Bichette goes deep as Campos makes first start in 11 months

Yankees pummel Tribe for second straight win
Middle relief a real weakness early on

If you’re curious about which minor leaguers started the year on the DL (and there is a lot of ‘em), then check out this week’s minor league transactions courtesy of Matt Eddy. Meanwhile, Ben Badler listed RHP Rafael DePaula as a prospect who has seen his stock rise early in the year. Seems a little (way) too early to be adjusting prospect statuses, but to each his own.

Triple-A Scranton (4-2 win over Rochester)

  • CF Melky Mesa: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K — eleven strikeouts in 23 plate appearances so far
  • 3B David Adams: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
  • LF Zoilo Almonte: 0-4, 3 K
  • C Austin Romine: 2-4, 1 R, 1 K — nice little 5-for-14 (.357) with three walks start
  • 1B Corban Joseph: 1-4, 1 R
  • RHP Chris Bootcheck: 5 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 5/2 GB/FB — 51 of 84 pitches were strikes (61%) … nice debut for the veteran journeyman
  • RHP Cody Eppley: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K — 11 of 17 pitches were strikes (65%)
  • RHP Preston Claiborne: 1 IP, zeroes, 2/0 GB/FB — nine of 14 pitches were strikes (64%)

Double-A Trenton (15-7 loss to New Hampshire)

  • CF Slade Heathcott: 0-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E (throwing) — off to a bit of a slow start so far
  • LF Ramon Flores: 0-5, 3 K — threw a runner out at third
  • RF Tyler Austin: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K — meanwhile, he’s still mashin’
  • C J.R. Murphy: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 PB
  • SS Walt Ibarra: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 E (fielding)
  • LHP Matt Tracy: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 1 K — only 16 of 39 pitches were strikes (41%) … egads, not the ideal Double-A debut
  • RHP Branden Pinder: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1/0 GB/FB – ten of 18 pitches were strikes (56%)
  • RHP Shane Brown: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 0 K, 1 HB, 2/0 GB/FB — only 12 of 34 pitches were strikes (35%) … he’s actually an outfielder, so yeah, they got a little desperate in the late innings

High-A Tampa had a scheduled off-day.

Low-A Charleston (9-4 win over West Virginia)

  • SS Cito Culver: 2-5, 1 R, 1 K — strong start continues
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 3-3, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 BB, 1 SB, 1 E (throwing) — he should crush this level after spending three years with a major college program like Arizona
  • DH Greg Bird: 1-4, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K
  • 3B Dante Bichette Jr.: 1-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 K — second homer in as many games … he didn’t hit the second of his three homers last year until July 7th (!)
  • C Peter O’Brien: 2-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
  • RHP Jose Campos: 3 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HB, 2/3 GB/FB — lots of short starts by legitimate prospects early this year, I wonder if that’s a Gil Patterson thing … I don’t remember starts ever being cut short this early in the season
  • LHP Evan Rutckyj: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 12/1 GB/FB — ground balls are awesome, but I greatly prefer strikeouts at this level
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Yankees pummel Tribe for second straight win
Middle relief a real weakness early on
  • Bob Buttons

    So anyone got any idea how O’Brien looks behind the plate?

    • Matt

      Not bad. Decent receiver, but he’s a big guy so his movement and footwork aren’t great.

      • Bob Buttons

        Sounds like the Yanks will move him for certain then.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          If it comes to that. They’ll probably give him every chance to stick at catcher, though.

          • Caballo Sin Nombre

            He’s not quite as big as Montero.

            • Caballo Sin Nombre

              Well, that’s according to Baseball Reference. Other sources have him listed as considerably bigger. I’m seeing a 2″ and 20 lb. variation depending on where you look.

              • JonS

                I’ve seen both in person. O’Brien is definitely a bigger guy than Montero.

                However, the size isn’t the be-all end-all issue. It’s their athletic ability to move at that size behind the plate.

            • I’m not the droids you’re looking for…

              Montero looks very ‘bored’ in Seattle at the moment.

      • Rick

        It’s better to give than receive, said no one ever.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          You must not have many gay friends…

  • Josh

    Peter O’Brein is the kid from Florida right? Whats his future outlook at catcher? IIRC he can really mash. Would suck to lose him and Bird…

    • YankeeGrunt

      He went to Miami. Big body might outgrow the position, but has a great arm and fairly nimble for his size.

    • DInnings

      ‘This kid the son of Charlie O’Brien inventor of the catcher’s mask 90% if not all MLB catchers wear nowadays?

  • Bunch

    Does Refsnyder go straight to AA with Gumbs at A+ ?

    • https://twitter.com/AngeloInNY Angelo

      No. They would be more likely to either split time (one DH and the other at 2B.) That would be a pretty big jump for even the best minor league players.

    • A.D.

      He didn’t exactly crush the Sally League in his debut last year, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves

  • pat

    Tracy sporting a cool 135 ERA.

  • Barry

    Stay healthy Romine… Stay healthy.

  • pat

    Bichette’s HR was bases loaded 2 outs in the 9th.

    • Havok9120

      Pffft. They were up a run in the ninth when he hit it?

      Garbage Time.

  • YankeesJunkie

    Campos and Evan R. in Low A should be exciting to watch.

  • Pro

    Can we get austin’s run and rbi total in the prospect watch?

    • Danny

      I second this, would rather see runs & RBI’s then CS & HBP.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        Why? CS and HBP have to do with things Austin did. Runs and RBI have to do with how his teammates are doing.

        • Danny

          Because RBIs & runs are sexy :)

          Honestly I just find that HBP is pointless,not Austin does effects that number. Not big on CS, would rather see SB percentage.

          I’m open to whatever other categories could fit there, just figured runs & RBIs are the easiest.

          • Danny

            nothing*

          • Cool Lester Smooth

            Chase Utley, Prince Fielder, Carlos Quentin and Kevin Youkilis would dispute you saying that HBP isn’t a repeatable skill.

            • gageagainstthemachine

              Or Ernie Pantusso. Pretty sure he led the league in HBP several years in a row.

              • vicki

                i feel like i shouldve gotten this but had to google it.

              • Rick

                Or Roger Dorn

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I get the sentiment. The classic stats still have value. I’d rather see them as well.

  • Matt L

    Any word on if Cito did in fact give up switch hitting?

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Everyone says that he has.

  • Preston

    The SunDevil in me objects to anybody calling Arizona a MAJOR program.

    • King George

      Amen, brother! ASU alum. Class of 10. Fork ‘Em.

      • TCMiller30

        Class of 09!

    • King George

      And yes, I object to the UofA program being called major!

    • vicki

      i don’t have any sundevil in me. but i have had.

      • Peter R

        lol. well played.

        • Travis L.

          That little minx….

  • Deathstroke Heathcott

    :'(

    • forensic

      heh, that’s 3 of these already. But I guess it’s at least good that he’s playing.

  • Robert

    Saw Pete O’Brien alot in Staten Island. Outside of striking out wat too much he showed Power good defense and above all great leadership qualities,definetly one too watch.

  • Wayne

    I am not as high on campos as the Yankees are. As he looks injury prone. That trade will not workout for either team. The only reason yanks are high on this guy is because they traded Montero for him. As far as rutckyj goes i heard he changed his delivery. But the vídeos i saw of him last year i don’t think there much of a difference.
    Peter o’brien should be converted to first base. If he can play there he could make mark texiera expendable eventually but that is a big if as far as being a top first baseman defensively! Cause it looks like the guy can hit. The problem with our top position players they are either hurt or are unsure of what type of defense they can play. Expect the second and third round picks this year to be defensive players and very athletic players. We will see what happens!

    • vicki

      expendable is a weird word; there’s no strategy there. teix has a no-trade and has said “bury me in pinstripes.” of course the yankees may not want to extend or re-sign him in four years.

      • Hoss

        Brian’s got the backhoe rented and Hal has already filled out the insurance forms

    • Laz

      They will give him every chance at catcher first, just because it makes him way more valuable. They can very easily switch him to 1B later on if he can’t handle behind the plate.

      • A.D.

        Does O’Brien really have the bat for 1B? Thought the idea was he could be a good offensive catcher but wouldn’t be too exciting anywhere else.

    • Rick

      Ahhhh, the old dump Campos after a rocky first start post. Now if only they would have done that with CC when he first signed, we wouldn’t be stuck that guy either. Wait, that would be bad. Nvd.

    • pat

      Lol. SO why were they high on him to be included in the first place then?

  • nycsportzfan

    David Adams having a solid little start to the yr if not stellar… Anyone think he’d be fist up if we were to bring up a infielder and/or Bat off the bench type?

    • nycsportzfan

      Nevermind.. Hes gotta do better then hes done so far, as i thought he was hitting alittle more then he has been.. Austin Romine seems to be most consistent bat so far for TRIPAAA, no? I wonder if he gets to the bigs some point this season?

    • vicki

      mike’s “bichette does deep,” you and your “fist up.”

      • Rick

        I would love to buy you a beer or two, or ten. Enjoying the witty/sarcastic comments.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I think that “we took him off the 40-man” thing would like to have a talk with you.

      • Laz

        Probably puts CoJo ahead of him.

  • Jeff

    I’d really like to see Romine and Murphy both bumped up a level….soon. Romine can’t be any worse than Stewart at this point and giving him Stewart’s ~2 out of every 5 starts will still be plenty of playing time.

    I think it’s even $ if Stewart is DFA’d that nobody picks him up.

    • Laz

      Can Murphy get 20 PA in before we start calling for him to go up a level?

      He proved last year he can’t handle AA yet. He needs to stay at the level at least for a while now. Might get a bump up once Sanchez comes up.

  • John C

    “— ground balls are awesome, but I greatly prefer strikeouts at this level ”

    I prefer outs, any way you get them

    • Rick

      While correct to a degree, the strikeouts help predict future performance better. As you progress through the levels, players stop missing the hittable pitches. However, just because he had only 1 K in this game doesn’t mean he won’t be able to record them in the next.

  • A.D.

    Seems like the Badler piece is more like some early success helping back up everyone’s hype of these players. Less that DePaula’s stock has gone up, and more that we weren’t crazy to rank him as a prospect since now it’s confirmed:

    1. He does exist
    2. He will be allowed to play baseball in America
    3. The big fastball exists
    4. All the redic stat lines he put up the DSL do mean that he can dominate stateside MILB hitters (at least for one night)

    • Robinson Tilapia

      And we still wait on Melvin Croussett.

      #thedreamisover

  • Govin

    All I know is that Tyler Austin doesn’t seem to be at all fazed with the double A. I forget whether I said this before but I’m not overly concerned with Heathcot. It seems that he normally starts slow.