The Red Sox who were rumored to have been in talks with Tino Martinez for their hitting coach position before he landed the gig with the Miami Marlins got their man today. Greg Colbrunn, who has been the hitting coach for Low-A Charleston since 2007 was named to Boston’s staff.
Colbrunn was the Riverdogs’ hitting coach from 2007-2009, managed the team in 2010 and went back to being their hitting coach in 2011 and 2012.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman had this to say about Colbrunn:
“Greg is more than qualified for that job and in our estimation no better hitting candidate in the marketplace than him. We were lucky to have him for as long as we did.”
Colbrunn played with the 2001 Diamondbacks and won a World Series title with them.
MILB.com has released their picks for the Yankees’ 2012 minor league All-Stars, a list you can see here. It really doesn’t mean anything, but it’s a pretty fun read if only because prospect status doesn’t enter into the equation at all. Thus the list includes a range of minor leaguers going all the way from top prospects Gary Sanchez, Mason Williams, and Tyler Austin to middling prospects like Corban Joseph and all the way down to total fringe guys like Ronnier Mustelier and Vidal Nuno. Plus there’s video of Mark Montgomery. That alone is worth a click through.
Tonight was the deadline for adding Rule V draft eligible minor leaguers to the 40 man roster in order to protect them from being selected by another team, and the Yankees acted robustly on this front, protecting six such players. Left-handed pitchers Manny Banuelos, Nik Turley, and Francisco Rondon, right-handed pitchers Brett Marshall and Jose Ramirez, and outfielder Ramon Flores were all had their contracts selected, and the Yankees also claimed 26 year old right-handed pitcher Mickey Storey off of waivers from Houston. By my count, that brings their 40-man roster total to 39, but of course they still have to sign Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte, plus get a starting catcher and corner outfielder, at least, so there will be more changes coming. Banuelos, Dellin Betances, and Michael Pineda will be put on the 60 day disabled list as soon as they can be, but that’s not until camp opens, so it’s guaranteed that at least a few guys on the 40 man roster right now won’t be there for long.
Kevin Russo has apparently signed a minor league contract with the Tigers. Russo was drafted by the Yankees in 2006 and made his major league debut in 2010. The utility player had a strong year for the Empire State Yankees in 2012, hitting .284/.358/.351, however it was his fourth year in Triple-A and at 28 it was clear the Yankees had no future plans for him, granting him free agency earlier this month.
The Peoria Javelinas defeated the Salt River Rafters 4-3 for the Arizona Fall League Championship. The game was notable for having the first official protest in AFL history, as the Rafters objected to some calls on a play that would have tied the game in the seventh. The officials upheld the original ruling and the Javelinas took the win. Chris McGuiness, a first baseman with the Texas Rangers organization, took the AFL MVP award. Cole Kimball, who pitched for Salt River this fall and is part of the Washington Nationals system, beat out David Adams and four others for the Stenson Award.
The Arizona Fall League has ended, with the Championship game slated for tomorrow when the Salt River Rafters will take on the Peoria Javelinas. The Yankees’ prospects spent the season with the Scottsdale Scorpions, who ended up 15-16 and 2.5 games behind the Rafters. There were some performances to get excited about, but – as has been the theme for the Yankees’ this season – the players closest to the Majors continued to struggle. I’ll get the bad news out of the way first.
Dellin Betances wasn’t able to get past the rest of his rough 2012 season, going 1-3 with a 5.25 ERA over eight appearances and twelve innings, though the news wasn’t all bad. After an ugly first outing, Betances did string together some solid performances, keeping opposing teams scoreless over four games (5.2 innings). He only allowed three hits and one walk, which was a good sign for a pitcher whose lack of control was particularly problematic this season. Betances got knocked around for four runs on five hits, no even lasting an inning against Salt River. He came back and threw two scoreless innings in his last outing of the year. While Betances has clearly seen his prospect drop off quite a bit this year, the fact that he only walked four, while striking out fifteen, in Arizona was a welcome sign.
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Baseball America is out with their list of the Yankees’ top ten prospects today, and the list has some rather…interesting quirks. You can get the whole list for free here, but need to be a subscriber to read the full scouting reports. Here’s the list:
1. Mason Williams OF
2. Slade Heathcott OF
3. Gary Sanchez C
4. Tyler Austin OF
5. Jose Campos RHP
6. Brett Marshall RHP
7. Angelo Gumbs 2B
8. Manny Banuelos LHP
9. Ty Hensley RHP
10. Rafael DePaula RHP
I won’t put out my own rankings until late February, but I’ve got some quick thoughts on these rankings after the jump.
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The Arizona Fall League held its annual all star game yesterday and the Rising Star Game, as it is called, ended up being a nice showcase for some Yankee prospects. Austin Romine tripled in one of his two at bats and scored the tying run at the time on a wild pitch. David Adams went one for four and played second the entire game. Adams’ one hit was a double and it drove in two runs. He would later score a run. Mark Montgomery pitched the eighth inning and threw a perfect inning, striking out all three batters he faced.
The only semi-negative aspect of the game was the two stolen bases that Billy Hamilton recorded while Romine was behind the plate. Hamilton stole over a hundred bases this season in the minors, so it’s not like Romine is alone in that category. And Romine’s throw to second on the first steal was a laser and appeared to beat Hamilton there.
The AFL East team that included the Yankee prospects won the game 9-4.
Just in case you are jonesing for live baseball like I am, the Arizona Fall League’s Rising Stars game will be shown tonight at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on MLB Network.
Yankee prospects Mark Montgomery, Austin Romine and David Adams were all selected for the roster. And just in case you haven’t seen Billy Hamilton, phenom shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds, he will also will also be playing in tonight’s game.
So far in AFL play, Montgomery has pitched in seven games – 8.1 innings – and has only allowed two hits and one earned run while fanning 15 batters. Romine has managed to stay healthy so far this Fall – he suffered a back injury in Spring Training and missed nearly the minor league entire season. He’s batting .273 with three doubles in 12 games. And Adams, while his average isn’t anything to write home about (.226) he has hit six doubles which leads the team.
Tonight’s game will be a chance for us poor baseball deprived people to watch a real live game again and will also give us a chance to check out some of the Yankee prospects we haven’t seen before.
As excited as I am to see the Yankees prospects, I’m even more excited to see Hamilton. In 82 games in 2012, Hamilton had a .323/.413/.439 line and he stole 104 bases (No, that’s not a typo). He was caught stealing 21 times. I want to see how fast Hamilton really is and I hope he steals second, third and home in this game.
The Yankees have reassigned long-time minor league pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras and have replaced him with Gil Patterson.
From the New York Post:
Gil Patterson was hired as minor league pitching coordinator. Patterson had been a candidate to become pitching coach after Dave Eiland’s departure two years ago and most recently worked with the A’s. The former Yankees pitcher replaces Nardi Contreras, who will stay with the organization.
Contreras was instrumental in developing the “Joba Rules” and pitching count guidelines while holding his coordinator position. He will remain within the organization.