DotF: Refsnyder homers in Scranton’s blowout win

In addition to hitting that monster home run, RF Aaron Judge also recorded his 130th big league at-bat tonight, meaning he is no longer rookie eligible. His days as a prospect are over. 3B Dermis Garcia moved into MLB.com’s top 30 Yankees prospects list as a result. Here is one more note and one link to pass along:

  • SS Gleyber Torres went for tests today and has been diagnosed with mild right rotator cuff tendinitis, the Yankees announced. He’s not expected to miss much time. Gleyber has been placed on the Double-A Trenton seven-day disabled list and IF Abi Avelino was called up from High-A Tampa to take his roster spot. Torres was scratched from last night’s game with what was called biceps tendinitis. The Yankees will play it safe with their top prospect, I’m sure.
  • Matt Eddy has an interesting breakdown of the youngest farm systems in baseball. The Yankees have the seventh youngest system with an average age of 23.99 years, though that only covers the four full season affiliates. The Yankees have a ton of talented teenagers in rookie ball.

Triple-A Scranton (10-3 win over Louisville)

  • SS Tyler Wade: 0-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB
  • RF Clint Frazier: 0-5, 4 K — his strikeout rate went from 16.7% to 23.4% in one night
  • LF Dustin Fowler: 1-4, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
  • 1B Ji-Man Choi: 3-5, 3 R, 2 RBI, 1 K — quietly hitting .375/.450/.406 thus far
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB — first homer of the year and he is now halfway to last year’s total
  • CF Mason Williams: 1-4, 1 R, 2 RBI
  • LHP Caleb Smith: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 6/1 GB/FB — 47 of 76 pitches were strikes (62%) … he spent the last two seasons in Trenton, and now he figures to get an extended opportunity here with RHP Johnny Barbato traded and LHP Dietrich Enns hurt
  • RHP Ernesto Frieri: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K — 15 of 24 pitches were strikes (63%)

[Read more…]

DotF: Gleyber Torres hurts biceps, Clint Frazier goes deep

Here are the notes for the day:

  • SS Gleyber Torres was scratched from tonight’s game with biceps tendinitis, according to Joe Girardi. He’ll likely go for an MRI. Torres first felt some tightness in his shoulder during batting practice today. A little tendinitis is no big deal, so hopefully that’s all it is. He probably got hurt petting Rookie and Derby too much. Understandable.
  • J.J. Cooper put together a list of five prospects who are already making a case for a promotion. RHP Chance Adams is one of them. “Adams’ control could continue to use some refinement, and he only had a half-season in Double-A last year, but the call to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre should come before too long,” said the write-up.
  • The Yankees have signed LHP Nestor Oronel, according to Matt Eddy. The Pirates released him last month. Oronel, 21, had a 5.53 ERA (5.96 FIP) with 18.1% strikeouts and 7.0% walks in 42.1 rookie ball innings last year. The combination of age and handedness leads to me believe the Yankees possibly see him as something more than roster filler.
  • And finally, RHP James Kaprielian had his Tommy John surgery today as scheduled. Everything went well, the Yankees say. The long rehab road begins now.

Triple-A Scranton (6-4 win over Louisville)

  • SS Tyler Wade: 3-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SB — had been in a little 3-for-15 (.200) rut
  • LF Clint Frazier: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI — first dinger of the season
  • RF Dustin Fowler: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 CS — 4-for-8 in his last two games, so he’s starting to come around
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-4, 1 R, 2 K, 1 HBP
  • 3B Donovan Solano: 2-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI
  • CF Mason Williams: 1-5, 2 K
  • RHP Brady Lail: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 3/6 GB/FB — 54 of 87 pitches were strikes (62%)
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/3 GB/FB — 30 pitches, 20 strikes
  • RHP Gio Gallegos: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GB/FB — 19 of 29 pitches were strikes (66%)
  • LHP Chasen Shreve: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — nine of 15 pitches were strikes … he comes down here and dominates

[Read more…]

DotF: Torres plays first game at third base in Trenton’s win

Here are the day’s notes:

  • RHP Chance Adams was named the Double-A Eastern League Pitcher of the Week. He started his season with 9.2 scoreless innings and has a 0.79 ERA (3.02 FIP) through two starts. With Johnny Barbato (traded) and Dietrich Enns (injured) both out, there are some openings in the Triple-A Scranton rotation. I’m guessing Adams will be there soon.
  • RHP J.P. Feyereisen has been placed on the Double-A Trenton disabled list, the team announced. Supposedly it’s a shoulder problem. That’s never good. Hopefully it’s nothing a little rest won’t knock out.

Triple-A Scranton had a scheduled off-day.

Double-A Trenton (1-0 win over New Hampshire)

  • SS Thairo Estrada: 0-3
  • 3B Gleyber Torres: 0-3, 1 K — first career game at third base … the plan is supposedly two games a week at the hot corner
  • DH Miguel Andujar: 0-3, 2 K
  • 1B Mike Ford: 2-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
  • RF Billy McKinney: 0-2, 1 BB — got picked off first … remember his great Spring Training? he’s off to a 5-for-29 (.172) start, though at least four of his five hits have gone for extra bases (two doubles, one triple, one homer)
  • CF Rashad Crawford: 0-3, 1 K
  • RHP Domingo German: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 1 HB, 11/3 GB/FB — 57 of 89 pitches were strikes (64%) … German had the turbosinker working tonight, I see
  • LHP Nestor Cortes: 0.2 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 0/1 GB/FB — eight pitches, six strikes

[Read more…]

DotF: Green dominates, Fowler snaps out of slump in AAA win

RHP Ben Heller is working on his slider with Triple-A Scranton, specifically making sure he uses the same arm slot as his fastball, writes Shane Hennigan. When he does that, the pitch dives down rather than sweep to the side. Either way, I’m sure we’ll see Heller back in the Bronx at some point this year.

Triple-A Scranton (3-1 win over Buffalo)

  • 2B Tyler Wade: 1-4, 1 K
  • RF Clint Frazier: 1-4, 1 RBI, 2 K — one two-hit game, five one-hit games, and three no-hit games so far
  • CF Dustin Fowler: 2-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 K — came into the game 4-for-32 (.125) on the season
  • 1B Rob Refsnyder: 2-4, 1 3B, 1 RBI
  • LF Mason Williams: 0-4, 3 K — off to a 4-for-23 (.174) start
  • SS Ruben Tejada: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K — 9-for-23 (.391) with seven walks and two strikeouts in the early going
  • RHP Chad Green: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 7/4 GB/FB — 62 of 92 pitches were strikes (67%) … Chad Green dominates Triple-A hitters, news at eleven
  • LHP Chasen Shreve: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — seven of 12 pitches were strikes (58%)
  • RHP Ben Heller: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 1/1 GB/FB — ten pitches, seven strikes

[Read more…]

DotF: Mateo stays hot, Littell tosses gem in Tampa’s win

Two quick injury notes:

  • SS Thairo Estrada hasn’t played since Tuesday and is a little banged up, according to Matt Kardos. It’s nothing serious and he is not on the disabled list. Estrada’s injury is why SS Gleyber Torres has played shortstop in every game but one up to this point. The Yankees plan to get Torres time at second and third bases this year, but they need Estrada to get back on the field first. He’s the only other natural shortstop on the roster.
  • LHP Dietrich Enns has been placed on the Triple-A disabled list with a shoulder strain, reports Shane Hennigan. He’ll be shut down 3-4 weeks before starting a throwing program, so chances are we won’t see him again until midseason. Enns left last night’s start with shoulder discomfort. He’s on the 40-man roster and was a potential bullpen shuttle option.

Triple-A Scranton (10-3 loss to Buffalo)

  • SS Tyler Wade: 0-4, 2 K
  • LF Clint Frazier: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 BB — he has six hits this year: four doubles and two singles
  • CF Dustin Fowler: 0-4
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 E (throwing) — came into the game 3-for-22 (.136) with no extra-base hits
  • RF Mason Williams: 0-3, 1 RBI, 3 K
  • RHP Luis Cessa: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 4/6 GB/FB — 57 of 88 pitches were strikes (65%) … the big league rotation is on a bit of a roll right now, but it’s only a matter of time until we see Cessa in the Bronx again
  • RHP Gio Gallegos: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K — half of his 26 pitches were strikes
  • RHP Ernesto Frieri: 1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 18 of 32 pitches were strikes (56%) … at least he got this out of his system in a blowout game and not during a save situation

[Read more…]

DotF: Clarkin strikes out eight in Tampa’s win

RHP Albert Abreu placed third in the first Prospect Hot Sheet of the minor league season. He struck out eleven in his first start of the season the other day, and the Hot Sheet write-up says he touched 100 mph with his fastball. Abreu was not among the pitchers to reach 100 mph in the minors last year, so that’s new.

Triple-A Scranton (2-1 loss to Buffalo)

  • SS Tyler Wade: 1-3, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 HBP, 1 E (fielding) — still no time in the outfield (or a position other than short, for that matter) … he did play one game at second base though
  • CF Mason Williams: 0-1, 2 BB, 1 CS
  • LF Dustin Fowler: 0-4, 2 K — off to a 4-for-28 (.143) start
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K
  • LHP Dietrich Enns: 5 IP 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 6/4 GB/FB — 47 of 71 pitches were strikes (66%) … Shane Hennigan says Enns left the game with shoulder discomfort and will see a doctor tomorrow, so that’s not good … he’s not high up on the depth chart, but pitching is pitching
  • RHP Ben Heller: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HB, 1/2 GB/FB — 16 of 29 pitches were strikes (55%)

[Read more…]

Gleyber, Chance and the Trenton Thunder’s home opener

(Steven Tydings/ River Ave. Blues)
(Steven Tydings/River Ave. Blues)

With the minor league season a week old, the Trenton Thunder finally came home Thursday night to open up the Arm & Hammer Park portion of their season.

If you’ve never been to the park, it’s a great experience, especially with a relatively packed crowd like last night. It’s a quintessential minor league experience with multiple mascots, a bat dog (!) and a chance to see future major leaguers up close for really cheap prices. That’s pretty ideal. Arm & Hammer Park is the place to be this spring/summer with how stacked the Yankees’ farm system is right now.

Here are my observations from Thursday’s game.

(Steven Tydings/River Ave. Blues)
(Steven Tydings/River Ave. Blues)

1. Gleyber mania: All of the Yankees’ top prospects over the last 15 years have come through Trenton at some point. Robinson Cano, Jesus Montero, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, etc. They were all with the Double A Yankees at some point. Having been a teenaged autograph hawk back in the day, I remember the reception for each player at this level.

For his first game, the reception for Gleyber Torres may have been the most fanatical. The Thunder were prepared with having their people near the first base line, but fans were lined up a couple rows deep mostly for Torres. I saw more Torres Topps cards than I thought existed. He dealt with it well, signing and going about his business.

Andujar and Torres (Steven Tydings/River Ave. Blues)
Andujar and Torres (Steven Tydings/River Ave. Blues)

2. Gleyber a pro at the plate: Even though a 1-for-4 day wasn’t Torres’ best in Double A, he still put together an impressive night. He grounded out softly his first AB and was called out on a questionable third strike his second AB. Portland Sea Dogs lefty Jalen Beeks pounded him with strikes and didn’t face Torres after his command collapsed in the fourth inning.

Torres then got two ABs against the Sea Dogs’ bullpen, the first one being his best. He worked the count to 2-1 with a solid eye and then pounced on the fourth pitch. With Rashad Crawford trying to steal second, the second baseman covered the bag and Torres lined a ball right where he would have been. Just a solid piece of hitting. He grounded into a double play his last AB.

As for in the field, he wasn’t challenged much. He helped turn a DP in the eighth. That was about it for his fielding chances.

3. A tale of two Chance Adams: For four innings, Adams looked like Michael Pineda from Monday. He was getting ahead of hitters, pounding them with his 92-94 mph fastball and putting them away with either his slider or a second helping of fastball. He went to a full count and caught Red Sox’ top prospect Rafael Devers looking in an impressive at-bat.

Devers lined a ball up the middle to end Adams’ no-hit bid in the fifth inning and things came unraveled in the sixth. An infield hit and an error (more on each in a bit) set up the Sea Dogs and Adams simply didn’t look as comfortable in the stretch. He slowed down significantly after moving at a considerable pace in the first few innings. He walked his second batter of the evening, fought back with a strikeout, but then gave up a monster two-run double. He recovered to get another out and his night was done after 5 2/3.

Overall, not a bad outing. He really has some solid strikeout stuff and proved he can put away hitters, flashing his fastball, slider and changeup all night. He’s now 10-1 with a 1.89 ERA over 81 innings in Trenton and he may be ready for a new challenge.

4. Rafael Devers is a problem: With Andrew Benintendi in the majors, Devers is now atop the Red Sox’ prospect lists. He’s considered the top third base prospect in all of baseball by many outlets. He was No. 13 overall in Baseball Prospectus’ preseason list, No. 17 for MLB.com and No. 18 for Baseball America. Just two months older than Torres, he won’t turn 21 until October.

He put together four impressive plate appearances Thursday night. He worked a full count on Adams when Chance was cruising. He picked up the first hit of the game with a liner that nearly took over Adams’ head. With the bases loaded in the sixth, he clobbered an Adams’ pitch to deep centerfield. It would have been a three-run double if the runner from first didn’t slip rounding third.

Devers added another single in the eighth for good measure. The lefty with some strong power looked ready to go at the plate and showed it with his performance. His swings were strong. He struggled to field a ball to begin the Thunder’s five-run fourth (it went as a hit), but he’s a prospect known for his bat first.

Justus Sheffield signing (Steven Tydings/River Ave. Blues)
Justus Sheffield signing (Steven Tydings/River Ave. Blues)

5. Best of the rest: Billy McKinney had a line drive triple to the right field gap and a walk. The triple was perhaps the most impressive hit for a Yankees’ prospect during the game. Princeton product Mike Ford had a deep double to right and catcher Jorge Saez had a homer that cleared the high left field wall in left.

Miguel Andujar had an infield single but struggled with the rest of the game. His error in the sixth led to Portland’s three-run inning that included two unearned runs. As Mike pointed out in DotF, that’s three errors in seven games so far. Yikes.

Portland shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin led off that sixth inning with an infield single. He was easily exploited at the plate most of the night, but his blazing speed gave him the single. For a lot of players, it would have been a routine ground out to second. He beat it out with what has to be at least 65/70-grade speed.