Minor League Preview: Trenton Thunder

trentonThis year’s Trenton Thunder have a lot to live up to after they not only won the Eastern League Championship last year, but swept their way through the playoffs after winning the last nine games of the regular season. While Ramon Flores, Ali Castillo and Ben Gamel put together big offensive performances in the postseason, it was Trenton’s pitching that gave them success during the season, giving up the second least hits in the EL and the third least runs.

If there ever was a group to propel Trenton to a repeat Championship, this may be it.  As Brad mentioned yesterday, the top of the Thunder lineup will be Mason Williams, Rob Refsnyder, Rob Segedin and Gary Sanchez. That is a lineup that should give EL pitchers some nightmares. Sanchez, of course, has been at or near the top of most Yankee prospect lists the last couple years. He ended 2013 in Trenton, after playing most of the year in Tampa.…

Read more

Joe’s Lineup Decisions Suggest Lessons Learned From Last Year

Joe vs HOU II

When you’re coming off 2 straight losses to what was the worst team in MLB by a wide margin last year and you decide to sit your leadoff hitter, cleanup hitter, and starting third baseman in the 3rd game of the season, that’s normally a decision that will draw some questions.  I certainly had a few in my head when I got a look at the lineup before last night’s game.  I didn’t understand why Joe would want to rest Brian McCann already when he’s got a Friday night/Saturday afternoon setup this weekend in Toronto, and I really didn’t understand why he felt the need to play the platoon matchup game with Kelly Johnson and a guy making his MLB debut in Yangervis Solarte when Johnson has a higher career OPS against lefties than righties.

As it turns out, Joe knew exactly what he was doing.  Solarate and Ichiro Suzuki combined for 5 hits and 4 runs scored from the bottom of the order subbing for Johnson and Jacoby Ellsbury, leading the offensive charge in the team’s first win.  …

Read more

The Farm Report: Minor League Opening Day!

Well, the 2014 season is officially underway down on the farm, with all four full season Yankees affiliates taking their first hacks of the season. On the whole, it was a good start to the season for most of the Yankees’ minor league counterparts, as Trenton was the lone loss of the day.

Scranton/WB beat Syracuse 4-1:
The RailRiders got the season started on the right foot, as Jose Pirela singled to center. Scott Sizemore drove the ball to left, putting runners on the corners. A double-play ball by Zoilo Almonte brought home Pirela and the RailRiders took the early lead. Russ Canzler lead off the fourth with a double, moving to third on an error. With two outs, Ramon Flores drove a triple to right, doubling the Scranton score. The RailRiders added some insurance in the fifth. Zelous Wheeler singled, as did Sizemore. An error on the Chiefs’ first baseman allowed Almonte to reach and Wheeler to score before Canzler connected with another double, plating Sizemore and putting the RailRiders ahead 4-0.…

Read more

IIATMS Podcast Episode 12: Games! 2014 Minor League Storylines, & Daniel Murphy Controversy

Domenic, EJ and yours truly were all excited during last night’s podcast because we finally have real live baseball to discuss. We touched upon the first two games, while also providing brief play by play of last night’s game against the Astros – that’s what happens when you record a podcast while a game is happening. We also discussed the Minor League storylines to look out for in 2014 and had a spirited discussion about the Daniel Murphy paternity leave controversy that was big news here in New York. Hint: We all think Mike Francesa is a jackass.

As always, you can comment below, leave us a tweet or email us questions, comments and suggestions.

Read more

The Yangervis Solarte Show: Yankees 4, Astros 2

Everyone, come back from the ledge, the Yankees got their first win of the season!

Was it perfect? No. But it was just what the doctor ordered for all of us. Now we can go to bed happy knowing that there is no chance of the Yankees finishing the year 0-162.

Yangervis Solarte started for the first time in his Major League career and he made the most of it going 3-3 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored. Before the game, he went around with a copy of the lineup card and asked his Yankee teammates to sign it for him. This was a very big deal for him and it’s nice to see that ended up he having a good game.

Derek Jeter also contributed to the scoring with a single in the top of the fifth that scored Solarte and put the Yankees up 3-1. It was Jeter’s 3,318th career hit which puts him one behind Paul Molitor for eighth on the all-time hit list.…

Read more

Game Three: Yankees at Astros 4/3/14


Dear Ivan Nova,

Tonight isn’t exactly a “must win” game, it’s way too early for that, but it is most definitely a “should win” game. Now, with how stagnant the offense has been the past two games, we’re going to need for you to be pretty damn good. Like, so good that you pitch a shutout. Well, we also need the bullpen to help you out with that too. But do you think you can go out there and pitch like, oh I don’t know, seven or eight shutout innings? It would be really great if you could.

Thanks big guy.

So, yes, the pitching matchup is Nova vs. Brett Oberholtzer. Hopefully the Yankees can figure out how to hit this guy or this game thread will be 100+ comments of doom and despair.

Here are your lineups:

Gardner CF
Jeter SS
Beltran DH
Teixeira 1B
Soriano LF
Cervelli C
Roberts 2B
Suzuki RF
Solarte 3B

Fowler CF
Grossman LF
Castro C
Altuve 2B
Carter DH
Krauss 1B
Dominguez 3B
Presley RF
Villar SS

Milestone update: Derek Jeter is coming into tonight’s game with 3,317 career hits which is good for ninth place on MLB’s all-time list.…

Read more

Quick hit: “Core Four” at Opening Day

The Yankees just announced that Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte will throw out the ceremonial first pitches to Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada at Monday’s home opener.

If you hear squealing during those ceremonial first pitches, it’s me screaming from Section 420A. You’ve been warned.

Read more

Tonight’s Lineup at Houston: 4/3/14

Gardner 8
Jeter 6
Beltran DH
Teixeira 3
Soriano 7
Cervelli 2
Roberts 4
Ichiro 9
Solarte 5

Nova 1

Look who is making his first start and playing third base today, Yangervis Solarte (oh oh).

You’ll also notice that Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann aren’t playing, that Alfonso Soriano will be in the field and that Carlos Beltran will be the DH. Tonight also marks both Francisco Cervelli‘s and Ichiro Suzuki‘s 2014 debuts.

Read more

Flashback: November 2009

David Letterman just announced that he will be retiring from late night television in 2015 and in honor of him and his long-running show, I present, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui appearing on Dave’s show in November 2009 shortly after their World Series victory.

Jeter is such a smartass, isn’t he?

Read more