Yankees call up five players as rosters expand

Greene pitches Thunder into playoffs with seven-inning shutout
Game 136: Sweep the Birds
The rarely seen Cesar Cabral. (Star-Ledger)
The rarely seen Cesar Cabral. (Star-Ledger)

12:05pm: Mesa was giving his unconditional release, not designated for assignment. So even if he were to clear waivers, he is done with the organization. Mesa had tools, just sucks he never figured out how to make even halfway consistent contact.

11:16am: Nix was transferred to the 60-day DL and Mesa was designated for assignment to clear the two 40-man spots. Melky2.0 will be out of options next year and would have been a DFA candidate this winter. At least now he might sneak through waivers due to the injury.

10:22am: The Yankees have called up five players from Triple-A Scranton: IF David Adams, RHP Dellin Betances, LHP Cesar Cabral, RHP Brett Marshall, and C J.R. Murphy. RHP Preston Claiborne is expected to rejoin the club tomorrow, but OF Melky Mesa has a significant hamstring injury and will not be called up this month. Teams can carry up to 40 players on their active rosters as of today. It’s unclear if the Yankees are planning any more call-ups after Claiborne unless there’s an injury or something.

Adams, Betances, and Marshall were all up with New York earlier this season, so it’s no surprise they were brought back. The Adams and Betances call-ups are pretty straight forward — they’ll provide infield and bullpen depth. I wouldn’t expect Betances to see any kind of high or even medium leverage innings right out of the gate. Marshall is stretched out as a starter and since he’s now available as a long man, David Huff could move into a more traditional lefty specialist role alongside Boone Logan. That would be helpful down the stretch.

Cabral, 24, nearly made the team as a Rule 5 Draft pick out of Spring Training last year before fracturing his elbow. The job went to Clay Rapada instead. He has a 5.40 ERA (3.61 FIP) overall in 36.2 innings across various minor league levels since returning from the injury, but he has been better against same-side hitters (2.36 FIP and 34.7% strikeout rate) in a small sample. Cabral figures to see time as the third lefty specialist behind Logan and Huff. With Logan due to become a free agent this winter, Cabral could also be auditioning for a spot in next year’s bullpen a la 2008 Phil Coke.

The 22-year-old Murphy has hit .269/.346/.426 (~118 wRC+) with 12 homers in 468 plate appearances split between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton this year. He’s also thrown out 50 of 136 attempted base-stealers (37%). Yesterday we heard it was “very likely” he would be called up. Murphy, the team’s second round pick in the 2009 draft, will serve as the third catcher and doesn’t figure to play much as long as the Yankees remain in the wildcard race. He’ll catch bullpens on the side and soak up the whole MLB experience instead.

No word yet on how the team opened 40-man roster spots for Murphy and Cabral, but the Yankees have 60-day DL candidates in Jayson Nix (hand), Zoilo Almonte (ankle), and Travis Hafner (shoulder). Both Murphy and Cabral would have been Rule 5 Draft eligible this winter, so the Yankees simply sped up the process and added them to the 40-man a few weeks early. All five call-ups are with the team and will be available for this afternoon’s game.

Greene pitches Thunder into playoffs with seven-inning shutout
Game 136: Sweep the Birds
  • ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa

    BREAKING: I would advocate calling up Mesa despite the injury issue.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      DFA’d :(

      • Travis L.

        WTF is that all about…damn, at least send Hafner somewhere!

  • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    Please don’t say that we’re gonna have two lefty specialists.

    My eye already started twitching.

    • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

      Oh god, I didn’t even see Cabral. That’s three!

      I need a drink.

      • emac2

        Medication might be a better fit.

  • trr

    Disappointed we didn’t make a deal for a veteran pitcher

  • Horace

    How can they not use Murphy? Stewart has hit the wall, but Girardi keeps running him out there. Let Murphy and Romine handle the catching duties down the stretch.

  • Kenny

    I want Daniel Bard as a project. Anyone else?

  • Jerry

    J.R. Murphy, the next iconic Yankee. You heard from me first.

    • viridiana

      I don’t know about iconic, Jerry, but two years ago I was saying that I liked Murphy better than Heathcott. He’s at least a year ahead of him and despite Slade’s great athleticism I still like JR better. But you may be on to something– JR has the look and feel. Of course Yanks will have to give him the chance to settle in. Always a question with Yankee management.

    • jjyank

      I would love for you to be right, but let’s temper some expectations here.

  • Nicknowsky

    Too bad bout Melky he has bit of a bat and speedy player

  • JGYank

    Will be good to see Clairborne come back tomorrow. Shouldn’t have been sent down in the first place. Good to see Murphy progress quickly as well. Tired of seeing prospects fail or get injured or just take to long to get to the show.

    Cabral could help out Logan and Marshall can share Warren’s role. Betances should take Joba’s spot but that’s not happening. Doubt Adams or Murphy get much playing time. Where are Corban Joseph and Mustelier? I think we should see them come up at some point for depth.

    • Mac

      “Tired of seeing prospects fail or get injured or just take to long to get to the show.”

      You’re going to be tired for a long, long time. That’s what prospects do.

      I think you’re being a little optimistic about what kind of contributions some of these guys can make to a contending team down the stretch.

      Joseph hasn’t played since May. The Yankees don’t seem to have any interest in Mustelier on their MLB roster.

      • JGYank

        I’m not asking for Joseph, Mustelier or even Adams or Murphy to contribute I was just talking about depth for when guys need off days and we play in extras.

        • Mac

          I was referring to the Ps.

          • JGYank

            Well Marshall is basically a backup long man and Cabral is like the 3rd lefty so they aren’t exactly going to be in important roles and they won’t be pitching too often. Betances should take Joba’s spot in my opinion since Joba be pitching as little as possible.

      • viridiana

        That’s what prospects do?

        And yet there more tan 700 major league ballplayers. Just about all of them were prospects at one time. Some real prospects fail. Many succeed. Most minor leaguers fail.

        • Mac

          750 MLB ballplayers who came up across how many years out of how many “real prospects?” And how many of those 750 are actually decent MLB players?

          Most “real prospects” fail.

          Take 15 minutes to go back through top 100 prospect lists and team top x prospect lists across baseball and you will find that most prospects fail to varying degrees.

          • Mikhel

            We should have a point of comparisson first, to just plainly say “most fail” is a fallacy in itself:

            Most hitters fail at trying to get a hit, they fail so bad, the lead hitter gets one hit every 36% of the time with a fail rate of 64%.

            Now, when you say “top prospects” it is not fair to say “look at the 100 best”, because automatically you added 70 more considering there are only 30 teams and there SHOULD BE 30 top prospects, one by each team, but because of how the draft pick works and because of how the international singing works, there are teams with more than one top prospect each season, but still top 30 maintains its validity.

            • Mac

              What are you talking about? No one mentioned the term “top prospect” until you did.

              • Mac

                And what validity does top 30 have? It an arbitrary cutoff that has little to do with the discussion at hand.

                The original point was about prospects in general and then it became “real prospects.” No one mentioned “top prospects.”

            • Mac

              What are you talking about? No one said anything about top prospects until you did.

        • jjyank

          “Some real prospects fail. Many succeed. Most minor leaguers fail.”

          Not exactly. It’s more like: Many real prospects fail. Some succeed.

          Take Mac’s suggestion. Look at some top 100 lists and let me know how many of them met or exceeded expectations.

          Also, what is your definition of succeeding? Because you seem to imply that just being in the big leagues is success for a prospect. I’m pretty sure most of us don’t consider Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain successes right now.

          • Mikhel

            Well, for players it is a success to play in the big leagues and stay there at least one year, for non top draftees and non top international signings it is a big deal to play in the bigs, you go from earning 2-3k per month for the duration of the minor league season, to earning 500k for a full season in the bigs.

            In 2013 there are 45 rookies who qualify to a batting title due to their plate appearances, out of those 45, 28 are hitting above the league average20 (the average of the past 20 season, counting rookies and non-rookies). So yeah, most rookies are being succesful.

            In 2012 that figure was lower but still it was the majority: 33 out of 51 batted above league average.

            In 2012 33 out of 58… and you could go on ’til you find a year with more fails than succcess, but then after averaging all those seasons you’ll end up with “most rookies who get enough at bats so as to qualify for a batting title, are successful in the big leagues”.

            • Mikhel

              I calculated the following using EVERY player from 1993 to 2013, even those with just 1 at bat:

              0.264 AVG in the majors in that period.

              Rookies with enough at bats so as to qualify for a batting title at or above league average: 334 out of 694 in that period (48.1%).

              If we add pitchers (who bat but a few times), players with a handfull of at bats, the number of players called up jumps to 3391, but it is not fair to judge everybody on those cups of coffee in the majors.

              But just imagine this: in his rookie season, Derek Jeter hit 0.250 AVG (below league average), 0 HR and a measly 0.294 OBP; had the Yankees judged him by the small sample size…

            • Mac

              Again, you are not actually having the same discussion as anyone else.

              No one said anything about most rookies succeeding or failing. The point was about prospects, not rookies. To qualify for the batting title someone had to give you a bunch of PAs. Most prospects do not even get to MLB long enough to qualify.

              Why do you keep making random points that have nothing to do with the conversation instead of discussing the issue at hand?

  • Mac

    Would Mesa be Rule 5 eligible this winter if he makes it through waivers?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      He’ll be eligible for minor league free agency. He’s been around forever.

      • Mac

        Wow, been a long time. (Generally speaking, if a player gets passed off the 40 man through waivers and is still in the system is he rule 5 eligible again?)

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          Yep, absolutely.

  • JGYank

    What happened to Mesa? Don’t see any news on him.

  • Chris

    Mesa is going to be a stud when the Houston Astros sigh him during the offseason.

  • Conor in China

    Adams was released in March and he was resigned to a minor league contract. Hopefully after Mesa clears waivers he’ll sign a minor league contract too. With such an old outfield at the major league level, Scranton would be a good place if he doesn’t find any major league offers.