Minors Notes: Heathcott, Hensley, Banuelos

Rosenthal: Yankees request Ervin Santana's medical records
Nikkan Sports: Yankees made formal offer to Masahiro Tanaka
Heathcott before he ran into something, I assume. (Presswire)
Heathcott before he ran into something, most likely. (Presswire)

Pitchers and catchers are not due to report for another 27 days, but pre-spring workouts are already underway at the team’s minor league complex in Tampa. Based on their Twitter feeds, a whole bunch of prospects are already in Florida preparing for the upcoming season. Here are some minor league notes courtesy of Chad Jennings. These are the major points, so make sure you click the link for all the info.

  • OF Slade Heathcott had minor knee surgery earlier this offseason and may not be ready for the start of Spring Training. It has not yet been decided if he will return to Double-A Trenton or move up to Triple-A Scranton this year.
  • Two of last year’s first rounders, 3B Eric Jagielo and OF Aaron Judge, could start the year with High-A Tampa or Low-A Charleston. No decision has been made yet. 2B Gosuke Katoh will be held back in Extended Spring Training before joining Short Season Staten Island in June.
  • RHP Ty Hensley (hips) and LHP Manny Banuelos (elbow) are both healthy and ready for Spring Training. They were on normal throwing programs this winter. It is undecided where Hensley and LHP Ian Clarkin will open the season.
  • C J.R. Murphy is staying behind the plate and will not see time at third base this year. “He’s a high caliber defender at a premium position … he’s turned out to be a very good catcher,” said VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman.
  • OF Tyler Austin, meanwhile, will spend time at both infield corners in addition to his usual right field this season. “We’re going to maintain some of that flexibility with him,” said Newman.
  • C/3B Peter O’Brien is considered a catcher and will remain there. He played third base quite a bit last year, but that was experiment that didn’t really work.
  • All of the minor league affiliates announced their coaching staffs in recent weeks. Rather than repeat them all here, I’ll just link you to the press releases: Triple-A, Double-A, High-A, Low-A. If you’ve been following the farm system long enough, some names will be familiar. Lots of ex-prospects are coaches now.
Rosenthal: Yankees request Ervin Santana's medical records
Nikkan Sports: Yankees made formal offer to Masahiro Tanaka
  • LitFig

    Funny caption.

    I really hope after two bad years on the injury front, the system (and team) can have a big bounce back in 2014.

    Slade, Austin, Murphy, Jagielo, Judge, Sanchez, Mason Williams, Montgomery, Campos, ManBan, Pineda, Hensley, Depaula, Clarkin…..

    (can you tell I’m excited about the minor leagues?)

    Given the decisions of the FO recently (I’m really down on the 2014 team, felt they spent foolishly) I’m really hoping for a strong year DoTF.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      *raises glass*

    • OldYanksFan

      Wish we tanked this year and got under $189m.
      Get Tanaka, but passed on the big three FAs, and kept the 3 picks.
      Our farm would have looked pretty good by next year.

      • vicki

        throw in an expiring contract or two and you’ve got a clever plan of action. for an nba team.

        • Mr. Roth


        • Havok9120


  • pat

    Feels like Sladd has had surgey almost every offseason of his career. If he doesn’t have a MLB career it won’t be because he’s not good enough, it’ll be because he can’t stay healthy. I obviously don’t know what the knee I jury is from, but he on multiple occasions has played out of control, wreckers baseball that’s gonna get him or a teammate seriously hurt.

    • pat

      Sorry for the spelling mistakes. Mobile commenting is a bitch.

    • Byron cogle

      I think you should wait and find out what really happened before you go running you mouth about you don’t know any thing about and do know what happened so check your facts or keep your shit to self

  • LarryM Fl

    You have to appreciate the all out effort of Heathcote type players but sooner or later the light bulb has to go off. Hey, I’m having surgery every year in pro ball or on the DL every year in pro ball. Maybe I should reach out to people with knowledge in the organization about my style of play and or exercise programs in or out of season.

    No one made the big club from the minor league DL and was a keeper. Its a broad statement about injured players.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Excited about a bunch of guys here, but I’m really looking forward to finally getting Hensley (and, to an extent, Clarkin) out there for a full season. Really want to see if Judge can be a fast riser as well.

    When you have a down season, there’s only one way to go but up. I’m hoping this season really changes the narrative as to this farm system.

    • lightSABR

      Right. We have enough people who have underperformed their talent over the last couple of years that you have to think simple probability would dictate that things will start to get better.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Look, if the majority of them look in 2014 the way they did in 2013, then this batch will have massively underperformed. We still don’t know yet. I’m excited.

    • forensic

      When you have a down season, there’s only one way to go but up.

      If only that were really true. Hopefully you’re right this time, though.

  • Slu

    I hope I am wrong, but I will be shocked if Heathcott ever does anything in the majors for any team, let alone the Yankees. I would trade him the first chance I get.

    • Farewell Mo


      Find it hard to believe after years of injury after injury, he’s finally gonna be able to stay healthy.

  • FLYER7

    How they are holding Katoh to a short season team is exactly where I challenge the Yankees development of players. Extended spring training until after the 2014 draft would appear to be retarded his progress up the MiLB ladder…why?

    • Bo Knows

      It could be that they are fully in on the rumor raised last year about trying him at SS, in which case it makes sense to have him in EST to learn the position. It’s also important to realize as well that if they are committed to that experiment they also have Abiatal Avelino, who should be ticketed to Charleston to consider as well. They have alot of other guys at the SS position drafted/signed last year that have shown promise and need playing time. So its also possible that they are trying to juggle things so everyone sees playing time

      They could also want to spend time trying improve his conditioning; kid is skinny as a rail so it might just be a precaution so ease him into playing everyday.

    • RetroRob

      He played in the Gulf Coast rookie ball league last year as an 18-year-old. Not sure extended ST and then pushing him up to Staten Island is retarding his progress.

      • Bryan

        And it seems to me to be the normal course of action. He could always move up for the playoff push in low-A if Charleston is still in it. But there is no reason to rush him currently.

        • Laz

          Also, the fact of what happened to Aune and Bichette after the GCL success. It would be smart for them not to jump too soon after a good 1/4 of a season.

  • Pseudoyanks

    Heathcott is hurt? It must be Saturday.

    • Farewell Mo

      He makes Nick Johnson look like Cal Ripken .

      • vicki

        he’s downright ellsburian.

        • forensic

          He’s not injury prone, he’s just had unlucky run-ins with other people or walls.

          Just like Brian Roberts has had some unlucky run-ins with bats and bases…

          • vicki

            neither player is brittle. they have just the one gear.

  • Preston

    I have high hopes for Sladerunner this year. He really started figuring it out at the end of last year. A solid year at AAA and he could be starting in LF in 2015. I have no idea what to expect from Judge this year, but it should be exciting.

    • RetroRob

      AA is the where prospects emerge and pretenders go to die. Not uncommon for players to stumble there at first. It’s a good sign that Slade improved the second half. His injury history is a problem. Not just because it keeps taking him off the field when his team needs him, it cuts into his development, and all surgeries eventually will start cutting into his skills, if they haven’t already.

  • Alkaline

    As with all prospects, nothing guaranteed, but we have no reason to hope and be excited. While last year was a down year, a little adversity has never hurt. Go get ’em boys.

    • Alkaline

      nothing is*

      I really need that edit button.

  • Dean

    Hey guys sorry I am off topic but id really appreciate it if someone can help me out. I’m really interested in purchasing MLB.tv for the upcoming season. I have recently bought an appletv. Does anyone know how much MLB.tv costs for a year subscription ? I’ve read that’s it’s 129.99 but I’ve also seen 24.99?? I’m not sure if there’s a difference or what. And also is it possible I can use iTunes gift cards on my appletv to put towards my purchase of MLB.tv. If anyone knows the answer to these questions id really appreciate it , thank you.

    • OldYanksFan

      129.99 might be for the year, 24.99 might be per month.
      Check if that is their HD version or not.

    • gageagainstthemachine

      It’s the $130 and I really like it. Make sure you’re on cable or faster internet speed though. I don’t know about iTunes gift cards. Doubt it because they charge it to a credit/debit card. Which reminds me, be sure to personally have it canceled if you ever decide to get rid of it. I believe it is set up by default to automatically renew it each season with that card information unless you specify otherwise. Hope this helps.

      • RetroRob

        Renewal does default automatically to the enrollment card.

  • Dicka24

    I just don’t get the Yankees. Why do they always feel the need to rush players to levels, when they either aren’t ready for it, or haven’t yet handled the one that they’re in?

    • Bryan

      Who are you talking about here?

    • steve (different one)

      Was right about to post above how half the people here always seem to thing the Yankees move guys too slowly and the other half think they rush them.

      • gageagainstthemachine

        And the rest think they’re moved just right

      • Preston

        Honestly I don’t get either criticism. There are plenty of teams that rush there prospects way more than the Yankees and plenty of teams that go glacially slow with their prospects. Neither approach should ruin a legitimate MLB player. The cream should rise to the top either way.

  • Nefarious

    It is indeed 129.99 and worth it if you don’t live in the home market of your favorite team. It seems to improve each season. As for using an iTunes gift card, I don’t know. The only thing I miss is the commercials. Which is damn ironic.

    • Dean

      So Yankee games are blacked out if I’m living in NY? That sucks didn’t know that. I still plan on getting it because I’m a baseball fan in general and huge on Fantasy Baseball so it will be fun to watch my players live. Thanks for your help Nefarious well appreciated.

      • Betty Lizard

        MLB.tv comes from MLB so you buy direct from them, then log in to your account on Apple TV (or other device).

        Depending on pricing this year (may be a small cost, may be free) you can also get MLB At Bat for iPhone/iPad (i.e. buy from iTunes) and watch MLB.tv on those devices.

        In other words, I watch MLB.tv on my laptop, iPad, iPhone and on Apple TV. Wonderful! I’m blacked out of the Kansas City market (local blackouts). But remember you can still watch as an archived game.

        All live games on MLB.TV and available through MLB.com At Bat are subject to local blackouts. Such live games will be blacked out in each applicable Club’s home television territory, regardless of whether that Club is playing at home or away. If a game is blacked out in an area, it is not available for live game viewing. If you are an MLB.TV subscriber and not within either Club’s home television territory, the applicable game will be available live and as an archived game as soon as possible after the conclusion of the game. If you are an MLB.TV subscriber within either Club’s home television territory or an MLB.TV subscriber in any territory, the applicable game will be available as an archived game approximately 90 minutes after the conclusion of the game.

        and there are also “nationally televised” blackout rules:

        Due to Major League Baseball exclusivities, live national broadcasts of Major League Baseball events, such as the All-Star Game, and select live national broadcasts of MLB games occurring each Saturday with a scheduled start time after 1:10 PM ET or before 8:00 PM ET and select live national broadcasts of MLB games occurring each Sunday with a scheduled start time after 1:00 PM ET will be blacked out in the United States

        That still leaves a ton of games.

        I don’t have “TV” so MLB.tv is how I watch baseball.

        • forensic

          Such live games will be blacked out in each applicable Club’s home television territory, regardless of whether that Club is playing at home or away.

          This also goes for MLBEI, and it’s such a farce that MLB (and the networks) still handle things this way. Despite the closest MLB city to me being 4 hours away and no teams having a channel on TV here (other than on specialty Directv packages), I’m “in the home television territory” of 6(!) different teams.

          • Betty Lizard

            I agree. (Although I only have to drive 4 hours to my one “local” team.)

            The blackout rules are an abomination unto (the baseball) god(s). And I’d even pay for the friggin’ nationally televised games. Just let me watch them.

          • Chip Rodriguez

            6?! Ugh. I thought I had it bad in CT. Where on earth are you that 6 teams get blocked?

            • Laz

              I believe he must be from Iowa area.
              The entire state is in Minnesota, Milwaukee, Chicagos, and I also believe both missouri teams.

            • forensic

              I’m in the Vegas area. All 5 California teams and the Diamondbacks are blacked out.

      • vicki

        right, no yankee games in new york. but i get do get them via the package when i go to LA (or anywhere else out of market).

        • RetroRob

          A private VPN is also an option. I travel internationally quite a bit for my job, so I use one to access Netflix while on the road. Never thought about it for MLB games since those I can get when outside the country.

  • Mikhel

    on other news… caribbean baseball in full swing:

    In Venezuela Leones del Caracas were losing 12-5 in the 7th but scored 2 in the 7th, 2 in the 8th and 4 in the 9th to tie the game to 13-13 (Anzoátegui scored once in the 8th or 9th).

    With men on first (Bobby Abreu), Alex González was batting…


  • Mikhel

    More Caribbean baseball, this time in México, with Naranjeros de Hermosillo in control of the game and their best of 7 series tied at 2 games apiece… Cañeros de los Mochis had a second opinion:


  • Steve

    Yanks seem to love pj pillitere. Bet he’s coaching in the bigs in a few

  • forensic

    Random musing: typing Heathcott into google earlier auto-corrected to Health Tot…

    • vicki

      iphone gods laugh.