Category Archives: Minor Leagues

Bird out for year.

Greg Bird, who performed well in 46 games as the Yankees’ first baseman after Mark Teixeira went down with a broken leg in 2015, will miss all of the 2016 season due to shoulder surgery.

Bird was ticketed for AAA this year, but was expected to be an “understudy” in case Teix got injured this year. As of now Dustin Ackley will be backing up Teixeira at 1B.

Bird hit .261-11-31 in those 46 games, OPS+ 138. A great beginning to a career that hopefully this injury won’t derail.

Minor moves.

I don’t report on all the minor transactions the Yanks are doing, because often I don’t have time, and lately that minor move may only last a few days. Here is an example. From the internet yesterday (CBS SPORTS):

Yankees: Claimed OF Lane Adams off waivers from the Royals, the team announced. IF Ronald Torreyes was designated for assignment in a corresponding move.

Now Terreyes was just picked up in a deal with the Dodgers just three days ago when the Yanks sent Rob Segedin to LA for Terreyes and another minor leaguer.

I didn’t even get to write about Terreyes when this happened. So I am not going to go too much into detail about Adams. He is a righty hitting OF, 26, who over the last three years in the minors has basically averaged .275-13-55 with 38 SB a year.

Major trade may give Yanks best bullpen.

The Yanks pulled off a major deal today, and as long as they keep their bullpen intact, they may have the best end trio in the game.

The Yanks traded four minor leaguers–and NONE of their untouchables (Bird, Severino, Sanchez, Judge or Mateo) to the Cincinnati Reds for Aroldis Chapman, he of the 103 MPH fastball.

If the Yanks don’t deal Miller, they would have an end game of Betances, Miller and Chapman. Talk about shortening the game! Starters would just need go to six.

Since it is late, I’ll link to Lohud’s website below. It gives the stats on Chapman and the four minor leaguers the Yanks gave up, Tony Renda, Caleb Cotham, Rookie Davis and Eric Jagielo.

http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2015/12/28/yankees-trade-four-minor-leaguers-aroldis-chapman/

Thank you, Brian Cashman. This was a great birthday present for me!

 

Could SWB have a strong core in 2016?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

What the Yanks do now with Rob Refsnyder I don’t know. Starlin Castro is a 3x All-Star and only a year older than Refsnyder and is a righty hitter like Refsnyder is. Dustin Ackley hits lefty and is more versatile than Refsnyder. It appears that Refsnyder’s way to the majors is blocked, and he will be going back to SWB unless the Yanks package him in a deal.

Which they may do. After all, with the trades of Warren and Wilson, the Yanks will need to replenish their bullpen.

Meanwhile, Greg Bird’s pathway to the majors is blocked right now by Mark Teixeira. A-Rod can only DH.

Then we come to Gary Sanchez. It’s not a given that he will be the backup catcher now that the Yanks have traded Murphy. Austin Romine is out of options, and the Yanks may decide to have Romine backup Brian McCann for that reason and to let Sanchez play every day at SWB so that he can develop further. Sanchez doesn’t have that much AAA experience. Neither does Bird for that matter.

The Yanks could also get a backup catcher yet as well.

Since the Yanks traded for Aaron Hicks, and since Ackley can play corner OF, Mason Williams and Slade Heathcott could be AAA-bound to play OF along with Aaron Judge.

So if the Yanks do decide to keep Refsnyder, and decide that Sanchez could benefit further from playing every day at AAA as opposed to once a week in the majors, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (SWB), the Yanks’ AAA team, could have a team with Bird, Refsnyder, Sanchez, Heathcott, Judge and Williams as starters.

We’ll see.

But it’ll be an interesting team if that happens.

Yanks deal Wilson for 2 minor league pitchers

cropped-the-stadium-facade.jpg

The Yankees made another deal today, dealing Justin Wilson to the Tigers for two minor league right-handed pitchers. The Yanks must have faith that James Pazos, Tyler Webb or Jacob Lindgren can fill Wilson’s shoes, or maybe another deal is brewing, because with Warren and Wilson gone, the bullpen can now need some reinforcements.

Wilson was 5-0, 3.10 for the Yanks in 2015. In return for him, the Yanks get two prospects from the Tigers. Both are righty pitchers.

Luis Cessa is 23, and went 8-10, 4.52 between AA and AAA last year. He excelled at AA, and ran into trouble at AAA.

Chad Green, 24, went 5-14, 3.93 at the Tigers’ AA team last year.

They provide minor league depth. Losing Wilson hurts. The Yanks must think the trio I listed above are ready, or another deal is brewing.

Having traded Warren and Wilson in consecutive days, something tells me another deal is brewing.

Yanks sign IF Kozma to minor league deal

Earlier this week, the Yanks made a minor signing. They signed infielder Pete Kozma to a minor league deal. I’ve been busy, so I’m sorry I didn’t report it earlier.

Basically, Kozma is a younger version of Brendan Ryan. Good field, no-hit.

Kozma was the everyday SS for the Cardinals in 2013 when they won the pennant, but he only hit .217 that season in 143 games.

Here is a comparison between Kozma and Ryan.

Kozma, RHB, 28 next April, .222 career hitter, OPS+ 61 in 275 MLB games.

Ryan, also a righty hitter, will be 34 in March. .234 career hitter, OPS+ 69 in 879 MLB games.

OPS+ of 100 is average.

Awards, and Yanks make a minor deal.

Gold Glove winners were announced in both leagues, and although three Yanks were up for the GG award (Didi, Teix and Gardner), none won.

The top three finishers were announced for the major awards, Mgr. of the Yr., ROY, CYA, MVP and no Yankee is among the top 3 finalists. Lorenzo Cain of KC is up for MVP. Nice to see the recognition of a good player who doesn’t have overwhelming stats, but who was the best player on the WS Champs.

Sad to see ex-Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson died of multiple organ failure. He was just 29. Autopsy and coroner reports to come.

I posted it elsewhere, but Yankees C prospect Gary Sanchez has been lighting up the Arizona Fall League and starred in their All-Star game, homering and throwing out a potential base stealer.

The Yanks may think Sanchez is ready to be a backup to McCann in the majors. They traded C John Ryan Murphy to the Twins today for Aaron Hicks.

Murphy, 24, had 155 AB for the Yanks in 2015, hitting .277-3-14, OPS+ 103. He has 262 AB in his MLB career, .267-4-24, OPS+ 91.

Hicks is 26, and a switch-hitter who can play all three OF positions. He hit .256-11-33, 13 SB for the Twins this year, OPS+ 95. For his MLB career, his 162 g. ave. is .225-13-51, 17 SB, OPS+ 80.

The Yanks also traded Jose Pirela to SD for a 20 yr. old minor league pitcher, Ron Herrera.

Pirela hit .230-1-5 in 74 AB with the Yanks this year, OPS+ 54 (100 is average). In his MLB career, 98 AB, .255-1-8, OPS+ 78.

Herrera, a 20 yr. old RHP, went 8-7, 4.08 between High A and AA this year.

Lastly, sad news for one of the greatest base stealers ever. Lou Brock had part of his left leg amputated due to an infection from a diabetic condition. Brock, most famous as a Cardinal, had over 3000 hits and 900 SB in his career.