Archive for Down on the Farm

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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RHP Ty Hensley threw off a mound today for the first time since hip(s) surgery, according to his Twitter feed. He recently completely his rehab program and should be 100% good to go come Spring Training.

AzFL Scottsdale (6-5 win over Salt River) first game of the Arizona Fall League season … LHP Vidal Nuno is scheduled to start on Monday according to Josh Norris

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(Photo via Eric Lipsman)

(Photo via Eric Lipsman)

Double-A Trenton (11-3 win over Harrisburg) they are Eastern League champions after finishing off the sweep of the best-of-five series, so congrats to them and manager Tony Franklin … this is Trenton’s first title since winning back-to-back championships in 2007-2008, the only other titles in franchise history … it’s the first championship in the farm system since both Short Season Staten Island and the Rookie GCL Yanks won in 2011, and first championship by a full season affiliate since High-A Tampa won back-to-back titles in 2009-2010

  • CF Mason Williams: 2-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB — singled in a run in the ninth as they broke it open
  • LF Ramon Flores: 3-6, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 K – tripled in a run in the ninth before being thrown out the plate for the team’s final offensive out of the season
  • 2B Jose Pirela: 1-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 HBP
  • C Gary Sanchez: 2-5, 1 R, 1 RBI — singled in their first run of the game as part of a five-run third inning
  • RF Tyler Austin: 2-5, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 2 K — tripled in Sanchez in the third after a wild pitch plated another run
  • 1B Kyle Roller: 1-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • DH Ben Gamel: 3-3, 2 R, 2 BB — helluva night
  • 3B Reegie Corona: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • SS Ali Castillo: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 E (throwing) – really blew things open with a two-run homer in the fifth  … he was named the series MVP, so congrats to him
  • RHP Shane Greene: 5.1 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 9/1 GB/FB — 66 of 94 pitches were strikes (70%) … finishes the season with a farm system high 165.1 innings
  • SwP Pat Venditte: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 16 of 25 pitches were strikes … came in and escaped a second and third, one out jam without allowing a run
  • RHP Zach Nuding: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 11 of 15 pitches were strikes (73%)
  • RHP Branden Pinder: 1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 12 of his 17 pitches were strikes (44%) … bullpen went 10.1 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 K in the series

The Triple-A Scranton, High-A Tampa, Low-A Charleston, Short Season Staten Island, and both Rookie GCL Yanks seasons are over. Minor league baseball will return on October 8th, when the Arizona Fall League season begins.

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Some notes:

  • LHP Vidal Nuno, RHP Brett Gerritse, LHP Fred Lewis, and LHP James Pazos are all going to the Arizona Fall League. The full roster is up. Nuno is the big name, obviously. He’s been out since early-June with a groin strain, but he threw off a mound this past weekend according to his Twitter feed.
  • The Yankees sent LHP Yoely Bello to the Rockies as the player to be named later in the Chris Nelson trade, reports Jon Heyman. The 22-year-old southpaw pitched to a 5.17 ERA (3.58 FIP) in 15.2 innings while repeating the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League this summer. About what you’d expect to give up for someone like Nelson.

Double-A Trenton (5-4 win over Harrisburg) the Thunder now lead the best-of-five Eastern League Championship Series two games to none, so they’re one win away

  • CF Mason Williams: 2-5, 1 R, 1 K — having himself a nice little postseason after looking overmatched following the late-season promotion
  • LF Ramon Flores: 1-5
  • 2B Jose Pirela: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI
  • C Gary Sanchez: 1-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E (throwing) — threw out one of two attempted base-stealers
  • RF Tyler Austin: 0-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K
  • 1B Kyle Roller: 0-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB — replaced by PR-1B Casey Stevenson in the seventh, who scored the eventual winning run
  • DH Ben Gamel: 3-4, 1 RBI
  • 3B Reegie Corona: 2-4, 1 RBI — singled in the tying run in the seventh
  • SS Ali Castillo: 2-3, 1 RBI, 1 E (throwing) — drove in the winning run with a ground ball
  • RHP Bryan Mitchell: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 7 BB, 2 K, 10/3 GB/FB — 48 of 91 pitches were strikes (53%) … LHP Nik Turley set a career-high in strikeouts last night, Mitchell sets a career-high in walks tonight … I wonder what RHP Mikey O’Brien will do for an encore tomorrow
  • LHP Francisco Rondon: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GB/FB — 14 of 20 pitches were strikes (70%) … stranded one of two inherited runners
  • RHP Danny Burawa: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB – 13 of 22 pitches were strikes (59%)
  • RHP Tommy Kahnle: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GB/FB — ten of 14 pitches were strikes (71%)

The Triple-A Scranton, High-A Tampa, Low-A Charleston, Short Season Staten Island, and both Rookie GCL Yanks seasons are over. Trenton is the only affiliate still playing.

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Double-A Trenton (8-2 win over Harrisburg) they lead the best-of-five Eastern League Championship Series one game to none

  • CF Mason Williams: 1-3, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 K — two-run single was the big blow in the five-run third
  • LF Ramon Flores: 0-4
  • 2B Jose Pirela: 1-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 K
  • C Gary Sanchez: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K
  • RF Tyler Austin: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 K — capped off the five-run third with a single to knock the starter out
  • 1B Kyle Roller: 0-4
  • DH Ben Gamel: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
  • 3B Reegie Corona:  1-2, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K
  • SS Ali Castillo: 2-3, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI
  • LHP Nik Turley: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 10 K, 2 WP, 1 HB, 1/5 GB/FB – 64 of 110 pitches were strikes (58%) … pretty good time to set a career-high in strikeouts
  • RHP Zach Nuding: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 3/1 GB/FB — 18 of 27 pitches were strikes (67%)
  • RHP Branden Pinder: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K — 13 pitches, eight strikes

The Triple-A Scranton, High-A Tampa, Low-A Charleston, Short Season Staten Island, and both Rookie GCL Yanks seasons are over. Trenton is the only affiliate still playing.

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