About Tamar Chalker

Tamar has written for IIATMS since July 2009, having started off writing game recaps before shifting to the minor leagues. Born in Connecticut and having lived all over the country and in South Korea, Tamar now finds herself "temporarily misplaced" in New Hampshire. Please send help - I can pay you in maple syrup.

Minor League Playoff Preview: Trenton Thunder

The loss of major prospects like Dellin Betances and Manuel Banuelos made pitching a question mark for the Thunder, heading into the season. Of course, Betances was eventually demoted, but he was still largely battling the same control issue he had with Empire State. Despite this, the Thunder put together some nice pitching performances in 2012. Their team 3.74 ERA was fourth lowest and they managed 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings and allowed just 95 homers.

Brett Marshall was the standout pitcher for Trenton this season, going 13-7 with a 3.52 ERA. He struck out 120 batters while walking just 53 and keeping opposing hitters to a .255 average. Unfortunately, the Thunder will need him to shake off an ugly August, where he went 2-3 with a 6.03 ERA and got smacked around for a .291 average. Shaeffer Hall was another solid arm for Trenton, going 910 with a 3.67 ERA, 100 Ks and just 41 walks. On a couple occasions he flirted with the rare minor league complete game.… Click here to read the rest

Minor League Playoff Preview: Empire State Yankees v. Pawtucket Red Sox

Pitching was supposed to be the big story of the Empire State season – and it was – but not for the reasons we all expected. As the season went along, the only remaining member of the original rotation was Adam Warren, who is now in the Bronx. Still, the Yankees had a 3.86 ERA as a team, the sixth lowest in the International League and was in the top half of the league in most pitching categories. They combined that with one of the stronger defenses in the IL. The Yankees led the league in fielding percentage at .983, though Pawtucket owned an equally impressive .982 fielding percentage. Yankee catchers caught 31% of stolen base attempts, but allowed a league leading 22 passed balls.

While the Yankees did not have the starting rotation we expected, they had plenty of strong arms filling in. Ramon Ortiz has been a dependable arm for the Yankees, going 13-6 with a 3.45 ERA, 4.10 FIP and .281 BABIP over 27 games.… Click here to read the rest

The Farm Report: 9/3/12

Mesa went 2-5 with a run scored. Baker went 1-2 with a double and two RBIs. Michael O’Connor went three innings and gave up a run on three hits and a strikeout. Jon Meloan threw two hitless innings, walking a batter and striking out one. Francisco Rondon went 2.1 and gave up three runs on four hits, a walk and two Ks.

Trenton beat Binghamton 8-5:
The Mets took the lead in the bottom of the first, as Allan Dystra hit a RBI double to right and Eric Campbell followed with a sac fly for the 2-0 edge. They added another run in the bottom of the second, but the Thunder started their come back in the fourth. Adonis Garcia lead off with a single to left and Ramon Flores followed with his first Double-A homer, cutting the lead to one run. Trenton rallied in the sixth, as Walter Ibarra flew a double to left. Garcia and Flores grounded out, but Tyler Austin singled in Ibarra to tie the game.… Click here to read the rest

The Farm Report: 9/2/12

Trenton beat Binghamton 5-4:
The Thunder fell behind early, as Binghamton hit back-to-back doubles to start the first. A single by Wilmer Flores gave the Mets a 2-0 lead. The Thunder struck back in the top of the third, as Kevin Mahoney singled and Rob Segedin followed with a double. A ground out by Shane Brown plated Mahoney, cutting the Mets’ lead in half. J.R. Murphy doubled to right in the sixth and Zoilo Almonte singled. Addison Maruszak reached on an error, scoring Murphy to tie the game 2-2. Almonte drove a two-out homer to right for the lead in the eighth. Maruszak doubled in the ninth and scored on a grounder by Segedin for the 4-2 lead, but Binghamton rallied in the bottom of the ninth. Francisco Pena opened up the inning with a single to left. an error by Brown let Wilfredo Tovar reach.  Pedro Zapata bunted for a single, scoring Pena. A wild pitch by Ryan Pope allowed Tovar to score and an error by Maruszak plated Zapata for the 5-4 walk-off Binghamton win.… Click here to read the rest

The Farm Report: 9/1/12 – A-Rod still hitless in rehab assignment

Garcia went 4-4 with a run scored, a RBI and three doubles. Luke Murton went 2-4 with a double. Kevin Mahoney was the only Trenton hitter to fail to get a hit, going 0-4. Craig Heyer went five and gave up one run on six hits, a walk and four Ks. Mark Montgomery went two innings and struck out two.

Tampa lost to Lakeland 8-1:
Ramon Flores tripled in the first, but the Yankees couldn’t capitalize. Lakeland drew first blood in the bottom of the third, as Hernan Perez opened up the inning with a homer to left and Marcus Lemon hit a two-run shot to right for a 3-0 lead. Flores drew a walk in the top of the fourth, but was picked off. Tyler Austin took a free pass and moved to second on a passed ball. Gary Sanchez singled to left, plating Austin for the Yankees first run. Dixon Machado hit a two run double in the fifth, giving the Flying Tigers some breathing room.… Click here to read the rest

The Farm Report: 8/31/12

Trenton lost to Binghamton 8-5:
The Mets scored quickly, as Dustin Martin hit a two-run homer and Eric Campbell hit a sac fly giving them a 3-0 lead after one. They added four more runs in the second on back-to-back homers by Wilmer Flores and Allan Dykstra. Binghamton added one more run in the bottom of the sixth, but the Thunder started to chip away at the lead in the seventh. Luke Murton singled and Kevin Mahoney hit into a ground-rule double. A single by Rob Segedin plated Murton and Shane Brown drove in Mahoney with a single to left. Walter Ibarra doubled in Segedin and Adonis Garcia hit a sac fly that plated Brown, as Trenton trailed 8-4. Murton hit a solo homer in the eighth, but that was all the Thunder could manage, taking an 8-5 loss.

Murton went 2-4 with two runs scored, a homer and a RBI. Segedin went 2-3 with a run scored, a RBI and a walk.… Click here to read the rest

Exciting group of prospects headed to the Arizona Fall League

David Adams (2B/3B) will also take some hacks in Scottsdale this fall, in an attempt to catch him up after what amounts to two lost seasons. Adams played only 39 games in 2010 and 29 in 2011, as he recovered from an ankle injury that famously resulted in the disintegration of the Jesus MonteroCliff Lee trade with Seattle. It has been a long road back for the highly touted infielder, but he seems well on his way back after a strong showing in Trenton this year. He is hitting .309/.390/.456 with eight homers over 84 games. The AzFL  has often been used to give players changing positions extra time in their new spot, and that might also be the case with Adams. After playing second base for virtually his entire professional career (he played third for fourteen games in Charleston in 2009), Adams has been at third since July.

Slade Heathcott (OF) will also head to Arizona this fall, after a pair of shoulder surgeries slowed him down.… Click here to read the rest