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.

Quick Hit: Pineda picks up AL Player of the Week Honors

MLB just announced the players of the week via Twitter, and it should come as no surprise that the Yankees’ own Michael Pineda is taking home the honors, after two lights out performances. Bryce Harper took the NL Player of the Week honors.


Pineda went 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA over fifteen innings of work. Not only did he allow just one run while scattering eleven hits, but he struck out an impressive 22 batters while walking just one. It’s worth pointing out that the one walk was not in the game where Pineda struck out sixteen Orioles.
Continue reading Quick Hit: Pineda picks up AL Player of the Week Honors

Prospects Who’s Not: April

sanchezInstead of today’s farm report, I’m bringing you the prospects who are not performing at their expected or hoped for levels. In case you missed it, I did a similar list of those prospects who started 2015 hot last week.

Austin Romine (Scranton): Romine went from competing for the backup position in the Bronx during Spring Training back to Triple-A, where he has struggled to show the Yankees they made a mistake in giving the spot to John Ryan Murphy. In fourteen games in April, Romine hit .192/.288/.365. He isn’t hitting much at all, but when he connects he is making a difference. Of his ten hits in April, seven were extra base hits (six doubles and a homer). He picked up six RBIs and drew six walks as well.

Tyler Austin (Scranton): Austin really struggled at the plate in April, hitting .213/.238/.275. He had just one homer and two doubles. Perhaps most telling is his 22 strikeouts, with only three walks. After an even slower start to May, Austin’s average has slipped below .200 and he has already added ten more strikeouts. Continue reading Prospects Who’s Not: April

Prospect Who’s Hot: April

[caption id="attachment_74727" align="aligncenter" width="560"]flores I see ya there, Ramon! Courtesy of MiLB.com[/caption]

After a brutally cold winter this year, it appears as though spring has finally made its way to the northeast, which must mean we have made it through the first month of baseball! I think many of us entered this season wondering what kind of year it would be for the Yankees and their affiliates, but so far 2015 seems to be off to a good start. This seemed like a good chance to look back on April and see which prospects are starting hot!

Chase Whitley (Scranton): Whitley started the season in Scranton and put up some strong performances. Now, he is holding his own in the Bronx with two strong showings under his belt during the absence of Tanaka. Before his call up, Whitley was 2-0 in three starts with a 2.12 ERA, thirteen strikeouts and only six walks.

Slade Heathcott (Scranton): After being sidelined by injuries quite a bit during his professional career, Heathcott made quite the impression during Spring Training and he hasn’t let up any. In the month of April, he hit .329/.386/.443. He a homer, a triple and pair of doubles, along with eleven RBIs and eight walks. Strikeouts were a problem, as he had fifteen. It is also worth noting that Heathcott is showing no signs of slowing down.

Ramon Flores (Scranton): Flores has also been a major part of the RailRiders’ offense this season. He hit .303/.378/.576 in April – oh yeah, and he hit for the cycle in the very first game of the season. Flores  knocked four homers and doubles last month, driving in ten runs for Scranton. The outfielder seems to thrive under pressure, hitting .391 when there are two outs as opposed to .188 with no outs. Continue reading Prospect Who’s Hot: April

The Farm Report: May 4

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders:
The RailRiders had a tougher week this past week, going 3-4. They avoided the three-game sweep by Gwinett, before splitting a four game series with Charlotte. They now own a 12-13 record and remain 3.5 games behind Buffalo.

The big news out of Scranton has been Jose Pirela, who continues to rehab in Scranton. In his four games with the RailRiders this week, Pirela went 11-19 (.579) with four doubles, a homer, four RBIs and a walk. He is hitting .364/.400/.606 over eight minor league starts spread between Tampa, Trenton and Scranton. Ben Gamel continues to swing a hot bat (.368/.427/.574), but Slade Heathcott had a slow week hitting just .250. Continue reading The Farm Report: May 4

The Farm Report: April 27

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders:
The RailRiders went 4-3 this week, putting them at 9-9 over all, and 3.5 games behind Buffalo in the IL North Division. They took two out of three from Lehigh Valley before splitting a four game set against Pawtucket. The RailRiders currently lead the IL in triples with seven.

Chase Whitley continues to impress, throwing six innings against Lehigh Valley on Wednesday, giving up one run on six hits, no walks and two Ks. He owns a 2.12 ERA right now, with opposing hitters batting just .210 off him. Whitley has struck out thirteen in three games, while walking just six. Jacob Lindgren made two appearances this week, each for 0.2 innings. He allowed only one hit, two walks and struck out three. He owns a 2.98 ERA over seven games and has opposing hitters batting just .206.

Tyler Austin had a tough week, going just 3-28 with one RBI. He took only one walk and struck out seven times. Heading into this week, Austin had a batting average at .300, but now his slashline is .221/.239/.294. Slade Heathcott, however, continues to rake. He has hit .395 over his last ten games, including going 12-28 this past week. He is now hitting .333/.373/.449. Ramon Flores had at bats in three games this past week, going 2-6, 3-2 and 3-1. He is now hitting .296/.377/.611 with four homers, a triple, three doubles and eight RBIs. Continue reading The Farm Report: April 27

Prospect Profile: Jorge Mateo

Jorge_MateoIt’s been a while since I did a prospect profile, so I thought I’d start this year with Jorge Mateo, the Charleston RiverDogs’ shortstop. Now that he is playing his first full season of professional baseball, the young middle infielder is garnering a lot of attention, so let’s look at why.

Jorge Luis Mateo
Born: June 23, 1995
Height: 6’0
Weight: 188
Bats: Right
Throws: RightPosition: Shortstop

Mateo was signed by the Yankees for $250,000 in January of 2012. He started his career in the Dominican Leagues, appearing in 14 games in 2012 and then 64 in 2013. It has been evident from day one that speed is Mateo’s game, and he managed to swipe 49 bags in 2013, a number he looks sure to easily eclipse this season.

In 2014, Mateo made his first appearance stateside, hitting .276/.354/.397 over sixteen games in the Gulf Coast League, though he missed a good chunk of time due to a wrist injury. He had five doubles and a triple, stealing eleven bases and only getting caught once. Mateo is off to a strong start in Charleston, putting together a line of .300/.375/.380 over thirteen games. He has two doubles, a triple and eight RBIs, and leads professional baseball with fourteen stolen basses, getting caught three times.
Continue reading Prospect Profile: Jorge Mateo

The Farm Report: 4/20/15

The RailRiders started the week off in rough form, losing four straight games, including a three-game sweep by Rochester. After dropping a game to Syracuse, however, Scranton came back and won the last three games of the week, putting them at 5-6 so far this season. Pawtucket is off to a strong start and leads the IL North division, while Scranton sits three games back.

Bryan Mitchell had a good week, throwing 3.2 innings on Monday and allowing just one run on five hits and two walks. Even though he only threw 3.2 innings, Mitchell tossed 87 pitches, thanks in part to his 7 strikeouts. On Sunday, not only did Mitchell turn 24, but he put together another stellar outing. He threw seven innings and allowed just one run on three hits and three walks, while striking out four. Jacob Lindgren picked up his second save of the season, throwing two hitless innings, walking one and striking out three.

Slade Heathcott hit his first Triple-A homer on Friday and followed it with a tenth inning sac fly that proved to be the game winner for the RailRiders. Ben Gamel is off to a very strong start to 2015, hitting .464/.531/.607 in eight games. He has two triples and five RBIs. Tyler Austin is hitting .300/.310/.425 in ten games. Ramon Flores has twice as many homers as the rest of the team, knocking four in ten games. Meanwhile, Rob Refsnyder has struggled, going .229/.289/.257 in his first nine games.

The Thunder went 3-3 this past week, giving them an overall record of 6-4. Reading leads the EL Eastern Division, but Trenton only trails by half a game. They were swept by Akron in a two-game stint at the start of the week, but recovered against Portland, who is off to a slow start this year.

Luis Severino made two starts, allowing just one hit to Akron on Tuesday, over his five innings. The Thunder lost the game after Severino was pulled. He struck out eight batters. Severino pitched again on Sunday, allowing his first run of the season, but holding Portland to just one run on three hits and four walks. He struck out another six.

Mason Williams, who has definitely faded from favor over the last couple seasons, has looked really good so far this year. He has a pair of doubles and seven RBIs, along with three stolen bases. His slashline over nine games is .344/.400/.406. Williams was a big part of the Thunder’s walk-off win against Portland on Thursday. With one strike left, he singled in Eric Jagielo to tie the game. In the tenth, Aaron Judge knocked a massive home run, giving the Thunder their first walk-off win since July 22, 2012 (Jose Pirela had the hit that day). Jake Cave is hitting .333/.478/.500 and has a homer and three doubles. Dante Bichette is having a good 2015 so far, hitting .256/.293/.462, with a homer, a triple, three doubles and seven RBIs. He has struck out ten times, as has Jagielo, which is two less than the team leader in Ks, Aaron Judge. Meanwhile, Gary Sanchez is playing abysmally right now, with a line of .120/.267/.280 over seven games. He has struck out nine times.

The Yankees went 3-3 this past week, though they are losing to Daytona rather heftily as I write this on Sunday night. Everyone got a hit in their 11-4 loss to Ft. Myers on Monday, but to no avail. They are currently a game and a half behind Daytona in the FSL North Division.

It is still hard to know where the bright spots in Tampa’s roster will be, but there have been a few glimmers of hope. On the offensive side, it appears to be all or nothing for the Yankees’ hitters. Danny Oh, Matt Snyder and Miguel Andujar, all have batting averages over .300. Isaias Tejeda and Tyler Wade have put up some respectable numbers, but otherwise the hitting has been very week. Angelo Gumbs, for example, is hitting .129/.156/.129. They have only two homers as a team.

On the mound, the Yankees have some good signs. Rookie Davis threw a strong game on Wednesday, going five innings and allowing just three hits and an unearned run. He walked one and struck out seven, bringing his total for the season to twelve. Jonathan Holder is also doing well, allowing just two runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out seven in his two outings.

The RiverDogs went 4-2 this week and they are currently beating Savannah 8-3 in a game that has been postponed until next week due to rain, as Charleston is in the midst of a seven-run inning. They are just half a game behind Asheville in the SAL Southern Division.

Connor Spencer has been the main bat for Charleston so far, hitting .353/.439/.412 over ten games. He has a pair of doubles and four RBIs. He has also managed to draw five walks. Jorge Mateo is definitely making an impact at the plate and on the bases. He is hitting .303/.410/.364 over nine games. He has two doubles, four RBIs, six walks and twelve stolen bases. He has been caught stealing twice, but I’ll take twelve steals in nine games and give up a couple outs. Austin Aune has a pair of doubles and triples, hitting .265/.324/.441, but he has also struck out nineteen times. Abiatal Avelino adds to Charleston’s speed threat. He has stolen nine bases in ten games, hitting six doubles and putting up a .256/.310/.410.
Continue reading The Farm Report: 4/20/15

Who is Jose Peraza?

Yesterday, George King wrote that the Yankees had expressed interest in Atlanta Braves’ Triple-A second baseman, Jose Peraza. With the future of the Yankees’ infield very much influx, it is not surprising that they are looking for young middle infielders. While Robert Refsnyder has moved quickly through the system and garnered a lot of attention, he continues to struggle defensively at second base. I find it hard to believe that the Yankees are writing off Refsnyder, as King and others have surmised, but there is no question that the future of the Yankees’ infield is a major concern. Didi Gregorious, Gregorio Petit and Stephen Drew have provided the Yankees with very little offense this year, and while there is plenty of time for these guys to turn their seasons around, the Yankees need to do their due diligence.

Granted, the Braves have shown no interest in parting with one of their top prospects, but we all know how quickly things can change. So, just who is Jose Peraza? Or perhaps even more importantly, who are the Yankees willing to part with for this young prospect? Let’s see what we can find out. Continue reading Who is Jose Peraza?

The Farm Report: Opening Week!

For the 2015 season, I will be doing the Farm Report as a weekly post reviewing how the Yankees’ affiliates fared in the previous week. It may take some time to get a good feel for the best way to do this, so please bear with me. Feel free to let me know what is working and what isn’t and I’ll try to adjust it as best I can.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders:
The RailRiders are off to a 2-2 start to 2015, however, their opening day game gave them a lot to live up to this year. Scranton beat Syracuse 8-3, but the story was Ramon Flores. The young outfielder started the day’s scoring with a homer in the first inning, and finished the day as the third Scranton player to ever hit for the cycle. He ended up going 4-4 with three runs scored, two RBIs and a walk. As a team, Scranton had 16 hits, assisted by Kyle Roller, who went 3-5, and Robert Refsnyder, who went 2-4 with a RBI, a walk and a run scored.

Scranton dropped the next two games, but came back to split the four-game series with a win on Sunday. The RailRiders had a chance to see a little more history, as Tyler Austin fell just a triple shy of the cycle. Chase Whitley took the mound and threw a very strong five innings, spreading out four hits and walking two. He struck out five and got the win. Austin went 3-4 with a run scored, a double, a homer and two RBIs.

With some interesting prospects and a lot of questions about the big league club, it is going to be a very interesting year for the RailRiders. Roller, Austin and Flores are all off to a strong start, but Slade Heathcott, who had an exciting spring, has been slow to heat up now that the games count. He is 3-14 with one RBI and four Ks. Nick Rumbelow is doing well in relief, allowing just one hit, one run and one walk over three innings. He has struck out four.

Trenton Thunder:
The Thunder had their Opening Day game postponed due to weather, but that didn’t slow down what is probably the most exciting lineup in the Yankees’ system right now. They beat the Erie SeaWolves 15-2 on Friday, thanks to fifteen hits and four errors on Erie. Everyone in the lineup got at least one hit and Jake Cave went 4-6 with two runs scored, a stolen base, a homer and two RBIs. Aaron Judge went 2-6 with three RBIs and a homer, while Dante Bichette and Cito Culver went 2-5, with Bichette going deep once.

Trenton showed that the offensive outburst wasn’t a fluke, when they beat Erie 9-3 on Saturday. Once again, the offense came from the whole lineup, with everyone getting a hit with the exception of Greg Bird. There was a lot of power, some of it from surprising places. Gary Sanchez had his first homer of the year, while Eric Jagielo clubbed two home runs. Cito Culver rounded it out with a three-run bomb of his own. The Thunder took their win streak to three, taking the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday, but Erie managed to pull off a 3-2 win over Trenton to split the day.

Tampa Yankees:
Tampa faced off against Lakeland to start off their 2015 campaign. They drew first blood, with Ericson Leonora scoring on a Danny Oh sac fly in the fifth. Angelo Gumbs singled in Matt Snyder to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth. Lakeland put together a bit of a rally in the bottom of the eighth, but the Yankees held them to one run and took the 2-1 win.

After four games, the Yankees are 2-2, having alternated victories. Snyder is off to a strong start, going 5-11 in four games with a homer, three walks, four RBIs and two Ks. Miguel Andujar has gone 6-16 with three doubles and two RBIs. On the mound, Rookie Davis put in a good showing, allowing just one run on three hits over six innings. He did not issue a walk and struck out five. Jonathan Holder picked up a win, throwing six scoreless innings and allowing just three hits and striking out four, while Brady Lail has already notched up nine Ks in just five innings this season. He has scattered four hits.

Charleston RiverDogs:
The RiverDogs got off to a slow start, dropping their first two games of the season, but they rebounded and managed to split the four-game series with Lexington. Justin Kamplain threw six strong innings on Saturday, allowing just two hits and a walk, while striking out six. Joey Maher and Cale Coshow combined to keep the Legends scoreless over the last three innings and Charleston took the 2-0 win. They extended their win streak on Sunday, when they beat the Legends 4-2. Abiatal Avelino went 2-3 with a double, two runs scored, a walk, a RBI and three stolen bases. Jorge Mateo went 2-4 with a RBI and a run scored, picking up four stolen bases.

Chris Breen and Austin Aune have both started the season going 4-13. Breen has a double and two RBIs, while Aune has a triple. They have both struck out seven times. Avelino is 4-15 with three runs scored, three doubles, a RBI and six stolen bases. Jordan Montgomery appears to have the pitching performance of the week, going 5.2 innings and allowing just one unearned run on five hits and a walk. He struck out nine batters in that outing.
Continue reading The Farm Report: Opening Week!