Surprising Hot Starts For A Handful Of Tampa Yankees

The ruling on the Yankees’ farm system wasn’t too encouraging this offseason. The Yankees have a ton of low-level depth, but no impact players at the higher levels. Though the system is ranked below average, most evaluators see the organization as a fast mover in the rankings, as the lower levels are loaded with possible breakout talent. Bigger names like Aaron Judge, Eric Jagielo, Mason Williams, and Gary Sanchez are all hitting well at the moment, but the Yankees also need to see contributions from players that lacked top prospect status last season.

Dante Bichette Jr- For most rankers, Bichette fell out of prospect status following his down 2012 season. He wasn’t much better in 2013, where he showed some fundamental changes to his swing. Though Bichette finally reached double digit home runs, his .214/.292/.331 slash was uninspiring for a former first round pick. Now at 21 years old, the Yankees bumped the third baseman out of Charleston and into High-A Tampa.…

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The Farm Report: 4/17/14 – Lots of wins!

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre beat Buffalo 2-1 in Game 1 (9 innings):
The RailRiders got a runner on base in each of the first two innings, but it wasn’t until the top of the third that they managed to score the first run of the game. Antoan Richardson drew a walk, moving to second on a sac bunt by Carmen Angelini. Richardson stole third and scored on a single by Jose Pirela for the 1-0 lead. Scranton held onto the slim advantage through the top of the seventh, but Buffalo managed to score their first run of the day on a RBI single by Chris Getz, tying the game and sending it into “extra” innings (MiLB doubleheader games go seven innings). Both teams took a pair of walks in the eighth inning, but were unable to capitalize on them. Ronnier Mustelier drew a walk in the top of the ninth, moving to second on a sac bunt. Angelini lined a single to center, plating Mustelier for the 2-1 lead.…

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Basking In The Good Pitching Afterglow

Phelps vs BOS 2014

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod.  Stats have not been updated to reflect last night’s game)

Quality of opponent being what it was, yesterday’s Wednesday’s doubleheader shutout was still a splendid performance by the Yankee pitching staff.  They got very good to outstanding outings from 2 25-year-old starters and some solid bullpen work from a bunch of mostly young and unheralded pitchers all working in higher-leverage roles thanks to the closer being on the DL.  It was a continuation of what has quickly been established as the norm for this group since the opening week of the season.  These guys can pitch, all of them, and they’ve been the driving force behind the Yankees’ early success.

The Yanks opened a weekend series tonight last night in Tampa with the 2nd best record in the American League, a place atop the AL East, and they’ve done it mainly on the back of their pitching staff while the new lineup continues to work out the kinks and find its way.  …

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IIATMS Podcast Episode 14: Recapping Games, Bullpen, Prospects, & So Much More

Last night Domenic, E.J. and yours truly recapped the last few games for the Yankees – all wins! – talked about how great the bullpen has stepped up in David Robertson‘s absence, discussed a couple of prospects, I ranted about my least favorite ballpark and we all revealed what has surprised us so far this season around baseball.

As usual, you can leave comments and suggestions below, tweet us at @IIATMS or email us at

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Triples for everyone: Yankees 10, Tampa Bay 2

The New York Yankees might have expected a tough pitching duel on Thursday night. One person held up that end of the deal, surprisingly CC Sabathia.

Tampa Bay’s David Price was batted around by the Yankees and was chased after five innings after giving up six runs on 10 hits. Yankees beat up the Rays 10-2.

New York gave Sabathia a 4-0 lead by the second inning, thankfully, because Sabathia has struggled in his previous three outings. It may have seemed Sabathia about to hit those bumps again as he allowed a double to Evan Longoria and a walk to Wil Myers in the second inning.

Yet, Sabathia was bailed out when Sean Rodriguez hit a ground ball to third baseman Yangervis Solarte.

Solarte fielded the ball, touched third, threw to second and the ball went around the horn to complete a triple play. The play marked the second straight year Sabathia has been the beneficiary of a triple play.…

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Game 16: Yanks at Rays 4/17/14

Good evening!

The Yankees are down in Tampa to take on the Rays in a four-game set and tonight’s pitching matchup is between CC Sabathia (1-2, 6.63) and David Price (2-0, 2.91). If you look at just those numbers you’ll see that the matchup favors Tampa. But it goes much deeper than that.

Here’s what Tampa has done to CC since 2009:

hit-chart (10)

Tampa’s line against Sabathia in 2013 was .283/.343/.535/.878 which isn’t exactly “world beater” status but his K% was only 19.9% which is the lowest percentage he’s had against Tampa since he became a Yankee. His BB% was 7.1% which was higher than 2011 and 2012 but lower than 2009 and 2010 when his numbers were 12.8% and 9.7% respectively. Yikes.

Okay, enough of the negativity. Maybe Sabathia will shock the hell out of everyone and pitch a good game and not fall apart the third time through the order.

Here are your lineups:

Ellsbury CF
Jeter SS
Beltran RF
Soriano DH
McCann C
Solarte 3B
Sizemore 1B
Roberts 2B
Ichiro LF

Zobrist 2B
Jennings DH
Forsythe LF
Longoria 3B
Myers RF
Rodriguez 1B
Guyer CF
Escobar SS
Molina C

The cool fact of the night: Yesterday, the Yankees swept the Cubs in a doubleheader 3-0 and 2-0 which marked the first time that an MLB team had recorded shutout wins in both games of a doubleheader since the Twins had beaten the A’s, 11-0 and 5-0, on Derek Jeter‘s 14th birthday (6/26/88) in Oakland and it was the first time the Yanks had done it since beating Kansas City 5-0 and 1-0 in a doubleheader on 4/19/87.…

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What To Make Of Yangervis Solarte

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Where do you start judging Yangervis Solarte? We have 2,804 minor league plate appearances that say one thing about the infielder, but Spring Training and 53 MLB plate appearances say another. For anyone that hasn’t watched Solarte hit, his blistering start to the 2014 season doesn’t look like much more than small sample size. For many Yankee fans, Solarte’s bat is a much needed injection of talented youth into the team’s lineup. For those realistic about the switch-hitter, we still have no idea what he is.

When Solarte came up with the Twins, he showed promise as a contact hitter. In 2010, as a 22 year old in rookie ball, high-A, and double-A, the infielder hit .292/.328/.401. In his next full season at double-A in 2011, Solarte hit .329/.367/.466. His lack of strikeouts unfortunately came with a lack of both walks and home runs. Yet New Britain Stadium is a notoriously tough ballpark to hit in, and Stat Corner gave the park just a 74 rating for home runs to lefties and a 72 rating for home runs to righties that season.…

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Beltran Had a Good Week and McCann Is Getting Better

It’s another post with colors, pictures and even more pictures so let’s take a look at two of the Yankees’ biggest offseason acquisitions, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, shall we?

First up is Beltran who has been doing really well this past week.

His slash line from 4/10-4/16: .409/.435/.955/1.389
His wOBA from 4/10-4/16: .565

Overall he’s batting .327/.368/.673/1.041.

Here is a chart of his hits this past week:
hit-chart (8)

Beltran has been pretty balanced hitting three home runs, three doubles and three singles. He also has five strikeouts and five runs batted in.

Here is his heat map (by batting average):

strike-zone (3)

Hey, look at that, he’s hitting pitches over the middle of the plate.

And here is how that same map looks with actual numbers (also by batting average):

strike-zone (4)

McCann seems to have picked things up a bit since we checked in with him last. (A week ago today)

His slash line from 4/10-4/16: .333/.375/.800/1.175
His wOBA from 4/10-4/16: .479

Overall he’s batting .208/.240/.354/.594 so he still has a ways to go before we can declare that he’s good.…

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