Betances rebounds in latest AzFL appearance

ALCS Travel Day Open Thread
Phil Hughes and stealing Game Three

Got a lot of game action to catch up on, but first let’s start out with some notes…

  • Keith Law had a lot of praise for OF Slade Heathcott in his most recent chat after seeing him in the Arizona Fall League, saying “I do think he has star potential if he stays healthy, which is a huge if. He plays like his hair’s on fire (and) that’s not a great thing for a player who’s injury-prone … the star potential is from the athleticism – plus runner, really good swing, strong hands. Just needs to dial it down one notch.”
  • In a separate piece, KLaw said RHP Zach Nuding was “91-95 with a fringy slider” and “iffy command.” RHP Mark Montgomery “threw 90-93 with a short, hard slider that he’d even throw down and in to right-handed batters; there’s some effort in that delivery, but the ball appears pretty late out of his hand.”
  • RHP Dellin Betances told Jonathan Raymond that he started “throwing a slider” in Instructional League a few weeks ago. I thought he tinkered with the pitch a few years ago, but I could easily be wrong. So many guys (supposedly) learn new pitches each year, it’s hard to keep track. Anyway, Betances really doesn’t need another pitch, the fastball/curveball/changeup combo is plenty good enough, he just needs to throw strikes.
  • LHP Omar Luis Rodriguez was not in Instructional League due to visa issues according to Ben Badler. The Yankees signed the 18-year-old Cuba southpaw for $4M back in June, their final huge money signing before the new spending restrictions were implemented.

AzFL Scottsdale (6-5 win over Phoenix in 11 innings, walk-off style) Wednesday’s game
CF Slade Heathcott: 2-5, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 E (fielding) — he beat out an infield single on a ground ball to the first baseman (!) with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, allowing the game-tying run to score … he also got thrown out at the plate after colliding with the catcher
RHP Zach Nuding: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 25 of 45 pitches were strikes (56%)
RHP Danny Burawa: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB — only seven of 17 pitches were strikes (41%), and he was sitting 92-94 with the fastball … first outing of 2012 after missing the entire season with an oblique and rib injury … KLaw said
RHP Mark Montgomery: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 15 of 25 pitches were strikes (60%)

AzFL Scottsdale (6-5 loss to Salt River, walk-off style) Thursday’s game
3B David Adams: 1-4, 1 K — I honestly think they’re better off keeping him at second and showcasing him for a trade rather than trying to shoe-horn him into a utility tole
C  Austin Romine: 1-4, 1 K

AzFL Scottsdale (4-0 win over Salt River) Friday’s game
2B David Adams: 2-2, 1 R, 2 BB — and now he’s back at second
DH Austin Romine: 1-1, 1 R, 2 BB
RF Slade Heathcott: 1-1, 1 R, 2 BB — this is his first ever pro game in right and only the fourth time he’s played a position an outfield spot other than center
RHP Dellin Betances: 2 IP, zeroes, 4 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 17 of 26 pitches were strikes (65%) … he was up to 95 and throwing strikes (obviously), so pretty much the exact opposite of his first appearance out here
RHP Mark Montgomery: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HB — 19 of 3 pitches were strikes (63%)

AzFL Scottsdale (7-2 loss to Peoria) Saturday’s game
RHP Danny Burawa: 0.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 16 of 30 pitches were strikes (53%)

AzFL Scottsdale (4-0 loss to Surprise) Monday’s game … Sunday was a scheduled off-day
3B David Adams: 1-3, 1 CS
C Austin Romine: 0-4
DH Slade Heathcott: 0-4, 3 K

Three of the four Caribbean winter leagues opened play this weekend, so most players only have an at-bat or two to their name so far. The Puerto Rican League season is still a few weeks away from starting. Here is a recap of the winter ball assignments so far…

Dominican Winter League: OF Zoilo Almonte, LHP Juan Cedeno, OF Melky Mesa, IF Jose Mojica, RHP Kelvin Perez, RHP Jose Ramirez

Mexican Pacific League: OF Jose Figueroa, IF Walt Ibarra, UTIL Ronnie Mustelier, RHP Luis Niebla, IF Ramiro Pena

Venezuelan Winter League: C Francisco Arcia, IF Ali Castillo, OF Ramon Flores, C/1B Jose Gil, RHP Pedro Guerra, RHP Jon Meloan, C Gus Molina, LHP Vial Nuno, IF Jose Pirela

ALCS Travel Day Open Thread
Phil Hughes and stealing Game Three
  • dan gen

    Is there anyone that can help us next year….?

    • Bob Buttons

      Zoilo, Melquisedec, Mark Montgomery, Burawa, Adams, Romine, Mustelier, amongst others.

  • forensic

    I honestly think they’re better off keeping him at second and showcasing him for a trade rather than trying to shoe-horn him into a utility tole

    Why? It worked out so well with Nunez they had to do it again…

  • awesomeo

    Betances must feel like a slider is his only chance. Seems like they don’t want young guys throwing it a lot of the time because it can hurt their elbows, but a lot of guys on the ropes try to develope one.

  • Willballs

    Why trade Adams?
    Cano can’t hit when it counts so lets see if the kid can, lol.

    • Robinson Tilapia (Let’s Complain About Something!)

      No thread is safe, apparently.

      • Bob Buttons

        If there ain’t no panicking or overreacting, it ain’t a Yankees site.

      • Cris Pengiucci

        While the reasoning may be wrong (Can’t hit when it counts), the sentiment is not entirely off base. As another poster mentioned, Cano will be a FA after the ’13 season. Not a bad idea to have someome (or multiple someones) available to fill in, even if it’s for a short time while the team determines the best path forward.

    • Laz

      I don’t want adams traded if he can do ok at 2nd. Cano will be a free agent next season, and while he would be nice to have back, who knows what the cost will be. It would be nice to at least have a plan B, although maybe Nunez would be that?

      • I Live In My Mom’s Basement

        I think the whole point of playing Adams at 3B, is so he can get some major league ABs in 2013 in a utility role. We know he can play 2B; we don’t know if he can hit ML pitching. If he can, he is an option at 2B in 2014; which would be good to know, for obvious reasons.


    What about Adams at 3rd to take over for Chavez next year, then eventually take over primary field duties from ARod in two years?

    • viridiana

      One way or another, Adams should be in Yankee plans. Simply have to start working in young players– both for competitive and financial reasons. I think Adams is best near-term position player option, though I like Abe in spare outfielder or platoon role too. Mustelier could help — but they don’t seem inclined to give him a shot.

  • 27 rings

    Heathcott in RF next year.

    • RetroRob

      Might want to see if he can even play in AA first.

  • What’s my name?

    Hey, guess what? No one cares what you think on Adams.

  • Cano fan #1

    So Gary Sanchez will not play in the Dominican league this year?

  • NYinTX

    What’s the deal with coaching staffs out there? Do the Yankees send their own people? Or is it possible that someone from a different org is able to tinker with Betances to get results?

    • Bob Buttons

      Seems to be random. Scottsdale manager Carlos Mendoza is our manager for Charleston while pitching coach Mike Couchee is from the Padres (whose players aren’t even on Scottsdale). Phil Clark the hitting coach is from somewhere unknown. Was a former baseball player so I’d assume he’s a coach on some random minor league team.

      • Bob Buttons

        Found him. Clippers hitting coach, so Indians.

      • Bob Buttons

        Errr on second thought, the 5 feeder teams send coaches.

        Manager from Yanks
        Pitching Coach from Giants (not Padres)
        Hitting Coach from Indians

        • forensic

          So, if I put it all together, you’re telling me the Yankees can trade Betances to the Giants for Lincecum (since his stock is also way down) this off-season.

          I’d be ok with that risk.

          • Dan Gold

            If the Giants want Stewart back, its a deal breaker.

          • Laz

            Lincecum was strong in the 2nd half. He seemed to figure out what was wrong.

            • RetroRob

              He certainly was better in the second half, but even at that he pitched to a 3.80 ERA in the NL West and in SF’s park. His HR/FB%wa s worse than Phil Hughes. That doesn’t tranlate well to the AL East and Yankee Stadium. He’s also three years removed from being a truly elite pitcher.

              Now with all the negatives out of the way. He still misses bats and only has one-year remaining on his contract, so I’d welcome him to town.

          • Robinson Tilapia (Let’s Complain About Something!)

            Yeah, really……Lincecum sucks and is NEVER going to rebound again. Players never rebound. It’s all just one straight line all the time. *snicker*

            I’d be willing to take this BIG risk as well.

            • hogsmog

              I’d give Hughes and Nova for him, bank on Pineda coming back next season and Phelps as an emergency plan.

              Yes yes, trade proposals, them sucking.

              • hogsmog

                I mean with Bumgarner getting tired down the stretch and maybe affecting next season, zito being zito, and Vogelsong maybe going up in smoke, I think they could use some back-enders that can at least give innings. Plus the whole AL-to-NL thing.

  • Robert

    I would be fine with Swisher,Ibanez,Andrew jones,Chavez,Stewart or Martin out and Adams Romine Mesa Almonte Mustelier in on the Position side.These guys along with Gardy and Nunez can keep the Bench warm for the hopefully Single A talent on the Horizon.

    Work in Pineda and Warren as well as Montgomery and Phelps I think we can be younger and faster next year without going the free agent route!!!

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Great plan! The team should be right around the .500 mark next season with a team like that!

      (Most Yankee fans wouldn’t stand for that, but I might be wlling to put up with a short term decline while stocking up for a future dynasty if that becomes their plan. Better that than an extended downswing.)

      • Dave M

        “Great plan! The team should be right around the .500 mark next season with a team like that!”

        Unfortunately, you’re probably right. But that won’t happen any way. In a perfect world, you bring up 1, maybe 2 guys from the minors each year that stick. Bringing up half a dozen from a minor league system that isn’t great to begin with is a recipe for disaster. But it would help get them under $189Mil. :-)

    • RetroRob

      Getting younger only works if the younger guys are good.

  • FLYER7

    Shop Grandy…shop Cano to avoid a mega deal. Fill from within only when necessary. Would replace Stewart with Cervelli or Romine. Keep Ichiro on a one year deal. Build around the pitchers and pen…Need to look like the 1980 Yankees who made bold moves after Munson’s death before we look like the 1965/1966 Johnny Keane Yankees…

  • Ted Nelson

    I don’t know how much trade value Adams has with the ankle risk still lurking. Definitely some, but maybe not much.

    Also, have they said he was moved to gain versatility? They weren’t bouncing him around once he moved. I think it’s possible his quickness has diminished with the ankle and he’s just a 3B in their view now.