DotF: Rutherford reaches base three times in Opening Day loss

At long last, the 2017 minor league regular season has arrived. The Yankees have a loaded farm system and this should be a pretty fun year. Even after RHP James Kaprielian complained about pain in his elbow that will send him into various MRI tubes. Blah. Baseball can be such a jerk sometimes. Here are some notes before we get to the Opening Day games:

  • High-A Tampa finally released their roster earlier today. RHP Dillon Tate is not listed on any of the four full season affiliate rosters and I’m not sure why. There’s been no word about an injury, so the Yankees probably held him back in Extended Spring Training. They’ve been working with Tate on all sorts of mechanical stuff since the trade last year, trying to get him back to his fourth overall pick form. We’ll see when he pops back up.
  • OF Jake Cave (knee), 1B Chris Gittens (unknown), LHP Chaz Hebert (elbow), RHP Brody Koerner (unknown), RHP Branden Pinder (elbow), LHP James Reeves (elbow), RHP Nick Rumbelow (elbow), and LHP Stephen Tarpley (unknown) will all start the year on the DL, according to Donnie Collins and Nick Flammia. Hebert, Pinder, and Rumbelow are rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
  • LHP Miguel Sulbaran, who came over from the Twins in the Eduardo Nunez trade, has been suspended 25 games for violating the minor league drug program, MLB announced. The 25-game ban indicates he tested positive for a drug of abuse (in most cases the kid gets caught smoking pot), not a performance-enhancer. Sulbaran did not pitch last year due to injury.
  • The Yankees have released 3B Drew Bridges, RHP Sean Carley, RHP Kyle Halbohn, RHP Cody Hamlin, RHP Tim Holmes, 1B Kane Sweeney, 2B Josh Gardiner, and OF Nathan Mikolas, according to Matt Eddy. There’s always a ton of cuts after Spring Training. The Yankees have also signed C Sharif Othman. Othman, 28, was with the Marlins from 2011-16. He hit .156/.208/.221 (23 wRC+) in 40 games between High-A and Double-A last season.
  •’s Jonathan Mayo posted a feature on Yankees’ minor league camp as well an interview with OF Blake Rutherford, so make sure you check those out. Also, don’t miss Anthony Castrovince’s feature on LHP Justus Sheffield, who doesn’t get as much attention as he deserves for being a top pitching prospect.
  • And finally, check out 20-80 Baseball’s massive Yankees organizational review. “They may not have the pitching to compete with a juggernaut Red Sox or a strong Toronto ball club in 2017, but don’t think that the rest of the American League doesn’t notice the stirring giant in the Bronx,” said the write-up.

Triple-A Scranton‘s game was rained out. They’ve already postponed tomorrow’s game too. One of the games will be made up as part of a doubleheader Sunday. They haven’t announced a makeup date for the other game yet. RHP Johnny Barbato will start the season opener Saturday, according to Shane Hennigan. LHP Dietrich Enns will start the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader and RHP Luis Cessa will start the home opener Monday. The starter for the second game of the doubleheader is TBA. Might be a bullpen game.

Double-A Trenton was also rained out. I’ll get the Prospect Watch up tomorrow since SS Gleyber Torres didn’t play tonight. This game will be made up as part of a doubleheader Sunday. Prior to the rainout, the rotation to start the season was going to be, in order, RHP Chance Adams, LHP Justin Sheffield, RHP Yefrey Ramirez, RHP Domingo German, and LHP Daniel Camarena, according to Matt Kardos. Not sure what the postponement and doubleheader do to the pitching plans.

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2015 Draft Signings: Robertson, Marks, Zehner, Bisacca

Marks. (Tennessee)
Marks. (Tennessee Athletics)

The draft signing deadline is Friday, July 17th this summer, and as far as we know the Yankees are not close to a deal with UCLA RHP James Kaprielian (1st round). He’s a Scott Boras client though, and top Boras clients tend to not sign until right before the deadline. The Yankees did sign second rounder LHP Jeff Degano earlier this week. Here are some later round draft signings.

  • California HS OF Terrance Robertson (12th) has signed based on his Twitter feed. No word on his bonus. As a reminder, anything given to player drafted after the tenth round over $100,000 counts against the draft pool. No reason to think the raw and speedy Robertson got more though.
  • Tennessee RHP Bret Marks (15th), Cal Poly OF Zach Zehner (18th), and Oral Roberts C Austin Afenir (25th), also signed. I know that because all three have played for one of the Yankees’ minor league affiliates in recent days.
  • Sam Houston State RHP Alex Bisacca (35th) has also signed according to his Instagram feed. Like Robertson and everyone else in this post, there’s no word on the bonuses for Marks, Zehner, Afenir, or Bisacca.
  • According to Baseball America, the Yankees have signed Nebraska RHP Josh Roeder (21st), Cal State LA RHP Icezak Flemming (26th), George RHP David Sosebee (28th), Delaware RHP Chad Martin (30th), and Oklahoma City RHP Dustin Cook (36th).
  • The Yankees have signed Franklin Pierce C Matt Walsh as an undrafted free agent, the school announced. He hit .366/.438/.505 with 14 doubles and four homers as a senior this spring.
  • The Yankees have also signed Arizona RHP Cody Hamlin and Missouri RHP Andrew Schwaab as undrafted free agents, reports Matt Eddy. Hamlin had a 3.94 ERA with a 61/13 K/BB in 102.2 innings this spring while Schwaab had a 6.06 ERA with a 6/4 K/BB in 16.1 innings.

Make sure you check out our 2015 Draft Pool Tracker to keep taps on the team’s bonus pool situation. Unless one or some of those guys above signed an overslot deal — no reason to think that, but it’s always possible — the Yankees have $643,900 in draft pool savings to spend. My guess is some of that will go to Kaprielian. By my unofficial count, the Yankees have now signed 30 of their 41 draft picks.