AAA Yanks nearly no-hit on Opening Day

Open Thread: Ron Swanson + Baseball = !
The unorthodox DH platoon

Baseball America has two items of interest to Yankees fans: an article on the Triple-A stadium situation and a quick little roster breakdown of the farm system. You don’t need to be a subscriber to read either piece, they’re both free. Josh Norris also posted a great interview with LHP Jeremy Bleich, who spoke about the shoulder injury that has kept him on the shelf since May of 2010.

Now for some housekeeping. RHP Jairo Heredia, RHP Diego Moreno, RHP Dan Burawa, 1B Luke Murton, OF Damon Sublett, C Jeff Farnham, RHP Matt Daley, RHP Adam Miller, IF Jayson Nix, 2B Corban Joseph, DH Russell Branyan, and Bleich will all start the season on the DL. Some (Heredia, Moreno, Burawa, CoJo, Branyan, Bleich) are actually hurt, others are on the phantom DL. Both IF Yadil Mujica and RHP Craig Heyer have been promoted to Triple-A, and OF Dewayne Wise is currently on the inactive list because his wife is giving birth. Congrats to the Wises.

With that out of the way, welcome to Minor League Opening Day. All four full-season affiliates kicked off their seasons tonight, marking the seventh year of DotF. As per tradition, here are the full lineups…

Triple-A Empire State (3-0 loss to Lehigh Valley)
SS Ramiro Pena: 0-4, 1 K, 1 E (throwing)
CF Ray Kruml: 1-4, 1 2B, 2 K — they were getting perfect game’d until he doubled with one out in the seventh
1B Steve Pearce: 0-3, 1 K
DH Jack Cust: 0-3, 1 K
3B Brandon Laird: 0-3, 2 K
RF Colin Curtis: 0-3
LF Cole Garner: 0-3, 2 K
C Frankie Cervelli: 0-2, 1 BB — poor Frankie
2B Doug Bernier: 0-3, 1 K
RHP Manny Delcarmen: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 24 of 45 pitches were strikes (53.3%) … was sitting 91-95 early on … this was his first start since August of 2004
RHP Craig Heyer: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 8/3 GB/FB — 37 of 58 pitches were strikes (63.8%) … kept them in the game in his Triple-A debut … gotta think he’ll start next time around, not Delcarmen
LHP Juan Cedeno: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K — nine of 12 pitches were strikes
RHP Jason Bulger: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GB/FB — seven of eleven pitches were strikes

Double-A Trenton (5-3 loss to New Hampshire) Josh Norris has a ton of video
LF Abe Almonte: 1-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K — threw a runner out at second
3B Ronnie Mustelier: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B,1 RBI, 1 K — he and Almonte led the season off with back-to-back doubles
2B David Adams: 0-2, 2 BB, 1 K — please stay healthy … please stay healthy … please stay healthy
RF Zoilo Almonte: 0-4, 4 K — ouch
1B Rob Lyerly: 0-3, 1 BB, 3 K — two true outcomes
CF Melky Mesa: 2-4, 2 RBI — he had a nice second half last year, maybe it’ll carry over
DH Dan Brewer: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K — probably not happy to be back here
C Jose Gil: 1-4, 1 K, 1 E (throwing)
SS Walt Ibarra: 1-4, 1 K
LHP Shaeffer Hall: 4 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 5/1 GB/FB — 41 of 72 pitches were strikes (56.9%)
RHP Cory Arbiso: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 3/2 GB/FB — 26 of 42 pitches were strikes (61.9%) … decent chance he winds up in the rotation with Heyer now in Triple-A
RHP Preston Claiborne: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/1 GB/FB
LHP Lee Hyde: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GB/FB — minor league free agent is a former fourth round pick of the Braves that never put it together

High-A Tampa (8-5 loss to Lakeland)
CF Eduardo Sosa: 0-5, 1 K — he’s just keeping the spot warm until Slade Heathcott gets healthy
2B Kelvin Castro: 2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB — got picked off first
LF Ramon Flores: 0-1, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP — all he does is get on base
RF Rob Segedin: 0-4, 1 K
1B Kyle Roller: 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 RBI, BB
C J.R. Murphy: 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E (throwing) — he threw out all three attempted base stealers … let’s hope he mashes his way to Double-A by midseason
3B Zach Wilson: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B — kinda surprised he’s up here already, but I guess there’s no room in Charleston
DH Neil Medchill: 0-3, 1 BB
SS Jose Mojica: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
LHP Nik Turley: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 2/2 GB/FB — picked a runner off first … was in the middle of a breakout season before breaking his hand reaching for a line drive last year, and it looks like he picked up right where he left off
LHP Vidal Nuno: 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 3/0 GB/FB
RHP Manny Barreda: 1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HB, 3/0 GB/FB
LHP Kramer Sneed: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB

Low-A Charleston‘s game was suspended due to rain and lightning after a little more than an inning. It will be resumed as part of a doubleheader on May 18th. Mason Williams tripled and was the only River Dog to bat, so he’s clearly amped to be our Prospect Watch.

Open Thread: Ron Swanson + Baseball = !
The unorthodox DH platoon
  • Plank

    Is Slade already injured?

    • Mike Axisa

      He had shoulder surgery late last summer and will be out until June.

      • Plank

        So we will get to see him for a month before his July shoulder injury?

        • Mike Axisa

          I’m hopeful he can make it until August, but I’m not holding my breath.

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    I love me some DotF.

    Life is now good again.

  • Bo Knows

    How about that…even mother nature wanted to see Mason play today

  • Plank

    Why did Manny Delcarmen get the start for AAA over Warren, Mitchell, Betances, and Banuelos?

    • Mike Axisa

      Just didn’t line up. Mitchell and Warren were with the big leaguers until the end. Betances goes tomorrow.

  • Hmmm

    Hey Mike, what kind of potetntial does Turley have?

    • Mike Axisa

      Back-end type. He’s basically the exact opposite of most pitching prospects. Good curve, good changeup, fringy fastball. Not much velocity and he can struggle to locate at times.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    This feels damn good.

  • Confused

    Surprised Dickerson didn’t start for AAA. Didn’t think he was a bench player in AAA or at least get the starts against RHP.

  • Jerry

    I wish more was made of how petty the Mets were in not allowing the Yankees to use Newark for the AAA team this year. The city of Newark could have used the help. I guess they thought fans in NJ would rather watch a AAA team in Newark than the AAA team passing for Major League in Queens. Losers.

    • Plank

      The Yankees did the same thing to the Mets a few years ago.

      • RetroRob

        The Mets had a farm club spend the entire year on the road because the Yankees wouldn’t let them play at one of their parks?

        I don’t remember that, then again, I doubt most Mets fans are familiar what’s happening here either.

        • YankeeGrunt

          They were afraid they’d lose fans to a team with a better rotation.

      • Benjamin Kabak

        In what context did the Yanks do that to the Mets?

        • Plank

          My bad. I had it wrong. I thought I remembered the Yankees blocking the Mets similar move and this was retaliation. What I read was that the Yankees were sure to block the Mets in the future as retaliation from this and got it mixed up.

  • Guest

    If there’s one squad where rain outs/game suspensions are going to suck the most this year, its Charleston.

    Campos, Sanchez, Bichette, Culver, Gumbs, Williams, Austin…that whole team deserves to be on prospect watch,

    Mike, when Slade comes back, will be ticketed for Tampa?

    • Guest

      Aaaaaaaand I just re-read the post and saw you already answered this question in the affirmative.

      My bad…

      (Does anyone else still say that?)

  • RetroRob

    Oh, my, what a weak looking offense for the AAA club. It’s good the Empire State Yankees have a strong starting rotation, because it doesn’t look like they’re going to get a lot of runs.

    Poor Cervelli. He gets banished from the luxury surroundings of Yankee Stadium and the big leagues, only to find himself the starting catcher on a AAA team without a home. Lots of catching and no relief of home!

  • bobtaco

    What happened with Maxwell, did he get signed anywhere?

    • RetroRob

      He’s probably in limbo right now, waiting to either be claimed or pass through waivers and sent to AAA. Not sure how fast that happens, but I would think it will be quick, maybe by tomorrow.

  • forensic

    That AAA lineup and offense is quite depressing. It seems like the AAA equivalent of the Padres offense.

    • forensic

      Speaking of which, you should switch it up this year and go in ascending order of level instead of descending, based on the talent dearth (outside of SP) at AAA.

      • Mike Axisa

        Nah, the Triple-A guys have done their time. They deserve top billing. Plus they’re a phone call away and we might actually see a few of them in the bigs this year.

        • forensic

          I guess you’re right. Fine, I’ll let you run your blog your way. :-)

    • Plank

      The AA team is even less prospecty.

      • Plank

        *looks at lineups again*

        Eh, maybe not. Neither one inspires, that’s for sure. At least AAA has the pitching.

  • Jimmy

    I was at the Tampa game. Turley looked good. Murphy looked good as well dispite his throwing error to throw out the runner at second when there was someone on third. That play appeared to be a brain fart on his end

  • vin

    Good to see JR Murphy throwing out base runners. On a side note, reports are that Gary Sanchez has looked really good behind the plate, and has been gunning guys down as well. The Yankee catching depth lives on!

    David Adams is like Andrew Bynum… Everyday he doesn’t get injured is a good day.

  • Jesse

    Love DotF. Keep up the good work, Mike.

  • jjyank

    Oh DotF….its been so long! I’ve missed you. Damn shame Charleston got rained out…at the risk of hyperbole, that team has to be one of the most exciting minor league teams in history. Completely stacked. Oh well, I’m just glad baseball season is back!

  • Paul VuvuZuvella

    Welcome back DOTF !

  • jim

    Mason got up once before the rain and tripled. Let the dominance begin…

  • Plank

    Based on the season so far, I think it’s fair to assume Williams will have well North of 400 triples and account for 100% of the team offense.

    • Z


    • Cory Wade’s emergence

      i laughed!!

  • Havok9120

    Haven’t read any other comments (or the article), so this may have been mentioned already, however….

    Holy crapping Crap Down on the Farm is back.


  • Havok9120

    On a more constructive note….

    I would have loved to see how The Boss would’ve reacted to this AAA no home situation. I can’t decide if people would be fired and God and everyone being told that This Will Not Stand through a dozen press conferences and TV interviews or he’d take the posistion that it will build character and that he doesn’t give a crap about the MiLB team.

    I think it’d have depended on his mood the day he heard the news.

    • Paul VuvuZuvella

      Would have depended on the decade (70’s or 00’s?)

    • Steve (different one)

      He’d have simply traded the entire team to Houston for Carlos Lee.

  •!/AngeloInNY Angelo

    This is a great day.

    Mason Williams, I still love you.

  • Brian S.

    Our AAA offense this year is going to be awful.

    • Plank

      Thanks to the awesome trade the other day, the C is going to be well above average. Hopefully Laird can put up decent numbers and I expect Cust to play well, if frustratingly. But yeah, the offense won’t be good. There isn’t much hope of decent offense coming from AA either except for Adams if he rakes in the early part of the season.

    • Evan3457

      Well, uh, they could’ve kept Montero down there another year. {ducks}

      • Robinson Tilapia


  • Brian in NH

    Life is complete now the DotF has returned.

  • Josh

    I’m still a bit perplexed about Frankie down in AAA. His service time is at 2.113 (Baseball-reference).

    Is there some 2014 budget gain out of this?

    • Steve (different one)

      Yes, there would be if he is indeed on the team in 2014 and he stays in AAA long enough to put off arb for a year.

      But I doubt that’s why they did it. He has options and by swapping him out for Stewart, they create more depth. Now, I will grant that I don’t know what they see in Stewart, but if they view him as equal offense+defense to Cervelli, it makes sense since Romine could be out for a while. Whether Stewart is as good as Cervelli is certainly debatable.

      • Slugger27

        i think its a small downgrade on the major league team but a win for the organization overall. i doubt stewarts defense is good enough overcome his offensive issues, but now the yankees are better covered if martin gets hurt.

      • chrisginn

        My guess is Cervelli was optioned back to get regular playing time. Since Romine is injured Cervelli is not a progress stopper. And I bet once Romine is healthy Cervelli will be promoted (unless he plays poorly in AAA). This benefits the Yankees by getting their back-up catcher regular playing time which will help him later in the year because he’ll have more game experience. And it helps the organization because the AAA pitchers get a MLB catcher directing them.

  • Monterowasdinero

    Agree that AAA offense is anemic-no prospects at the positions.

    Harper played CF and had 2 hits yesterday for Syracuse. He raced in from CF at the end of each inning beating the infielders at times to the dugout (according to the Washington Post article).

  • Tags

    Great to have DOTF farm back, Mike you do a great job. I was at Trenton last night. It looks like it’s going to be a long season. Sloppy game for them. Can only hope Murphy keeps hitting and moves up. Z. Almonte and Lyerly looked awful last night. Almonte stuck out twice looking. Just goes to prove a strong Spring Training means nothing when the games count.