Archive for Minors

Via MLBTR: The Yankees were among the teams to scout Cuban left-hander Misael Siverio during a showcase event back in June. He is scheduled to throw for teams again on Friday, according to Jon Heyman. Siverio has already been declared a free agent by MLB and cleared by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, so he is free to sign at any time.

Siverio, 25, is a small guy listed at 5-foot-9. Heyman says he has a low-90s fastball with a “tight offspeed variation” that includes a curveball, a changeup, and a splitter. The recent history of Cuban defectors heavily favors position players, but both Orlando Hernandez and Jose Contreras (after he left the Yankees) had success in the big leagues not too long ago. The Yankees signed Cuban lefty Omar Luis to a $2.5M deal a few years ago and there’s no word on what kind of bonus Siverio is expected to command.

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The notes:

Triple-A Scranton had a scheduled off-day.

Double-A Trenton (5-0 win over Akron)

  • CF Jake Cave: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI — 9-for-18 in his last four games
  • LF Ben Gamel: 0-4
  • C Gary Sanchez: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K — picked a runner off second with a snap throw
  • DH Dante Bichette Jr.: 0-4, 2 K — Double-A has not been too kind to him
  • RF Mason Williams: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 K
  • RHP Jaron Long: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 9/0 GB/FB – 116/22 K/BB in 132 innings for the hitting coach’s kid
  • LHP Jacob Lindgren: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1/0 GB/FB — up to 48 strikeouts (and ten walks) in 24.2 pro innings
  • RHP Mark Montgomery: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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4:43pm: Norris says the Yankees are also sending a catcher to be named later to the AzFL. Maybe Kyle Higashioka after he missed the first half of the season following Tommy John surgery?

4:17pm: According to Josh Norris, the Yankees are sending OF Tyler Austin, 1B Greg Bird, 3B Eric Jagielo, OF Aaron Judge, RHP Caleb Cotham, RHP Branden Pinder, and RHP Alex Smith to play for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League after the season. I thought they might send LHP Manny Banuelos to continue pitching following Tommy John surgery, but it’s already been a long season for him. The AzFL season begins October 7th.

The Yankees are sending more top prospects to the desert this year than I can ever remember. Usually they only send one or two top prospects. Austin (wrist, groin), Bird (back), Jagielo (oblique), Pinder (groin), and Cotham (unknown) all missed several weeks due to injury this summer and will be making up for lost time. Pinder is Rule 5 Draft eligible this winter and the club probably wants some more time to evaluate him. Judge is the team’s best prospect and Smith has had a nice year out of the bullpen for High-A Tampa (2.40 ERA and 3.29 FIP). Great crop of players going to the AzFL this year.

Categories : Asides, Minors
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Highlights of tonight’s Double-A Trenton game are in the video above. Here are two quick notes:

  • The Yankees have signed RHP Wilking Rodriguez to a minor league deal, according to Matt Eddy. The 24-year-old was up with the Royals earlier this year (two innings) and had a 2.87 ERA (3.32 FIP) in 15.2 Triple-A innings before being released. Rodriguez hasn’t pitched much the last few years due to injuries.
  • RHP Andy Beresford and 1B Bo Thompson have both been suspended 50 games after testing positive for an amphetamine, MLB announced. Beresford was with Low-A Charleston and Thompson was with the Rookie GCL Yanks after being the team’s 13th rounder this year.

Triple-A Scranton (4-2 loss to Rochester)

  • RF Ramon Flores: 1-4, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K — five strikeouts and eight walks in his last six games
  • 1B Kyle Roller: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • LF Zoilo Almonte & C Austin Romine: 0-4 — Romine allowed a passed ball
  • 3B Scott Sizemore: 2-4
  • RHP Bryan Mitchell: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 5/4 GB/FB — 54 of 91 pitches were strikes (59%) … he’s had a nice little run in Triple-A after only a handful of starts in Double-A
  • RHP Preston Claiborne: 2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1/4 GB/FB — 21 of 30 pitches were strikes (70%)

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Castillo at the 2011 Pan-Am Games. (Dennis Grombkowski/Getty)

Castillo at the 2011 Pan-Am Games. (Dennis Grombkowski/Getty)

Late last week, the Red Sox signed free agent Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year contract worth $72.5M. He’ll play in some minor league games this week and make his MLB debut in September. The Yankees were connected to Castillo — they reportedly liked him more as a second baseman — but opted to “end any pursuit” of him a few days before he wound up in Boston. Here are some notes on the international market, including some more details on New York’s pursuit of Castillo.

Yankees never made offer to Castillo

Both Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman report the Yankees did like Castillo — they saw him as a potential 20-homer player — but balked for luxury tax reasons once the bidding got up to $40M. They didn’t even make a contract offer. The Yankees are taxed 50% on every dollar they spend over the $189M threshold, so $72.5M for Castillo would have meant a $108.75M total investment, and they didn’t view him as that type of player. They considered him to be similar to trade deadline pickup Martin Prado. One thing is clear: the price for Cuban free agents is only going up with each new player who arrives.

The Next Big Thing

Isn’t it amazing how as soon as one high-profile Cuban player signs, the next one pops up? Ben Badler puts on a name on that next big thing, and it is 19-year-old Yoan Moncada. He is described as a “a 6-foot, 210-pound switch-hitting infielder who’s the best teenager to leave Cuba since Jorge Soler, a player with exciting tools and dominance of the Cuban junior leagues on par with what Yasiel Puig did at the same age.” Here’s the obligatory video The video was removed from YouTube for whatever reason.

Now here’s the catch: no one seems to know where Moncada is at the moment. Badler says it doesn’t appear he is in Cuba but other reports say he is still on the island. If he is still in Cuba, it will obviously be a long time before Moncada is able to sign with a big league team, if ever. If he has defected, teams still have to wait for MLB to declare him a free agent and for the Office of the Foreign Assets Control to unblock him.

Because he is only 19, Moncada will be subject to the international spending restrictions clubs deal with each summer. The Yankees are unable to sign a player for more than $300,000 during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 signing periods as a result of this year’s international spending spree, so they won’t be able to make a serious play for Moncada if he becomes the available anytime soon. That’s the risk with going big in one signing period, taking yourself out of the running for the top talent in future years.

Tomas establishes residency

Tomas at the 2013 WBC. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty)

Tomas at the 2013 WBC. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty)

Cuban outfielder Yasmani Tomas has established residency in Haiti, according to Jesse Sanchez. That is a big and necessary step towards being unblocked by the OFAC and declared a free agent by MLB. It’s still likely he will not be able to sign with teams until the offseason, if not sometime in 2015. Because of his age (23) and service time in Cuba, Tomas will not be held to the international spending restrictions.

Back in June, Badler described Tomas as a “righthanded-hitting corner outfielder” who can “hit towering home runs thanks to the strength from his thickly-built 6-foot-1, 230-pound frame,” though he cautioned Tomas has “some swing-and-miss tendencies” and an “uppercut stroke and trouble handling good breaking pitches.” Tomas is also described as a below-average runner who will be a corner outfielder in the big leagues. Here’s video. Jim Salisbury says the Phillies intend to be major players, for what it’s worth.

MLB implements new rules to curb pre-July 2nd deals

Last week, MLB sent teams a memo detailing new rules for how they are allowed to evaluate international amateurs, according to Badler. Players are now no longer allowed to be at a team facility until they are 16 years old or until six months before they are eligible to sign, whatever comes first. Before that, players can go to team facilities for MLB sanctioned league games and showcases only. The rule change is effective immediately.

Under the old rules, teams would bring players to their complex and have them work out. If they liked what they saw, they would make an offer and often agree to a contract in advance of the signing deadline. Teams would “hide” players they like at their complex so other clubs couldn’t scout them. That isn’t possible anymore. Long story short, MLB is trying to crack down on pre-July 2nd deals, and limiting how long players can spend at team complex is a big step towards doing that.

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It’s been a while since I’ve updated the standings, so let’s do that now. The minor league season is over in about a week anyway.

Triple-A Scranton (5-4 loss to Rochester) 65-71 and they’ve already been eliminated from postseason contention

  • CF Jose Pirela: 2-5, 1 R
  • RF Ramon Flores: 3-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI – five homers in his last five games … nine homers in only 60 games this year, his career high is eleven in 125 games back in 2011
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB — 14-for-37 (.379) in his last ten games
  • 1B Kyle Roller: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • LF Zoilo Almonte: 0-4, 3 K
  • C John Ryan Murphy: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K
  • RHP Zach Nuding: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 7/3 GB/FB — 51 of 85 pitches were strikes (60%)
  • RHP Chase Whitley: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 27 of 38 pitches were strikes (71%) … first outing since being sent down
  • RHP Nick Rumbelow: 0.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 15 of 28 pitches were strikes (54%) … blew the lead in the eighth

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Got some notes:

  • Both RHP Preston Claiborne (shoulder) and OF Ramon Flores (ankle) have been activated off the Triple-A Scranton DL, according to Chad Jennings and Donnie Collins. Claiborne will certainly be up when rosters expand in nine days.
  • RHP Branden Pinder was placed on the Triple-A DL with an unknown injury, reports Jennings. He missed a bunch of time with a groin problem earlier this year. Also, RHP Jim Miller has been released.

Triple-A Scranton Game One (3-2 loss to Rochester in seven innings) makeup of the July 13th rainout

  • SS Jose Pirela: 2-4, 2 SB
  • RF Ramon Flores: 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-1, 1 R, 3 BB, 1 K — five walks and two strikeouts in his last three games
  • 1B Kyle Roller: 0-3, 2 K
  • 3B Scott Sizemore: 1-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K – fifth homer in 72 games
  • DH Zoilo Almonte: 1-2, 1 2B, 1 RBI
  • C John Ryan Murphy: 0-3
  • LHP Manny Banuelos: 3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 5/1 GB/FB — 39 of 72 pitches were strikes (54%) … 32/19 K/BB in his last 37.1 innings
  • SwP Pat Venditte: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 3/1 GB/FB — 34 of 50 pitches were strikes (68%)

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Source: FanGraphs

The start of Friday night’s series opener against the White Sox was not so good, but the ending was arguably the best of the season. Thanks to Martin Prado‘s big night, the Yankees walked off with a much-needed 4-3 win over Chicago’s south-siders. That’s two straight wins and four in the last six games overall. It’s going to take a lot more than that to get the Bombers back into the postseason race, but hey, you’ve gotta start somewhere.

Three batters into the game, the ChiSox had a 3-0 lead thanks to two singles and a Jose Abreu three-run homer. Shane Greene hung a slider — though not too badly — and Abreu went down and golfed it out to left field. Given the Yankees’ offensive struggles, there was definitely a feeling that the game was already over after the homer. Give Greene credit though, he settled down and was very good the rest of the way, striking out seven and allowing just those three runs in five innings. Impressive bounce back.

The comeback started in the third inning, when Prado whacked a hanging John Danks changeup out of the park for a two-run homer. The Yankees tied the game on Jacoby Ellsbury‘s double in the fifth, which also gave them runners at second and third with no outs. Mark Teixeira (ground out), Prado (strikeout), and Brian McCann (fly out) couldn’t get any more runs home. Shawn Kelley did the bullpen heavy lifting, inheriting a first and second with no outs jam from Greene and escaped the inning. He had help when Brett Gardner threw a runner out at the plate for the third out.

Kelley (four outs), Dellin Betances (five outs), and David Robertson (three outs) combined for four innings of work in relief of Greene, giving the offense a chance to win it. Ichiro Suzuki‘s leadoff single in the ninth set the winning rally up, and eventually the Yankees loaded the bases with two outs on Ichiro‘s single, Gardner’s bunt, Derek Jeter‘s line out, Ellsbury’s intentional walk, and Teixeira’s unintentional walk. Righty Daniel Webb got ahead in the count 0-2 to Prado, followed that with three straight balls to run the count full, then allowed the walk-off ground ball single back up the middle. It was the Yankees’ fourth walk-off win of the season.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. The Mariners won but both the Tigers and Orioles lost, so the Yankees are eight games back in the AL East and 3.5 games back of the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs has their postseason odds at 6.5%. Hiroki Kuroda and Scott Carroll will meet in the middle game of this three-game series on Saturday afternoon, but first the Yankees will retire Joe Torre’s No. 6. The ceremony is scheduled to start a little after 12pm ET. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch it live.

Minor League Update: No time for a full recap tonight, folks. Here is the system wrap-up from MLB Farm instead. Every game in one place. Jose Pirela was a single short of the cycle, John Ryan Murphy and Dante Bichette Jr. both homered, Jacob Lindgren struck out three in two innings, and both Aaron Judge and Abi Avelino doubled.

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According to multiple reports, the Red Sox will sign Cuban free agent Rusney Castillo to a record six-year contract in the $72M range. The Yankees had Castillo in Tampa for a private workout and were said to have interest in him as a second baseman, but the other day we heard they “ended any pursuit” of him. Commence complaining.

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Some notes, including a few roster moves courtesy of Nicholas Flammia, Nick Peruffo, and Donnie Collins.

  • Baseball Prospectus posted a bunch of (free!) firsthand scouting reports of Yankees prospects today, including LHP Jacob Lindgren, C Gary Sanchez, OF Tyler Austin, and OF Mason Williams. Williams got absolutely crushed, which isn’t all that surprising, sadly.
  • C John Ryan Murphy was activated off the Triple-A DL. He missed a little more than a week after taking a foul tip to the face mask. C Jose Gil was placed on the phantom DL to clear a roster spot. Also, Sanchez was activated off the Double-A paternity list.
  • 2B Angelo Gumbs was placed on the High-A Tampa DL with an unknown injury and RHP Caleb Cotham was bumped from the rookie Gulf Coast League up to High-A Tampa to continue rehabbing from whatever his injury was.

Triple-A Scranton (5-1 loss to Buffalo)

  • LF Jose Pirela: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 SB
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-2, 2 BB, 2 K — 95/49 K/BB this year after 82/84 K/BB last year
  • RF Zoilo Almonte & DH Kyle Roller: both 0-4, 2 K
  • 3B Scott Sizemore: 0-2, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 E (throwing)
  • 1B Austin Romine: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 K
  • C John Ryan Murphy: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 PB, 1 E (throwing) –
  • LHP Nik Turley: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 7/2 GB/FB — 58 of 101 pitches were strikes (57%) … 43/40 K/BB in 55 innings
  • RHP Nick Rumbelow: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 2/2 GB/FB — 20 of 28 pitches were strikes (71%) … 75/17 K/BB in 53.2 innings across four levels

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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