Update: Yankees call up Wheeler, option Solarte, designate Anna


Thursday: The Yankees have called up Wheeler and optioned Solarte to Triple-A, the team announced. Dean Anna was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot. The 27-year-old made the Opening Day roster but was send down a few weeks ago. Anna was hitting .192/.283/.292 (60 wRC+) in 36 Triple-A games.

Wednesday: The Yankees will call up utility man Zelous Wheeler prior to Thursday’s series opener against the Twins, report Chad Jennings and Donnie Collins. No word on the corresponding roster move just yet, but they will need to clear both a 25-man and 40-man roster spot. The ice cold Yangervis Solarte seems like the obvious candidate to be sent down.

Wheeler, 27, has hit .300/.368/.469 (135 wRC+) with 20 doubles and seven homers in 65 games with Triple-A Scranton this year. That includes a .348/.400/.522 line against lefties. Wheeler has spent a bunch of time at short and third in addition to both corner outfield spots, so he’ll give the team some versatility. This is his first MLB call-up. The Yankees have been getting nothing from too many lineup spots these last few weeks, and Wheeler gave them a reason to bring him up with his performance.

Categories : Asides


  1. vicki says:

    and he’s a good defender, as reported in old scouting reports.

    • WhittakerWalt says:

      We don’t like good defenders on this team.

    • Yanks says:

      Which scouting reports said that? I thought I heard he’s a bad defender who just happens to be able to play a lot of positions…

      • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

        Found this report from 2011:

        Zelous Wheeler. Built similarly to Juan Uribe, Wheeler, like Uribe, offers good power for a shortstop, reaching double digits in homers last year. Unlike Uribe, he has a good grasp of the strike zone, with a 77/70 K/BB last year in Double-A. The 24-year-old made 32 errors last year at short, however; while he has a cannon arm, the accuracy isn’t always there, and Wheeler’s thick body doesn’t lend itself to great range. Of course, his .275/.382/.395 line doesn’t look anywhere near as good in right field or even third base, so it’d help Wheeler’s stock if he can cut down on the errors and stay at short; if not, he’ll probably have to add some pop to grab an MLB gig.

        Maybe he’s improved since then?
        Or is better at 3B?

        • joe swan says:

          Rob rfsynder is better, wrong move by the yankees. The only way I see the yankees using wheeler is to showcase him for trades at the deadline.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

            If the Yankees could get anything at all for this guy, it’d be the biggest coup since gettin a warm body for Chad Qualls.

            If you’re going to replace Solarte with someone, there has to be some versalitt there. Refsnyder doesn’t offer that.

            • nycsportzfan says:

              Refsnyder can play OF like he did in HS and also 3rd and 2nd. Thats enough versatility if you ask me.

        • joe swan says:

          The Yankees should also bring up Rob Rfsynder as well.
          Release Soriano, and Ryan, send down Solarte.

          Trade for a power bat, and pitching and see were the second half brings.

      • vicki says:

        maybe i shouldn’t have said scouting reports. take it for what it’s worth.

        from baseball america, 2011: “best infield arm, zelous wheeler.”


        dan duquette (i know, very not a scout) quote from 2012, when the o’s claimed him off waivers: “…[H]e’s a good defensive third baseman. That’s his best position. He also has exceptional leadership ability.”


    • jetersrange says:

      Why are the nyy being so stupid. Why not call up Ref, Almonte, even Pirela. Sure call up another career minor leaguer and hope for the best. There’s a reason this guys spend so much time in the minors. Look at Solarte, sure he gave us a jolt but eventually we found out why he spent 8 seasons in the minors. Why not give your own guys a chance? Ref has been killing it this year and so has Pirela. Rather than trying to see if he can find a fix from within before the trade deadline, cashman instead will give away prospects for some 30 something year old veteran and continue to make the this team impossible to watch. Maybe he’ll get another “pull hitter” who is “perfect for yankee stadium”. So fucking stupid.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

        The role they were looking for was platoon 3B to replace Solarte in that role. None of Ref, Almonte, or Pirela fit that description. That’s the completely intelligent and logical reason why none of them were chosen for that position.

  2. ropeadope says:

    I’m a zealot for Zelous.

  3. TWTR says:

    Still waiting on Refsnyder.

  4. ALZ says:

    Too bad he can play a position of need. I was hoping this was the end of the line for Soriano.

  5. Cuso says:

    Overzelous Wheels!

    Time to put your thang down!

  6. Need Pitching & Hitting says:

    Just think of the Sterling HR call possibilities!!!

  7. JGYank says:

    Kind of surprised by this. Looks like solarte is going down. No other options really. (Moment of silence)

    He had great start but he was just Nunez 2.0. I wonder what they’ll do with the 40 man.

  8. OldYanksFan says:

    He is 27 and this is his 4th year in AAA.
    His AAA numbers are: .277 .351 .432 783, and pops around 15+ HR/year.
    He is the 2nd coming of YANGERVIS SOLARTE.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      Pretty much, except he’s better against LHP than RHP, the opposite of Solarte.
      He’ll probably make a better platoon partner for Johnson than Solarte would (although Johnson has a big reverse split, they seem to want to platoon him).

      • vicki says:

        and, again, the defense.

      • Tom says:

        Kelly Johnson 2011-2013: wRC+ of 73 against lefties; playing nearly full time until Maddon started sitting him vs lefties last year.

        They are platooning him because he should be platooned. The ~40PA’s against lefties this year notwithstanding, Johnson hasn’t hit lefties since 2010.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

          I get it, but 100 wRC+ since the beginning of last year (99 wRC+ vs. RHP – granted a much bigger sample size), and good vs. lefties before 2011.
          I wouldn’t expect him to maintain his current 113 wRC+ vs. lefties, but it appears 2011-12′s awfulness might have been somewhat of an aberration.

          That said, I have no problem with platooning him.

    • Dalek Jeter says:

      If he his the second coming of Yangervis, that’ll get us through September call ups before he face plants. Solarte’s numbers through June 1 where .299/.369/.466…if Wheeler can do that for two months maybe we can turn to Refsnyder in late August or early September if he keeps playing like he has.

    • trr says:

      Hell, if that means we can squeeze 6 good weeks outta him, that;s enough for me right now-

    • nycsportzfan says:

      Even if we just get that month or so run like we did outta Solarte, it’ll help. Hopefully, if he starts coming down to earth, they don’t wait as long to send him back down as they did with Solarte.

      He all ready had a impact with the 2hits, one being a dinger tonight.

      This is only my opinion, but I think sometimes the higher priced guys get some motivation watching these kids scratch and claw on a daily basis to make it.

  9. Tom says:

    Problems. Solved.

    All kidding aside, I like this. Moreso than the inevitable chorus of “why not Refsnyder?” that will likely follow.

    Also would like to see them call up the other half of the killer Z’s (Almonte) and just cut bait on Soriano; and go with an Ichiro vs lefties/Almonte vs righties platoon. Even if that doesn’t significantly improve the OF (I think the impact will be marginal), it will give them some info for next year and what role Zoilo might have (or not have).

  10. Farewell Mo says:

    If Solarte is sent down, Eddard is gonna have to be talked in off the ledge though it’s probably just a matter of time before he becomes Zelous Wheeleddard or some crap like that and sets upon a narrative that wheeler is the 2nd coming of Joe Morgan.

    • WhittakerWalt says:

      I think it’s part of Eddard’s shtick that he just latches onto whatever crappy minor leaguer we bring up.

    • vicki says:

      if back-to-back announcements of bgdp losing out to pineda for 5th starter and scissorhands being traded didn’t finish him, this won’t.

  11. hornblower says:

    Need a 40 man roster spot. Solarte being sent down does not open one up. Someone else has to be dfa’d. probably Ryan. Two more to go I hope.

  12. Steve says:

    I like it. See what zealous is and allow ref to keep working in aaa.

    Bet roberts is gone.

  13. zach says:

    Wheeler in, Soriano out.

  14. Cool Lester Smooth says:

    If Wheeler doesn’t make the Hall of Fame, Cashman Failed!

  15. Wheeler first over Pirela? Alright, baffling decision.

    • Dalek Jeter says:

      Maybe they like Wheeler’s versatility better…I know they’ve put Pirela out in RF a couple times in triple A, and it could be they don’t like what they’ve seen defensively and feel that Wheeler is a more legitimate OF’er plus his infield capabilities.

      • We’ll see, I just think right now Pirela would’ve been a bigger choice. There is the argument made on LoHud that Johnson and Wheeler will platoon at 3B. Wheeler could probably give Roberts a day off.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      My guess is the role they are looking to fill is RH platoon partner for Johnson (assuming Solarte is the odd man out). If that’s the case, Wheeler makes a lot more sense.
      Wheeler has been better against LHP, and more importantly, has actually played 3B on a regular basis this year. (Pirela hasn’t played 3B since playing 11 games there in 2012)

      I don’t think Pirela would get any consideration to replace a non-injured player except for possibly Soriano, and even then, I think Almonte would likely get the first crack.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      I’d have gone Sizemore or Solarte but, hey, the guy’s out up decent numbers. I just think this is the kind of player you go with as an injury replacement, not a potential spark.

  16. Paisa says:

    So I guess it will be between Anna and Sizemore as to who gets DFA’d – probably Anna. It’s a shame that neither of them ever got a shot considering how abominable the play on the infield has been this year.

  17. RetroRob says:

    Interesting that he’s the one they decided to call up.

    Who got cut/DL’d?

  18. RetroRob says:

    My guess is Solarte is sent down, but kept on the 40-man roster.

    Anna is released, opening up a 40-man spot. Anna probably gets re-signed, but off the 40 man at that point. If not, not big loss.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      That would be my bet.

      • Paisa says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if he moves on. There has to be a couple of teams that could at the very least use a warm body at 2b. Toronto comes to mind.

    • Tom says:

      Other options:

      1) David Adams special with Slade – outright release him to get him off the 40 man with a handshake agreement in advance to resign him (with the obligatory pitchforks and outrage at RAB when he is released followed a day later with news he is re-signed and panic and anger dissipating)

      2) Matt Daley

      3) The dream scenario: cut Soriano (Zelous gets his 40man spot). They callup Zoilo in addition to Zelous and option down Solarte (but they can keep Solarte on the 40 man this way and don’t have to DFA him).

      I think the Anna option is just as likely. If they simply DFA him, he would be claimed; they’d have to outright him and have a handshake deal – just not sure how he would feel about that, as he probably thinks he should be close to getting/deserving a shot.

  19. RetroRob says:

    The fact that there is already more than 50 posts on the Yankees calling up a 27-year-old, non-prospect, career minor leaguer is depressing. Says much about the state of the big league team.

    • Cuso says:

      Yeah. Kinda woulda like Pirela first, but maybe they’re gonna roll them out one at a time. Zoilo after the AS break, then Pirela shortly thereafter.

      I’m just speculating obviously. But the time they wait to call each up may be attached to the leash each current rosteree has left. Solarte probably optioned tomorrow. Soriano is probably going to have until the break to show something then released when they call up Zoilo. Pirela will be probably be after Cash attempts to swing some deal and they have enough room. Hard to say that KJ or Roberts would get released as a result to Pirela coming up, but i guess that depends on how desperate they are.

      • Scott says:

        I think they wanted Zealous because of his ability to play 3B and his production vs. LHPs over Pirela. He has better splits vs. lefties and more power.

        I think Pirela will come up before Almonte. I just don’t see Almonte as doing much. He had two cups of coffee and spilled them both.

        I think if they do bring up Pirela or Almonte, Soriano is gone. He had 2 Ks again yesterday, makes me throw up a little every time he bats.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Yep. And some people are EXCITED about this guy.

      Well, they certainly weren’t in the “Yanks sign Wheeler to MiLB” thread in December, I’m sure.

  20. Paisa says:

    Ya know this news made me think about Soriano and reflect on his career a little bit. I don’t think he’s a goner just yet, although maybe he should be, but man, if things didn’t go the way they did that home run he hit in Arizona perhaps might have been the single most important dinger in the history of the franchise. Funny how history works like that sometimes.

  21. Paisa says:

    Wheeler vs Matt Purke(whatever happened to him??) in the AFL from a couple of years ago obviously:


    Pretty funny to see Derek Norris behind the dish as a Washington farmhand and Brandon Crawford at SS.

  22. Mikhel says:


    I saw him play last season in the mexican pacific league (winter) and he went to the caribbean series helping the Mexican representative win it (lead the Caribbean Series with 3 HR in 5 or 6 games played), and Wheeler+Adonis García (also signed by the Yankees) were the players who routinely had very good plays.

    Wheeler plays a very good 3B, but he is also capable of playing the OF (he played LF because the mexican team had a total beast fielding 3B in Yuniesky Sánchez who ended up being elected as the best 3B batting 0.381 AVG and fine defense).

    Wheeler could play the OF in place of Soriano in LF with Ichiro and Gardner in RF, I am not sure if Zelous can play an adequate RF.

    Pirela, who was named to the AAA all-star this season, also had a good caribbean series and could be in line to reach the majors.

    Now… Wheeler’s promotion to me makes sense because I heard there is interest in Wheeler in México now that Mustellier got traded in the mexican summer league and if Zelous gets cut by the Yanks after the call up, he might go play there (the salary is a bit higher than AAA).

    For those who are interested in the 2014 all-star caribbean series (chosen by their offensive display):

    Juan Delgadillo (MEX) RHP – a power pitcher with good breaking pitches.
    Elvis Araujo (VEN) LHP
    Tyler Herron (PR) Reliever

    Sebastián Valle (MEX)–C (one of the best young catchers in México if not the best)
    Ramón Lunar (CUB)-1B
    Alberto Callaspo (VEN)-2B
    Yunieski Sánchez (MEX)-3B
    Héctor Gómez (DOM)-SS
    Jon Weber (MEX)-LF
    Chris Roberson (MEX)-CF
    Yuniet Flores (CUB)-RF
    Ronny Paulino (DOM)- DH

    Chris Roberson (MEX) —> MVP

    Matías Carrillo (MEX)- Manager

  23. wheleerio says:


  24. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    It’s always useful to have a guy whose name lends itself to many puns during a losing streak.

    Solarte needed some time away. We can only hope this guy is as good as even a slumping Solarte out there. Id have gone with Sizemore.

    • The Great Gonzo says:

      I think this surprises me the most. You don’t go and stash a veteran infielder in AAA if you’re not going to call him up when you need him. Sure, Pirela and Refsnyder are the sexy picks, but Sizemore was the guy, I would have thought.

      • Kosmo says:

        a platoon of Sizemore and Johnson is a terrible thing to watch.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          I’m open to eating my words later, but you’d rather watch another career minor leaguer instead?

          I’ll say it again: They were dumpster diving when it was Lillibridge and Cruz and whoever else last year but, this yeat, THIS YEAR, it’s forward thinking to replace one career minor leaguer with another.

          That’s not to say the choices are truly great and, really, they weren’t great once Robbie left, but come on now. Let’s call this what it is. It’s a rough Plan B not going well, with a rougher Plan C.

  25. LarryM Fl says:

    If you are losing with aging and decaying veterans. It makes sense to start giving some AAA guys a shot. Though Solarte does not meet the criteria for the opening sentence. He does meet the ineffective player aspect who cannot field a lick. Yesterday’s bad throw on the DP is number what that he has done this extending innings.

    I don’t believe Roberts should be DFA. He has played well. Sure his defense looks shaky but the whole damn infield except for Tex. looks bad. Yesterday’s infield lineup look and played poor all day. Rysnyder needs abit more seasoning at second. He was a college OF and you just done move into a middle infield position at the major league level. Patience with this move may provide benefits in the future.

    It’s a weak team in all departments except the bullpen but the starters are working hard to kill this facet of the team. IMHO there will be a slight chance of a playoff run with the rotation improving slightly with CC replacing Nuno. And the X factor of a trade probably being a journeyman performer no better that Whittley. But heck, it at least provides some interest. Sidney Ponson may be lerking in an Aruba hideaway looking to make a comeback. Cashman will find him.

    We could be watching the transition period beginning as The Mission Statement is rewritten from the Boss’s edicts on winning.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Sorry, Larry, but the only difference between bringing Wheeler up and some of last year’s desperation moves is that at Wheeler was in our system this year.

  26. OldYanksFan says:

    Guess what:

    B. Roberts: .237 .309 .355 .664, bWar 1.0, $2,000,000
    O. Infante: .252 .297 .366 .663, bWar 0.4, $5,000,000

    • Kosmo says:

      Infante is hitting .252 w/ 41 RBI. How many players on NY have 40 RBI ? Oh right RBIs are an overrated stat. Roberts is hitting .224 with RISP and Infante .328. Infante has been an excellent clutch hitter for the Royals.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        What position does Infante hit in their lineup? I have no idea.

        Even with those numbers, I think we’re in a better position long-term with Roberts as the one-year stopgap rather than Infante for four years at that salary.

        Didn’t Infante sign for 4/32 as well? That’s not 5 mil a year.

        • Tom K says:

          He was hitting second, but because he was sucking up the joint, they moved him down to 6th in the order.

          He has been “clutch” I suppose – though I guess it is a new thing for him to be clutch. He was good with RISP last year, but was horrid in 2012. Amazing how that works, no? Hitter figures out suddenly how to become clutch…..

  27. OldYanksFan says:

    The 5 best players we can get for the 2nd half (not in order):
    1) Brian McCann (or his baseball card)
    2) Carlos Beltran (.841 and .830 OPS, 2012, 2013)
    3) A League Average CC
    4) A healthy Pineda
    5) The biggest bat we can find to sit in RF

    • The Great Gonzo says:

      In fairness, Alfonso Soriano uses an above average sized bat. He just can’t hit shit with it.

  28. fred robbins says:

    Who made this decision? Maybe it will be like dominos. First Wheeler and then the DFA machine gets into gear with Soriano and the few others that deserve to go and be with their families now.

  29. Pinedamaybegreata (formerly Monterowasdinero) says:

    Zealous is big boned/thick. A strong man. Has to be encouraging to other AAA players that he is being called up.

    Oh if only Refsnyder was a SS and not a second baseman…..well we’ll need both positions filled next year with new bodies…

    Might be nice to give the young Refsnyder a little time with Jeter before the Captain retires…

    We need a spark somewhere right now.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      If only Aaron Judge was about a year ahead in his development and could play short and third. :)

      • D$1184 says:

        If we’re wishing, why don’t we wish he was Greg Maddux reincarnate?

        • greg says:

          Can Greg Maddux play short or third? I know he’s good at golf, but I don’t believe it translates to the infield.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

            I’ll take a reincarnated prime Maddux no matter what.

            Would a reincarnated prime Maddux still take less money to pitch in Atlanta, though?

  30. John C says:

    I saw someone post that Solarte confirmed on Instagram that he is leaving

  31. The Other Matt says:

    Solarte confirmed to ESPN Deportes that he is, indeed, being sent down to Triple-A SWB.

  32. MB923 says:

    It’s been confirmed that Solarte has sent down, though no word on who was cut from the 40 man.

  33. D$1184 says:

    I wonder if any team has ever started two players with first names that begin in “Z” before.

  34. MB923 says:

    Can’t wait for Dean Anna’s Yankeeography

  35. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    He wasn’t exactly earning himself another call-up, but flags fly forever. I like Anna and I hope he remains in the org. He’s still a good guy to have stashed away.

  36. Masaeddard Tanaka says:

    Thought this should have been done weeks ago. We should be getting a look at these kids rather than trotting the same old guys out there to play under .500. Soriano, Ichiro, Johnson, Roberts all need to go. Zolio, Sizemore, Refsnyder, Pirela should be up here.

    I’d see if any clubs will bite on taking the CC, McCann, Kuroda and Carlos Beltran contracts.

  37. Solarte the ROY! Solarte the Allstar! We also Have Solarte the Lunchbox!
    and my favorite, Solarte the flamethrower! The kids love that one!


  38. Scott says:

    Interesting piece on going with young players. There are many schools of thought with putting together a team. Granted the Yanks are very old (too old can’t be debated) but young doesn’t always work either.

    With no specific facts, my eyeballs tell me young teams usually play well in the first half of a season, then slowly or dramatically tail off in the second half. Perhaps that is why the Yanks had success in the mid-2000′s with the second and third oldest teams in the league. Started off slow, then had very good (in some years great) second halves.


    Check it out if you get a chance, maybe big, bad Boston and their farm team aren’t so big and bad after all (I still contend last year was a fluke in which everything broke right for them).

    • I'm One says:

      … but young doesn’t always work either.

      Don’t ruin the narative!

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        If they want to get real young, they should swap out the MLB team with one of the GCL teams. Let’s see how that works.

        “Well, they couldn’t be much worse….” in three, two….

  39. BTG says:

    Yes, we have no Dean Anna. We have no Dean Anna today!

  40. iYankeees says:

    Random question–anyone think the Rangers make Beltre very available, as opposed to somewhat available? Wonder what it would take for us to grab him for 3B (I’m forgoing any A-Rod future consideration, as I believe we all must).

  41. Bill says:

    The moves that would have taken guts would be to bring up Wheeler, Refsnyder and Almonte, DFA Soriano and Roberts and see if you could find a taker for Ichiro. Stick Refsnyder at 2B, platoon Wheeler and Almonte in RF and use Solarte as a swing man. But management is deluded into thinking that Soriano and Ichiro have anything left. Bring up some youngsters. They cannot be any worse than what you have now. Bringing Wheeler up right now is simply a case of the Yankees saying to their fans, we’re going to DO SOMETHING. If they’re going to DO SOMETHING, go all in. Not this half baked stuff. I’m ready to wait until next March and start the post-Jeter era.

    • mitch says:

      The lineup you’re proposing would suck as much as than the current lineup. The only difference is we haven’t seen it before.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      It takes guts to bring up a bunch of fringe guys and Rob Refsnyder? Really?

      It’s amazing to see that, after all of people’s crying about the state of the farm system, they are clamoring this much for this crew. Absolutely dumbfounding.

  42. yankeepankee says:


    That says it all.
    Pirates call up Polanco for a push to the playoffs.
    We call up a reject career minor leaguer.
    Can we DFA Cashman and his scouts?

    Be well.

  43. TWTR says:

    I remember reading on some blog, maybe not this one, that someone thought that the Yankees didn’t need to develop talent because they were able to sign Solarte and Anna.


  44. soxhata says:

    Solarte was the least of our problems.He’s in a funk,for sure,but I still would rather see him playing than Kelly Johnson.He plays with some life,and should have been given til the break to get going again.Roberts,Johnson,McCann,Beltran have stunk all year.Solarte has been one of the better players in a disastrous season.We should be sellers,but with all the guaranteed contracts,that won’t be much of an option.

    • Cereal Killer says:

      He plays with some life but his bat’s all dead this year. I think if he was out of options Roberts would be gone, but alas, he has all options remaining.

    • Old Man Time says:

      Solarte hit .164/.282/.213 for the month of June. That’s not being the “least of our problems”. That’s being a major contributor. Over that same time period, KJ hit .239/.333/.370, but you’d rather see Solarte. Ok.

      • TWTR says:

        Beyond that, Johnson has a track record of performing at the MLB level, without a platoon split (memo to Giardi). Solarte…not.

        • soxhata says:

          that’s the Yanks biggest problem.Relying on PAST track records.Beltran,McCann and virtually all our starters,save for maybe Gardner,have their best numbers already on the backs of their ballcards.Screw swing and miss Johnson.They’ll probably give up Murphy and a couple other young prospects for .201 hitting Headley.

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