Mustelier finishes strong as winter leagues begin to wrapup

Hale: Yankees have not called about Chipper Jones
Sunday Night Open Thread

It’s been a few weeks, so I have plenty of notes to pass along…

  • The Yankees have released seven players according to Matt Eddy: RHP Reinier Casanova, RHP Ryan Flannery, RHP Jhorge Liccien, IF Yadil Mujica, OF Kelvin Duran, OF Justin James, and UTIL Damon Sublett. James, the club’s 13th rounder in 2011, is the notable prospect of the seven. He was a tooled-up kid without little baseball experience because he was a basketball player in high school.
  • Some injury updates courtesy of JoshNorris: RHP Diego Moreno (Tommy John surgery) should return in June. He was part of the A.J. Burnett trade. RHP Jairo Heredia and SwP Pat Venditte (shoulder) do not have a timetable and will be reassessed in camp. OF Neil Medchill is healthy and ready to go.
  • The Yankees have hired Al Pedrique as manager for Low-A Charleston. He was most recently the bench coach under Brad Mills with the Astros and will be the team’s fifth manager in five years. Carlos Mendoza, last year’s manager, is now roving defensive coach. Former organizational catcher P.J. Pilittere will replace Greg Colbrunn as the club’s hitting coach. He was always considered a strong coaching prospect.
  • Dave Miley and Tony Franklin will return for their seventh seasons as manager for Triple-A Scranton and Double-A Trenton, respectively. Miley’s entire coaching staff remains the same while Franklin will be joined by hitting coach Justin Turner, who spent the last two seasons in the same role with High-A Tampa.

The Arizona Fall League season ended more than a month ago, so check out this post for the final stats. The only Caribbean winter league still in the regular season in the Puerto Rican League, which was recently renamed the Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League. Here’s an updateon the guys playing winter ball around the globe.

Australian Baseball League (season ends at the end of the month)
RHP Zach Arneson: 14 G, 16 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 6 BB, 19 K, 1 HB, 1 WP (0.56 ERA, 0.63 WHIP)

Dominican Winter League (season over)
OF Abe Almonte: 30 G, 17-78, 9 R, 1 2B, 3 2B, 5 RBI, 7 BB, 21 K, 7 SB, 2 CS (.218/.282/.282)
OF Zoilo Almonte: 1 G, 0-1
OF Melky Mesa: 14 G, 14-56, 13 R, 5 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 4 BB, 17 K, 2 SB (.250/.295/.482)
IF Eduardo Nunez: 12 G, 14-51, 3 R, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 5 K, 1 SB (.275/.275/.314)
C Gary Sanchez: 7 G, 5-21, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K (.238/.304/.429)
LHP Juan Cedeno: 24 G, 28.2 IP, 23 H, 12 R, 11 ER, 12 BB, 20 K, 2 HB, 7 WP (3.45 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) — finishes 2012 with 3.01 ERA, 77 strikeouts, and 33 strikeouts in 92.2 innings
RHP Kelvin Perez: 20 G, 24 IP, 19 H, 10 R, 9 ER, 10 BB, 14 K, 4 HR, 1 WP (3.38 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)
RHP Jose Ramirez: 9 G, 2 GS, 19 IP, 14 H, 11 R, 9 ER, 12 BB, 23 K, 2 HR, 4 HB (4.26 ERA, 1.37 WHIP)
LHP Francisco Rondon: 10 G, 5.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 11 K, 1 HR, 1 HB, 1 WP (3.18 ERA, 1.94 WHIP)

Mexican Pacific League (season over)
OF Jose Figueroa: 40 G, 18-70, 14 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 5 BB, 16 K, 2 CS (.257/.307/.329)
UTIL Ronnie Mustelier: 55 G, 59-208, 35 R, 8 3B, 2 3B, 9 HR, 33 RBI, 19 BB, 43 K, 9 SB, 1 CS, 2 HBP (.284/.354/.471) — finished 2012 at .304/.364/.482 with 24 homers, 19 steals, 54 walks, and 111 strikeouts in just over 700 plate appearances
IF Gil Velazquez: 25 G, 27-84, 9 R, 7 2B, 8 RBI, 10 BB, 12 K, 7 SB, 1 CS, 1 HBP (.321/.396/.405)
RHP Gio Gallegos: 7 G, 5.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 2 HR (8.44 ERA, 1.69 WHIP)
RHP Felipe Gonzalez: 2 G, 3.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 2 HR, 1 HB (8.10 ERA, 2.10 WHIP)
RHP Luis Niebla: 15 G, 4 GS, 34 IP, 34 H, 19 R, 13 ER, 12 BB, 28 H, 7 HR, 2 WP (3.44 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)
RHP Cesar Vargas: 12 G, 11.2 IP, 13 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 7 BB, 15 K, 1 HB, 1 WP (2.31 ERA, 1.71 WHIP)

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (season ends in about ten days)
OF Adonis Garcia: 39 G, 45-154, 22 R, 9 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 26 RBI, 4 BB, 24 K, 3 SB, 2 CS, 4 HBP (.292/.319/.481)
2B Angelo Gumbs: 13 G, 11-36, 6 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 HBP (.306/.333/.472) — hooray for having a healthy elbow
1B Luke Murton: 13 G, 9-45, 4 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 7 BB, 16 K (.200/.308/.333)
RHP Manny Barreda: 18 G, 18.1 IP, 28 H, 15 R, 11 ER, 13 BB, 12 K, 3 HR, 1 HB, 1 WP (5.40 ERA, 2.24 WHIP)
RHP Preston Claiborne: 15 G, 23.2 IP, 16 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 4 BB, 21 K (3.04 ERA, 0.85 WHIP) — that’s a nice K/BB right there
RHP Jose Diaz: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 WP — last draft’s 29th rounder

Venezuelan Winter League (season over)
C Francisco Arcia: 3 G, 0-1, 1 R, 2 BB
IF Ali Castillo: 1 G, 1-1, 1 R
C Frankie Cervelli: 21 G, 18-59, 16 R, 5 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 10 BB, 19 K, 1 SB4 HBP (.305/.432/.525) — at this point you have to hope he’s feeling confident and can carry it over into Spring Training and the regular season
OF Ramon Flores: 8 G, 3-12, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP (.231/.333/.231)
UTIL Jose Pirela: 52 G, 53-201, 33 R, 9 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 21 BB, 35 K, 5 SB, 2 CS, 5 HBP (.264/.345/.373)
RHP Pedro Guerra: 12 G, 10.2 IP, 16 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 6 BB, 6 K, 3 HR (6.75 ERA, 2.06 WHIP)
LHP Vidal Nuno: 22 G, 25 IP, 17 H, 11 R, 7 ER, 6 BB, 24 K, 2 HR (2.52 ERA, 0.92 WHIP) — finished 2012 with a 2.52 ERA, 150 strikeouts, and 39 walks in 163.1 innings

Hale: Yankees have not called about Chipper Jones
Sunday Night Open Thread
  • Havok9120

    A lot of these numbers just had me mumbling “ouch” as I read them.

    • dalelama

      The mediocrity of our farm system is unsurpassed. We really stink!!!

      • Nick

        Ignorance is fun!

  • Dicka24

    What’s the deal with Mulstelier? Seems to be putting up some numbers. Fringy shot, or straight up AAAA fodder?

    Vidal Nuno is another guy i’d like to see get a chance at least. From the read he looks like one of those guys that doesn’t have anything that blows you away in terms of stuff, but simply knows how to pitch. I think of Aceves when I see his name.

    I think Cervelli is going to hold his own. The kid plays with energy and has some ability. I hope they legitimately give him a shot.

    • Paco

      People like to point out that Mustelier is old for his competition, but all he can really do is go out and play well and that is what he has done. At this point whether he can carry anything over to MLB is the final question worth asking.

      • RetroRob

        I agree. He’s only been in pro ball here for two seasons and has hit at every level up through AAA, with the Yankees quickly pushing him from rookie ball to AAA in a little over a year’s time. The age question doesn’t mean much in this situation. That’s more relevant for a players stuck in the minors for years, and languishing at lower levels and then finally hitting at a level they’ve repeated and when they’re older than the competition. As you noted, all he can do is go out and play well, which is what he’s done.

        Unless the Yankees go out and get a big RH’d bat, he has almost as much chance of making an impression and sticking with the team as Canzler. They will have to open a 40-man slot for him, which is why Canzler would probably get first shot all else being equal.

        The Yankees (and other teams, too, especially ones who expect to compete for the postseason) reguarly go out and pick up marginal players like Juan Miranda and Jorge Vazquez and stick them in the minors. AAAA guys who are there case something bad happens on the MLB roster. In case of catastrophe, call up Vazquez and then go find something better. Never happened.

        The difference here is Mustelier is a higher class, break-glass player. He might actually be able to hit. We’ll probably see him at some point in 2013.

        • Paco

          “Unless the Yankees go out and get a big RH’d bat, he has almost as much chance of making an impression and sticking with the team as Canzler. They will have to open a 40-man slot for him, which is why Canzler would probably get first shot all else being equal.”

          I don’t see why Canzler would be ahead of him on the depth chart solely because he is on the 40 man. If they prefer Mustelier out of Spring Training then they just DFA Canzler to create the 40 man slot for Mustelier/

          • Havok9120

            Because Canzler is gone after you do that whereas RM remains in Scranton if they go with Canzler for a bit. Besides which, you really shouldn’t base a decision like that solely off of ST, as we have seen in last few seasons.

            • trr

              Amen to that!

          • RetroRob

            As Havoc noted, they wouldn’t want to lose Canzler based on just Spring Training ABs. It’s hard to say that Mustelier is a better MLB candidate than Canzler. We just don’t know, and it’s doubtful ST will answer that question. The Yankees will look to hold onto both players, so they will use any and all options to maintain that depth. That’s the reason they sent Cervelli to the minors last year and kept Stewart. Cervelli had a minor league option, while Stewart did not. They sent him down, because they could, even though they probably viewed Cervelli as a better (even if marginally so) option than Stewart.

            RM’s job is to continue to impress, and he then will have a shot.

            • Ted Nelson

              Based on the pitch framing data I think it’s as likely they prefer Stewart as Cervelli. They traded an ok RP prospect for Stewart knowing the implication was Cervelli to AAA.

              • Dave in VA

                The SWB/Empire State Road Warriors needed a triple-A starting catcher at the end of last March, and the only person really eligible in-system was Cervelli. I’m not sure what better options for AAA starting catchers were available to be traded for at the time.

  • The Oberamtmann

    Given how many coaches were never great MLB players, even if they make it to MLB, which Pilittere never did, I have one question. How do they assess which players would make a good coach? How do you go right from playing to coaching without, I suppose, “learning” how to coach proper batting etc.?

    • Ted Nelson

      Based on leadership ability, communications skills, baseball intelligence, general competency, etc.

    • Dave in VA

      The front office keeps tabs on the skills that make a good coach/manager among their players. Example: Bobby Cox was on two or three late-1960s Yankee teams. He later said “Those teams weren’t very good; if I was on them they couldn’t have been!” The farm system started producing again, and Cox was going to be either dropped to the minors or released, but the Yankees offered him a third choice: manager at their single-A club in Florida (not Tampa yet, this was pre-Steinbrenner). Cox chose the latter, and we know the rest of that story.

  • Ryan

    Seems Nuno is underrated considering his numbers in AA. I know he doesn’t throw hard but he averaged over a strikeout per ip and didn’t walk much. Reminds me of how overlooked Quintana was before he was released and served as a solid backend starter for the white sox last yr. Is there recent scouting on him indicating an increase in velocity or improved breaking ball leading to his breakout year?

    • Bo Knows

      He still is a junk baller, no velocity jump.

      • Rehobie

        Who cares how hard he throws. He gets people out. Isn’t that what the job description requires?

  • Jacob

    Mike why did you have to put the side thing about Ronnie, now all we will see in this thread is “Call up Ronnie, he can play all OF spots, 3B, and 1B, plus he can hit!!!” Future HOFer. Oh and So is Vidal Nuno apparently

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Because Mike has the patience to just ignore those comments instead of whining about it.

      • Jacob

        I was messing around you don’t have to be a dick

    • Brian S.

      Your comment sucks.

  • toad

    What is the general level of play in all these leagues? Do they match up reasonably well with minor league levels, or are they all over the place?

  • Robert

    THe projected April starting Trenton Outfield is Slade,Tyler Austin and Ramon Flores.Maybe Sanchez, Williams and Gumps join them by June.

    Last year I went to 5 games in Trenton 10 in the Bronx and 3 in Staten Island. I think I may be going to a few more Trenton games this year.

    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

      That’s a pretty sweet outfield. Reminds me of a few years ago when Trenton had Brackman, Betances, Banuelos and Stoneburer in the rotation.

      Hopefully this group will turn out better.

      • Robert

        And Montero was the catcher.

  • first name only male – Retire 21

    I guess it would be ok if Cervelli put up a line of .305/.432/.525 this season.

    Scorn from people who don’t know I’m kidding in 3…2…

  • Deep Thoughts

    Disrespectful to Flannery.

    • DC

      Go back to NoMass.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I’m contractually obligated to refer to Ronnie Mustellier as a future Hall of Famer here. Now fuck you, pay me.

    • Rehobie

      You gotta work on your vocabulary.

  • Joe

    Will Cerveli play for Italy in the WBC this year like in 2009? Or with Yankees because hes fighting for a job most likely. Also does a team have control over a player playing in WBC?

    • RetroRob

      I think they can pretty much bar a player from appearing since they’re under contract and appearing in the WBC would prevent a player from being in ST camp.

      Considering the catching situation, I’d be surprised if they let him play. And let’s take that a step further. Cervelli wants to win the starting job. He’d basically give his competition the spotlight while he’s off playing in the WBC for Italy. Might as well book his ticket to Scranton!

      • forensic

        Completely agree. Out of sight, out of mind. It’d be a terrible decision for him career-wise to go to the WBC rather than try to impress right in front of the Yankees decision makers given what’s available to him in ST.

  • I Live In My Mom’s Basement

    What?? There’s a Sublett available?