The Farm Report: 6/15/12

 Trenton lost to Harrisburg 4-3 in ten innings:
The Senators scored two runs in the bottom of the second for a quick lead.  Luke Murton homered for the Thunder in the fourth, for a 2-1 deficit.  Harrisburg got the run back in the fifth, but Zoilo Almonte started the sixth with a single to left.  Zoilo stole second and moved to third on a throwing error.  A wild pitch brought the run home and the Senators held a 3-2 lead.  Trenton tied the game in the eighth, though the game could have ended there.  Zoilo struck out with two outs, but he was able to reach first safely on the wild pitch.  He stole second and scored on a single from Melky Mesa.  The game went into extra innings, but the Senators started the tenth with a double from Chris Marrero, who was replaced by Stephen King – no doubt, an ominous sign.  An intentional walk was followed with another free pass to load the bases, as Chris McConnel drove a single to center, plating King for the 4-3 Harrisburg victory.… Click here to read the rest

Hughes keeps the ball in the yard, Yankees keeping winning in D.C.

For six innings, this was a tremendous pitching battle between the two starters. Gonzalez had struck out eight Yankees through five innings and had only gotten into trouble in the third inning, when a couple of two out RBI singles by Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher staked the Yankees to a 2-0 lead. The Nationals would get a run back in the bottom of the inning when Hughes allowed an RBI single to Michael Morse with one out, but he subsequently got Ian Desmond to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning and the threat.

From there, both starters settled in and dominated for the next third of the game. After Morse’s single, Hughes wouldn’t allow another hit until Desmond singled in the sixth, and most importantly he wouldn’t allow a home run in the entire outing for the first time this season. As for Gonzalez, he sat the Yankees down in order in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, but would see his pitch count balloon up to 107 pitches by that point.… Click here to read the rest

Game 63: Pleased to Meet You, Mr. Harper

Given the day of the week and the omnipresence of Bryce Harper in the minds of most every Yankees fan heading into this series, it seems prudent to keep this short and sweet. I highly recommend this FanGraphs interview with Tyler Clippard, in which he discusses the ‘closer mentality’ and other aspects of pitching in relief, and this interview with Mason Williams (which is fairly fluff-filled, but interesting nonetheless).

Onto the lineups:

New York Yankees Washington Nationals
Derek Jeter, SS Stephen Lombardozzi, LF
Curtis Granderson, CF Bryce Harper, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B Adam LaRoche, 1B
Nick Swisher, RF Mike Morse, RF
Andruw Jones, LF Ian Desmond, SS
Russell Martin, C Danny Espinosa, 2B
Jayson Nix, 2B Jesus Flores, C
Phil Hughes, SP Gio Gonzalez, SP

The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., on My9 and MLB Network. Let’s go Yankees!… Click here to read the rest

Yankees sign Aune to overslot deal

Per Kevin Levine-Flandrup and Jim Callis, the Yankees have inked 2nd-round selection Austin Aune (#89 overall) to a $1 million bonus, nearly double the slot recommendation of $548,400 for the 89th pick.  Aune is an athletic prospect who some scouts believe profiles best in the outfield, but the Yankees will apparently try him at shortstop first.  Aune has a strong arm (as a great high school QB) and good power potential, which combined with the possibility of sticking at an up-the-middle position gives him great upside.  He’ll likely reported to the Gulf Coast League when their season begins next week.

That Aune received an overslot bonus is not exceptionally surprising.  Even under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is supposed to hold down bonuses by limiting teams to pre-determined bonus pools, high school players have still been able to use leverage to get overslot bonuses.  Aune was able to use the leverage of his football scholarship to TCU to earn the extra $451,600 from the Yankees, and the fact that the Yankees viewed him as a borderline first round talent was presumably the reason the Yankees were willing to pay up.  … Click here to read the rest