening Day starter last year.
David Robertson: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 3-0 GB/FB – Remember how ridiculously awesome he was last year?

High-A Tampa (4-1 loss to Lakeland)
Damon Sublett: 0 for 3, 1 BB, 1 K
Edwar Nunez: 1 for 4
Hit Streak Hilligoss: 0 for 4, 1 K
Edwar Gonzalez: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB
Seth Fortenberry: 0 for 4, 3 K – Wear that collar proud…
Josue Calzado: 0 for 4, 1 K
Kyle Anson: 0 for 1, 3 BB, 1 CS – Gotta love the .750 OBP
Kevin Smith: 1 for 4, 1 RBI
Tim Battle: 1 for 2, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP
Eric Hacker: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 4-7 GB/FB
Mark Melancon: He’s listed in the box score, but apparently didn’t pitch. Let’s hope it’s just a glitch by
Wilkins Arias: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 0-3 GB/FB – Picked a runner off first.
Steven Artz: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Rick Porcello: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HB, 9-3 GB/FB – I know he’s not a Yank, but you gotta show some love for the local kid.

Low-A Charleston (10-4 win over Rome) Well, we knew this offense would do some damage, but five errors by Rome certainly helped.
Abe Almonte: 1 for 4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K – Threw a runner out at third from CF.
Justin Snyder: 1 for 5, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 E (throwing)
Bradley Suttle: 3 for 5, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 K – Nice game, considering that he sucks with wood bats.
Jesus Montero: 1 for 5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 E (fielding) – Started at catcher.
Brandon Laird: 1 for 5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K – Started at first.
Austin Romine: 1 for 5, 1 R, 1 K – DH-ed.
Wady Rufino: 1 for 5, 2 R, 1 2B – I’m predicting a monster year for Wady. Too bad he’s old for the league.
Carmen Angelini: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Austin Krum: 2 for 3, 1 3B, 4 RBI, 1 K
Dellin Betances: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 1 WP, 1 Balk, 1 HB, 1-4 GB/FB – Opposed by lefty Jeff Locke, who I’ve got a crazy man-crush on. Remember that name.
Wilkins DeLaRosa: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Chase Vacek: 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

We’re still tinkering with the new TJ Rehab Watch. We’ll get it right one of these days.

Game Three: Cy Young, here we come
Phil Hughes and his changeup
  • Jamal G.

    So what’s the deal with Kevin Whelan, are they still saying it’s a tired shoulder?

    • Mike A.

      Yep, the typical Yankee schtick. “It’s not serious, it’s not serious, oh, he’ll be out for 12 months with labrum surgery.

  • Tripp

    Dellin…..raw, but nasty.

  • dan

    Igawa had a 60 pitch limit? Overall, a very encouraging day for most of the top guys, especially Betances and Suttle.

    • Mike A.

      He was on a 70 pitch count, but only threw 60 for whatever stupid reason. It was pretty cold in SWB, so maybe that had something to go with it.

  • CB

    Terrific start by Betances. I’d like to just see him stay healthy and improve on repeating his delivery this year. Those things are more important for him than performance.

    But after the tough year he had last year – it’s nice to see him have that kind of outing. 8K: 2BB/ 1HBP is terrific for him.

    Would love to know what he was hitting on the radar guy (MikeA…?)

    That charleston line up is absolutely stacked.

    Nice to see Suttle continue his hot spring. Putting him in low A after that atrocious winter and his bad cape cod season last year was a good move for his confidence.

    Eric Duncan. 2008 cannot be stopped.

    I don’t think Melancon’s arm is hurt – that would be so unusual coming off TJ – it’s repeative stress that causes problems – but that takes throwing innings again. It’s too early for the elbow to be a problem.

    You watch Phil throw tonight – it would have been brutal to have traded him, even for Santana. Watching him make starts like tonight for another team…. awful.

  • Tripp

    Dellin really has some serious Nuke LaLoosh stuff and it’s awesome (just as long as he harnesses it eventually). I mean 1 hit batter, 1 balk, a couple of walks, a wild pitch, and 8 strike outs in 5 innings is pretty exciting.

    That really has to excite Nardi….all that talent and if he can harness it he will be a great pitcher.

    • Mike A.

      He’s very similar to Daniel Cabrera, except that he’s not as hardheaded.

  • Mike R.

    I hate the Tigers. I hate the Tigers. I hate the Tigers. We were sooooooo close to landing Porcello. I hate the Tigers. I hate the Tigers.

    • RollingWave

      you gotta love them for starting the season gettign swepted at home by the Royals though lol

  • Mike R.

    Not only that they got swept. There offense looked downright bad. All these analysts had such a hard-on with the line-up.

    • r.w.g.

      Their offense will be fine. Kansas City’s pitcher’s came in and threw the ball well. Meche and Greinke has legitimately nasty stuff (especially Greinke), and Bannister is one of those guys with average-ish stuff but puts in tons of extra time game-planning hitters.

      Yankee fans should know from watching their own team for the last several years that sometimes very offensively-focused teams have these dry spells and the strikeouts pile up and people say “what’s wrong with them? they’re overrated.” and then a series later they might score 10 runs in every game.

      The real thing to take away from the Tigers/Royals series was Alex Gordon. Him and Billy Butler just have 30 and 100 written all over them.

      • Mike A.

        Billy Butler’s scary good. In his prime he can be a .330-.430-.630-40-140 guy, the bat is that good. Who cares if he can’t play the field.

      • RollingWave

        still though, NYY / BOS / CLE / DET are probably the 4 best team in the game, but there’s no possible way all 4 of them reach the playoff , every game counts. punting an entire series against the Royals and getting Sheff / Miguel hurt already in the process is a very bad way to start this 4 horse race. the Yanks had to play at a historic level last year in the later 4 month to squeeze in, the Tigers have a lot of talent. but that’s a lot to ask from anyone.

        They’re lineup is also getting ridiculasly overrated. it’s 2nd best . not first. it CAN be first if enough things go right obviously. but i just don’t see it. Rentaria / Ordonez / Polanco will all suffer huge regression even if they play WELL . Guillen is noticablly declining. Pudge almost collapsed last year (he made Cano look like Abreu with his 96 K vs 9 walk… seriously… 9 walk? wouldn’t you walking up there and never taking a swing for the entire season result in more than that?) Jones just not that good to begin with and sucked last year. Thames / Inge are just good bench / platoon guys, Granderson is good but he would break a near century record if he hit 20 Triples again.

        thats not even getting to the fact that their pitching is questionable. remember the Royals were one of the worest scoring clubs last year and even if they all play up to their ability this year i still see them as middle of the pack at best. yet they still scored quiet a few runs and they havn’t even got to the back rotation or overexpose the bullpen yet.

  • Count Zero

    “Brett Gardner: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 K, 1 SB”

    Wait – so did he steal home or reach on an error / FC? Sometimes you just need a full scorecard… ;-)

    • Mike A.

      He beat out a throw to first on an attempted double play. Surprisingly, he scored the run after reaching base that time, not after hitting the triple.

    • Rich M

      He reached on a fielders choice. should have been a double play, but with his speed he beat the throw.

  • YES

    What happened to Melancon?

    • Mike A.

      No idea, no one seems to know. I even reached out to my super mega ultra secret baseball insider guy, and he didn’t know. I’m hopefully it’s just a glitch in the box score, it happens every so often.

      • Rich M

        Tampa seems to be the one level that doesn’t have great local coverage. Maybe we are just spoiled with guys like Jennings and Ashmore.

    • rbizzler

      Word in the comments over at PeteAbe’s is that Melancon was inadvertently left off the lineup card and thus ineligible to pitch.

      No clarification on whether or not this is true yet.

  • Pinstriped Scranton

    Gardner is going to do great things this year. He’s going to be big for New York, provided they give him the opportunity with the big club. Traditionally, he does very well in the second half of his time at any new level.

    He performed well, but nowhere near his potential last season. Keep an eye on him this year.

  • Jesse

    I have just begun following, the minor league prospects but I love how your blog keeps the regular Big League Fan up to date.

    Keep up the great updates. Go Yanks.


    “President of the Keep Melky in Pinstripes Association”

  • Jamal G.

    I also hate the Tigers and I’m laughing that their bullpen gave up 3 ER (plus an inherited run when Verlander left the game) over the course of the first two games. They gave up the tying and go-ahead runs in the first game and two insurance runs in the second game.

  • Bruno

    If Damon struggles, Gardner should be up quickly. Same with Bruney/Patterson.

    Just to make a point:

    ” eric from morrisania says:
    April 3rd, 2008 at 9:37 pm (Reply)

    Having an innings limit and a pitch limit is one thing. Being crazy about it is another. It’s not like if Phil throws 140 innings he’ll be fine, and if he throws 141, his arm will fall off.

    Seems to me, if he’s not laboring, the potential benefit of giving him the seventh and letting him pick up a potential win, especially since his pitch count is so low and he’s looked good, outweighs the negative of resigning him to an ND and giving the inning to Traber/Bruney. We all know he’s not going to pitch the 8th… what’s the real difference between 6 IP/87 pitches and 7 IP/100 pitches?

    Bruno says:
    April 3rd, 2008 at 11:30 pm (Reply)

    It’s April 3rd. Those 7/100 games add up to = Prior/Wood.”

  • NYFan50

    Here’s the partial scoop on Melancon via Rotoworld (at least why he’s listed in the box score):

    Mark Melancon, who is making his way back from Tommy John surgery, warmed up to get into Single-A Tampa’s game on Thursday, but left without facing a batter.

    • Ben K.

      We’re trying to figure out what happened and if he was slated to pitch in the game. Info from Tampa is quite lacking.

      • NYFan50

        Definitely let us know if you find something out.

  • Mike S.

    I was at Scranton. What happened after Gardner hit the triple was that Justin Christian hit a soft looper to CF. From my seat in the upper deck, I was screaming “too short” at Alvaro Espinoza (yup, the one and the same) but to no avail. He sent Gardner, who is fast, but not THAT fast. Out at the plate. A bad send.

    Also wondering about Melancon.

  • Yankee1010

    Man, I hope this is true:

    “Mark Melancon is not hurt. He didn’t enter the game after throwing warmup pitches (that I took video of and analyzed like the Zapruder film), because T-Yanks Manager Luis Sojo forgot to put him on the roster. Just a simple brain fart. Don’t feel bad for freaking out though Yankee fans, until the game ended and this was figured out, Yankee brass in the stands were in a state of panic as well.”

    Way to be, Luis.

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  • Joe

    Whats more amazing…Igawa not walking anyone and giving up no hits, or Patterson not striking anyone out AND walking a guy ANNND giving up a hit? He gives up no runs and it’s his worst outing in like 2 years…must be nice.

  • Danny

    Justin Christian did not strike out in his opening game! I was there watching!

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