Minor Notes: Alfredo Aceves Bounces Back

Alfredo Aceves Rebounds

Alfredo Aceves was a real standout in the Mexican League, and took less than a full season in the minors to make the big leagues. It isn’t all that uncommon for an experienced pitcher to rocket through several layers of the minor leagues in a small period of time. It is also not all that uncommon for minor league pitchers to remain locked in all year, but revert back to form the following year. Sometimes players like Aceves are in independent leagues because they just weren’t lucky enough to be discovered by the right major league scouts, but sometimes they play there because they just weren’t consistently good enough to play with the big guys.

Aceves started the season by allowing 10 runs in 9 innings. He responsed this week by throwing 14 2/3 innings of shutout baseball in two starts. He has also maintained his trademark control, walking just 5 batters in 23 2/3 innings on the year.… Click here to read the rest

Selena Roberts and Duke Lacrosse

Selena Roberts may have been a columnist for the NY Times and ostensibly only writing her “opinion” about the Duke lacrosse team but being a columnist doesn’t excuse you from having to get your facts right. In 2006, as the story broke, she wrote, “But why is it so hard to gather the facts? Why is any whisper of a detail akin to snitching?” She was wrong about that. There WAS no coverup, no difficulty in gathering the facts. The problem was that there was a corrupt prosecutor (since jailed) named Mike Nifong that twisted the facts to try to make a name for himself. She then went on a concentrated tirade aimed at smearing the players, who she named personally and their families, their upbringing, their school,and their entire culture.

So she screwed up. It happens, right? Did she apologize to the players and their families? No, in fact, she continues to smear Duke and the team to this day.… Click here to read the rest

A-Rod goes yard in intrasquad game

Normally, a rehabbing player going 1 for 6 in an intrasquad game would not be news, or even remotely interesting.  However, with the craptastic production that the Yankees have been getting from the 3rd base position (batting average south of .200, no home runs, mediocre defense), the Yankees need Alex Rodriguez back as soon as possible (Selena Roberts-induced drama and all).  Peter Abraham reported the results of A-Rod’s intrasquad game, saying that Alex was not running at full speed in the game, and also walked twice.

It is pointless to extrapolate anything from an intrasquad game in which A-Rod was hitting against the likes of Matt Richardson and Jose Ramirez, but it is encouraging to see that he is working his way back.  They have performed fairly well up to this point given the loss of A-Rod, Bruney, and Wang to injury, but ultimately, the Yankees need their big slugger back in the worst way.  His presence lengthens the lineup, replacing an automatic out at the bottom of the lineup with a 3-time MVP.… Click here to read the rest

The Return Of Bobby Abreu

Tonight’s game against the Angels marks the return of Bobby Abreu to the Bronx, as he makes his first appearance in NY since the final home game against the O’s last September. Most Yankees fans that I speak to do not seem to have strong feelings about Bobby in either direction. They weren’t happy to see him go, but they were not devastated by his loss either. Personally, I liked him and hope that he gets a nice reception this evening.

The Yankees replaced Bobby with Nick Swisher, a move that looks great right now, while Bobby took the bargain basement deal of the year to sign with Anaheim. Abreu has started the season off well (courtesy of ESPN):

Bobby Abreu’s move to the Angels seems to agree with him. At 35, he already has eight stolen bases in as many attempts, the most he’s had during any April of his career. He’s also creating havoc at the plate with his .375 batting average, and leads the Angels with 27 hits.

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Mariano's "Slow Start"

From George King:

Considering Mariano Rivera has given up three, three, three, two, three, four and four homers in the past three seasons, the sight of him surrendering dingers in two straight appearances was unnerving.

While it certainly was a bit unnerving, it is important to note that we go through this every season. Mo strings together a few bad outings and suddenly everyone begins to question whether he is hurt or if age is catching up with him (see BBTN last evening). Then he gets into a groove, and everyone feels silly for doubting him. Prior to the Boston game, Mo had pitched 7 innings and given up no runs on just 6 singles and no walks while striking out 8. It is just two bad games, nothing more. Mariano is fine.… Click here to read the rest

Two Most Important Things About Joba's Performance

Joba Chamberlain answered Phil Hughes’ gem with a virtuoso performance of his own, going 7 innings and allowing just one run on 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 6. His last four innings in particular looked a lot like what we had come to expect from Joba in the past. There were two really important developments that were evident in this performance.

1) The curveball that Joba threw to strike out Miguel Cabrera with the bases full and two outs in the third should preclude any further talk of sending him to the bullpen. When you have a pitcher whose third-best pitch can strike out one of the best hitters in baseball in a high pressure spot, you do not relegate him to pitching one inning at a time. You put him in the rotation and wait for him to become an ace. Joba has three above average major league pitches and a changeup that is getting to that point.… Click here to read the rest

Minors Recap, 4/29

Scranton defeats Lehigh Valley, 7-0

  • Alfredo Aceves got the start, and the Mexican Gangster was just that, giving up just 3 hits and a walk in 8 scoreless, and striking out 6.
  • Steven Jackson, recently demoted from the bigs, gave up 2 hits in a scoreless inning of work.
  • Shelley Duncan was 1 for 3 with his 7th homer of the year and a walk.  He’s hitting .370 on the year, and a little part of me keeps wondering if he could hit major league pitching if given enough play time.
  • Juan Miranda was 1 for 4.
  • Austin Jackson was 1 for 3 with a walk, and is hitting .356.
  • Eric Duncan, at 3rd again, was 2 for 4, raising his average to .313 on the season.

Trenton falls to Connecticut, 3-2

  • Zach McAllister struggled a little by his standards, giving up 3 runs (2 earned on 5 hits and an uncharacteristic 4 walks in 4 innings, while striking out 5. 
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