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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DotF: Torrens returns, Staten Island plays 20 innings on Opening Day

To the notes:

  • C Luis Torrens is healthy! He’s on the Short Season Staten Island roster. Hooray for that. Matt Schneldman wrote a nice puff piece on Torrens, so check that out. We’ve been hearing about him for a while now, but Torrens turned only 20 last month. In fact, he’s still the third youngest player on Staten Island’s roster.
  • Both 1B Chris Gittens and RHP Chance Adams made today’s Prospect Report, which is not behind the paywall. Gittens hit three home runs last night and Adams chucked 5.1 scoreless innings in his Double-A debut.
  • The Yankees have signed IF Josh Gardiner out of the independent Frontier League, the team announced. The 22-year-old hit .311/.406/.489 with two homers and six steals in 23 games with the Schaumburg Boomers.

Triple-A Scranton (7-1 loss to Gwinnett) they faced former RailRider Manny Banuelos

  • CF Ben Gamel: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 BB — he’s now 24-for-63 (.381) with five doubles and three triples in his last 15 games
  • 1B Nick Swisher: 2-4, 1 BB — apparently his opt-out date was earlier this week, so no, he didn’t opt-out … usually in these cases the two sides agree to push the opt-out back a few weeks, so Swisher might be able to leave at some point in the future
  • RF Aaron Judge: 0-4, 2 K
  • C Gary Sanchez: 0-4, 1 K — 5-for-26 (.192) since coming back from the broken thumb
  • DH Tyler Austin: 0-3, 1 BB, 3 K — no contact night
  • LF Jake Cave: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K — threw a runner out at second
  • RHP Kyle Haynes: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 7/1 GB/FB — 50 of 83 pitches were strikes (60%)
  • LHP Chasen Shreve: 1 IP, zeroes, 3 K — nine of 13 pitches were strikes … second rehab outing, and he came out of the bullpen this time rather than start the game
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 3/0 GB/FB — 12 of 17 pitches were strikes (71%)

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