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Double-A Trenton‘s regular season is over. They open their best-of-five first round playoff series with Binghamton tomorrow night. It’ll be RHP Bryan Mitchell vs. RHP Noah Syndergaard in Game One.

Short Season Staten Island Game One (6-2 win over Vermont) completion of yesterday’s game, which was suspended due to rain with one out in the top of the fourth

  • CF Brandon Thomas: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 K
  • LF Michael O’Neill: 0-5, 2 K — 90 strikeouts are the 13th most in the system even though he didn’t even drafted until June
  • 3B Eric Jagielo: 2-5, 2 R, 1 K
  • RF Yeicok Calderon: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 K — Yeicokshot!
  • SS Tyler Wade: 1-4, 1 RBI – first hit in four games at this level
  • LHP Conner Kendrick: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 5/0 GB/FB — started the game yesterday

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Triple-A Scranton (13-3 loss to Rochester) their season is over … they finished in fifth place in the North Division at 68-76 and did not qualify for the postseason

  • 1B Brent Lillibridge: 2-4 — I wonder if they’ll clear a 40-man roster spot for him now
  • 3B Ronnie Mustelier: 1-4, 2 RBI — finished his injury-filled season at .272/.319/.397 with seven homers in 374 plate appearances
  • RHP Caleb Cotham: 0.2 IP, 8 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HB, 1/1 GB/FB — 24 of 44 pitches were strikes (55%) … that’s an unfortunate way to end the season
  • RHP Matt Daley: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0/2 GB/FB — 23 of 34 pitches were strikes (68%) … 31-year-old from Queens finished the year with a 74/10 K/BB in 53.1 innings after missing most of 2011 and all of 2012 following shoulder surgery
  • RHP R.J. Baker: 3 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 4/3 GB/FB — 20 of 33 pitches were strikes (61%) … because this season wasn’t bad enough, the third string catcher threw three innings out of the bullpen in the final game of the year

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More roster moves as Double-A Trenton gears up for their playoff drive: IF Ali Castillo, RHP Taylor Garrison, and RHP Branden Pinder have all been promoted from High-A Tampa to the Thunder according to Nicholas Flammia. LHP Caleb Smith was sent the other way to clear a roster spot.

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

  • 3B Ronnie Mustelier: 3-4 — 17 hits in his last 45 at-bats (.378) with five doubles and two homers
  • RHP Sam Demel: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 19 of 33 pitches were strikes (58%), plus he picked a runner off first … very quietly has a 65/23 K/BB in 52.1 innings

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Both C J.R. Murphy and RHP Brett Marshall were late scratches for Triple-A Scranton tonight, according to Donnie Collins. That almost certainly means both guys will be coming up when rosters expand tomorrow. Earlier today we heard Murphy was “very likely” to get the call. Chris Cotillo says LHP Cesar Cabral will be called up as well, which is fun. He almost made the team out of Spring Training last year before fracturing his elbow. Cabral and Murphy will require 40-man roster moves.

Triple-A Scranton (3-2 win over Lehigh Valley)

  • LF-3B Ronnie Mustelier: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 E (fielding) — second homer in his last three games
  • 1B Randy Ruiz:1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI — second homer in as many days … he was ejected by the first base umpire for arguing something
  • RHP David Herndon: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 4/0 GB/FB — 15 of 21 pitches were strikes (71%)
  • RHP Jairo Heredia: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 8/2 GB/FB — 45 of 68 pitches were strikes (66%) … just called up from Tampa to help the depleted staff … I guess the plane was late otherwise he would have started the game

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Triple-A Scranton (5-4 loss to Lehigh Valley, walk-off style)

  • C J.R. Murphy: 1-5, 1 R
  • LF Ronnie Mustelier: 1-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
  • 1B Randy Ruiz: 2-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K — believe it or not, that’s his first homer in 18 games and just his second in the last 30 days
  • 2B David Adams: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
  • RHP Chase Whitley: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 9/3 GB/FB – 50 of 79 pitches were strikes (63%) … he’s Rule 5 Draft eligible after the season, it’ll be interesting to see if they call him up in September if they want an extra arm now that he’s somewhat stretched out
  • LHP Cesar Cabral: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K — seven of eight pitches were strikes
  • RHP Dellin Betances: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 16 of 26 pitches were strikes (62%) … probably his final outing before joining the big league team when rosters expand

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Let’s start with some notes:

  • 1B/3B Dan Johnson was granted his release from Triple-A Scranton according to Sweeny Murti. The Yankees weren’t going to call him up in September and this gives him some time to hook on with another club before rosters expand. Johnson hit .253/.379/.447 (133 wRC+) with 21 homers and more walks (93) than strikeouts (82) in 559 plate appearances for the RailRiders. They aren’t going to the postseason, so this opens a roster spot and some playing time for someone else before the season ends on Tuesday.
  • LHP Caleb Smith, this year’s 14th rounder, has been promoted from Short Season Staten Island to Double-A Trenton, reports Josh Norris. He’ll start one game of their doubleheader on Saturday. Seems like a temporary move more than anything. RHP Diego Moreno was placed on the DL for an unknown reason to clear a roster spot.
  • 1B Greg Bird was named to Low-A South Atlantic League Postseason All-Star Team. There isn’t an actual All-Star Game or anything, it’s just a list of the best players in the league at each position as voted on by whoever. Bird leads the circuit in OBP (.423) and OPS (.940) but lost out on the league MVP award to SS Rosell Herrera (Rockies).

Triple-A Scranton (9-2 win over Lehigh Valley)

  • 2B David Adams: 0-4, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • DH J.R. Murphy: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 HBP — season doesn’t end until Tuesday, but he’s already set new career highs in hits (110), homers (12), and walks (46)
  • LF Ronnie Mustelier: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K — wonder if they’ll open a 40-man roster spot for him next month
  • RHP Chris Bootcheck: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 7/5 GB/FB – 67 of 106 pitches were strikes (63%)

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CF Melky Mesa has been placed on the Triple-A Scranton DL with a hamstring problem, reports Donnie Collins. He pulled up lame running out a ground ball the other day. Terrible timing for Melky with September call-ups right around the corner. Hopefully it’s nothing serious. C Jose Gill has been called up from Double-A Trenton to fill the roster spot.

Triple-A Scranton (5-4 win over Lehigh Valley in 12 innings, walk-off style)

  • 2B David Adams: 1-5, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E (fielding)
  • C J.R. Murphy: 3-6, 4 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K — scored the winning run on a walk-off passed ball
  • LF Ronnie Mustelier: 3-6, 1 R, 2 2B, 2 K — has multiple hits in seven of the last ten games
  • RHP Caleb Cotham: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 7/3 GB/FB — 56 of 85 pitches were strikes (66%)
  • RHP Matt Daley: 2 IP, zeroes, 4 K, 0/2 GB/FB — 18 of 29 pitches were strikes (62%) … 70/10 K/BB in 50.2 innings this year

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RHP Preston Claiborne was sent to High-A Tampa, not Triple-A Scranton according to Nicholas Flammia. That allows the Yankees to call him back up one day earlier, next Monday instead of next Tuesday.

Triple-A Scranton (2-1 win over Pawtucket)

  • C J.R. Murphy: 2-3, 1 BB, 1 K — had been in a 6-for-37 (.162) rut
  • 3B Ronnie Mustelier: 0-4, 1 RBI
  • 2B David Adams: 1-4, 1 R, 1 K
  • RHP Graham Stoneburner: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 9/3 GB/FB — 47 of 74 pitches were strikes (64%)
  • RHP Dellin Betances: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HB, 1/1 GB/FB — 24 of 41 pitches were strikes (59%) … 23/5 K/BB in his last 15.2 innings at this level

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Some notes — mostly roster moves — from the last few days:

  • RHP Charley Short has been bumped up to Double-A Trenton, according to Nick Peruffo. The 25-year-old former indy baller has a 1.84 ERA (~1.85 FIP) with an 81/16 K/BB in 58.2 relief innings across three levels this season. Expect the Thunder to get some more reinforcements for the playoffs in the coming days.
  • 2B Angelo Gumbs has been placed on the Low-A Charleston DL. I’m not sure what’s wrong with him, but he had a finger injury earlier this year and an elbow injury last summer. IF Fu-Lin Kuo has joined the team to fill the roster spot.
  • RHP Rookie Davis has been promoted from Short Season Staten Island to Low-A Charleston. He had a 2.36 ERA (2.72 FIP) in 42 innings across eleven starts for the Baby Bombers. RHP Luis Severino was sent to one of the GCL Yanks affiliates to clear a roster spot.
  • UTIL Ronnie Mustelier was named the Triple-A International League Offensive Player of the Week, so congrats to him.

Triple-A Scranton (2-1 loss to Pawtucket, walk-off style) they were eliminated from postseason contention yesterday, in case you missed it

  • C J.R. Murphy & 3B Ronnie Mustelier: both 0-4 — Mustelier struck out
  • RHP Brett Marshall: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 1 HB, 5/4 GB/FB — 63 of 93 pitches were strikes (68%) … best start of the year comes at a good time, right before September call-ups … ties his career-high in strikeouts

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Source: FanGraphs

A loss on Sunday would not have eliminated the Yankees from postseason contention, it only felt like it would have. Dropping three straight to a division rival who also happens to be one of the teams you’re chasing at this point of the year is pretty close to a disaster. The Yankees walked the tightrope in the series finale against the Rays before eking out the extra innings win. The final score was 3-2 in eleven.

I’m still out of town and didn’t see a single pitch of the game — it’s rather liberating, I recommend taking a weekend away from baseball every so often — but this looks like a classic “shaky but made a pitch when he had to” start for Ivan Nova. He walked six (one intentional) and has now put 46 (!) men on base in his last four starts and 27 innings. That’s way too many. Alfonso Soriano created the winning run with a double to left before stealing third, a ballsy move that helped win the game. Curtis Granderson, who was quietly been awesome since coming off the DL, plated the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly.

Two questions: One, why didn’t Alex Rodriguez pinch-hit for Lyle Overbay against the lefty pitcher with two outs and two on in a one-run game in the sixth? Winning has to take priority over getting A-Rod a full day of rest at this point. Besides, he’ll have plenty of time to rest when he gets suspended after the season. Two, using Shawn Kelley for one batter was really foolish. Ideally David Robertson would have finished off the seventh before pitching the eighth, allowing Kelley throw a full inning (or more) later in the game. Oh well, Robertson did go two innings though. Still some weird managerial decisions there.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has the other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles pounded the Athletics, so the Yankees are four games back of the second wildcard spot in the loss column. Cool Standings has their postseason odds at 10.9%. The Bombers open a three-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Monday, when Phil Hughes gets the ball against reigning NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey.

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Roster Update: Preston Claiborne will be sent down to clear a roster spot for Derek Jeter on Monday, which is preposterous. If the Yankees are trying to win, they have no business keeping Joba Chamberlain over Claiborne or anyone else in that bullpen. I assume Claiborne will go to High-A Tampa since their season ends on September 1st, allowing the team to circumvent the ten-day rule and bring him back on the 2nd. Hopefully the Yankees come to their senses and decide to keep him over Joba at some point in the next 24 hours.

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Minor League Update: All of the box scores are available right here. 1B Greg Bird drew a walk — he’s two away from a hundred with seven games to play — and RHP Jose Campos threw two scoreless innings of relief. Not much else happened. Triple-A Scranton was officially eliminated from postseason contention with their loss.

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