DotF: Ellsbury plays six innings in center in second rehab game; Palma almost completes outfield assist cycle

OF Jake Cave, 3B Eric Jagielo, C Gary Sanchez, RHP Eric Ruth, and RHP Nick Goody have all been selected for the Double-A Eastern League All-Star Game, so congrats to them. Jagielo is hurt and won’t play in the game. Sanchez won’t play because he’ll be in Cincinnati for the Futures Game. RHP Brady Lail got snubbed big time.

Also, the Yankees signed OF Joey Falcone as an undrafted free agent out of Columbia, the school announced. Falcone is 26 and a military veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan before returning to school, according to Kieran Darcy. He hit .323/.399/.615 with 11 home runs in 51 games this spring and has been assigned to one of the Rookie Gulf Coast League affiliates.

Triple-A Scranton (3-2 loss to Lehigh Valley in ten innings, walk-off style)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 2-6, 1 R, 3 K
  • RF Aaron Judge: 2-4, 2 BB — locked in right now
  • LF Ramon Flores: 0-4, 1 RBI
  • DH Rob Refsnyder: 1-3, 1 R, 2 BB — two strikeouts and eight walks in his last six games
  • C Austin Romine: 3-5, 1 2B, 1 K — 44-for-134 (.328) in his last 35 games … what a run he’s been on
  • RHP Jaron Long: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 7/2 GB/FB — 57 of 90 pitches were strikes (63%) … he’s either very good or very bad it seems
  • LHP James Pazos: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 3/0 GB/FB — 17 of 29 pitches were strikes (59%)
  • RHP Danny Burawa: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/1 GB/FB — seven pitches, eleven strikes

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Jagielo’s injury comes at a really bad time for the Yankees

(Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com)
(Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com)

Two weeks and one day ago, third base prospect Eric Jagielo slid into home plate and jammed his knee, forcing him to miss a few days. A few days turned into a DL stint, and, as we learned yesterday, Jagielo has “loose bodies” in his knee, which may require surgery. He’ll undergo more tests before deciding whether to go under the knife or attempt to rehab the issue. (I’m not sure how rehabbing “loose bodies” works, but I’m no doctor.)

The 23-year-old Jagielo was hitting .284/.347/.495 (141 wRC+) with nine homers in 58 games for Double-A Trenton before getting hurt. The Yankees’ first of three first round picks in 2013 has swatted 27 home runs in 150 games since the start of last season, so the production is matching the scouting reports that touted him as a left-handed power hitter. Jagielo isn’t much of a defender, he’s a bat first guy, and his bat has been delivering.

It’s unclear how long those “loose bodies” will keep Jagielo out, but I think it’s safe to say it will be several weeks if not several months regardless of whether he has surgery or goes through rehab. In fact, Double-A Trenton manager Al Pedrique told Nick Peruffo that Jagielo is “going to be out for awhile.” Hopefully he can get healthy in time to play the last few weeks of the regular season before making up for lost time in the Arizona Fall League.

Either way, surgery or no surgery, Jagielo will be out for a while, and his injury comes at a really bad time for the Yankees. (Obligatory: There is no such thing as a good time for an injury.) The trade deadline is just four weeks and one day away now, and Jagielo sure looked like one of the team’s best trade chips. A power prospect producing at Double-A in an age when offense is hard to come by? There figured to be plenty of interest in Jagielo despite his lack of a clear long-term position, especially since he’s a former first round pick. That pedigree has value.

The Yankees themselves will be able to use a young power-hitter in the near future, though, unlike Aaron Judge, Jagielo’s long-term fit with the Yankees is less clear. Judge will take over as the everyday right fielder once Carlos Beltran‘s contract is up. That’s the perfect world plan. Jagielo will … maybe play first base once Mark Teixeira‘s deal expires? Chase Headley is locked in at third base through 2018, and yeah I guess the Yankees could trade him to clear the position for a prospect, but Jagielo’s probably not going to stay at the hot corner long-term anyway.

A week or two ago we heard the Yankees have “sworn off” trading top prospects for rentals, which is something every team says at the trade deadline. The definition of “top prospect” is fluid though — you and I may consider someone like Jagielo a top prospect, but the Yankees may not, and vice versa. To me, Jagielo fits in that second tier of prospects, behind Judge and Luis Severino. The kind of prospect the Yankees should be willing to trade prior to the deadline to improve the MLB roster. The right rental player, as people like to say.

Now the Yankees won’t have that option. Jagielo’s injury takes him out of the trade chip equation — technically he can still be traded while hurt, but it’s not often injured prospects get traded these days aside from the occasional high-end pitcher rehabbing from Tommy John surgery — and gives the Yankees less ammunition leading up to the deadline. The injury is unfortunate for Jagielo’s development as a player and unfortunate for his trade value. The timing is real bad for the Yankees given their obvious needs on the mound and at second base.

DotF: Aaron Judge and Austin Aune have huge games

Bad news: Matt Kardos says 3B Eric Jagielo has “loose bodies” in his knee. He hurt himself sliding into home plate a week or two ago. Jagielo will undergo more tests before deciding whether to have surgery or go the rehab route. Either way, it’s safe to assume he’ll be out for a while. Sucks.

Triple-A Scranton (12-8 loss to Lehigh Valley)

  • CF Aaron Judge: 4-4, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 BB — big day at the plate and he also threw a runner out at third … also, that’s his first pro game in center field, the position he played in college
  • RF Ramon Flores: 1-3, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
  • DH Austin Romine: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K — having a really great year, might be enough to earn himself a spot on the 40-man roster come September so the Yankees don’t lose him for nothing as a minor league free agent after the season
  • RHP Joel De La Cruz: 3 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 4/1 GB/FB — 33 of 59 pitches were strikes (56%)
  • RHP Chris Martin: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 2/1 GB/FB — 23 of 49 pitches were strikes (47%) … not gonna earn a trip back to New York that way, Chris
  • RHP Branden Pinder: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 19 of 28 pitches were strikes (68%)

[Read more…]

2015 Draft: Yankees sign 20th round pick 1B Isiah Gilliam to overslot bonus

(Gwinnett Prep Sports)
(Gwinnett Prep Sports)

The Yankees have signed first baseman and 20th round draft pick Isiah Gilliam, according to his Twitter feed. Jim Callis confirmed the signing and says Gilliam received a way overslot $550,000 bonus. Slot money for all picks after the tenth round is $100,000, and the excess is applied to the draft pool, so Gilliam counts as $450,000 against New York’s bonus pool.

Gilliam, 18, has a bit of an interesting backstory. He changed high schools three times and used up his four years of athletic eligibility by age 17, so he was a late addition to the 2014 draft player pool. Gilliam was strongly committed to JuCo powerhouse Chipola College and declined to sign with the Cubs as their 23rd round pick last summer. He hit .362/.421/.548 with 20 doubles and five homers in 52 games at Chipola this spring.

As the bonus suggests, Gilliam is no ordinary 20th round pick. Baseball America ranked him as the 151st best prospect in the draft class while Kiley McDaniel had him 120th. That puts him in the fourth or fifth round range on talent. (The $550,000 bonus is late-third/early-fourth round money.) Here’s a snippet of Baseball America’s scouting report:

He has above-average bat speed with an easy stroke and plus raw power to all fields. He puts on an impressive display in batting practice and has made solid contact in games. His approach has a ways to come … A below-average runner, he played third base until this season before moving to first, where he likely fits best in the long term. He moves well for the position and runs enough to try the corner outfield and has average arm strength.

Gilliam is a switch-hitter and Eric Longenhagen said he once saw him hit a ball over the Western Metal Supply building at Petco Park, which is a bomb. The Yankees announced Gilliam as a first baseman at the draft and that’s where he’ll likely remain long-term, though he did play some right field this spring. Either way, his bat is his calling card. Gilliam has legitimate pop from both sides of the plate. Here’s some video.

As our 2015 Draft Pool Tracker shows, the Yankees now have only $193,900 in bonus pool savings left over, and there aren’t many places to spend it. They’ve signed 31 of their 41 draft picks and only Idaho HS 1B Michael Hicks (27th round), New Jersey HS LHP Andrew Miller (34th), and Florida HS SS Deacon Liput (39th) remain as potential late-round overslot players, and the extra $193,900 might not be enough to convince those guys to turn pro. The extra money might get funneled to UCLA RHP James Kaprielian (1st) simply because there’s nowhere else to spend it.

DotF: Ellsbury goes hitless in first rehab game with Tampa

According to Joel Sherman, RHP Luis Severino is next in line to be called up whenever the Yankees need another starter. Severino has a 1.73 ERA (2.45 FIP) in 36.1 innings since being promoted to Triple-A Scranton and hasn’t really been challenged yet, though, to be fair, the Yankees have moved him through the minors so quickly that he’s yet to go through a league multiple times. Also, Sherman says C Gary Sanchez, 3B Eric Jagielo, and 1B Greg Bird are expected to be promoted to Triple-A in the coming weeks.

Triple-A Scranton (8-1 loss to Lehigh Valley)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 0-3, 2 BB, 1 K — threw a runner out at third
  • RF Aaron Judge: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • LF Ramon Flores: 1-4, 1 BB
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-4, 1 K, 1 HBP — five hits in his last eleven at-bats (.455)
  • C Austin Romine: 1-4 — 14-for-35 (.400) during his nine-game hit streak
  • LHP Jose DePaula: 2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2/1 GB/FB — 30 of 53 pitches were strikes (57%)
  • RHP Danny Burawa: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 4/1 GB/FB — 22 of 33 pitches were strikes
  • LHP James Pazos: 2 IP, zeroes, 4 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 21 of 34 pitches were strikes (62%) … 17/0 K/BB in 16.1 innings since coming back from his mystery injury
  • RHP Jose Ramirez: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 24 of 42 pitches were strikes (57%) … eight runs allowed in his last 19.2 innings at this level

[Read more…]

Injury Updates: Ellsbury, Miller, Clarkin, DeCarr, Jagielo

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees begin their three-game series with the Angels later tonight (much later tonight), so, until then, here are some updates on a few injured Yankees via Meredith Marakovits, Marly Rivera, Joel Sherman, and the Yankees themselves.

  • Jacoby Ellsbury (knee) traveled to Tampa following yesterday’s game and will begin playing in minor league rehab games at some point later this week. “I’m excited to get back. (I’ll be) playing in games sometime this week and I can’t wait to get back to big league club,” he said.
  • UPDATE: Ellsbury will start a rehab assignment with High-A Tampa today, the team just announced. My guess is the Yankees hope to have him back in the lineup for the start of the homestand on Friday. Fingers crossed.
  • Andrew Miller (forearm) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday. He played catch the last few days and will do it again today. Miller will long-toss tomorrow before getting up on a mound Wednesday. Can’t imagine he’ll need much time to get ready after that as a short reliever.
  • Ian Clarkin (elbow) has not had Tommy John surgery. Not yet, anyway. Clarkin was shut down in Spring Training with elbow tendinitis and he reportedly pitched in an Extended Spring Training game in May, but we haven’t heard anything since. This non-update is the latest.
  • Austin DeCarr (elbow) did have Tommy John surgery, however. Not sure when when he had it — last week? last month? March? makes a difference! — but he had it. DeCarr was the team’s third round pick last year and I had him as their 16th best prospect coming in the season.
  • This isn’t really an injury, but I’m not sure where else to put it: Eric Jagielo was diagnosed with diabetes late last year. It’s manageable and hasn’t impacted his career in any way to this point. But still, geez. This has been a bad year for minor league injuries and this adds the lolwtf factor.

DotF: Fowler, Palma, Bridges stay hot on a busy Sunday

Perpetually rehabbing RHP Andrew Bailey was bumped up to Double-A Trenton, according to Mark Feinsand. Also, Matt Kardos says LHP Matt Tracy and RHP Caleb Cotham have essentially swapped spots — Tracy goes down to Trenton and Cotham goes up to Triple-A Scranton.

Triple-A Scranton (3-2 loss to Buffalo)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 0-4, 1 K — in a 4-for-23 (.174) slump
  • RF Aaron Judge: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 CS
  • LF Ramon Flores: 1-3, R, 1 BB, 1 K
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-2, 1 R, 2 BB — got picked off first … in a 10-for-46 (.218) rut, but, on the bright side, he has a 4/8 K/BB during that time
  • C Austin Romine: 1-4, 1 RBI
  • RHP Kyle Davies: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HB, 6/7 GB/FB — 63 of 107 pitches were strikes (69%)
  • RHP Diego Moreno: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 4/3 GB/FB — 33 of 43 pitches were strikes (77%)

[Read more…]