Category Archives: Winter Leagues

Baseball news.

From Lohud, with my comments:

• The Yankees first significant signing of the winter — if you call it that — could be shortstop Brendan Ryan. The team is said to be “close” to a deal that would bring Ryan back as infield insurance. He’s an elite defender, and he had his moments with the bat during his brief Yankees tenure this season.

My thought? Ryan is a great defensive SS who can’t hit. It may be time to get Jeter off of SS and to DH him much more often (the same can be said for A-Rod and 3B if he comes back).  

• Knowing the Yankees are in the market for a shortstop, Derek Jeter spoke at Joe Torre’s foundation gala and said he still fully expects to be the Yankees everyday player at the position next season. Jeter has started his offseason workout and said he feels good. He expects to be 100 percent healthy in 2014.

• Brian Cashman made it clear that the Yankees will tender a contract to Francisco Cervelli, meaning Cervelli will be back in some capacity next season. Chris Stewart might not be back.

My thoughts? Let Cervelli go. Let Stewart go too. Get someone like McCann or go for Pierzynski on a one-year deal to let Romine, Murphy and/or Sanchez develop. I’m down on Cervelli what with that suspension. Stewart, although good defensively, can’t hit a lick.

• The Arizona Fall League season came to an end. Vidal Nuno probably had the most impressive numbers of all the Yankees prospects assigned to the league. The numbers from Peter O’Brien and Mason Williams showed a mix of good and bad, while the most significant Yankees news coming out of Arizona was the early decision to pull Tyler Austin because of ongoing wrist issues.

I liked Nuno. He had a good spring training, is a lefty (needed since Andy retired) and was 1-2, 2.25 in 20 IP (5 g., 3 starts) for the Yanks last season. His season came to a quick end. I’d like to see more of him. Does he have what it takes to be successful over a full season?    

• Nothing official yet, but it certainly sounds like the Yankees are going to play two exhibition games in Panama next season. The trip would be a sort of gesture of thanks to Mariano Rivera, who’s from Panama and would, presumably, make the trip.

Fantastic finish.

I don’t know how today’s NFL games can top the finish of that 49ers/Saints game yesterday. What, four TD’s back-and-forth in the last 5 minutes or so? Once you thought it was over, it (as Yogi said) wasn’t. 49ers win and now find out if they host the Giants or go to Green Bay.

As for the other game, a blowout. Tebow (6 for 28) did what I thought he’d do against my Steelers. I give him credit for beating Pittsburgh, but New England was having none of it. A fabulous game by Brady (6 TD passes) as it was a blowout by halftime.

Today, Texans at Ravens, Giants at GB. As for GB, cue that old Three Dog Night song, “Eli’s Coming.”

It appears that Bartolo Colon found a new team. It could be the A’s.

Just some reminders. There is an RSS feed. Comments are welcomed (just keep it clean in case there are kiddies reading), and if you want to advertise, you may, but there are rates.

Oh, Btw, Cespedes isn’t impressing in some games right now. It may take him a while to get his bearings, but so far… trouble with the slider and it’s making his stock drop…

News on youngsters

The NY Post is reporting that Jesus Montero will be called up tomorrow. He’s at .288-18-67 for SWB.

Four minor leaguers will be going to the Arizona Fall League: P Dave Phelps, 2B Corban Joseph, OF Rob Segedin and INF Ronnier Mustelier.

News on Colon, Baldelli

MLBTR reports that Rocco Baldelli is retiring at the age of 29. It’s sad. In his first two seasons, Baldelli at age 21 and 22 hit .289 and .280, stole 44 bases and hit 27 HR. He was considered to be a can’t miss star—at a time when Tampa Bay (2003 and 2004) needed a star besides Carl Crawford. Then came injuries and illness. As MLBTR reports:

He missed the entire 2005 season and considerable chunks of the 2006-10 seasons as he dealt with foot, hamstring, and hip injuries, plus a type of channelopathy, which has caused muscle fatigue.

After 2004, Baldelli never played 100 games in a season again. From 2006-2010, the number of games he appeared in counted 92, 35, 28, 62 and 10. From that great beginning, to these numbers 2006-2010:

Average 45 games a year, .268-7-22. He retires with a .278 career BA, 60 HR, 60 SB. OPS+ 101.

What could have been.

Meanwhile, a minor league signing for the Yanks as they decide to give Bartolo Colon a look. After reading that, let’s just say that MY Colon isn’t doing very well. Colon pitched for Tony Pena in the Dominican Winter League, and he and scouts must have liked what they saw. Whatever. Colon will be 38 in May, 2011. Since his CYA year of 2005 (when I thought, and I still do feel, Mo should have won the award) when he went 21-8, 3.48, Colon has gone 14-21, 5.18. Those numbers are from 2006-2009. He wasn’t in the majors in 2010. In those four years, Colon only averaged 12 games a year. The last we saw of him, he was 3-6, 4.19 for the White Sox in 2009. Maybe Sidney Ponson’s old pants will still fit him. It’s funny how Baseball Reference has him listed at 6 feet, 185. He probably hasn’t been 185 since his rookie year. 245 to 255 is more like it.

As for the deal, ugh. Desperation. I’ll be (pleasantly) shocked if he makes the Yanks and does well. I’m certainly not expecting it to happen, though. 

Colon, excessive? and the end of a streak.

Could the Yankees be interested in Bartolo Colon? He says that the Yanks, Rangers and Indians are interested. He’s pitched well in winter ball, but it seems as if he is in the same boat as Jeff Francis and Freddy Garcia. A chancy risk.

Colon turns 38 next May. Since going 21-8, 3.48 and winning the 2005 CYA (one I thought should have gone to Mo) he has gone 14-21, 5.18. He went 3-6, 4.19 in 12 starts for the White Sox in 2009 and wasn’t in the majors in 2010. Risky.

I don’t like hot dogs, as you may know from previous posts. But the ending of the Pinstripe bowl in Yankee Stadium today has me wondering. In case you don’t know, Kansas St. was down 36-28 with a minute or two left in the game. They got a TD but the player who scored the TD was called for excessive celebration for what was what, a 2-second salute? So the tying 2-point conversion try wasn’t from the two yard line but from the 17. Not good. Syracuse won 36-34. I don’t like hot dogging, but that was NOT excessive celebration. Note the word EXCESSIVE. Later that night, a Tennessee WR scored a TD, did  a dance, and saluted TWICE. No Flag. I know excessive is subjective, but c’mon. Be real. If I have to point out what excessive is and is not, we have a problem.

After 90 wins in a row, the U Conn women’s basketball team were defeated by Stanford tonight by 12 points. I believe the Cardinal women were the last ones to beat them. An impressive streak. We’ve seen Penn State women’s volleyball win 109 consecutive matches and the U Conn women’s basketball team win 90 in a row. Both very impressive.

Ken Rosenthal reports (via MLBTR) that the Yanks are not in on Rafael Soriano and that talks on Keppinger went nowhere. He also states that Eduardo Nunez is playing 3B in the Dominican. No surprise there, as he played some 3B with the Yanks last year. The more versatile he is, the better.

The Yanks are said to be interested in Brian Fuentes, but he wants $5MM per and a multi-year. Could the Yanks go with THREE lefties in the bullpen (Logan, Fuentes and Feliciano)? It’s said the Rays are interested in Fuentes and after losing Soriano and Benoit may need him.


A JD return? I argue against it.

Various blogs report via Ken Davidoff that the Yanks have talked to Johnny Damon.

I like JD. I also think the Yanks made the right move in moving from him last year. JD is now 37 and to be truthful, can’t play the OF anymore. I don’t want his lack of an arm out there.

Besides, he is a lefty bat. I thought the Yanks were looking for a righty (speaking of, Kearns is back to Cleveland. Cleveland has Shelley Duncan. Could Shelley now be available? Shelley’s numbers against lefties aren’t shabby, he can play LF, RF and 1B, and is popular among Yankee fans. He’s 31 and although he is just a .227 career hitter (OPS+ 96), he is a .264 hitter vs. lefties with an .823 OPS. Against righties the OPS is just .641. As a guy who is used solely vs. lefty pitching, could Shelley be a good return? Hmmm….).

Ok, here is what I really would rather have. Brandon Laird, who could be a better option than Duncan or Damon. This winter, Laird went to the Arizona Fall League to learn the corner OF spots. In the minors, Laird (brother of Gerald) played 1B and 3B. He’s just 23, perfect for a move away from age (Damon) to youth. You already have a SS about to be 37, a 41 year old closer, a DH that will be 40 in 2011 and a 3B who will be 36. You also are praying that a pitcher who will be 39 in 2011 will return. Now do you really want a 37 year old who will struggle to get DH at bats (against the soon to be 40 year old) and who can’t play the OF anymore because of a weak arm? Laird hit .281-25-102 between AA/AAA last year. Granted .246-2-12 at AAA, so you don’t know if he needs more AAA at bats. But he a) is younger than Damon, b) would be less expensive, c) has more pop and d) if he took or takes to the corner OF could possibly fill in at 1B/3B/LF and RF as well as DH if needed; hence he’d be more versatile.

All things considered, I’d pass on JD and go with Laird. The kids need a shot sometime.      

Nobody beats the Viz.

Well, that was the slogan in 2007. Can it be the same in 2011?

From the LoHud blog:

Yankees have agreed to a minor league deal with right-handed reliever Luis Vizcaino. He will reportedly make $750,000 if he makes the big league roster.

You might remember Vizcaino from 2007 when he pitched out of the Yankees bullpen, having come over from Arizona in the Randy Johnson trade. He hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2009, but he has good number in the Dominican this winter (11.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 11 K). That includes a stretch of one hit allowed in nine appearances.

More dumpster diving by Cashman. Low risk/high reward. Vizcaino is 36, and in his one year with the Yanks (2007) was 8-2, 4.30. He pitched 2/3 of an inning in game 2 of that year’s ALDS, gave up a run and took the loss when the Yanks lost 2-1 in 11 innings. You may remember that game as the Midges vs. Joba game.

Vizcaino has pitched for the A’s (1999-2001), Brewers (2002-2004), White Sox (2005, 6-5, 3.73 for the WS Champs that year, one scoreless inning in that postseason), Arizona 2006, Yankees 2007, Colorado 2008.

He was last in the big leagues in 2009, when he split the year between the Cubs (four games) and the Indians (11 games) and went 1-3, 4.11.

His career record is 35-30, 4.33 with 8 saves. ERA+ 103.

Like Prior, taking a chance. Low risk, low salary and see if he has anything left.     

This is what baffles me

It’s interesting to hear Jeter’s agent, Casey Close, describe the negotiations with the Yankees as “baffling.”

There’s nothing baffling about it. Now I understand that Close, like any agent (and I revile sports agents as I do, say, lawyers and politicians) is trying to get the most for his client—especially since he may get a percentage for his own services.

But since this is “baffling” to him, let’s try to put things in ways that he can understand.

  • Your client will be 37 next year. I have a friend who, when JoePa signed a multi-year deal a few years ago, exclaimed “who does he think he is, Methusaleh?” Great quote. (Look up Methusaleh in the Bible if you don’t know what I mean). Well, Casey, your client will be 37 next year. Salary based on projections of current and future performance. You can’t really believe that Derek will put up the numbers at 37-39 that he put up at 27-29. If you do, then you are delusional.   
  • Current or future performance. This is on projections based on Jeter coming off his worst year of his career. One in which his OPS+ was a 90. His BA 21 points lower than any other season in his career. One in which his numbers (.270-10-67, OPS+ 90 with 18 SB, Rtot of -10)  were close to Marco Scutaro’s (.275-11-56, 5 SB. OPS+ 92, -1 RTOT at SS). Scutaro made $5.5MM in 2010, didn’t have Jeter’s SB, but had a much better Rtot. Note, Casey, $5.5MM, not Jeter’s $22.6MM. See what Derek would get on the open market.
  • If I’m paying, I’m not paying on the past. The past doesn’t win you games in 2011. Only the present does. Like I stated. See what Jeter gets on the open market. But sell him as if his name were Joe Schmoe. As if there wasn’t a past with 2926 hits, 5 rings and all the rest. Sell him as he is now. Not as he was in 2000. See what you get.   
  • This contract is about him as a player. Yes, “everything he symbolizes” comes into play. His legacy as a Yankee. His iconic stature. His conduct. His popularity. Hell, all that fits 85 year old Yogi Berra, too! The Yanks aren’t paying Yogi to catch in 2010. Yogi is just as popular on Madison Avenue (as I remember that great AFLAC commercial…)
  • Personally, I don’t go over the age of 37 on a multi-year contract with ANY player. Once 37, I would hope every team goes year by year. No multi-year deals for ANY player once they hit 37. That’s just me. Won’t happen, though. But let me dream.
  • You know the Yanks won’t release Derek. Something will eventually get done. But asking for a multi-year deal over three years at anything over $18MM/per (Yanks apparently offered 3 years, $45MM) is insane. But remember that in Feb. 1935 the Yanks actually released 39 year old Babe Ruth. Who had a better legacy or meant more to the franchise than the Babe? But time marches on and waits for no one. The Babe hit .288-22-84, OPS+ 160 in 1934 at age 39. Granted he played in 30-35 less games in 1934 than Derek did in 2010, and he was a power-hitting OF, not a sleek SS who still could steal 18—but Babe’s 1934 numbers do look a bit better than Derek’s 2010 numbers. Of course, we know what happened in 1935, when the Babe was completely kaput while with the Boston Braves, and retired.
  • In Bernie Williams’ final year, he went .281-12-61. Granted, power-hitting OF again. Bernie was 37, 38 at season’s end. OPS+ 96. Just 2 SB. Numbers similar to what Jeter put up this year. After showing signs of slippage, Bernie worked on just a $1.5MM contract in 2006, that final year, after making over $12MM in 2005. Bernie got invited to spring training in 2007 on a minor league deal. He didn’t come. He still hasn’t “officially” retired.
  • Granted, the Yanks won’t do to Derek what they did to Babe and Bernie. After all, Babe and Bernie had showed signs of decline over a couple of years (Babe 1932 to 1934, Bernie 2003-2006). But neither Babe or Bernie were working on long-term deals by that point. Jeter has showed serious decline just this past year. But “baffling” negotiations? There isn’t anything baffling about it. Old player so you don’t want many years, decline starting don’t want to commit too long, numbers going down so not worth as much. What’s “baffling about that?”

I know he has to say the right things and protect his client. But there isn’t anything “baffling” about the Yankees more-than-fair offer. What’s baffling is that greedy agents don’t get it. But then we saw this last year with the Damon situation, didn’t we?

Happy b/day to Stan Musial, NINETY yesterday (and thanks to my local paper for pointing it out)! A true treasure.

But the same paper suggests Phillies alternatives to Werth. Plan B is trading for Swisher. Sorry to rain on the parade, but the Plan B that the columnist has for the Phillies (trade for Swisher to replace the departing Werth) won’t come off, I don’t think. Sorry, but the Yankees are not after Carl Crawford (the Yanks getting him being the prereq for getting Swish). Their top target is Cliff Lee. There is no room or need for Crawford. If, somehow, the Yanks don’t get Lee, then maybe they target Crawford and try to trade an OF for pitching. But there isn’t any real decent pitching out there to trade for. Predictions? Yanks get Lee. Crawford to Angels. Werth to Boston. Maybe the Phils do the columnist’s  #1 alternative for replacing Werth—that is trade for Corey Hart of the Brewers. But maybe the columnist should contact me or other Yankees bloggers about the Yanks before she writes about them. The Yanks will keep their toes in the water to drive up the price on Crawford. But they aren’t interested in him unless they can’t get Lee. Your thoughts? But hey, the columnist covers the Phils. I really don’t think she knows the Yanks as well. 

But then, some columnists and reporters automatically tie the Yanks to everyone without looking into matters (need, what minor league prospects they have, budget [yes, they do have that]) and think they will throw money at everyone and everything. It’s like they refuse to think that Cashman may actually have a plan

Interesting show. T.O. and Ochocinco. I don’t know how the ratings are, but they better be better than the Bungles sorry 2-8 record.

Final AFL numbers of Yankee prospects:

Austin Romine 16 g. 61 AB. .279-0-7.
Manny Banuelos. 7 starts. 0-2, 3.60
Brandon Laird 27 g. 110 AB. 0236-4-22.
Craig Heyer 7 G. 3 starts. 1-2, 2.50
George Kontos. 10 g. All relief. 1-2, 12.08
Ryan Pope. 9 g. All relief. 0-1, 3.18
Jose Pirela 23 g. 89 AB. .180-1-5

You may want to read about Yankees prospects on  But as you do, remember that Miranda has been traded to Arizona and Albaladejo was released so that he can sign in Japan.

New managerial signings recently. Hurdle to the Pirates, Terry Collins to the Mets.

Oh yeah, final thing for now. Rumors have the Yanks offering Lee $115-$120MM for five years. That’s $23-$24MM per.






Yankees happenings, 11/16/10

LoHud reports some interesting stuff.

  • The starter-or-reliever questions are official finished for Joba Chamberlain. “Joba to the pen,” Cashman said. “We made that decision after spring training. We’re not looking to put it back. We told him in the spring, you’re a reliever now. That’s it.”
  •  Alfredo Aceves is healthy enough that he’s expected to pitch in Mexico this winter. “His rehab resolved,” Cashman said. “He was throwing bullpens (and) felt fine. We’re probably going to be talking about winter ball here at some point. He was trying to make it. He would have been a potential guy, believe it or not, to our surprise, if we got to the World Series.”

• Aceves never had surgery.

• Cashman is moving forward with the assumption that Damaso Marte will not pitch at all next season. “Whether (a lefty reliever) is available in this particular marketplace is what I don’t know,” Cashman said. “It’s certainly an area that I would like to have two lefties in the bullpen. I just don’t know if I’ll be successful or not.”

• That said, Cashman has no plans to dump Marte from the 40-man roster. He doesn’t think he’ll need that spot to protect anyone from the Rule 5. “You don’t just release a guy,” he said. “With our Rule 5 protection, I don’t feel like I have a roster crunch.”

• Cashman said he only way he could imagine a roster crunch would be if the Yankees made a trade in which they acquired multiple players, but he doesn’t expect that sort of trade to happen.

• Cashman said he has “zero” indication whether Andy Pettitte will be back next year. Pettitte told Cashman the same thing he’s said publicly: That if he had to make a decision right now, it would probably be retirement, but he’s not planning to make a decision right now.

• The Yankees consider Ivan Nova a legitimate rotation candidate for next year.

• Last year was the final year of Juan Miranda’s four-year contract, but he doesn’t have enough service time to become a free agent, so he’s still under the Yankees control. They don’t have to offer him arbitration, he will simply come into spring training as a 40-man player who’s out of options.

• Cashman listed Miranda, Ramiro Pena, Eduardo Nunez and Brandon Laird as players who could play a bench role next season.

My thoughts? Watch out for Laird, who could grab a backup OF role (Gardner, Granderson and Swisher all could play CF, Swish less so, but if Laird proves capable of handling the corners, the righty who had 25 HR and 102 RBI AA/AAA this year could steal a spot).

I think the Yanks should just let Miranda go or deal him now. There is no room for him. Nova will get a shot, especially if Pettitte retires and/or no Cliff Lee. If Andy comes back and Lee is signed, Nova in AAA as a fallback in case of injury is surely possible.

The Marte news may make getting a Feliciano more of a necessity.

Good to see Joba has a set role. Now he needs to master it. No more messing around with him.

The Marlins have been busy, haven’t they? Traded Maybin to SD. Traded Uggla to Atlanta for Infante and Mike Dunn. Signing John Buck.





Long back, and some prospects to watch in 2011

Kevin Long is back as the hitting coach, signed to a 3-year deal (will all the coaches be getting that to match Girardi’s deal?). It presumably is more than his previous $1.2 M, 3-year deal.

Interesting. Maybe the Yanks still target Crawford, but LoHud reports that:

Brett Gardner won the Bill James Fielding Bible Award for left field. Gardner was picked as the best defensive left fielder in the game, not just the American League, giving him one more triumph of his breakout season as an everyday player.

With that 399 to LCF, I’ve always advocated a LF who also can be a CF, or who has the speed to cover that gap.

Some prospects to watch for in 2011, age in 2011 on opening day (and where they may start out at):

Jesus Montero (21.) C. Traded for a major talent, AAA or Majors? 2010 Numbers:   AAA .289-21-75. Bat good but can he catch?

Austin Romine (22). C. AAA. Longshot majors?  AA .268-10-69. 41 AB in AFL (Arizona Fall League) so far. .244-0-7. If Montero goes back to AAA, then what to do with Romine? Would the Yanks platoon the two at AAA? I can’t see that, and Romine is AAA ready (some scouts think MLB ready). You can’t have one prospect slowing up the other, which is what you probably would get if both Montero and Romine are at AAA.

Brandon Laird (23) 1B/3B/OF?  AAA.  combined AA/AAA .281-25-102. In AFL to learn corner OF. Played 1B/3B. Corner OF would help. Righty bat can fill OF role if he can adjust. Can play vs. lefties while Gardner or Granderson sits. Probably start at AAA to get more OF corner reps, but a 2011 callup? 52 AB in the AFL so far. .288-3-10.

Manny Banuelos LHP. (20) AA. Combined 0-4, 2.51 last year, came off injury. 3 levels. 85 K in 64 2/3 IP. 0-2, 4.85 in AFL right now.

Adam Warren. (23). RHP. AAA or AA. 11-7, 2.59 between High A and AA in 2009. 126 K in 135 1/3.

Dellin Betances RHP (23). AA. 8-1, 2.11 between High A and AA (only 3 games). 108 K in 85 1/3.

Eduardo Nunez. SS/3B. (23) Majors. He’ll battle Pena for the backup infielder spot. If not majors, then AAA. If he hits in spring training… Would love to see him make it, and play 30 games each at SS and 3B giving Jeter and A-Rod days off. Pena has the glove and some speed, but if Nunez hits, his bat and his speed are better than Pena’s and hopefully Nunez’  glove isn’t that far behind. MLB .280-1-7 with 5 steals. Just 50 AB. AAA: .289-4-50 with 23 SB in 118 G.

Greg Golson. (25) OF. AAA. .263-10-40, 17 SB.  I don’t see room for him on the MLB roster unless he really hits in S.T. I see him going back to AAA. The Yanks will probably bring in a veteran (would they bring Melky back as a backup OF? He switch-hits, plays all 3 OF Positions, has NY experience, was DFA’d by Atlanta, and was popular in NY. Melky will still be just 26 on opening day 2011. .255-4-42, 7 SB for ATL in 2010. He (in my mind) isn’t a starter, but wouldn’t make a bad backup, def. replacement, 4th OF type. The Yanks may want someone with more pop, however, and could you have Melky and Thames both on the team? If not, no Melky).

I may have missed someone. If so, I’ll comment on him in a future post. Yes, I know that I did NOT mention Juan Miranda. Frankly, the Yanks have to decide what to do with him. He’ll be 28 in April 2011, too old to be a prospect, and that is why I didn’t list him. .219-3-10 in 64 AB with the Yanks this past season. .285-15-43 in AAA. The SWB/NY yo-yo, wearing out I-80. The Yanks should probably do him a favor and deal him. Fill a need. I don’t see him getting playing time in NY.

Colin Curtis will be 26 on opening day 2011. Same with Kevin Russo. I don’t see either playing a major part. Good to watch out for, maybe a callup. Both probably back at AAA.       

Oh. I should mention that it’s 39 degrees where I am right now (7 pm) in Eastern PA. 39. Imagine game 5 at if it were at the Stadium tonight. The low tonight is expected to be about 28 or 29. Yup. 28 or 29. Baseball in November. Yuk. … and Buddy Boy Selig wants to add 2 more wild-card teams in 2012. I don’t know how he is going to work that one out. I am opposed to it. Hey Bud? It’s cold here. The Fall Classic should be OVER by November 1st.      

Update: Re: Melky. Maybe getting rid of him was good for Cano (his buddy gone, not hitting those nightspots with him… better concentration). So no Melky = better Cano?

Update II: I knew I’d forget someone.

Hector Noesi. 24. AAA. 14-7, 3.20 at 3 levels (Mostly AA) in 2010. RHP. 153 K in 160 1/3.

Melky Mesa. 24. AA. OF. .260-19-74 with 31 SB at High A. 129 strikeouts. Power, speed, but 24 and AA bound, still only a .236 minor league hitter. Late bloomer?  

Update III: 11/5/10.

It’s coming out that Montero may be given every shot at the 2011 starting job, with Cervelli as backup and Posada being mostly a DH. If Romine is ready mid-season, he might even come up, replacing Cervelli. Things are getting interesting.

Also, I didn’t mention

David Phelps, above.  (24), I project AAA to start 2011. 10-2, 2.50 combined AA/AAA in 2010. RHP. 141 K in 158 2/3.    


AAA Phelps, Warren, Noesi 

AA    Banuelos, Betances, Brackman 

That’s a nice five pitchers at the AA/AAA level. I will list Brackman here, and didn’t above, because Brackman’s numbers weren’t as good. He is still a prospect, but at 25 and AA is not only a prospect but a project. 10-11, 3.90 in 2010 (High A/AA). 126 K in 140 2/3. 5-4, 5.10 at High A, but things started to kick in at AA. 5-7, 3.01. He had an awful 2009 (coming off surgery) when he went 2-12, 5.91. Very, very much a project.  

But some very interesting pitching at AA/AAA and you wonder if Aldred, who I’ve touted for the Yanks’ pitching coach, may be more valuable where he is—at SWB.     

I see J. R. Murphy, who was only 19 this year. I didn’t list him, only because he is yet another catching prospect. If Sanchez starts 2011 at low A Charleston, Murphy could move up to High A. At low A last year, Murphy hit .255-7-54 in 83 games. Not bad, but Murphy, 20 next May, seems to be overshadowed by Montero, Romine and Sanchez.