DotF: Frazier homers, RailRiders rough up Giolito in win

Got some mostly injury related notes to pass along:

  • RHP Domingo Acevedo (back) played catch today and will do so again tomorrow, according to Matt Kardos. If all goes well, he’ll throw a bullpen session sometime next week. Acevedo was reportedly on the verge of being promoted to Double-A Trenton before the injury.
  • 1B Chris Parmelee (hamstring) started a minor league rehab assignment today, reports Shane Hennigan. His 20-day rehab stint will expire on Thursday, August 25th, though I would be surprised if they use the entire 20 days. Parmelee is out of options, so he might designated for assignment as soon as he gets activated.
  • LHP Justus Sheffield made an appearance in today’s Prospect Report after his eleven-strikeout organizational debut last night, so check that out.

Triple-A Scranton (4-3 win over Syracuse) they faced Nationals RHP Lucas Giolito, arguably the best pitching prospect in baseball, and they roughed him up pretty good (3.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K on 93 pitches)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
  • RF Clint Frazier: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 K — first homer since the trade, and yes, he took Giolito deep
  • LF Aaron Judge: 1-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 HBP
  • 3B Tyler Austin: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K — second game at third this season … with Parmelee in town on rehab, there’s not enough room to play everyone, so they have to improvise
  • DH Chris Parmelee: 1-4, 2 K – first rehab game since the hamstring injury
  • RHP Brady Lail: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 4/3 GB/FB — 59 of 93 pitches were strikes (63%)
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 13 of 21 pitches were strikes (62%)
  • RHP Kirby Yates: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 0/1 GB/FB — nine of 16 pitches were strikes (56%)

[Read more…]

Saturday Links: Chapman, Beltran, Best Tools, A-Rod

(Greg Fiume/Getty)
(Greg Fiume/Getty)

The Yankees and Indians will continue their three-game series later this afternoon, assuming the weather cooperates. Here are some stray links to help you pass the time until first pitch.

Chapman, Beltran open to re-signing with Yankees

After being traded last week, impending free agents Aroldis Chapman and Carlos Beltran told reporters they would be open to re-signing with the Yankees after the season. “I would love to come back again,” said Chapman to Mark Feinsand while Beltran simply told Jared Diamond he would “gladly” return to the Yankees if the opportunity presents itself.

As good as he has been this year, I don’t love the idea of bringing Beltran back next season, even on a cheap-ish one-year deal to DH. There are lots of young position players in Triple-A Scranton waiting for an opportunity. Chapman’s a different story because he’s still right smack in the prime of his career, and there’s always room for another high-end reliever in the bullpen.

I feel like it’s inevitable the Yankees will sign a top reliever this offseason, and I’d prefer Kenley Jansen or Mark Melancon to Chapman. I just have no interest in rooting for the guy following the domestic violence stuff. You’re welcome to feel differently. Anyway, it’s no surprise Chapman and Beltran are open to coming back. Why would any impending free agent rule out the Yankees?

Baseball America’s best tools survey

One of my favorite features each season is Baseball America’s best tools survey. They poll managers and coaches about the players in their leagues, then put all the results together. Here are the Yankees at each level. The links go to each article and they’re not behind the paywall.

Chapman (best fastball) and Andrew Miller (best slider, second best reliever) both made appearances in the survey as well. Sanchez being voted as the best defensive catcher in the International League is pretty darn interesting. I’m not sure if that’s because he’s made a lot of improvement, or because it’s just a weak year for IL catchers. I choose to believe the former. Go Gary!

No plans to release A-Rod

To the surprise of no one, Brian Cashman said the Yankees have no plans to release Alex Rodriguez during a recent radio interview (via George King). If the Yankees had any plans to release A-Rod, I think they would have done so already. Here’s what Cashman said:

“It’s not an easy circumstance, but there are no plans right now to do anything but give some reps to other people and see where it takes us, and if matchups or injuries hit, you might see him back out there,’’ Cashman told ESPN Radio. “First and foremost, you just have to admit it’s not easy to go ahead and eat — meaning release — that kind of money. It’s not something you come to a quick decision on … There’s a very large financial commitment through next year on a player of Alex’s caliber that was productive as [recently] as last year. Now, he’s being put in a position where sporadic play to try to get it going makes it more difficult. It’s fair to ask why and it’s fair to understand why it’s not a quick, rash decision, especially with September around the corner.”

Rosters expand in three weeks and five days, and I expect the Yankees to just ride this out with Rodriguez until then. They could release him in the offseason, but right now my guess is they hang on to him through the winter, then evaluate him in Spring Training. If he hits, they can give him a shot. If he stinks, they’ll cut him loose. And if he gets hurt, they’ll collect insurance on his contract.

DotF: Sheffield debuts, Torres goes deep in Tampa’s win

Steve Givarz of Baseball Prospectus (no subs. req’d) posted a ton of Gulf Coast League scouting reports earlier today. These are guys we never hear anything about, including RHP Juan Escorcia, who was a member of the 2014-15 international haul. Check it out.

Triple-A Scranton (5-1 win over Syracuse)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 SB — 8-for-16 in his last four games
  • LF Clint Frazier: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K — first extra-base hit since the trade
  • DH Aaron Judge: 0-4, 3 K
  • 1B Ike Davis: 3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 K
  • RF Jake Cave: 0-4, 2 K
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 0-3, 1 K — his 14-game Triple-A hitting streak is over
  • RHP Luis Cessa: 7.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K, 1 WP, 5/5 GB/FB — 74 of 101 pitches were strikes (73%) … one short of tying his career high in strikeouts
  • RHP Jonathan Holder: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 12 of 18 pitches were strikes

[Read more…]

DotF: Gamel and Judge stay hot in Scranton’s win

Here are the day’s notes:

  • Randy Miller spoke to Triple-A Scranton manager Al Pedrique about a bunch of players on his roster. I highly recommend it. Pedrique dished out some brutal honestly. Good stuff.
  • Couple of puff pieces: Bob Sutton on OF Blake Rutherford and Josh Norris (no subs. req’d) on RHP Rony Garcia. Make sure check those out. Also, RHP Austin DeCarr made today’s Prospect Report.
  • LHP Justus Sheffield, who came over from the Indians in the Andrew Miller trade, will make his first start with the Yankees tomorrow, according to Nick Flammia.
  • RHP Brian Keller and 1B Brandon Wagner has been bumped up from the rookie Gulf Coast League to rookie Pulaski, the team announced.

Triple-A Scranton (4-2 win over Lehigh Valley)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 3-4, 1 R — has multiple hits in 12 of his last 24 games
  • LF Clint Frazier: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB — 1-for-12 (.083) since the trade
  • RF Aaron Judge: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K — 5-for-12 (.417) in three games since coming back from the knee injury
  • 1B Tyler Austin: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI — has a 14-game Triple-A hitting streak
  • RHP Kyle Haynes: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 6/4 GB/FB — 55 of 96 pitches were strikes (57%)
  • LHP Chasen Shreve: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 3/0 GB/FB — 12 of 25 pitches were strikes (48%)
  • RHP Ben Heller: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0/3 GB/FB — 14 of 27 pitches were strikes (52%) … second outing since the trade

[Read more…]

Yankees rank second in’s updated farm system rankings

Frazier. (@Kelsie_Heneghan)
Frazier. (@Kelsie_Heneghan)

In the span of one week, the Yankees transformed their farm system from middle of the pack to arguably the best in baseball. The three recent trades (Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran) brought ten new prospects to the system, plus the Yankees have two players to be named later on the way thanks to the Ivan Nova trade. Let’s not forget about drafting and signing Blake Rutherford too. That’s a pretty big deal.

Yesterday afternoon prospect guru Jim Callis posted an updated ranking of the top ten farm systems in baseball. The Yankees are not No. 1. That distinction goes to the Brewers, who are in the middle of a massive rebuild and added a bunch of prospects themselves prior to the deadline with the Will Smith and Jonathan Lucroy/Jeremy Jeffress trades. The Yankees are No. 2 though, and that’s pretty awesome. Here is Callis’ blurb:

If not for the Brewers’ Monday moves, the Yankees’ Trade Deadline activity would have given them the best farm system in baseball. They maximized the value received for Aroldis Chapman (shortstop Gleyber Torres, No. 24 on the Top 100, among four players), Andrew Miller (outfielder Clint Frazier, No. 22, and left-hander Justus Sheffield, No. 93, among four players) and Carlos Beltran (right-hander Dillon Tate, the fourth overall pick in the 2015 Draft, among three players). Even before that, New York had plenty of high-ceiling talent, including speedy shortstop Jorge Mateo (No. 25), a pair of nearly-ready sluggers in outfielder Aaron Judge (No. 30) and catcher Gary Sanchez (No. 37), and toolsy outfielder Blake Rutherford (No. 62).

In a separate piece Callis says the Yankees “were doing a strong job of building up their farm system” even before the trades earlier this week. “They’re one of the most aggressive teams on the international market,” wrote Callis, “… (and) New York has drafted better in recent years as well.” I have some quick things to add.

1. The Yankees really did kill it at the deadline. I can’t stay this enough: the Yankees did far better with their trade deadline deals than I ever possibly imagined. Best case scenario stuff on the three big trades. Part of that is just me not having a firm grasp on the market as an outsider. Another part of it is the Yankees doing a really good job getting teams to chip in those extra third and fourth pieces. Mark Melancon and Will Smith are really great relievers and they combined to fetch four players total. The Yankees managed to get four players each for Chapman and Miller. That’s pretty incredible.’s updated farm system rankings reflect just how well the Yankees did at the deadline.

2. Expect some of these prospects to be traded. Prospects serve two purposes. One, they come up and assume roles on your big league roster. Some turn into stars, some turn into regulars, and some turn into role players. That’s the way it goes. And two, they’re trade chips. No one likes to think about their favorite prospects getting traded but it is part of the game. Not all these players are going to work out — the majority are not going to work out, in fact, because baseball is hard — and the key for any organization is figuring out which is these guys are worth keeping and building around, and which should be used as trade chips. That’s much easier said than done, obviously. The more prospects in the system, the more wiggle room you have when making those keep or trade decisions.

3. Farm system rankings are not meaningless. There have been countless studies about prospect rankings over the years, and by and large they’ve shown overall farm system rankings correlate well to future big league team success. (Here’s one, here’s another.) Does a good farm system guarantee future success? Of course not. But the more talent you have in the system, the more likely you are to be successful in the future. Right now the Yankees have more depth and talent in their system than they have at any point in the last 15-20 years, maybe even longer, and that bodes well for a franchise that is in desperate need of a youth infusion.

DotF: Higashioka goes deep in Scranton’s win

Got some notes to pass along:

  • Josh Norris (no subs. req’d) has a really good article on C Donny Sands’ conversion to catcher. Turns out Sands is not catching much in GCL games because he has regular 5am workouts with the team’s catching instructors. “The first time I threw out a guy — we had worked out at five in the morning on footwork, footwork, footwork — and the first time, it just clicked. That’s when I started feeling like, ‘This is starting to pay off,'” he said. Pretty cool.
  • LHP Justus Sheffield was officially added to the High-A Tampa roster following today’s game, the team announced. I’m guessing that means he’s going to make his first start tomorrow. Sheffield was part of the Andrew Miller trade this past weekend.
  • In case you missed it earlier, LHP Jacob Lindgren will have Tommy John surgery on Friday, so we probably won’t see him again until 2018. Also, RHP Conor Mullee is still have issues with his hand and is heading to see a doctor.

Triple-A Scranton (7-0 win over Lehigh Valley)

  • CF Jake Cave: 1-5, 1 RBI, 3 K
  • LF Clint Frazier: 1-5, 1 R, 1 K — gets his first hit in his second game in the organization
  • DH Aaron Judge: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K — 3-for-8 with two doubles in his two games back from the knee injury
  • 1B Ike Davis: 0-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • RF Tyler Austin: 3-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB — I wrote about him earlier today
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB — he’s hit five homers in his last nine Triple-A games
  • LHP Dietrich Enns: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 3/5 GB/FB — 49 of 86 pitches were strikes (57%), plus he picked a runner off first … exactly half of his 20 starts this season have been scoreless, which is pretty nuts
  • RHP Kirby Yates: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 2/2 GB/FB — 16 of 21 pitches were strikes (76%)
  • RHP Gio Gallegos: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB — eleven pitches, nine strikes
  • RHP Jonathan Holder: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K — eleven pitches, eight strikes … 74/7 K/BB in 51 innings

[Read more…]

Jacob Lindgren to have Tommy John surgery on Friday


Left-hander Jacob Lindgren will undergo Tommy John surgery on Friday, the Yankees announced today. Unfortunately this doesn’t feel like much of a surprise. He’s been out since April with an elbow issue and we recently heard he had been throwing off a mound, so the ligament tear is relatively new. That bites.

Lindgren, 23, was the Yankees second round pick (55th overall) in the 2014 draft. They didn’t have a first rounder that year. Lindgren destroyed the minors (1.83 ERA and 2.03 FIP) and was called up to the Yankees briefly last season. He allowed four runs in seven innings before having surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow.

The Yankees started Lindgren in High-A this season because he couldn’t throw strikes in Spring Training, and, sure enough, that continued with the Tampa Yankees. He walked nine and uncorked six wild pitches in seven innings before being placed on the DL. Lindgren hasn’t appeared in a game since.

These days teams are giving players 14-16 months to rehab from Tommy John surgery, not 12 months, so chances are we won’t see Lindgren in a game again until 2018. He’s going to qualify for a fourth option, which will allow the Yankees to send him to the minors to make up for lost time come that 2018 season.