Minors Notes: Hensley, Katoh, Montgomery

Olney: Yankees will have to give Girardi "significant" raise
2014 Draft: Yankees have 18th overall pick
Montgomery. (Presswire)
Montgomery. (Presswire)

The Arizona Fall League season begins next Tuesday while the various Caribbean winter leagues start a few weeks later. Until then, here are some minor league notes:

  • Chad Jennings reports RHP Dellin Betances has asked the Yankees for permission to pitch in winter ball in the Dominican Republic. He wants to stay sharp and continue throwing following a very successful transition to the bullpen. Betances will be out of minor league options next season and is a super-early favorite for the Opening Day bullpen, so his workload is worth monitoring. You don’t want the kid pitching ten months out of the year.
  • RHP Ty Hensley is done with physical therapy, according to his Twitter feed. He started a throwing program last month but probably hasn’t progressed to the point of throwing off a mound yet. I imagine the Yankees are taking it slow with last summer’s first rounder. Hensley missed the entire season after having surgery to correct an impingement in his right hip.
  • According to Sanspo (translate article), 2B Gosuke Katoh recently tore a finger ligament during Instructional League in Tampa. He saw a specialist in New York and the recovery time is four weeks, but he can continue taking batting practice with his finger taped. The article says Katoh may head to Instructional League at the Dominican Republic complex later this month if the finger is healed.
  • RHP Mark Montgomery has recently started throwing off a mound, according to his Twitter feed. His season ended in mid-August due to continued shoulder problems. The team’s top relief prospect coming into the season had a 3.38 ERA (4.00 FIP) with a lot of strikeouts (11.03 K/9 and 28.0 K%) and a lot of walks (5.63 BB/9 and 14.3 BB%) in 40 innings for Triple-A Scranton this summer. I wonder if Montgomery will play winter ball.
  • Ben Badler (subs. req’d) named Cuban LHP Omar Luis one of ten sleepers from the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League. “Luis didn’t pick up a baseball for eight months in Haiti [because of visa problems], which led to considerable rust … He showed swing-and-miss stuff with his 89-95 mph fastball, slider and changeup,” wrote Badler of the $4M southpaw. Luis had a 5.68 ERA (~3.08 FIP) with a good strikeout rate (12.22 K/9 and 26.2 K%) and an awful lot of walks (8.24 BB/9 and 17.7 BB%) in 31.2 innings.
Olney: Yankees will have to give Girardi "significant" raise
2014 Draft: Yankees have 18th overall pick
  • Pseudoyanks

    Of course. No way the 2013 season could finish without us hearing about an injury to Katoh.

    • Dave M

      Poor guy is snake bitten by virtue of being a Yankee.

  • entonces

    Say no to Betances in Winter ball. With our recent luck will surely wind up with season-ending surgery.

    Love these minor league notes, especially since Yanks seem to volunteer little injury info. I’m still wondering what happened to Judge and Clarkin.

    • Dave M

      I agree on Betances. Why risk it?

      I’d forgotten all about Judge and Clarkin.

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    Montgomery seemed to be the second coming for awhile back…what do you think his ceiling is? Robertson?

    Two young lights-out relievers would be a great start to what will be a tumultuous year…

    • ROBTEN

      They’re numbers through MiL levels are similar, though Montgomery has been a little bit more hittable than Robertson was. However, Montgomery is also moving through the system at a year younger than Robertson. They have also similar pitches, though Montgomery is more fastball-slider, with Robertson more fastball-curve. So, I think it’s probably a fair ceiling comparison, though it’s unlikely, simply due to the nature of prospects, that Montgomery will reach it.

      One thing that’s troubling is news about Montgomery’s work ethic. When he came into the league, our own RAB listed in their scouting report that:

      “The Yankees have made an effort to acquire players with strong makeup and work ethic in recent years, and Montgomery is no different. Earlier this summer he told Adam Himmelsbach that he’s a fan of 1am workouts, and he drinks a Red Bull in the seventh inning to get amped up for his appearance in the ninth inning.”

      However, after his season started to go bad this year, it was said that:

      “Mark Newman mentioned that they were unhappy with the shape his arm was in coming back from the offseason and he was basically playing catch up because of poor conditioning.” (h/t Pinstripe Bible).

      So, did he hurt his shoulder trying to overthrow to make up for poor conditioning? Why poor conditioning? I am not an alarmist by any means, but perhaps this is something that needs to be addressed at the lower levels that might explain minor league struggles across the system–conditioning in the offseason.