Ryan Pope headed to Arizona Fall League


Via Josh Norris, righthander Ryan Pope will be the seventh Yankee farmhand headed to the Arizona Fall League this summer. He joins Manny Banuelos, Craig Heyer, George Kontos, Austin Romine, Jose Pirela, and Brandon Laird (who will play the outfield).

Pope is in an interesting spot; he’s eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if not added to the 40-man roster after the season, and he really gave the Yanks something to think about this year. He moved to the bullpen after seven poor starts, then struck out 62 batters against just 14 walks in 57.1 innings. The 2007 third round pick had been an afterthought for most of his career, but the relief version of Pope is intriguing and probably one the Yankees will decide to protect. He is definitely on the fence though.

Categories : Asides, Minors


  1. Is there a reason why Phelps isn’t in the AzFL this year?

    • Or is he doing any winter ball at least? I think he is going to be next year’s Nova at some point in the season.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      They might just want to give him a rest. 158 IP this year, 150 last year, 165 the year before.

      • Amol says:

        Those numbers make me think he should go for the express purpose of building up his innings. If, after all, you think of him as a future major-league starter, it seems like a good time to push him towards that 200 IP level.

        • I find that line of reasoning unpersuasive for two reasons:

          1. He’s probably already able to go somewhere close to 190-200 IP on the high-end, if needed, without sending him to winter-ball in 2010. It’s not like you’d be asking the guy to jump from 100 IP to 200 IP, he’s got plenty of innings under his belt in each of the last 3 seasons already.

          2. Your concern with getting him ready to pitch 200 innings might be arguable if the Yanks were expecting to need that sort of durability out of him in 2011, but that’s just not the situation. The requisite time pressure built into your point doesn’t really exist, nor do the Yanks need someone in his position to be prepared to give them 200 IP. 200 IP is a number people throw around often, but we have to keep it in the proper perspective – 200 IP is a lot of innings. The Yankees only had 1 pitcher go 200 IP this season (CC). The chances of the Yanks needing 200 IP out of Phelps in 2011, or 2012 for that matter, are closer to none than to slim.

  2. J.R. says:

    Mike, looking at the 40 man at the end of the year: how many spots will be available to protect prospects?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Quick glance, I see 14…


      Marte and Aceves have to come off the 60-day DL, so it’s really 12. Jeter and Mo will be re-signed. Pettitte, Javy, Berkman, Thames will be replaced one way or the other, so that’s down to six spots. Figure they have three spots for prospects, though Albaladejo, Miranda, and corona could all go too.

  3. Tom Zig says:

    Oh boy, if we’re lucky we can have The Pope and Jesus on the same team!

    • poster on another computer who happens to be a deuce bag says:

      This is one of my favorite RAB comments ever.

    • Poopy Pants says:

      Don’t forget about God/Mo!?!?!

      /every hack Yankee fan’d

      • Do you hate fun or what?

        • Poopy Pants says:

          For me it’s not fun. It’s just hacky.
          Also, I see how it could be insulting to both Mo and God.

          Comparing Mo to a fictional character that is the cause/impetus for all hate, war and persecution of others on this planet is insulting. It’s also insulting to compare him to a fictional character whose name is most commonly used to prey upon the weak, poor and dumb.

          Comparing God to a guy that is the best ever at throwing a ball for one inning would/should be at least mildly irritating to anyone with true religious conviction. Just ask the peace loving, understanding and open minded Muslims.

          Mo is a man of religious conviction and probably wouldn’t want to be compared to God.

  4. Innocent says:

    When The Pope and Jesus play ball, who pitches and who catches?

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