Albaladejo becomes first IL’er to 40 saves in win

Adam Warren and Ivan Nova ranked one-two in this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet, which is pretty cool. Also, Frankie Piliere posted full scouting reports for both Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, so make sure you check ’em out.

And in case you missed it, Zach McAllister has been traded to the Indians to complete the Austin Kearns deal. His lack of an out pitch finally caught up to him in Triple-A, and he had been passed by too many pitching prospects to count this season. Frankly, he had no long-term role on the Yanks, so they moved him before his stock dropped even more.

  • Triple-A Scranton won. Jesus Montero singled and struck out twice, though Greg Golson, Colin Curtis, Brandon Laird, and Chad Huffman all one-upped him with multiple hits. Eric Bruntlett out did everyone with four hits, including a double. Lance Pendleton allowed four runs in 5.2 innings before Jon Albaladejo recorded his 40th save of the season, the first reliever ever to do that in the International League. Pretty amazing that he’s either gotten the save or win in 43 of the team’s 74 wins.
  • Double-A Trenton won. Justin Christian doubled twice, Dan Brewer once. Corban Joseph and Austin Romine also picked up a hit each. Nothing exciting on the pitching side, just a scoreless inning from George Kontos and four uneventful outs from Ryan Pope.
  • High-A Tampa got destroyed. Bradley Suttle doubled and walked twice, continuing his recent hot streak. Melky Mesa did the same thing, but his hit was a triple. Adam Olbrychowski allowed seven innings in just one inning after Shaeffer Hall allowed six in five. I’m not mad, I’m impressed.
  • Low-A Charleston won big. Slade Heathcott had three hits including a double and J.R Murphy made up for a hitless showing by walking three times. Kelvin Castro went deep, and DeAngelo Mack, Luke Murton, Kevin Mahoney, and Francisco Santana also had multiple hits. Brett Marshall struck out six and allowed just three hits in six innings as he continues his impressive return from Tommy John surgery.
  • Short Season Staten Island lost. Rob Segedin and Gary Sanchez both singled, but Cito Culver went hitless and instead drew a walk. Casey Stevenson had three knocks. Nothing special on the bump.
  • Rookie GCL Yanks lost. Mason Williams singled and struck out in three at-bats in his pro debut. Angelo Gumbs drew a walk, Ben Gamel singled, and Ramon Flores disappointingly failed to reach base in four attempts. The pitching was rather unspectacular.

A-Rod felt his calf ‘grab,’ will miss more time

Updated (10:50 p.m.): In the second inning of tonight’s 6-0 loss, Alex Rodriguez, making his return to the lineup from a calf injury, grounded out and could barely run down to first base. He was clearly limping when he headed back to the dugout, and when he spot came up again in the fourth, Austin Kearns pinch hit for him. After the game, Joe Girardi told reporters that he pulled A-Rod when the slugger said he felt his calf grab during his swing. “He’s probably going to miss a few more games,” the Yanks’ manager said. A-Rod doesn’t know if he’s going to hit the DL, but Joe Girardi said he “wouldn’t think so at this point.” I miss the healthy A-Rod.

Indians select McAllister to complete Kearns deal

The Yankees announced tonight that the Cleveland Indians have selected right-handed pitcher Zach McAllister to complete the Austin Kearns deal. After rocketing through the Yanks’ system, McAllister could not get outs efficiently at AAA this year. The 22 year old is just 8-10 on the year with a 5.09 ERA and a 4.59 FIP. He’s struck out just 88 in 132.2 innings while walking 38 and has given up 20 home runs.

Both Baseball America and our own Mike Axisa ranked McAllister as the organization’s fifth best prospect in the preseason lists, but as Baseball America said, his stuff just isn’t that overpowering. Calling him “trade bait,” the magazine said, “Only McAllister’s slider grades as a plus pitch, and his fastball sometimes sits in the upper 80s. He must be precise with his fringy curveball and changeup.” In his post-draft organizational rankings, Mike had McAllister ranked 18th. His star has fallen, and the Yanks will likely not miss him.

Game 122: A-Rod back at DH (and out again in the 4th)

The Yankees got lucky when playing Kansas City this season. Both times they missed facing Zack Greinke. But when they face the Mariners they have drawn Felix Hernandez every time. In both of his previous starts he’s pitched a complete game, striking out 20 total. The Yanks will go in having scored 26 runs in their past three games.

A-Rod returns to the game to DH. Gardner stays in the leadoff spot, because Cervelli’s catching. If Brett picks up a couple of hits tonight I wonder what Girardi will do tomorrow. Would he drop Jorge to 7th to keep Brett atop the lineup?


1. Brett Gardner, LF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez, DH
5. Robinson Cano, 2B
6. Nick Swisher, RF
7. Curtis Granderson, CF
8. Francisco Cervelli, C
9. Ramiro Pena, 3B

And on the mound, number thirty-four, A.J. Burnett.

Update (8:30 p.m.): In the 4th inning as the clean-up spot in the lineup came up for a second time, the Yankees opted to pinch hit Austin Kearns for Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod had missed three days with a sore calf and did not run hard down to first on a ground ball in the second inning. This is not a good development for the Yankees.

Secondary market again under average for weekend set

The Seattle Mariners, as Cliff Corcoran detailed in his extensively entertaining series preview at the new Pinstriped Bible, aren’t a very good team. The team is 48-73 and have somehow managed to average 3.28 runs scored per game. It is no surprise then that tickets for the weekend are selling at 20 percent below average.

Surprisingly, tonight’s game — the one top-notch pitching match-up that features Felix Hernandez and A.J. Burnett — is the one with the lowest prices. Tomorrow’s game, an afternoon affair on a nice day, is selling strong, but with bad weather moving in on Sunday, the prices dip a bit. With so many New Yorkers out on vacation this week and next and an uninspiring Mariners club in town for some mid-August games, it’s no wonder ticket prices are a bit depressed. As always, grab your seats from RAB Tickets.

It’s about more than just baseball during HOPE Week

AP Photo, Kathy Willens

On Monday, the Yankees announced to their Twitter followers that the next five days would constitute HOPE Week. Called a week-long program that brings to light five remarkable stories intended to inspire individuals into action in their own communities, HOPE Week is about Helping Others Persevere & Excel, and when Vinny Milano saw the Twitter announcement, he immediately knew he had to get involved.

Better known to the Yankee world as Bald Vinny, leader of the Bleacher Creature, Milano fired back a reply to the Yankees. He offered up the his services and those of the Creature loyalists in the right field bleacher. A few days later on Thursday afternoon long after the Yankees had downed the Tigers and the stadium had emptied out, Milano and his friends found themselves back in their customary place conducting a different kind of roll call.

With the help of the Yankees’ staff, Bald Vinny and his crew chanted out the names of the children from The Beautiful People as these kids with special needs played a one-inning game with the Yankees. “The kids were turning around. The parents were turning around,” Vinny said to me. “People were coming up to us to tell us how cool it was.”

For Milano and the Creature, the act was a simple one that meant a lot to these children. “It just seemed like a perfect fit,” he said. “They were playing ball in our house and that’s how we do it at home.”

Daniel Fratto announces the HOPE Week festivities. Credit: AP Photo, Kathy Willens

The Beautiful People is an organization based out of Orange County, New York, that works with children ages 5 to 21. They try to give these kids with special needs — such as one with Spina Bifida or another who needs an oxygen tank at all — the opportunity to play sports just as anyone else would. They started with baseball after founder Peter Ladka got the idea while having a catcher. “I’d been spending some time thinking about how my family and I could give back to the community,” Ladka said. “I just got the idea that there have got to be families out there with kids that don’t get to enjoy that opportunity that I was experiencing.”

Yesterday afternoon, the Yankees joined these children on the field to cheer them on. Each of the players held a sign, and the kids enjoyed an afternoon of play on the most famous baseball field around. “There are very small magical moments,” Ladka said to “It’s not the big things. You see a kid learn how to throw a baseball, or a kid … actually hitting the ball out of the air. It’s little miracles that happen and they’re amazing. Talking about them now, I get emotional, and I’ve seen hundreds.”

For me, sitting at the stadium for the past two games, the moment that struck me came in the fourth inning yesterday when Paul Olden turned over the PA duties to Daniel Fratto. The 16-year-old looks far younger than his years, and he suffers from a severe immune deficiency syndrome that requires him to breathe with the assistance of an oxygen tank. He can’t play in the league and instead serves as The Beautiful People’s public address announcer. Without the nerves one would expect and with the calm of a seasoned veteran, he announced the bottom of the fourth to a crowd of 48,000 Yankee fans, and he was perfect. He could have done the whole game and could very well have a career behind the mic if his health allows him to. “He was outstanding,” Joe Girardi said after the game.

AP Photo, Seth Wenig
Jane Lang and Clipper head to the mound. Credit: AP Photo, Kathy Willens

The Beautiful People are only one of the many groups enjoying the Yanks’ HOPE Week. On Tuesday afternoon, Joe Girardi, Tino Martinez and Joba Chamberlain accompanied Jane Lang, a blind but very devoted Yankee fan, from her home in New Jersey to the stadium where she attends numerous games a season. Lang, born without sight, did not know that home plate was shaped like a home until Girardi explained it to her, and yet, she attends 30 games a season with her guide dog Clipper. She sees the game through crowd reactions, the sounds of the game and John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. On Wednesday, the club honored Mohamed Kamara, an 18-year-old survivor of the civil war in Sierra Leone who supports his family from abroad and will be attending college in the fall. Meeting him and hearing his story, said Curtis Granderson, was “humbling.” Today, two sisters who were homeless until they were 16 yet never wavered in their commitment to academics are getting the full Yankee treatment.

For the Yankee players and the organization, this isn’t a one-off week. The team is devoted to this effort, and those who see it in action says this true commitment shines through. “One thing that amazed me was that a lot of the other players participated,” Jay Gordon who joined the Bleacher Creature yesterday said. “The three guys who were on the field the longest were Andy Pettitte, who was there the whole time, Burnett who I don’t think ever left, and Joba who was basically all over the place.”

Even as HOPE Week fades, the Yanks’ good deeds remain throughout the year. It truly transcends baseball rivalries and shows what happens when our heroes who play a game for a living devote their energies toward giving back.

AP Photo, Kathy Willens

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