Category Archives: Minor Leagues

Game 39. Dominating start turns into 6-1 loss.

Gerrit Cole started out the game dominating, retiring the first eleven hitters in a row, eight by strikeout.

He took a shutout into he sixth, but the Yankees (21-18) had not scored either.

Then it all fell apart. D.J. Stewart hit a HR to lead off the bottom of the sixth, 3B Thairo Estrada made an error that led to four unearned runs, and Baltimore got five runs in the inning.

The way the Yankees’ offense has been recently, that was enough. The Orioles went on to beat the slumping Yankees, 6-1. The Yanks, once 16-6, are now 21-18, having lost 12 of their last 17 games.

Stewart hit another HR, this one off of rookie Miguel Yajure, in the seventh. 6-0 Orioles.

The Yankees’ only run came on an eighth inning HR by Clint Frazier. The Yankees struck out 12x. Gary Sanchez was 0 for 4, all strikeouts.

The Yanks were 0 for 9 w/RISP. Forget about HR, just try to make contact.

Frazier 2 hits, solo HR (5)
Higashioka 2 hits

Cole (L, 4-3, 3.66) 6 IP, 5 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 W, 10 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Yajure 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. 1.80 Gave up 1 HR.


Nothing set in stone, but I read reports that the Yanks may be thinking of moving their AA team from Trenton to Bridgewater, NJ. 

Injury updates, and a trade.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees traded David Hale to the Phillies today for a minor league reliever, Addison Russ.

Hale will be 33 next month, and the RHP was 0-0, 3.00 in five games, all in relief, this season. He spent parts of 2018, 2019 and 2020 with the Yankees and as a Yankee, went 3-0, 2.98 in 28 games, all in relief. His overall record is 13-10, 4.23.

Russ, 25, was at the Phillies’ AA Reading team last year, going 5-6, 2.54 with 22 saves and 81 K in 56 2/3 IP. He supposedly hits 96 on his fastball, with a split finger to go along with it. The righty could conceivably come up to fill in the void left by Tommy Kahnle after Kahnle’s TJ surgery.

Russ is 15-10 overall in his minor league career, ERA 2.48. He has not pitched above AA. 50 saves, 200 K in 152 2/3 IP.

It looks like both James Paxton and Gleyber Torres are both headed to the IL but the MRIs weren’t as bad as feared. Still, at least 10 days for each of them.

UPDATE: And now I see Avilan to IL too. Left shoulder inflammation.

 

An exhibition game tonight; News on Estrada, Warren, German

Yankee Stadium Frieze

We actually get to see a game, rather than an intrasquad game, when the Yanks head over to Queens to take on the Mets tonight. YES Network, 7:10 PM EDT.

Thairo Estrada is making a bid to join the team as a utility man, and it could come at the cost of Tyler Wade. Estrada has hit 3 HR in intrasquad action since the Yanks have resumed business.

Per MLBTR:

The Yankees have released righty Adam Warren, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (Twitter link). He had been with the team on a minor-league pact.

Warren, who has been working back from Tommy John surgery, was not a participant in Summer Camp. His contract is a two-year arrangement, befitting his rehab status.

It seems that coronavirus-related roster management matters forced the decision. GM Brian Cashman explained that Warren is progressing well, as Jack Curry of YES reports on Twitter. Indeed, the expectation is that the Yanks will work out a new deal with him in the coming offseason.

Has Domingo German, ineligible for this year because of a domestic abuse incident, retired?

From Newsday:

German posted a photo of himself in a Yankees uniform exclaiming in what appears to be a photo of him pitching in a game. The post included Spanish words that translated to: “Everyone makes history on both sides, I think I did mine at Yankee Stadium, if decide not to come back I will proud of my effort during an 11-year career. God bless everyone who has supported me”

He also put online an Instagram story with words that translated to: “I’ve left baseball. Thanks everyone.”

I’ll believe it when I see or hear more, but hope he has or gets his life together.

 

Yanks sign Duffy to minor league deal.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees added some depth on Sunday, signing infielder Matt Duffy to a minor league deal.

Duffy, 29, is a righty hitter who has played for the Giants (2014-2016) and Rays (2016, 2018-2019). He got a WS Championship ring with the Giants in 2014.

Primarily a 3B, he has played a little SS and 2B as well. He’s had two seasons of full-time duty, hitting .295-12-77 in 2015 (OPS+ 108) with 12 steals, and hitting .294-4-44 with 12 SB (OPS+ 104) in 2018.

For his career, Duffy is a .282 hitter whose 162 g. average is .282-8-61, 11 SB and an OPS+ of 98.

He finished 2nd in ROY voting in 2015.

In 11 postseason games, he is 4 for 11.

Yanks make two more draft selections.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

With their two other picks in the draft, the Yanks selected

Trevor Hauver, a lefty hitter who projects as a Daniel Murphy type. Some 2B, some 1B, some LF.

Beck Way, a RHP some see as best fitted for the bullpen.

 

Despite the shutdown, a few moves.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Despite the shutdown of baseball (and everything) because of the coronavirus, the Yankees did make a few moves on what was supposed to be Opening Day.

  • Optioned INF Thairo Estrada, RHP Ben Heller and RHP Michael King to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
  • Optioned RHP Deivi García to Double-A Trenton.

Makes you wonder if the season DID start today, would Loaisiga have been the #5 behind Cole, Tanaka, Happ, and Montgomery?

Yankees minor leaguer tests positive for coronavirus.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Edited from MLB.com:

NYY Minor Leaguer tests positive for COVID-19

@BryanHoch
March 15, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. — A Yankees Minor League player has tested positive for the coronavirus, general manager Brian Cashman said on Sunday, marking the first known case to impact the Major League Baseball world.

The team is not divulging the player’s identity, citing HIPAA regulations, and Cashman said that the player’s symptoms are improving.

“The player’s symptoms have dissipated, and he is resolved symptom-wise,” Cashman said. “No more fever, no more fatigue. He is much better, although he is still isolated.”

FAQ: What to know about delayed Opening Day

According to Cashman, the player called the club on Friday morning to report a fever and fatigue. He did not report to the facility, and team medical staff checked his temperature before testing him for influenza and strep throat.

Both tests were negative, prompting the club to send him to Tampa General Hospital on Friday morning for what Cashman said was the first — and, to date, only — coronavirus test issued to any Yankees player, coach or employee. The positive result was delivered to the Yankees late on Saturday by a laboratory in Tallahassee, Fla.

“He’s a younger player, and so because of that — first and foremost, he was not in any of the groups that were with Major League players,” Cashman said. “We did our due diligence about any staff members or Major League players that were here Thursday when he hadn’t been presenting any symptoms at that time. … What were the possible interactions?

The player who tested positive has never entered George M. Steinbrenner Field and there is no known link to any of the Major League players, according to director of media relations Jason Zillo.

Out of an abundance of caution, and with coordination from the local Department of Health, the Yankees have self-quarantined all Minor League players, plus some coaches and personnel until March 25. Players are receiving boxed meals in their hotel rooms and are in constant communication with the club via an app called Teamworks.

Cashman said that the Minor League complex, which has been shuttered since Friday, will undergo extensive cleaning and will also be closed until March 25. Yankees Minor Leaguers train at a player development complex adjacent to the Major League complex, separated from the Steinbrenner Field footprint by Raymond James Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“We’ve already initiated those deep cleans with a specific company involving a bleaching component,” Cashman said. “As we speak, the Minor League facility is getting re-cleaned again, not for the first time this week. The Major League facility is going to be cleaned again after the Minor League facility is done today. So those practices have been in place and will continue to be in place.”

 

MLB suspension also pushes back German return.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

If you are wondering what the suspension of spring training and the postponement and delay of Opening Day means for Domingo German and his return to the Yankees, think no further.

It pushes it back.

German wasn’t suspended for a certain time, but for a certain amount of GAMES. So his suspension resumes whenever the games resume.

Originally considered a candidate for a June return, now, depending on when MLB does kick in, he may not be back until August.

And with the changes to MLB as far as the rosters (no increase from 25 to 40 in September, but only from 26 to 28), if this delay pushes him into September, then there could be a chance he doesn’t come back at all this year.

He’s not eligible until the Yankees’ 64th game of 2020, but who knows now when that 64th game will take place?

That 64th game was originally supposed to be June 5th. Now?


This pandemic / national emergency does give some players like Judge, Stanton and Paxton time to heal without missing games. So there is that. A silver lining.

But we wish the black cloud never would have appeared.


As expected the minors followed MLB’s lead. Minor league baseball postponed for the time being as well.

Yanks to stay in Tampa during shutdown.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

From MLB.com:

TAMPA, Fla. — The Yankees’ players voted unanimously to remain in Florida and hold informal workouts at the George M. Steinbrenner Field complex while awaiting Major League Baseball’s decision regarding the resumption of play, according to player representative Zack Britton.

That vote was held on Friday at Steinbrenner Field, following general manager Brian Cashman’s participation on a conference call with all 30 GMs. Players had the choice of returning home or to their home Major League cities, but the Yanks have decided that they will stick out the coronavirus shutdown as a team.

“We have a great group of guys,” Britton told MLB.com. “Hopefully, we’ll have a shot at a World Series title. We want to be prepared to seize that opportunity. Guys aren’t panicking about this thing; we understand that it’s serious, but the Yankees have a ton of resources in the area. We feel like this is a good place for us to be.”

Britton said the team would hold its first workout on Saturday. Activities will include hitting in the indoor batting cages, throwing from the bullpen mounds and strength work in the gymnasium.

“[Managing general partner] Hal Steinbrenner spoke with us and made it known that the facilities were available for us to use if guys wanted to stay down,” Britton said. “Guys had the option of going to New York or going home. It’s still technically Spring Training on our contracts, so we took a vote. There’s a lot of unknowns, so the guys wanted to stay at the Spring Training site and work out to be ready for the season, whenever it starts.”

Meanwhile, as expected, the minor leagues followed suit, suspending everything for now and delaying the start of their seasons also.

S.T. Game 18. Yanks fall 3-1 to Phils, make more cuts.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks made a few more cuts today. From MLB.com:

Right-hander Brooks Kriske was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Right-hander Albert Abreu and outfielder Estevan Florial were optioned to Double-A Trenton. Right-handers Luis Gil and Luis Medina have been optioned to Class A Advanced Tampa. In addition, right-handers Domingo Acevedo and Alexander Vizcaíno were reassigned to Minor League camp.

I think you may see Kriske sometime this year in the Bronx.

Gary Sanchez is expected to catch Friday after being shut down for a few days with a sore back.

As for the game Monday, the Yanks (10-6-2) lost to the Phils, 3-1. J.A. Happ was solid, giving up one run in four innings on a HR. But Mike King gave up a 2-run HR in the bottom of the eighth that lost the game.

So far, it’s an encouraging spring from Happ. If he gets back to 2018 or 2016 form, he helps make up for this year’s loss of Severino.

Happ 4 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 5 K.  1.38  Gave up a solo HR.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.  0.00
King (L, 0-1) 2 2/3 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 1 W, 0 K.  3.86  Gave up 2-run HR.
Holder 1/3 IP 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.  0.00

Just a hunch. I think Loaisiga gets the #5 starter spot (barring injury) and Garcia, Schmidt and King go to AAA. I have no clue as to what the Yankees do with Tropeano. Once Paxton is back, Loaisiga goes to the bullpen. The Yanks probably won’t push Loaisiga, but hope he gives four or five. Now what happens when German is ready is up in the air. For when Paxton does return, you have Cole, Tanaka, Happ, Montgomery and Paxton. Three lefties in the rotation, especially at Yankee Stadium, is a good thing so there is no guarantee that German gets his starting role back.

Of course, much could change with injuries and/or ineffectiveness.