Venditte returns to the mound in GCL win

Jeter plays five innings in latest rehab game
Guthrie shuts down Yanks; KC takes opener 5-1

Some notes before we get to the games:

  • Keith Law (subs. req’d) has some quick observations on OF Slade Heathcott and OF Tyler Austin after a recent visit. He said Austin looked “awful, with a very slow bat and indifferent approach, as if he were either exhausted or dealing with a nagging injury” while Heathcott is “producing a less consistent path and sometimes letting his front leg go ‘soft’ (turning outwards through contact)” compared to the Arizona Fall League last season.
  • Baseball America (subs. req’d) had the Yankees among five system who had a first half to forget. That’s largely because Austin, Heathcott, OF Mason Williams, and 2B Angelo Gumbs have had poor years. LHP Manny Banuelos being hurt, RHP Brett Marshall being awful, and RHP Jose Campos being just okay didn’t help either.
  • RHP Kelvin Perez was released from Triple-A Scranton, reports Mike Ashmore. Both RHP Shane Greene (blister) and C Francisco Arcia (unknown) were placed on the Double-A Trenton DL as well.

Triple-A Scranton (6-3 win over Rochester)

  • SS Derek Jeter: 0-2, 1 R, 1 BB — had a little more on him earlier
  • C J.R. Murphy: 3-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB — had been in a little 8-for-36 slump (.222)
  • DH Randy Ruiz: 1-4, 2 RBI, 1 K
  • RF Thomas Neal: 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K — had been in a 3-for-29 rut (.103)
  • 3B Josh Bell: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI — have to think he’s going to love his roster spot with 3B David Adams on the way back down
  • RHP Chris Bootcheck: 5 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 4/4 GB/FB — 61 of 94 pitches were strikes (65%)
  • RHP Chase Whitley: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0-1 GB/FB — 17 of 29 pitches were strikes (59%) … finishes off a night in which the pitching staff had a 12/0 K/BB

Double-A Trenton (10-6 win over Reading)

  • CF Slade Heathcott: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 CS — 13 hits in his last 32 at-bats (.406)
  • 2B Jose Pirela: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 SB
  • SS Carmen Angelini: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI — .205/.319/.359 here but still .271/.332/.433 overall this year because he was so good before the promotion
  • RHP Zach Nuding: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 3/8 GB/FB — 57 of 89 pitches were strikes (64%) … three straight starts of at least five runs allowed
  • RHP Danny Burawa: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 2/0 GB/FB — nine of 16 pitches were strikes (56%)
  • RHP Tommy Kahnle: 1 IP, zeroes, 1/1 GB/FB — seven of nine pitches were strikes … seven of his last nine appearances have been hitless

High-A Tampa (4-3 loss to Brevard County, walk-off style)

  • CF Taylor Dugas: 1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
  • LF Ben Gamel: 2-4
  • 3B Peter O’Brien: 0-4, 1 R — seven hits in his last 36 at-bats (.269)
  • C Gary Sanchez: 1-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K — two of his last three hits are doubles
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-4
  • RHP Bryan Mitchell: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 2 WP, 8/2 GB/FB — no idea why he was suspended, but he’s back already

Low-A Charleston had a scheduled off-day.

Short Season Staten Island (7-6 win over Connecticut, walk-off style)

  • CF Michael O’Neill: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 K — 28 strikeouts and five walks in 19 pro games
  • 3B Eric Jagielo: 1-3, 1R, 2 BB, 1 K
  • 1B Bubba Jones: 3-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB — walk-off single
  • LHP Caleb Smith: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 2/5 GB/FB
  • RHP Nick Rumbelow: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 0/1 GB/FB — Clip’d the win

Rookie GCL Yanks1 (7-5 win over GCL Pirates in ten innings)

  • DH Tyler Wade: 1-5, 2 R, 2 K
  • SS Abi Avelino: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 1 E (fielding)
  • 2B Gosuke Katoh: 1-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 E (throwing) — 10-for-33 (.303) with a double, two triples, three homers, six walks, and seven strikeouts in ten pro games
  • RHP Hayden Sharp: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 2 HB, 12/3 GB/FB

Rookie GCL Yanks2 (7-5 win over GCL Tigers)

  • LF Nathan Mikolas: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • SS Thairo Estrada: 2-4, 1 R — nine hits in his last 15 at-bats (.600)
  • LHP Omar Luis: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 3/1 GB/FB — second appearance for the $4M southpaw
  • SwP Pat Venditte: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — first game action since last April due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder … I don’t know if he did the whole switch pitching thing in this game, but I assume so since he was pitching lefty in the World Baseball Classic … what else would they have been waiting for?
Jeter plays five innings in latest rehab game
Guthrie shuts down Yanks; KC takes opener 5-1
  • Bo Knows

    That comment about Austin scares me, with this teams luck this year he might very well be hurt.

    le sigh….this year f’n sucks baseball wise

  • http://deleted Richard Leo

    Omar Luis is a little wild.Any report about his stuff?

  • DERP

    I wish Law had commented on Turley and Rondon (I think he was at the game where they both pitched), but whatever.

    Also, Thairo Estrada!

  • shadow

    Meanwhile, a scout from not even a week ago had this to say about Austin,

    “I think he’s gonna be a real good hitter. … If I had to bet on one of the two kids, I’d bet on Austin right now,” one scout said.

    “I think he can be a solid everyday guy that might become a middle-of-the-order bat,” another scout said. “I like the way at the plate he stays inside the ball. He’s got good balance, the ball jumps off his bat. … I think he just needs to play. I think that as he plays, he’ll make adjustments [and be fine].”

    It’s mind numbing. Take it with a grain of salt. If these guys struggle again next year then it can be looked at as a trend.

    • YankeeGrunt

      Law’s MO is to extrapolate a lot from a little, making sweeping judgments from four ABs or so. I wouldn’t get too bent out of shape.

      • shadow

        I agree. Just pointing out how if 5 scouts were at the game tonight all 5 scouts would have a different opinion.

        Besides, after Law chastised the whitesox for taking Sale so high because of bad mechanics and no secondary offering and didn’t have him rated as baseballs top players under 25 shows he has an agenda.

        Nothing wrong with saying, “Yeah, I missed that one”

        • Tom

          Observation =/= projection

          You guys are quoting a projection and comparing it to an observation (with no projection) and for some reason are assuming the two statements can’t both be true or are at odds with each other.

          • shadow

            Actually, Im comparing the projection of two different scouts. Nice try though.

          • Robinson Tilapia


            I actually felt like Law was taking into account the positives he knows about Austin when giving the “exhausted or nagging injury” line rather than just saying, “declining” or whatnot.

            • Cool Lester Smooth

              Yeah, it’s better if Austin is playing hurt than if he’s just overwhelmed by AA.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        He shows up before the game and watches BP too, ya know.

        It’s one thing to disagree with the guy. Like all scouts, he’s wrong a lot. It is another thing entirely, however, to think that he bases his opinion off of four PA.

        • OhioYanks

          Not sure if you’re serious about batting practice. If so, you’re really, really reaching to stick up for Law.

          His first hand experience with a prospect usually is informed by a game or two a year. He says that often. It’s the nature of one guy trying to cover every prospect across MiLB. You can’t do that and see many guys multiple times. I’m sure that his opinions are also informed by other scouts and tape.

          This is definitely a case where he’s being upfront about it. He’s just giving his take on one game he saw. I don’t think he’s made any sweeping generalizations here, but I’m sure sometimes he does based on a few PAs. (I have heard that criticism before.) It’s his job to pretend he is intimately familiar with every prospect, though, and give some meaty opinions. I’m sure that’s what ESPN wants. Their site doesn’t exactly cater to people who appreciate subtlety the way, say, fangraph’s readers do (allowing Newman to be very upfront in Newman’s Own). They’re after the mass market, which wants you to be an expert who knows everything authoritatively.

          • Kevin Ocala, Fl

            Man, did you nail it…….

          • Cool Lester Smooth

            Batting practice is a huge part of what a scout looks at when they go to the game, because that’s when they get the most looks at a player’s swing.

            Ask Mike Newman, who I am unabashedly parroting right now, or save yourself some time and just read one of his responses to the obligatory mouth breather in ever comments section complaining about how he can’t judge a player based on the 6 times they swing the bat in a game.

            • Tom

              Have to echo Cool Lester here.

              Most scouts absolutely look at batting practice… mainly to look at swing mechanics. While you can’t get things like pitch recognition, zone discipline or how a hitter may handle certain locations you can absolutely get useful information on the swing mechanics – bat speed, bat angle, bat through the zone, stride, load, etc.

              It’s not about sticking up for Law… almost any scout worth a damn will tell you they are watching batting practice if they can get a chance (and also pregame infield/outfield for defense)

              I get people don’t like Law’s comments and are looking to pounce, but he’s is reporting on Austin’s bat speed and Slade’s swing mechanics…. those types of things might actually be easier to scout in BP (and then you can check if it translates into game action). Also as long as it is simply an observation (which is what it seems clearly stated as), it’s not the type of thing you need to see massive repetitions on.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                ….and are also things that you can see variance on throughout a season, so anyone trying to jump on the comments in either direction is just being plain silly.

                It’s an observation of a moment in time during a long season during an even longer period of development.

                “Too much information” sometimes.

              • Cool Lester Smooth

                Exactly. Thanks for saying it far more eloquently than I managed to.

              • OhioYanks

                You are in no way actually responding to my comment.

                Every scout watches batting practice, so you can’t give Law extra credit for doing so. It doesn’t count as extra games watched. A scout following a player is going to watch multiple real games. (I was actually going to say just this in my original comment, but wanted to edit it down.) For a legit prospect in AA, you’re looking for pitch recognition, patience/selectivity, and other subtler points. Not whether he can hit a 70 MPH FB. These guys have mostly established that one way or another at lower levels. They’re in AA because they can hit a BP FB damn well, their defense dragged their bat along, or for org depth.

                I also literally said that I don’t think he was making sweeping generalizations in this case and he was very upfront about stating observations from a tiny sample.

                So, it’s hard to read your comment and not think you are blindly sticking up for Law. You are making excuses for things I never disagreed with. You are, in fact, agreeing with the points that I made.

                • Cool Lester Smooth

                  “Law’s MO is to extrapolate a lot from a little, making sweeping judgments from four ABs or so.”

                  That is what I was responding to with my initial comment. I was explaining to YankeeGrunt that he’s watched a lot more swings than just those 4 PA.

                  Law didn’t say anything about pitch recognition; he just said that Heathcott’s swing was a little fucked up and that Austin’s bat was slow, i.e. stuff that you see in BP.

                  No one is saying Law is God or anything. We were just explaining his method’s to someone who apparently didn’t understand them.

                  Not everything I say is a personal attack, trying to start a fight, or even directed at you, you know.

                  • OhioYanks

                    But he’s not watching more than 4 PAs. You have decided that other people are so dumb as to think scouts skip BP just because they say “4 PAs” instead of “4 PAs + 1 BP.” Based on that you did go on the attack: “Like all scouts, he’s wrong a lot. It is another thing entirely, however, to think that he bases his opinion off of four PA.”

                    By definition, “Law’s MO” is not a reference to one article he wrote. It’s a reference to how he scouts players.

                    It’s not always the other people who don’t understand. Like everyone else, Keith Law included, you might make some mistakes too. Not every criticism of Law is an unwarranted attack. He is absolutely basing his take on one game. That is the whole premise of the article.

                    • OhioYanks

                      The original comment cconcluded by saying, by the way, “I wouldn’t get too bent out of shape.”

                      Telling the original commenter not to get bent out of shape over Law’s comments on one game. It was not me to took it as a personal attack and went after multiple people. It was you.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth

                      Jesus H. Fuck, man. Are you YankeeGrunt? Are you dating him/her? Is he/she your child?

                    • OhioYanks

                      You really don’t bother to read any of the comments for any purpose other than to argue with people, do you?

                    • Cool Lester Smooth

                      Said the pot to the kettle.

            • OhioYanks

              Again, Mike Newman is very, very upfront about his opinions being based only on the players he saw in the games that he saw. Every scout watches BP. That doesn’t mean he watched extra games. No one is arguing with you that BP is worthless to watch. You came up with that argument in your head.

              The distinction people are trying to make, and that you are missing or ignoring, is between a media guy like Law or Newman who sees guys once a year and a team scout or coach who gets to follow a player across multiple games. (And I was very careful not to blame Law for that. It’s the nature of his job.)

              This is a distinction guys like Law allude to all the time when they make comments about how they heard prospect x was doing y better towards the end of the season or whatever. They weren’t there to see it. They heard about it from people who were.

              • Cool Lester Smooth

                Where did I say he watched extra games?

                Please, show me. I’ll wait.

                • OhioYanks

                  Instead of always being so sure you are right, accept that you don’t know everything.

                  I was explaining the points that you’ve missed. I assume you have missed them largely because you think you are so much smarter than everyone else. Have you actually read my comment? Or did you just go through looking for the one technicality you could disagree with me on? I explained to you the distinction that people are trying to make and you are missing. Trying reading it over.

                  • Cool Lester Smooth

                    I wasn’t disagreeing with you, Ted.

                    I assumed, because of the way that YankeeGrunt worded his comment, that he didn’t know that Law was basing his observations, which were all related to bat speed and swing mechanics, on dozens of swings in both BP and the game rather than “4 PA.”

                    • OhioYanks

                      So because of what you read into YankeeGrunt’s comments you thought you’d try to show him/her how much smarter you are? In the process of attacking everyone you missed the forest for the trees. The point of the comment was not to get too bent out of shape because Law was only basing his observations on one game. That is his MO. That is what he does for a living.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth

                      No, I thought I’d explain to him what Law and all these other internet scouts actually do.

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

                      No rebuttal on the Ted.

                    • Robinson Tilapia

                      I’m really on the fence here.

                      I think OhioYanks has gaps in logic Ted would never have but, goddamn, some of these comments are more out of the Ted playbook than anything Ted ever did.

                      In other words, I think Ted is smarter than this guy, but this guy is like the Ted T-1000.

                    • OhioYanks

                      “No, I thought I’d explain to him what Law and all these other internet scouts actually do.”

                      The guy made two points: Law watches one game at a time and comments on prospects based on it, and it’s not worth getting bent out of shape about. Both are true. Feeling that Law’s honor had been sullied and other people are too dumb to know what batting practice is, you launched into an arrogant, defensive “explanation” over semantics.

                      And now you refuse to understand what happened. It’s not that you “won’t let things go,” as you mentioned yesterday, it’s that you won’t ever re-consider your position. You assume you are right about everything and everyone else is dumber than you are.

  • YankeeGrunt

    Marshall hasn’t been all bad. He has been a lot more effective of late and his K figures have been much better than anyone expected.

    Yankee bats have been relatively unimpressive, but by and large the arms have met expectations (save Encinas and Hensley and their injuries). It hasn’t been a great year but it hasn’t been a catastrophe either.

  • JohnnyC

    I trust KLaw’s advice on good restaurants and pie recipes more than his scouting reports. Also I hear he’s good with accounting issues.

  • Frank

    Law’s opinions notwithstanding, I believe the Yanks farm system and overall pool of talent is way over-rated.

    • pat

      Why is that?

    • stuart a

      you seen any of these guys play in person?

      your comments are based on what?

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        stuart a firefighting?

        What has the world come to?

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Based on trolling. He says the same shit every night.

  • Crime Dog

    Are Keith Law’s opinions known as very pessimistic? I always get the feeling he’s pretty down on a ton of players. Maybe that’s just because on twitter he’s usually responding with snark about a non-prospect.

    • shadow

      He’s very snarky. Especially when his opinion comes across as conviction even though he never see’s the player and only going by what his sources tell him.

      Like his evaluation of Nelson Cruz. Because he was 28 putting up big numbers in AAA Law said he was a player of non interest.

      So much for that tidbit there Keith.

      • Kevin Ocala, Fl

        Keith Law: Napoleon Complex. ESPN’s Mr. Peabody. Ever notice how few good questions he’ll take on the Yanks in a chat? Or how few compliments he’ll dole out? Austin Jackson would never hit with all the holes in his swing, ‘fourth outfielder type’. He needs a silk handkerchief slapping………

        • shadow

          Yet, he said Austin Jackson was the second best player on the tigers last year behind Justin Verlander.

          Mr. Cabrera has an objection….

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      He’s just a dick, albeit a very, very smart one who knows what he’s talking about.

      • Kevin Ocala, Fl

        If he knew that much he wouldn’t spend most of chats discussing cooking, cooking shows, books, restaurants, traveling…. Commander McBragg……..

        Great, he’s smart, but stays very vague as to what he really does baseball wise for a living.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          Are you talking about now or when he was a scout, and eventually Special Assistant to the GM, for the Blue Jays?

          • Dave M

            WAS is the key word there.

            • Cool Lester Smooth

              Exactly, he had a shitload of experience both as a scout and in the front office before he left for a high paying job with ESPN.

              A job apparently so high paying and/or convenient that he withdrew his name from consideration for a position with the Astros last January.

  • viridiana

    I think Law is generally fair in his evaluations. But he does sometimes extrapolate too much from too little. He could be right about Austin being hurt, though. Seems like he’s been in and out of lineup lately.

  • Danny

    Mitchell was suspended for pushing an umpire.

  • trr

    “Baseball America had the Yankees among five system who had a first half to forget.”


    • John C

      which means things can only get better in the 2nd half

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Hell, they already started that process.

  • Robert

    Pathetic the scouts and heads of the Minor league should be fired. I go to maybe 20 Trenton Games a year and I thought by now Austin,Slade and Flores would be in Scranton and Sanchez and Williams would be at Trenton.2 Players on the top 50 list unacceptable….
    Maybe Jeter can get JR Murphy promoted!!!

    • Robinson Tilapia

      *looks at paperwork, fires Robert instead*

  • Wayne

    What happened to Rafael depaula? When does he pitch again. Finally hayden sharp pitched nice debut!

  • bpdelia

    I’m anxiously awaiting the November 22nd 2013 RAB post titled: “Katoh will get work at SS in 2014”

    he’s got the frame to handle it and by all accounts has smooth actions and soft hands. proper mechanics make all the difference. my first year in college I was moved from cf to ss and after a brief adjustment and inst4uction on throwing footwork as well as learning a more 3/4 arm slot I greatly improved my arms power with very little accuracy loss.

  • JLC 776

    If this year goes completely in the shitter for the ML Yankees, I just want a promise that Venditte will get called up to make one start to do his switch-pitching thing. That will satisfy me.

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Even if it doesn’t!

      All I want in life is to see Venditte in the MLB.