DotF: Pirela, Garcia have big days in Scranton’s blowout win

Game 60: Away From Home
Whitley and McCann lead Yanks to 4-2 win over Royals in series opener

Some quick notes:

  • Both 2B Rob Refsnyder (#4) and OF Aaron Judge (#6) made this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet after their torrid weeks. Refsnyder in particularly has been tearing the cover off the ball for a few weeks now.
  • RHP Cole Kimball has been released, according to Nick Peruffo. The Yankees rolled the dice on him after some injury problems and it just didn’t work out. RHP Phil Wetherell was bumped up from High-A Tampa to Double-A Trenton in a corresponding move.

Triple-A Scranton (12-6 win over Norfolk)

  • LF Jose Pirela: 3-3, 3 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB — 33-for-90 (.367) with 13 doubles and three homers in his last 22 games
  • RF Adonis Garcia: 4-5, 3 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI — have yourself a game, Adonis
  • DH Zoilo Almonte: 1-5, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • 1B Kyle Roller: 4-5, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K — 14th homer of the year and his third in the last nine games
  • 3B Zelous Wheeler: 2-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • C Austin Romine: 2-5, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K
  • RHP Bruce Billings: 5 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 6/6 GB/FB — 48 of 75 pitches were strikes (64%)
  • RHP Danny Burawa: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 2/0 GB/FB — 15 of 29 pitches were strikes (52%)
  • RHP Mark Montgomery: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 19 of 29 pitches were strikes (66%)

Double-A Trenton (11-2 loss to Altoona)

  • CF Mason Williams: 1-5, 1 K
  • LF Ben Gamel: 2-4, 1 BB, 1 CS
  • C Gary Sanchez: 0-3, 1 R, 2 BB — two strikeouts and six walks in his last five games
  • DH Peter O’Brien: 0-4, 2 K
  • 1B Tyler Austin: 2-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI — three straight games with an extra-base hit, which is good news following the wrist problem
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI — 47-for-110 (.427) in his last 28 games
  • RHP Graham Stoneburner: 5 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 9/3 GB/FB — 51 of 81 pitches were strikes (63%)
  • RHP Phil Wetherell: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K,  1/1 GB/FB — 16 of 27 pitches were strikes (60%) … not the Double-A debut he envisioned, I’m guessing
  • LHP Fred Lewis: 1 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 21 of 35 pitches were strikes (60%) … 15/14 K/BB and 18 runs allowed in 18.2 innings this year, all after nearly making the team out of Spring Training

High-A Tampa (4-1 win over Charlotte)

  • CF Jake Cave & DH Frankie Cervelli: both 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K — Cave drove in a run … this is the second game of Cervelli’s rehab assignment
  • 1B Greg Bird: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI — he’s been alternating two-hit games with no-hit games for about a week now
  • 3B Dante Bichette Jr.: 1-4, 1 K
  • RHP Rafael DePaula: 5 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 HB, 4/0 GB/FB — 21/3 K/BB in his last 17 innings
  • RHP Nick Goody: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0/2 GB/FB — 14/2 K/BB with two hits allowed in his last eight innings

Low-A Charleston (10-4 loss to Savannah)

  • LF Michael O’Neill: 3-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K — 8-for-22 (.364) in his last five games
  • SS Tyler Wade: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 K
  • RF Aaron Judge: 2-4,  BB — 12-for-33 (.364) in his last nine games
  • DH Mike Ford: 1-1, 1 2B, 1 RBI — left the game after the double in the third inning, so I guess he hurt himself somehow
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 2-5, 1 R, 1 K
  • CF Dustin Fowler: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
  • 2B Gosuke Katoh: 1-4, 1 K
  • LHP Caleb Smith: 3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 2/1 GB/FB — 46 of 74 pitches were strikes (62%)
  • LHP Evan Rutckyj: 2 IP, zeroes, 3 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 15 of 19 pitches were strikes (79%) … was just demoted after posting a 12/15 K/BB in 12.1 innings for Tampa
Game 60: Away From Home
Whitley and McCann lead Yanks to 4-2 win over Royals in series opener
  • Antonio

    Are Rob Ref and Jose Pirela legit prospects?

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Ref is. Pirela, not so much.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        Neither was Yangervis Solarte

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          Yeah, and Pirela is nowhere near the prospect that Solarte was.

          • Andy in Sunny Daytona

            The prospect who was so highly coveted that he was never on a 40-man roster before this season? Solarte was a .286/.336/.397 in his minor league career, and Pirela is a .271/.339/.387 hitter.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              He agreed Solarte wasn’t a prospect.
              Nobody said he was highly coveted.

            • Cool Lester Smooth

              And Yangervis Solarte plays competent defense. Pirela doesn’t. That’s the issue.

              • Andy in Sunny Daytona

                Pirela played SS most of his career even though he always profiled better as a 2nd baseman. The reason why he was at SS was because the Yankees had Corban Joseph and David Adams clogging up the position. Since Pirela made the switch to 2nd, his fielding percentage matches that of Yangervis Solarte’s at 2nd.

            • vicki

              to be fair, the twins did think a little something of him before injuries.

              but the bottom line is that using an outlier to make a point isn’t wise.

              • Cool Lester Smooth

                Yeah, he made a bunch of sleeper lists after 2011.

        • hogsmog

          It’s good to know that because of Solarte, all past and future evaluations of all minor league talent has been definitively proven useless.

      • renzostew

        Jose Pirela was a preety big sign at 16 years old.If anyone has seen him play knows he can hit better than most of the inf. of the Yankees.he is only 24 and first year in triple ,do u have to be labeled a prospect to make this light hitting yankee team

    • nycsportzfan

      I’ve been saying for a wk either Pirela or Roller should be called up. Both have done good enough to get to the point they are at to think some of this is legit development and they are actually solid players. Rollers pretty much hit for power his enitre minor league career as well as for solid Avg and respectable OBP. Pirela has alittle pop for a middle infielder and I believe can be better pro then Minor league player.

      I don’t think either is complete fodder to the point you’d ignore what they are doing and not give em a chance.

      • Sam

        I completely agree but what about Zelous Wheeler on triple a. He’s under the radar playing very well and honestly I’d compare him to Solarte 2.0 being a switch hitter with good hitting and versatility in the field

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Every MiLB journeyman and fringe prospect on a hot streak is suddenly a diamond in the rough…..but we’re the Pollyannas.

          • Wolfgang’s Fault

            Wheeler’s had a very respectable minor league career up to this point, so calling what he’s doing this year w/Scranton a “hot streak” is just flat out incorrect. He’s only 27 years old and he’s a quality baseball player. Guys get labeled all the time and I think he’s now got the label of a AAAA player because he doesn’t have that one great tool that stands out. IMO, it’s BS. The guy can hit, he can play several positions, even shortstop in a pinch. Wheeler’s done everything you can do in the minor leagues, & is as big league ready as he’s ever going to be. He needs an organization that will give him the chance to really play for a while in the bigs. Given that, I think he’d open some eyes and make a home for himself somewhere. I’d hate it if the Yanks brought him up, he got in a couple of games, went 0-for whatever, and made a throwing error or booted a ball as he’d be banished forever more. At least for the present time, it doesn’t look like the Yankees have a place for him. What can I say, I’m rooting for him!

          • Looser trader droids FotD™

            And don’t you forget it mister.

  • Mark

    Pirela going to play first tomorrow according to Donnie Collins, might as well try every position if he is going to keep hitting.

  • Deep Thoughts

    What I take from that AAA box score, is Norfolk’s pitchers suck.

    • renzostew

      He has been doing it all year,yankees are afraid if they give a chance they won’t be able to get him out of the line-up.Where will I AM FALLING DOWN AND I CAN’T GET UP ROBERTS GET HIS AT-BATS.

  • ALZ

    Nice to see 2 Yankees on the numbered portion.

  • ALZ

    Zelous was 3B. Angelini has been back several days now.

  • nycsportzfan

    Mike, how come you didn’t put Rollers monster game in the headline along with Garcia and Pirela?

  • Chase Whitley Strieber gets an alien space probe (formerly Electric Nunez ll)

    If Pirela turns out to be a useful big league ballplayer, the player development people are going to have to answer as to why he was kept in AA for 3 yrs…

    • The Other Matt

      Certain things like that happen some time. Look at Solarte. Pireala struggled with the bat his first year there, had a pretty good second year there, which amounted to a little more than half of a season. Then last year he went back and raked again, before being promoted. I don’t think that’s too irregular. And I’m not one of these people screaming for him to be called up, that’s just me purely looking at the stats, situation.

      • The Other Matt

        And yes, I know Solarte didn’t come up in the Yankees system. Just mentioning him as a general reference point.

    • YankeePankee

      A mistake by Yankee development staff??!!! What!!! Never happens!
      Hello our old pal Quintana on the Chisox.
      Love that 3.39 era Ian Kennedy.
      Manny Ban hurt again? Hello another top-pitching-prospect-turned-middle-reliever on the way soon!
      etc. etc….

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        Yeah! And they let an ace like Phil Hughes get away, too!

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Like mick taylor, junior, this one. Maybe there’s a White Sox blog we can recommend.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Or that could be the cause of him turning out to be a useful big league player.

      I would think if they could turn him into a useful big league player, that would be a big win for the development people, not a black mark.

  • Naved

    Rob Refsnyder to AAA soon? Corban Joseph is sucking at 2B for the Railriders right now.

    • The Other Matt

      I hope so. That would make the possibility of him competing for the 2B job out of ST next season more realistic. Allow him to go up to Triple-A soon and compete there to continue to see if he continues to rake, and then go from there.

  • nycsportzfan

    Bird and Austin are both showing signs of being healthy now. Austins been raising his numbers for about 3 straight wks now.

    • ALZ

      I really hope Bird stays healthy. He has a really nice bat if he can. Austin is really going to have to fight for a place. Long term there is only one corner of spot open, so this is probably why he playing quite a bit at 1B too. His bat really needs to improve though, having this little power won’t work at those spots. People keep thinking he is warming up, but still .358/.324/.371 over past 4 weeks. 1B and RF are hard spots to break through when you are hitting like this.

      • ALZ


      • emac2

        Really an uninformed comment in regards to Austin.

        You should look into what he has done as a player and what wrist injuries do to hitters until they are fully healed.

        Then you should see if you can figure out how to put that information together to develop a clue.

        • emac2

          Sorry to be rude.

          I’m overreacting because I keep seeing comments about his power with no recognition that a wrist injury eliminates your power.

          He’s been an exceptional prospect who has been a very, very good when he isn’t injured or recovering from injury. Even injured he came back to help Trenton late last year and was a difference maker.

          Looking at his stats this year is basically assessing a player using rehab numbers. Look at what he’s done when healthy and then look at how he has advanced through the system even with his injuries. I haven’t seen him struggle unless he was hurting and that was while racing quickly through the lower levels. It would have been normal for him to need an adjustment in AA even without injury but he isn’t even being given time to recover before being dismissed.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Would love to see Austin get to AAA and get his development back on track. I thought we’d have him in the Bronx by late summer before his wrist flared up again.

  • The Other Matt

    Refsnyder continues to be on fire. I saw his name and Judge’s too on MLB Network this afternoon when they showed the Prospect Hot Sheet, and was stoked. I was high on this guy since last season and hoped he could continue to swing the bat well this year to put himself in position for the 2B job next spring. After he got off to a pretty slow start the first couple weeks he’s really turned it on, and the latest report I saw said he is continually improving at second. Hard not to be excited about him and his future.

  • nycsportzfan

    You can easily see why the Yanks took a ton of pitchers through the first 10rd of the draft by looking at the boxscores daily. Sure we got DePaula, Severino, and Clarkin all at lower levels, but not much depth throughout the upper levels. A bunch of good looking college kids who can move fast through the system should help the upper levels pitching depth tremendously.

    • nycsportzfan

      ton of college pitchers I meant(plus HS arm DeCarr)

    • ALZ

      I think this is because they emptied Phelps, Warren, Nuno, Whitley from the upper levels. They do need to replenish now though.

    • emac2

      I think it might also have to do with the fact that we keep hearing about the IFA market and all of the hitters we are signing but I haven’t heard much if anything about pitchers.

  • ALZ

    What a game by depaula. 8K in 5 innings, but giving them 10 baserunners is really dangerous.

  • BronxBombers98

    I was at the Railriders game tonight and was really impressed by Adonis Garcia. He showed a good eye at the plate and he has a lot of power; his homerun was no cheapie. As for Pirela, the kid can hit. That’s the best way to put it, the ball must look like a beachball to him right now.

  • nycsportzfan

    Might I add Pirela is only 25yrs old. I think he just became kinda stale as a prospect from being around so long. But when you look up, he developed as hoped and is now 25yrs old showing hes a finished product.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Pirela is 24

    • Hornblower

      Not that it matters much but Pirela is 24. It seems that he is really a good hitter as are Wheeler, Garcia and Roller. None is a great defender but three play multiple positions adequately. The big club is a mess. Johnson, Roberts and Sori have seen better days. I have seen it said that Ichiro is having a good year. He has 7 rbi’s and is not batting lead off. Maybe with the draft over Cashman can get permission to get rid of some of these guys and go with the younger players.

    • renzostew

      Pirela is 24 years old turns 25 in November 2014.I agree this kid can hit.Most of the guys in triple are older.

  • The Other Matt

    Not Gone, But Almost Forgotten: Austin Romine

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      Good catcher! He’s lurking in the Scranton-Wilkesbarre rail yards.

      Yanks are going to have to make some decisions soon about some of these guys. The real problem, of course, is Beltran & McCann haven’t produced as they’d hoped, Soriano’s 2013 2nd half may have been his last hurrah, Sabathia’s been hurt & hasn’t had a bounce back year, Kuroda has been mostly meh, & the injuries to Nova & Pineda hurt big time. Plus side you start w/Solarte, continue w/Betances, & add Phelps & Warren to the mix. Tex has given them some pop when he’s played, but he’s a diminished player w/the wrist and probably his age, & Jeter is a shell of what he once was. They are what they are.

      I’ve always liked Brian Roberts & want him to do well, & he does give you a good a/b most of the time, but, w/what’s happening w/the rest of the roster, you could see the Yankees looking to make a move to upgrade there or move Solarte to 2b and platoon a R/H bat w/Johnson at 3b. OTOH, Johnson &/or Roberts could just as easily be dealt or designated depending on what if any other moves they make. Perhaps they make a deal, and depending on whom & what it is, that could change the nature of the entire lineup. I think they should designate Ichiro, & if and when Beltran proves he’s healthy, no sure thing w/that issue w/his elbow, you could see a deal happening, perhaps w/Gardner & Cervelli or Murphy as the main principles. Players such as Pirela (played LF tonight), Wheeler, Garcia, Roller, & Zoilo Almonte, are ready.

      F Beltran’s elbow is still hurting him & he needs surgery, this team isn’t even a long shot playoff contender, & in that case, they have to start thinking about 2015. To replace Beltran, they have to find out exactly what they’ve got in Almonte, Garcia, Pirela, Wheeler, and if Tex isn’t right, Roller. They have to find out what if anything these players can give them in play or other players for 2015. They also have to decide whether Solarte is a 2nd baseman, 3rd baseman, utility guy, or possible trade bait w/Refsnyder and Pirella on the come.

  • YankeePankee

    Hello all.
    Need some help here.
    Can Pirela run? Does he have some speed and capable of stealing some bases? I see sporadic steals numbers in his stat history. That would be a plus and they can also use him as a pinch runner and a regular vs lefty pitching instead of Roberts. A former all-star, Roberts has made some bone-headed plays this season, including tonight.

    Also, looks like Nuding and Greene are getting shelled regularly at AAA.
    I’ve seen them scouted as having 95-plus velocity. True? What do they need to work on?

    • emac2

      He’s a DH with no power or speed which is why he isn’t already up here.

      95 isn’t difficult to hit if it’s straight and you can sit on it because he doesn’t have effective secondary pitches. It can make you look good in some games and at lower levels but guys that throw hard still need tons of work learning how to pitch. It just comes at a higher level if they have a single pitch that can’t be hit at lower levels.

      That said, neither is a great prospect.

  • Wayne

    I said i believe Chase Whitley is a starter. I was right.
    Chase Whitley is definitely going to get traded though for Jason Hammel which i think sucks!!!!!
    Oh well!!!!!!!!!!!
    As far as the draft goes i liked all the picks to sure up our bullpen.
    But Austin Decarr is a lousy pick. You can tell by his delivery why he has elbow problems.
    He is a waste to sign. Wish we could get a draft pick if he does not sign but not with the new rules .
    Jordan Foley is a dominant reliever who is a great competitor.
    Jacob Lindgren and Jonathan Holder are going to be pretty good or great relievers .
    Love getting a dominant lefty reliever who could be a key late in games for us this year!!!
    Wondering who is the best of day 3 available?

    • Alex C

      Keith Law thought Decarr was good value where they picked him. Time will tell if we sign him.

  • King George

    Maybe someone can answer this for me, but it it almost becomes an issue as to who is legit trade-bait and who isn’t? All these guys are tearing it up…Roller, Ref, Judge, Cave, Pirela, Garcia, Austin. Who will clubs target and who will they think is purely a “flash in the pan”? All these guys are raking, but it creates a depth issue as long as who gets the inevitable boot on the big league club. You can’t have Pirela and Garcia and Roller are crushing it and just waste away in AAA…

    • ALZ

      Some of those are organizational players, some are legit prospects, and some are somewhere in between.

    • emac2

      Why can’t you have guys playing well in AAA?

      Isn’t that the ideal situation? A bunch of guys paying great in AAA ready to step in when needed and keeping the guys on the majors league club on their toes knowing a ready replacement is an hour away.

      I don’t have any issue with guys playing in AAA too long as long as there is someone in the majors playing well enough to block them.

      I also remember Austin Romine hitting 340 in AAA last year. A few good weeks in AAA doesn’t mean you can hit in the majors.

      We wouldn’t be able to trade them as a group for anyone good enough to trade away a lot of cheap depth.

      Garcia is the only guy on your list who has done well enough in AAA for a long enough period of time to make a legit claim he’s being wasted. The other guys should just continue to develop and given a chance when ready.

      As far as trade value goes, everyone is different. Even worse/or better? is that the failure rate for batters of 75% looks pretty good compared to GM’s recognizing talent. They all appreciate and want different things based on their views and team needs. I don’t think any are rated as flash in the pan but I don’t think any of them have shown they are great by any means.


      Is how I would assume they are rated by most.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    What was the deal with Kimball again? I remember the name, probably from a site writeup when he was brought in.

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    Is there some sort of process where we can sacrifice Jose Pirela, cut out his heart and let Rob Refsnyder eat it so he can absorb his strength?

    Or does this blog operate on highlander rules?

  • Wayne

    If we don’t sign Austin Decarr we get no extra pick next year correct ?

  • Wayne

    Hate to say it but we Have to change Austin Decarr ‘s mechanics or he will end up having surgery on his shoulder and elbow if or after we sign him!!

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Party on, Garth.

  • Paco Dooley

    Refsnyder has 21 hits and is hitting .500 over his last 10 games – insane…

  • BobS

    Hey all, new member here. Want to weigh in on the Pirela discussion. When Cano was first brought up he wasn’t considered a great prospect and was not a finished product. He came up because Tony Womack was so terrible. I would love to see him get a chance but with the 40 man roster being tight that could contribute to holding the current roster.
    Another matter; is Cesar Vargas a prospect. I see he has been pitching out of the pen this season and just got bumped up a level.

    • lightSABR

      Welcome, BobS. Just by his age (22) and promotion history, I’m guessing Vargas isn’t much of a prospect. He took two and a half years to get out of rookie ball, and he actually started high-A last year, but they sent him back to low-A to start this season.

      That said, he’s pitched well this year, so who knows.