Double-A Trenton opens the Eastern League Championship Series against the Harrisburg Senators (Nationals) tomorrow night in Trenton. I believe LHP Nik Turley will get the ball in the first game of the best-of-five series, but don’t hold me to that. The Thunder are the Yankees’ only minor league affiliate still playing. Here are some more minor league notes:
- RHP Chris Bootcheck was granted his release after opting out of his contract, reports Chris Cotillo. The Yankees technically controlled his rights for another two or three weeks even though Triple-A Scranton’s season ended last week. Bootcheck, 34, was the RailRiders’ most reliable starter this year, pitching to a 3.69 ERA (4.20 FIP) in 136.2 innings across 23 starts (and one relief appearance). He made a one-inning cameo with the big league team back in June.
- The Yankees have re-signed RHP Joel De La Cruz to a minor league contract, according to Matt Eddy. The 23-year-old had a very strong season with High-A Tampa, throwing 85 innings of 3.28 ERA (2.85 FIP) ball. His strikeout (7.73 K/9 and 21.0 K%) and walk (2.86 BB/9 and 7.8 BB%) rates were good but not great. De La Cruz is a prospect but not a standout. He was rumored to be one of the names involved in the Alfonso Soriano trade before Corey Black went to the Cubs.