Chad Jennings had a few notes on some minor league promotions in the Yankees system today. Rafael De Paula, who has started the season very well in Charleston, has been bumped up to Tampa. Expectations have always been high for the pitcher, whose progress was slowed for a couple years as he worked out visa issues. He is being joined by Dietrich Enns who will also head to Tampa. Jose Ramirez, who got a lot of notice during Spring Training, has been promoted to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Originally, it was thought this was just to fill space for a game, but it sounds like the Yankees are ready to give him a shot in Triple-A.
Due to an incredibly busy weekend, which followed an even more busy week, this is going to be the quick and dirty version of yesterday’s Farm Report. In case you missed it – I highly suggest you read Stacey’s post about her experience at Staten Island’s media day. The short-season teams get started this week so keep your eyes out for news from SI and the Gulf Coast League! Meanwhile, Tampa had the weekend off for the All-Star Break.
- Dellin Betances got the loss, showcasing the lack of control that has caused many in the Yankees organization to pull out their hair in frustration over the last few years. He was brought in to start the eleventh and walked the first two batters before loading the bases on a hit by pitch. A sac fly by Cody Overbeck to center field scored the walk-off run for the IronPigs.
- The RailRiders had actually trailed 4-3 heading into the ninth, but tied the game after Cody Grice tripled and scored on a single by Zoilo Almonte, forcing extra innings.
- Alomonte went 3-6 with a run scored, a double and a RBI.
- Alberto Gonzalez went 3-5 with a double and a RBI.
- Grice went 2-6 with a run scored and a triple.
- Bobby Wilson went 1-3 with two RBIs and two walks.
- Ivan Nova made the start and gave up three runs (one earned) over 6.2 innings. He allowed five hits, no walks and struck out four.
- Josh Spence gave up one run on two hits and got one out.
- Jim Miller threw three scoreless innings and allowed just one hit, striking out five.
- Betances…well, yeah – see above.
- Trenton got its lone run when Jose Pirela singled and then stole second and third. An error allowed him to score after he swiped third.
- Reegie Corona and Jose Pirela both went 2-4.
- Ramon Flores, Slade Heathcott and Tyler Austin all went 1-4.
- Mikey O’Brien gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks. He went six innings and struck out a pair.
- Fred Lewis finished the game, allowing two hits and striking out four in his two innings of work.
- Gregory Bird was the only RiverDog with more than one hit, going 2-4.
- Cito Culver, Peter O’Brien, Kelvin De Leon and Danny Oh each went 1-4.
- Culver scored a run and Oh had a double.
- Dante Bichette went 0-4 and struck out twice. He did have Charleston’s lone RBI.
- Cesar Vargas gave up one run on two hits and five Ks in five innings.
- Meanwhile, Dietrich Enns gave up one unearned run on two hits, a walk and six Ks in four innings of work.
Via Jon Heyman, Ian Clarkin signed with the Yankees for slot money. The 33rd pick of this year’s draft was the subject of a lot of talk when MLB played a clip of him talking about how his favorite moment in baseball was the Diamondbacks 2001 World Series win over the Yankees because he hates the Yankees. He quickly changed his tune in his interview and now the southpaw hurler is officially part of the organization. Of the Yankees three first round picks, only Aaron Judge is left still to sign.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lost to Lehigh Valley 4-2:
After three scoreless innings, the RailRiders broke through in the top of the fourth. Ronnier Mustelier drew a lead off walk and Dan Johnson followed with a double to right. A sac fly scored Mustelier and the recently promoted JR Murphy drew a walk. A single by Addison maruszak loaded the bases and Johnson scored when Alberto Gonzalez drew a walk, giving Scranton a 2-0 lead. Lehigh Valley got one run back in the bottom of the inning on a grounder by Steve Susdorf. A solo homer by Cody Overbeck in the bottom of the sixth tied the game, and the IronPigs took the lead in the seventh. Darin Ruf hit a solo shot to right and they added some insurance when Cameron Rupp singled in Leandro Castro for the 4-2 win.
Murphy went 0-2 in his first Triple-A start, picking up a pair of walks. Johnson went 3-5 with a run scored and two doubles. Walter Ibarra, Mustelier and Maruszak each had one hit for the RailRiders. Brett Marshall made the start and went 5.1 innings, giving up two runs on five hits, six walks and four Ks. Josh Spence gave up one hit and picked up one strikeout in one inning of work, while Jim Miller threw 1.2 innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits. He struck out five and walked no one.
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In case you missed it earlier, the Yankees have made some progress with their draft picks from last week. They’ve signed their top pick Eric Jagielo along with some other later picks. It sounds like Aaron Judge and Ian Clarkin may not be too far behind. As far as the action on the field, it was a quiet day for the Yankees’ affiliates. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre was off today and Tampa was postponed due to rain. Charleston overcame a shaky start by Rafael De Paula to beat Greenville, while Trenton came up short against Binghamton.
Trenton lost to Binghamton 6-1:
The Mets wasted little time in taking the lead. Josh Rodriguez drew a one out walk in the first and moved to third when Travis Taijeron hit a ground-rule double to left. A single by Allan Dykstra scored both runners, as Jose Pirela threw the ball away, giving Binghamton a 2-0 lead. Ramon Flores started the bottom of the inning with a double to short. Slade Heathcott singled and Tyler Austin drove in Flores for a 2-1 score. A pair of doubles in the second gave Binghamton some breathing room and after the third they held a 4-1 advantage. They added two more runs in the fifth, taking a 6-1 lead, while the Thunder continued to struggle to score. JR Murphy started the sixth with a single, but Kyle Roller, Carmen Angelini and Reegie Corona went down in order. Roller hit a two-out double in the eighth, but once again Trenton couldn’t bring him home. Trenton had one last shot in the ninth. With two outs Shane Brown drew a walk and moved to second on defensive indifference. Flores drew a walk as well, but Heathcott went down on strikes, giving Trenton the 6-1 loss.
Flores and Austin both went 1-3. Flores scored a run and had a double, while Austin drove in a run. Roller went 2-4 with a double and was the only Thunder hitter with multiple hits. Heathcott went 1-5 and Murphy went 1-4. Matt Tracy made the start, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk in two innings. Fred Lewis gave up three runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks, striking out two in 2.1 innings. Francisco Rondon scattered two hits and two walks in 3.1 innings of work, striking out seven batters. Tommy Kahnle ended the game with a hitless 1.1 innings of work, striking out two.
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The Yankees’ affiliates ended the weekend with a lot of baseball. Michael Pineda made his much anticipated rehab start for Tampa, who was swept by the Flying Tigers in today’s doubleheader. Interestingly (or not), they were not the only Yankee affiliate to face off against a “Flying” foe, as the Thunder beat the Flying Squirrels in walk-off fashion. Scranton came up short against Buffalo, while Charleston beat Asheville.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lost to Buffalo 4-1:
Chris Bootcheck found himself in trouble quickly. After striking out Anthony Gose to start the game, he gave up back-to-back doubles to Ryan Goins and Luis Jimenez before Mauro Gomez drew a homer over the fence in left. Jim Negrych doubled, scoring on a single by Ryan Langerhans and giving the Bisons a 4-0 lead. The RailRiders got a runner on in the bottom of the inning when Zoilo Almonte singled with one out, but Ronnier Mustelier and Dan Johnson went down to end the inning. Their next baserunner came when Thomas Neal hit a two-out single to right in the sixth, but Almonte struck out to end the threat. With three outs left in the game, the RailRiders finally put together a rally in the bottom of the ninth. Almonte singled and Mustelier drew a walk with no outs. A force out at third gave Buffalo their first out, but Mustelier moved to third on a throwing error to first. A sac fly by Josh Bell plated Mustelier, but that was the only offense the RailRiders could manage, as they fell 4-1.
Almonte went 2-4, with half of Scranton’s hits on the day. Mustelier went 0-3, scoring once and drawing one of Scranton’s two walks. Johnson and Neal had the Yankees only other hits. Bootcheck went seven innings, putting together a solid outing if he could forget about that ugly first inning. He gave up four runs on ten hits, two walks and five Ks. Matt Daley finished the game with two hitless innings, striking out four and walking one.
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Scranton and Charleston were rained out.
Trenton lost to Binghamton 5-4:
The Thunder drew first blood as Ramon Flores drew a lead off walk and moved to second on an error. A sac bunt moved him to third and he scored on a single by Tyson Blaser. Reegie Corona drew a walk and scored on a double by Ali Castillo. Ramon Flores plated Castillo with a double to right and the Thunder held a 3-0 lead. Binghamton answered with two runs in the bottom of the second, but Trenton held onto the lead through the fifth. Cesar Puello homered to start the bottom of the sixth, tying the game. A double by Alonzo Harris scored Joe Bonfe and Binghamton had their first lead. Slade Heathcott drew a walk and Kyle Roller followed with a single. A walk by Blaser loaded the bases and Jose Pirela hit a sac fly to left, scoring Heathcott and tying the game. Unfortunately, Puello started the bottom of the inning with another lead off homer, giving Binghamton the 5-4 win.
Castillo was the only Yankee with more than one hit, going 2-4 with a run scored, a double and a RBI. Corona and Flores both went 1-3 with a run scored. Flores had a double, a RBI and two walks. Matt Tracy threw 5.2 innings and gave up four runs on five hits, five walks and six Ks. Fred Lewis finished the game with 2.1 innings and gave up one run on two hits and a walk. He struck out five.
Tampa lost to Palm Beach 4-0:
The Yankees and Cardinals had a scoreless game going through five innings. The Yankees had a chance to score in the fourth, when Gary Sanchez doubled with one out. A single by Robert Refsnyder put runners on the corners, but Sanchez couldn’t score on a wild pitch and the Yankees weren’t able to capitalize. Palm Beach broke through in the sixth on a solo homer by Anthony Garcia. They added three more runs in the top of the eighth and the Yankees were unable to put up much of a fight, falling 4-0.
The Yankees only had a total of four hits, with Sanchez going 2-4 with a double and Refsnyder and Carmen Angelini both going 1-3. Sean Black made the start and held Palm Beach scoreless through five, walking four and allowing three hits. He struck out three. Diego Moreno allowed one run on two hits and a K in two innings of work. Dan Mahoney didn’t record an out for the second day in a row, allowing two runs on one hit. Joel De La Cruz finished the game with two innings. He allowed one run on four hits, a walk and a strikeout.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre beat Syracuse 8-0:
The RailRiders broke through in the bottom of the second inning. Brennan Boesch flew a double to center and Addison Maruszak knocked him in with a double of his own. A sac bunt by Bobby Wilson and a throwing error by the Syracuse pitcher, Paul Demny, allowed Maruszak to score and Wilson to reach second. Walter Ibarra, making his first at bat in Triple-A, rocked a homer to right, plating two more runs and giving the RailRiders a 4-0 lead. Ibarra singled in the fourth and Zoilo Almonte lined a single to right with two outs. A single by Ronnier Mustelier loaded the bases and a wild pitch plated Ibarra. Dan Johnson lined a two-run single to center and Scranton held a 7-0 lead. The RailRiders added another run in the seventh, when Melky Mesa reached on an error and scored on a Josh Bell double, giving them an 8-0 win.
Ibarra was the only hitter with more than one hit, going 2-4 with a pair of runs scored, a pair of RBIs and a homer. Bobby Wilson went 0-3, but the rest of the lineup each picked up one run, including Bell who came in for Boesch in the fourth. Ivan Nova threw six innings, giving up just two hits and two walks and striking out six. David Huff finished out the game, allowing three hits over three innings and striking out two.
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We are now two months through the baseball season and over the next couple weeks we will see the MLB First-Year Player Draft and the start of the season for the short-season clubs. Of course, before we get looking too far ahead we better take a look back at the month that was May. Overall, it was a tough one for the Yankees’ affiliates, as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and Tampa Yankees both had losing records for the month and have some space to make up in their divisions. The Trenton Thunder’s May was a little better, thanks to a seven-game win streak to end the month. Meanwhile the Charleston RiverDogs put together a surprisingly strong May and find themselves atop their Division in the Sally League.
Scranton went 11-18 over May, as they adjusted to losing players like Austin Romine and Vidal Nuno to the big league club for at least the month. They are currently 9.5 games behind Pawtucket in the International League North Division, in large part due to their lackluster offense. They have a .248/.339/.368 line for the season. Their average is second from the bottom in the IL and their slugging percentage is last. The RailRiders put together a decent on base percentage, thanks to their taking 240 walks, the second most in the IL. Once they get on base, however, they aren’t showing much speed, as they only have 19 stolen bases. The RailRiders’ pitching has provided a little relief. Their 4.33 ERA puts them in the middle of the pack. They have compiled 400 strikeouts, the fourth least in the league, while also issuing the fourth least walks (193).
While Scranton has gotten some help by the return of Ronnier Mustelier, who started slow but has picked up quite a bit. Thomas Neal continues to be a bright light in this lineup, however, Scranton is stuck with Bobby Wilson as their backstop while Romine fills in for the injured Francisco Cervelli. Wilson’s .182 average in May was actually an improvement over his April numbers, while Romine was hitting well for the RailRiders prior to his promotion. Chris Bootcheck, who was virtually unhittable in April with an opposing average of .179, struggled in May and adding to the frustrations in Scranton.
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