- DH Jose Pirela: 4-5, 3 R, 3 2B, 1 RBI — 12-for-33 (.364) with five doubles and a homer in eight rehab games
- CF Slade Heathcott: 1-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 E (fielding)
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-5, 1 RBI, 1 SB — 14-for-34 (.412) during his eight-game hitting streak
- 1B Kyle Roller: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K — second homer in three games
- RF Tyler Austin: 0-4, 1 BB, 2 K
- RHP Branden Pinder: 2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 6/2 GB/FB — 47 of 80 pitches were strikes (59%)
- RHP Jose Ramirez: 2 IP, zeroes, 5/0 GB/FB — eight of 14 pitches were strikes (57%) … only eight strikeouts in 15.1 innings this year, which is a little weird
IF Abi Avelino has been promoted from Low-A Charleston to High-A Tampa, the team announced. He hit .301/.341/.398 (115 wRC+) with 16 steals in 20 games for the River Dogs.
Triple-A Scranton (10-4 loss to Charlotte)
- 2B Jose Pirela: 3-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI — 8-for-28 (.286)
- CF Slade Heathcott & 2B Rob Refsnyder: both 2-5
- LF Ramon Flores: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 K
- RF Tyler Austin: 3-5, 1 K — threw a runner out at second
- C Austin Romine: 0-4, 1 K, 1 PB
- RHP Jaron Long: 3 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 44 of 74 pitches were strikes (59%) … Triple-A has not been kind to the former hitting coach’s kid
- RHP Danny Burawa: 0.1 IP, zeroes, 1 K — four pitches, three strikes
- LHP Tyler Webb: 2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1/0 K/BB — 26 of 37 pitches were strikes (70%) … multiple runs allowed in each of his last three appearances
According to George King and Dan Martin, the Yankees held a private workout for free agent Cuban infielder Andy Ibanez at their complex in Tampa earlier this week. The team also scouted him during a workout in Miami last month.
Ibanez, 21, has already been declared a free agent by MLB and unblocked by a Office of Foreign Assets Control, so he is free to sign at any time. King and Martin say he is expected to get a bonus in the $10M neighborhood, which would be taxed at 100% regardless of which team signs him. That would exceed all 30 bonus pools.
Before defecting, Ibanez hit .283/.348/.419 with 60 doubles and 13 home runs in 242 games in the Cuban league. He was on Cuba’s roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic but rode the bench in the deference to their veteran infielders. Here’s a scouting report from Ben Badler:
At 5-foot-11, 183 pounds, Ibanez has a thicker build for a middle infielder but he’s athletic and has good body control. With fringy speed and an average arm at best, Ibanez isn’t flashy, but he has a good internal clock and a high baseball IQ, fitting best at second base. Ibanez’s power is mostly to the gaps, projecting as a doubles hitters rather than a big home run threat, but what’s sold some scouts on him is his bat.
“He’s a strong guy who doesn’t have your prototype, ideal body for a second baseman, but he moves around well for his stature,” said another scout. “And he performs. He’s a good hitter. I liked his swing and the way he manipulated the bat.”
Ibanez is subject to the international spending restrictions, so the Yankees are free to sign him for any amount prior to June 25th. But, after that, they will only be able to offer him $300,000 as a result of the penalties from last July’s international spending spree. I’m not sure why Ibanez is waiting to sign. You’d think he’d want to sign quickly and start playing in the minors to get his career underway.
Inviting Ibanez in for a private workout really doesn’t mean much of anything. The Yankees had Aledmys Diaz in for a private workout last year and they had Yoan Moncada in for three separate private workouts this offseason, but didn’t sign either player. It’s been a while since the Yankees signed a premium Cuban player. Jose Contreras was the last.
Ibanez is not on the same level as Moncada but he has some ability and is expected to be able to help at the MLB level in the near future. Accumulating middle infield depth is always a good thing, and that goes double for the Yankees, since it’s unclear if they have a long-term shortstop or second baseman in the organization right now. (The jury is still out on Didi Gregorius and Rob Refsnyder.)
Until the Yankees actually step up and sign a top Cuban free agent, I won’t expect them to do it. They’ve done the song and dance with several players in recent years — Diaz, Moncada, Yasmany Tomas, Yoan Lopez, and others — but didn’t sign any of them. These private workouts are fake interest until they sign one of these guys, as far as I’m concerned.
- 660: Gosh, what a moment. A-Rod did not start Friday’s game as Joe Girardi went with a lefty heavy lineup against Justin Masterson, yet he still had a big impact. The hard-throwing Junichi Tazawa fell behind in the count 3-0, and rather than simply take a pitch for the sake of taking a pitch, Rodriguez hunted a 3-0 fastball, got it, and lined a home run over the Green Monster. It was a frickin’ laser. Out of the park in a hurry. Fenway went quiet and A-Rod’s teammates mobbed him in the dugout. I would have loved to see Alex get his 660th in the Bronx, but a go-ahead blast to silence the Fenway faithful and give the Yankees a late-inning lead works fine too.
- Just Good Enough: CC Sabathia threw the ugliest six innings of two-run ball you may ever see. He had runners on base in every inning but the first and sixth, and he got lucky breaks on two occasions with what would have been run-scoring extra-base hits — a fan reached out and touched Ryan Hanigan’s double in the fourth, so the umps sent Xander Bogaerts back to third, and Hanley Ramirez wasn’t allowed to score from first when Mike Napoli’s double hopped over the wall in the fifth. The end result was two runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings. The end result was good. Getting there was … uncomfortable.
- Score First, Score Last: Boy the Yankees really let Masterson off the hook. Nine of the first 21 batters he faced reach base, yet the Yankees scored just one run in that time, on a first inning double by Carlos Beltran. They stranded runners on second and third in the fourth and the bases loaded in the fifth. Boston took a 2-1 lead in the middle innings and it wasn’t until Masterson was out of the game that the Yankees rallied to tie. Didi Gregorius worked a leadoff walk in the seventh, moved to second when Mark Teixeira was hit by a pitch, then scored on Brian McCann‘s single to tie the game. A-Rod did the rest.
- Leftovers: The bullpen wasn’t great but it was good enough. Esmil Rogers walked a batter in a scoreless seventh — why he was pitching the seventh inning of a tie game, I have no idea — and Dellin Betances put two runners on base with one out in the eighth. He struck out the next two hitters. Andrew Miller tossed a perfect ninth for his ninth save … Jacoby Ellsbury (two singles), Brett Gardner (single, walk), Teixeira (two walks, hit-by-pitch), Beltran (single, double), and Gregorius (single, walk) all reached base multiple times … the Yankees went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Thanks goodness for dingers.
Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also make sure you check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Red Sox will continue this series Saturday afternoon. It’ll be Nathan Eovaldi against Wade Miley.
Minor League Report: I don’t have time for a full version of DotF tonight. Sorry folks. You can find all the box scores right here though. Jake Cave and Angel Aguilar both went deep and Double-A Trenton walked off with a win in the 18th inning. 18th inning!
Chad Jennings was able to get some injury updates from Brian Cashman. Most notably, RHP Andrew Bailey is dealing with a shoulder strain and has been shutdown. So much for seeing him sooner rather than later. What idiot wrote that? Anyway, RHP Jared Burton (lat) is close to joining Triple-A Scranton and LHP Chris Capuano (quad) and IF Brendan Ryan (calf) are close to starting official minor league rehab stints.
Triple-A Scranton (8-7 loss to Charlotte, walk-off style)
- 3B Jose Pirela: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 E (throwing)
- CF Slade Heathcott: 0-3, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-5, 1 RBI, 1 K — singled in the game-tying run in the top of the ninth
- 1B Kyle Roller: 2-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K
- RF Tyler Austin: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
- DH Ramon Flores: 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 K
- C Austin Romine: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K
- RHP Bryan Mitchell: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 2/4 GB/FB — 45 of 79 pitches were strikes (57%)
- LHP Jacob Lindgren: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 30 of 43 pitches were strikes (70%) … first time pitching since he took the line drive off his foot four days ago, so he’s fine
- RHP Branden Pinder: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 23 of 32 pitches were strikes (72%)
- LHP Tyler Webb: 0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K — eight pitches, four strikes … gave up back-to-back homers to blow and save and given Charlotte the walk-off win
Nathan Kirby | LHP
Kirby, 21, was considered unsignable out of high school in 2012. In fact, he was so strongly committed to Virginia that he didn’t even bother to take the mandatory drug test administered to the MLB Scouting Bureau’s top 200 draft prospects. (Declining to take the drug test made him ineligible for the draft.) Kirby has a 2.28 ERA with a 75/30 K/BB in 59.1 innings as a starter this year after pitching to a 2.96 ERA with a 149/46 K/BB in 146 innings split between the rotation and bullpen as a freshman and sophomore.
Listed at 6-foot-2 and 185 lbs., Kirby consistently sits 89-92 mph with his fastball and will run it up to 94 mph on occasion. Depending on the day, either his low-80s slider or low-80s changeup will be his best secondary pitch, and Kirby has run in trouble because he can get too slider happy and predictable. His arm action is a little long in the back and can lead to occasionally spotty control and command. Kirby came into the spring as a potential top ten pick but some inconsistency has dropped his stock a bit.
Baseball America, Keith Law (subs. req’d), and MLB.com ranked Kirby as the 7th, 19th, and 20th best prospect in the draft in their latest rankings, respectively. He’s the kind of prospect who tends to come off the board sooner than expected — college lefty with great stats, firm stuff, and a long track record of success — and will be dubbed a “quick mover.” The Yankees seem to emphasize polish and Kirby fits the mold. New York picks 16th overall this year but I wouldn’t be surprised if Kirby is already off the board by that point.
Triple-A Scranton (8-5 win over Gwinnett)
- CF Ben Gamel: 2-5, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI — hitting .386 as a part-timer this year
- LF Ramon Flores: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
- RF Tyler Austin: 1-5, 2 K
- C Austin Romine: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B
- RHP Kyle Davies: 5.1 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 10/3 GB/FB — 62 of 91 pitches were strikes (68%) … not a good time to have a bad outing with a rotation spot now up for grabs at the MLB level
- RHP Nick Rumbelow: 1 IP, zeroes, 2/1 GB/FB — eight pitches, six strikes
- RHP Jose Ramirez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GB/FB — 15 of 20 pitches were strikes … first time in his career he’s pitched back-to-back days