Archive for Down on the Farm

OF Tyler Austin left Extended Spring Training in Tampa and is on his way to Double-A Trenton, according to his mother’s Twitter feed. Yes, his mother’s Twitter feed. Austin’s missed a chunk of last season with a wrist problem and it slowed him down again in camp. He was behind the other position players, so he stayed back in ExST to prepare. Glad he’s back so soon.

Triple-A Scranton‘s doubleheader was rained out. They will make up one game as part of a doubleheader tomorrow and the other as part of a doubleheader on June 26th.

Double-A Trenton (6-5 win over New Hampshire, walk-off style)

  • CF Mason Williams: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB — walk-off single … he’s off to a nice start
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K — still looking for his first hit of the year
  • 3B Rob Segedin: 2-3, 1 R, 2 RBI
  • C Gary Sanchez: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI — has two hits this year, and they’re both doubles
  • DH Ben Gamel: 1-4, 2 K
  • RHP Zach Nuding: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 9/1 GB/FB — 60 of 95 pitches were strikes (63%)
  • SwP Pat Venditte: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K — 18 of 29 pitches were strikes (62%)

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Baseball America published a list of the youngest players at each level (no subs. req’d). Who is youngest player in MLB? Bryce Harper, even though he is now in his third big league season. Crazy. OF Ramon Flores is the fourth youngest player in the Triple-A International League, C Gary Sanchez is the sixth youngest in the Double-A Eastern League, and C Luis Torrens and 3B Miguel Andujar are the second and tenth youngest players in the Low-A South Atlantic League, respectively.

Triple-A Scranton was rained out. They’re going to play a doubleheader tomorrow. Donnie Collins says RHP Chase Whitley will start the first game, RHP Graham Stoneburner the second game. This will make it each to get both C John Ryan Murphy and C Austin Romine a game behind the plate.

Double-A Trenton (7-3 loss to New Hampshire)

  • OF Mason Williams: 1-4, 1 BB – threw a runner out at third
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-5, 2 K
  • C Gary Sanchez: 1-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K
  • LF Ben Gamel: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
  • LHP Jeremy Bleich: 4 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HB, 4/1 GB/FB — 50 of 82 pitches were strikes (61%) … not sure how starting will work for him, but he’s in the rotation because they need some arms early in the season
  • RHP Branden Pinder: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

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Sure, the Yankees opened their season in Tuesday, but now the 2014 season is officially underway. The minor league season started today and all four of the team’s full season minor league affiliates were in action. Here are some quick notes before we get to the games.

  • RHP Jose Ramirez (oblique), UTIL Ronnie Mustelier (hamstring), 1B Greg Bird (back), LHP Nik Turley (arm), and RHP Jose Campos (being eased back in) are among those opening the year on the DL. Slade Heathcott (knee) and OF Tyler Austin (wrist) are working their way back after being slowed in camp, like Bird and Campos. They should join their teams soon.
  • Following today’s starter, LHP Manny Banuelos, the High-A Tampa rotation will be LHP Eric Wooten, RHP Rafael DePaula, LHP Daniel Camarena, and RHP Brett Gerritse. Wooten is a former independent baller who had 88 strikeouts, nine walks, and one homer allowed in 90 innings at three levels last season. The rotations for the other levels can be found right here. [Josh Norris]
  • Here is Baseball America’s minor league roster analysis for the AL East, if you’re interested.

Since it’s Opening Day, here are the full lineups and results.

Triple-A Scranton (4-1 win over Syracuse)

  • 2B Jose Pirela: 1-4, 1 R, 2 K, 1 E (fielding) — led off the game with the team’s first hit of 2014
  • 3B Scott Sizemore: 3-3, 1 R, 1 BB — can opt-out of his deal on May 1st
  • LF Zoilo Almonte: 0-4 — drove in the first run of the year with a GIDP
  • 1B Russ Canzler: 2-4, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI — he always mashes at Triple-A
  • C John Ryan Murphy: 0-4 — threw out the only runner who attempted a steal … as expected, he’ll get the majority of the playing time behind the plate.
  • CF Adonis Garcia: 0-4
  • RF Ramon Flores: 2-4, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 K — threw a runner out at home … very nice Triple-A debut
  • DH Austin Romine: 0-4
  • SS Zelous Wheeler: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K — was drafted as a shortstop and has played a handful of games there each year, so it’s not an entirely new experience to him … SS Carmen Angelini replaced him for defense in the ninth
  • RHP Bruce Billings: 5 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 6/4 GB/FB — picked a runner off first … 53 of 82 pitches were strikes (65%)
  • RHP Preston Claiborne: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GB/FB — eight of 15 pitches were strikes (53%)
  • RHP Danny Burawa: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 13 of 17 pitches were strikes (76%) … if he continues to throw pitches like this, he’ll be in the big leagues later this year
  • RHP Mark Montgomery: 1 IP, zeroes, 1/2 GB/FB — eight of 14 pitches were strikes (57%)
  • RHP Matt Daley: 1 IP, zeroes, 3 K — nine of 13 pitches were strikes (69%) … caps off an excellent day for the bullpen

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First, two quick notes:

  • The Yankees have released a total of 33 minor leaguers over the last few weeks, according to Matt Eddy. The most notable are RHP Sean Black, LHP Jose Diaz, LHP Tim Flight, IF Fu-Lin Kuo, and OF Shane Brown.
  • Enrique Rojas reports IF Yamaico Navarro has agreed to a contract with the Samsung Lions in Korea. He gets $300k guaranteed plus incentives. The Yankees signed Navarro to a minor league deal a few weeks ago and agreed to let him out of the contract so he could head to the KBO.

Now, for the stats. This will be the final update of the year and I don’t just mean that because New Years’ is right around the corner. The various winter league seasons are either over or end tomorrow, so these stats are as good as final. I’ll be sure to post any minor league notes and what not, but as far as actual stat updates go, this is the last one until the regular season resumes in April.

Arizona Fall League (season is over, so these stats are final)

  • OF Tyler Austin: 4 G, 4-12, 2 R, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP (.333/.438/.500) — left the league with a wrist injury
  • UTIL Addison Maruszak: 10 G, 9-32, 8 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 10 BB, 5 K, 1 SB, 1 CS (.281/.452/.344)
  • 3B/C Peter O’Brien: 16 G, 12-63, 5 R, 2 2B, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 2 BB, 26 K (.190/.212/.413)
  • OF Mason Williams: 22 G, 23-86, 11 R, 6 2B, 4 RBI, 8 BB, 18 K, 4 SB, 2 CS (.267/.330/.337)
  • RHP Brett Gerritse: 9 G, 11.2 IP, 12 H, 12 R, 12 ER, 11 BB, 12 K, 2 HR,1 WP, 1 HB (9.26 ERA, 1.96 WHIP)
  • LHP Fred Lewis: 11 G, 11 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 10 K, 1 WP (0.00 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)
  • LHP Vidal Nuno: 5 G, 4 GS, 19.2 IP, 20 H, 10 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 18 K, 1 HR (3.20 ERA, 1.17 WHIP)
  • LHP James Pazos: 10 G, 10.1 IP, 13 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 7 BB, 9 K, 2 WP (1.74 ERA, 1.94 WHIP)

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Got a handful of notes:

  • Scouting director Damon Oppenheimer told George King (subs. req’d) that RHP Ty Hensley participated in Instructional League after the season and will be ready to go for camp. “He looked like he was ready to go. He should be good for Spring Training,” said Oppenheimer. Hensley had surgery on both hips earlier this year.
  • MiLB.com posted their Yankees’ farm system All-Star team the other week it’s basically a roster of the best performers in the organization. C Gary Sanchez and 1B Greg Bird headline the team for obvious reasons. Both mashed this summer.
  • C R.J. Baker has been suspended 50 games for refusing to take an offseason drug test. The 29-year-old has been an organizational catcher for a few years now, spending a lot of time on the phantom DL and bouncing between levels, going wherever an extra backstop was needed.

Now, onto the stats:

Arizona Fall League (season is over, so these stats are final)

  • OF Tyler Austin: 4 G, 4-12, 2 R, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP (.333/.438/.500) — left the league with a wrist injury
  • UTIL Addison Maruszak: 10 G, 9-32, 8 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 10 BB, 5 K, 1 SB, 1 CS (.281/.452/.344)
  • 3B/C Peter O’Brien: 16 G, 12-63, 5 R, 2 2B, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 2 BB, 26 K (.190/.212/.413)
  • OF Mason Williams: 22 G, 23-86, 11 R, 6 2B, 4 RBI, 8 BB, 18 K, 4 SB, 2 CS (.267/.330/.337)
  • RHP Brett Gerritse: 9 G, 11.2 IP, 12 H, 12 R, 12 ER, 11 BB, 12 K, 2 HR,1 WP, 1 HB (9.26 ERA, 1.96 WHIP)
  • LHP Fred Lewis: 11 G, 11 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 10 K, 1 WP (0.00 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) — probably going to get taken in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday
  • LHP Vidal Nuno: 5 G, 4 GS, 19.2 IP, 20 H, 10 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 18 K, 1 HR (3.20 ERA, 1.17 WHIP)
  • LHP James Pazos: 10 G, 10.1 IP, 13 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 7 BB, 9 K, 2 WP (1.74 ERA, 1.94 WHIP)

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First, the notes:

  • The Yankees have hired Jody Reed as a roving instructor, reports Joel Sherman. The long time big league infielder worked in the organization from 2007-2010. He spent last year managing in Double-A for the Dodgers. This is one of the few personnel changes the team made to their development staff.
  • Matt Eddy has the list of all 550 minor league free agents, only ten of which are Yankees: RHP Cory Arbiso, RHP Sam Demel, RHP Yoshinori Tateyama, C Bobby Wilson, 1B Andrew Clark, 1B Randy Ruiz, IF Reegie Corona, IF Walt Ibarra, OF Fernando Martinez, and OF Corey Patterson. Ibarra is the only one of those guys who is even close to being considered a prospect and he’s already signed with the Cubs.
  • The Yankees have signed 3B Zelous Wheeler to a minor league contract, according to Eddy. No idea if he got an invite to Spring Training. The 26-year-old hit .275/.354/.414 (~117 wRC+) with eleven homers in 461 plate appearances splits between Double-A and Triple-A with the Orioles this past summer. Just a depth signing, the Bombers need all they can get on the left side of the infield.
  • Starting in 2015, the NCAA will switch to a flat-seamed baseball similar to what they use in the minors, reports Aaron Fitt. A study showed the flat-seam ball travels an average of 20-feet farther than the raised-seam ball they’ve been using forever. Breaking balls will also break a bit less. The NCAA is doing it boost offense, but the new ball will also make it a bit easier to evaluate pitching prospects at the collegiate level.

Second, the updates:

Arizona Fall League (season ended this week, so these stats are final)

  • OF Tyler Austin: 4 G, 4-12, 2 R, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP (.333/.438/.500) — his season ended early after the bone bruise in his right wrist flared up
  • UTIL Addison Maruszak: 10 G, 9-32, 8 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 10 BB, 5 K, 1 SB, 1 CS (.281/.452/.344) — replaced Austin on the roster
  • 3B/C Peter O’Brien: 16 G, 12-63, 5 R, 2 2B, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 2 BB, 26 K (.190/.212/.413) — 26 strikeouts in 66 plate appearances (39.4%)
  • OF Mason Williams: 22 G, 23-86, 11 R, 6 2B, 4 RBI, 8 BB, 18 K, 4 SB, 2 CS (.267/.330/.337) — was hoping for more considering how hitter-friendly the AzFL is
  • RHP Brett Gerritse: 9 G, 11.2 IP, 12 H, 12 R, 12 ER, 11 BB, 12 K, 2 HR,1 WP, 1 HB (9.26 ERA, 1.96 WHIP)
  • LHP Fred Lewis: 11 G, 11 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 10 K, 1 WP (0.00 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)
  • LHP Vidal Nuno: 5 G, 4 GS, 19.2 IP, 20 H, 10 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 18 K, 1 HR (3.20 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) — a roster spot is his for the taking in Spring Training at this point
  • LHP James Pazos: 10 G, 10.1 IP, 13 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 7 BB, 9 K, 2 WP (1.74 ERA, 1.94 WHIP) — saw him during one of the televised games and he was pumping 97 from the left side, so that alone making him interesting

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First, some notes:

  • MLB is testing their expanded replay system in the Arizona Fall League next week, the league announced. This includes the manager’s challenges and all that. All of the necessary cameras have been installed (I assume) and the games will be televised live next week, from Tuesday to Saturday.
  • Congrats to the Double-A Trenton Thunder for winning three minor league awards. In addition to being named Team of the Year, they also received awards for Promotion of the Year and Mascot Clip of the Year. The latter two relate to the retirement party for Chase, the team’s long-time bat dog. He passed away a few days later following a bout with cancer.

Second, the updates:

Arizona Fall League

  • OF Tyler Austin: 4 G, 4-12, 2 R, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP (.333/.438/.500) – left the desert two weeks ago when the bone bruise in his right wrist flared up
  • UTIL Addison Maruszak: 3 G, 2-11, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K (.182/.250/.273) — replaced Austin on the roster
  • 3B/C Peter O’Brien: 11 G, 9-44, 5 R, 1 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB, 15 K (.205/.239/.500) — fun slash line
  • OF Mason Williams: 14 G, 16-59, 6 R, 4 2B, 3 RBI, 5 BB, 9 K, 3 SB, 1 CS (.271/.328/.339)
  • RHP Brett Gerritse: 6 G, 7.2 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 7 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 1 HB, 1 WP (9.39 ERA, 1.96 WHIP)
  • LHP Fred Lewis: 7 G, 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 7 K, 1 WP (0.00 ERA, 1.57 WHIP)
  • LHP Vidal Nuno: 4 G, 4 GS, 15.2 IP, 16 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 14 K, 1 HR (3.45 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) – it’s early, but you have to think he’ll have a decent chance to win a job (either starter or reliever) in Spring Training next year
  • LHP James Pazos: 7 G, 6.1 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 8 K, 2 WP (2.84 ERA, 2.21 WHIP)

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First, two quick notes courtesy of Matt Eddy:

  • UTIL Addison Maruszak has been sent to the Arizona Fall League to replace OF Tyler Austin, who was pulled from the league after his wrist starting flaring up again. It was originally reported a player from another organization would replace Austin, but I guess not.
  • The Yankees have re-signing IF Carmen Angelini to a minor league contract. Injuries limited the former $1M bonus baby to only nine games from 2010-2012. He resurfaced to post a 133 wRC+ in 32 games for High-A Tampa this year, but only managed a 73 wRC+ following a promotion to Double-A Trenton.

Now, updates on the various winter ball action:

Arizona Fall League

  • OF Tyler Austin: 4 G, 4-12, 2 R, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP (.333/.438/.500) — he is indeed done for the year
  • C/3B Peter O’Brien: 9 G, 6-36, 4 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 13 K (.167/.211/.417) — between the regular season and AzFL, he’s at 147 strikeouts in 483 plate appearances (30.4%)
  • OF Mason Williams: 11 G, 12-46, 6 R, 3 2B, 2 RBI, 5 BB, 7 K, 2 SB, 1 CS (.261/.333/.326)
  • RHP Brett Gerritse: 5 G, 7.1 IP, 6 G, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 9 K, 1 WP (6.14 ERA, 1.50 WHIP)
  • LHP Fred Lewis: 6 G, 6.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 7 K, 1 WP (0.00 ERA, 1.58 WHIP)
  • LHP Vidal Nuno: 3 G, 3 GS, 10.2 IP, 14 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 HR (5.06 ERA, 1.41 WHIP) — results aren’t terribly important, he just needs to make up some of the innings he lost due to groin injury
  • LHP James Pazos: 5 G, 4.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 7 K (0.00 ERA, 1.50 WHIP)

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Sorry for the lack of minor league updates, it’s been a busy last few weeks. First, let’s get caught up some notes:

  • According to Tyler Emerick, 3B/C Peter O’Brien won the inaugural Bowman Hitting Challenge out in Arizona two weeks ago. As you can see in the video above, it’s basically a glorified homerun derby where the players get points for hitting certain targets. Pretty cool. I wonder how long before MLB adopts something like that to spruce up the Homerun Derby.
  • Meanwhile, Josh Norris posted some video of O’Brien taking batting practice and hitting a homerun out in the Arizona Fall League yesterday. The kid’s got power. That’s never been the question.
  • MLB reached an agreement with the union and the various winter leagues on guidelines for 40-man roster players wanting to play winter ball, according to Jeff Passan. Teams are concerned about workloads and that stuff, the union wants the players to have the freedom to play, and the winter leagues want the star power of MLB guys. Click the link for all the restrictions and what not.

Now, on to the fall and winter ball action. The seasons are still young, so not much has happened yet:

Arizona Fall League

  • OF Tyler Austin: 4 G, 4-12, 2 R, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP (.333/.438/.500)
  • 3B/C Peter O’Brien: 6 G, 4-24, 3 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 11 K (.167/.231/.542) – high contact-to-damage ratio /Showalter’d
  • OF Mason Williams: 7 G, 7-31, 3 R, 3 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 SB, 1 CS (.226/.250/.323)
  • RHP Brett Gerritse: 3 G, 4.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 WP (8.31 ERA, 1.62 WHIP) — just about all of that damage came in his first appearance
  • LHP Fred Lewis: 4 G, 4.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 7 K, 1 WP (0.00 ERA, 2.08 WHIP) — holy strand rate
  • LHP Vidal Nuno: 2 G, 2 GS, 6.2 IP, 12 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 1 HR (8.10 ERA, 1.80 WHIP) — obviously we have a long way to go before we get there, but you have to think a big league roster spot will be his for the taking in Spring Training, either in the rotation or the bullpen

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A few winter ball assignments have started to trickle in, but remember, just because someone is on the roster doesn’t mean he’ll actually play. The team controls the player’s winter ball rights but his big league team may ask him not to play, something like that. Guys who are coming off injuries or pitchers nearing their workload limit usually don’t see much playing over the winter. Here are the few names we have so far.

  • Mexican Pacific League: OF Jose Figueroa, IF Walt Ibarra, and UTIL Ronnie Mustelier.
  • Venezuelan Winter League: C Francisco Arcia, IF Ali Castillo, C Frankie Cervelli, C Jose Gil, and UTIL Jose Pirela.

Obviously Cervelli is the big name there. He plays winter ball most years anyway, but he missed a bunch of time to injury/suspension this summer and could use the extra at-bats. Now for the updates from the desert:

AzFL Scottsdale (12-2 loss to Salt River) Wednesday’s game

  • 3B Peter O’Brien: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K — 23rd homer of the year … I imagine he’ll hit a few more out here before it’s all said and done
  • LHP Fred Lewis: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GB/FB — only ten of 22 pitches were strikes (45%) … he’s Rule 5 Draft eligible this winter and I wonder if the team sent him out here just to get one last look before deciding whether he can help them out of the bullpen next year
  • RHP Brett Gerritse: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GB/FB — only 16 of 33 pitches were strikes (48%) … fun fact: his 2.42 FIP this year was the fifth lowest in minor league baseball among pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched (538 qualifiers)

AzFL Scottsdale (6-3 loss to Peoria) Thursday’s game

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