Category Archives: Minor Leagues

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Yanks make minor signing; Maybin goes to Detroit.

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Tony Zych is last in the baseball encyclopedia, and now is signed by the Yankees to a minor league deal.

Zych had thoracic surgery in November 2018, and hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2017. While with Seattle from 2015-2017, he got into 70 games, starting one, and was 7-3 with a 2.72 ERA (ERA+ 151) with one save.

The RHP is 29.


Cameron Maybin, who did so well as a sub for the Yanks last year, has signed a one-year deal with the Tigers for $1.5MM. Maybin hit .285-11-32 for the Yanks in 82 games last year. OPS+ 127.  He hit a postseason HR against the Twins in the ALDS.

Yanks hedging their bets, sign another veteran to compete for backup C.

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Ok. We know the Yankees would like for Kyle Higashioka to win the backup C job, especially since he is out of options.

That doesn’t mean the Yanks are giving it to him or that the Yanks won’t have options if he can’t cut it, or that there won’t be competition in spring training.

Already the Yanks have signed Erik Kratz and Chris Iannetta to minor league deals and today they signed another veteran C to a minor league deal—Josh Thole.

Thole, 33, is a lefty bat, as opposed to the other three. He hasn’t played in the majors since 2016. He was with the Mets 2009-2012, Toronto 2013-2016. He doesn’t have much pop, as his 162 game average is .242-3-38, OPS+ 73.

But more experienced MLB insurance in case Higashioka can’t cut it.

Yankees hire AAA manager.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees have selected their manager for AAA SWB, and it’s Doug Davis. Davis becomes SWB’s fourth manager in the last four years.

From the NY Post:

Davis takes over for Jay Bell, who left the organization this offseason because the former big-leaguer wanted “to pursue major league coaching positions,” general manager Brian Cashman told The Post in October.

Bell ended up going down a level to become manager of the Rocket City Trash Pandas, the newly formed Double-A affiliate for the Los Angeles Angels in Madison, Ala.

Despite the never-ending managerial turnover, the RailRiders have made the postseason every season since 2015 and won the league championship in 2016 under Al Pedrique, who now is the Oakland Athletics third base coach.

Davis was the RailRiders’ bullpen coach last season, and has worked various roles under Bell, Bobby Mitchell (2018) and Pedrique (2017).

The 57-year-old Davis played seven major league games between the Angels and Rangers in 1998 and 1992, and has managed 999 games in the minors (515-484).

Davis will retain pitching coach Tommy Phelps and hitting coach Phil Plantier, while Aaron Bossi and Raul Dominguez were added as defensive coaches.


An aside.

There are no words.

I was cooking and didn’t get the text message from my sister in CA until an hour after she texted me. I didn’t have the TV on, and was listening to some old music while I made my dinner on Sunday.

Then I found out about the crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his 13 year old daughter and seven others. One of the other seven was John Altobelli, a junior college baseball coach who coached the Yankees’ Aaron Judge and also the Mets’ Jeff McNeil.

My family in CA are Lakers fans. I am a Celtic fan, and my sister had to “switch” when she got married. My brother-in-law has season tickets, but has to sell many because he can’t make every game.

That crash happened only about ten miles from where my sister and her family live.

The game that was scheduled for tonight (Tuesday), but postponed because of Bryant’s death, was one of the games that he didn’t sell the tickets for yet. He, and my 13 year old niece, were (and still are?) going to attend the game.

My family is hurting, as are many fans. You can only imagine the anguish the affected families feel.

My workplace is slow right now, and voluntary time off was given on Monday. I took it and left early, for my mind wasn’t on my work. It was on my family.

My 13 year old niece plays her basketball from time to time at Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy. She would always look for him, but he wasn’t there when she played. My 15 year old nephew did meet him at a Lakers’ game once.

So my mind was with them yesterday, and I left work early.

When your friends or family hurt, YOU hurt also.