Category Archives: Minor Leagues

Pitchers, 2019 S.T. schedule and 2020 AAA All-Star Game.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Sorry, was very busy at work with a lot of overtime and have been sick (to the point where I have very little voice left) but catching up…

Nathan Eovaldi won’t be coming back to the Yankees. The free agent re-signed with Boston on a 4-yr., $67MM deal.

Cleveland extended Carlos Carrasco for 4 years, but Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer may be had in a trade. Mike Clevenger is very cost effective for the Indians, so he may not be available.

Hyun-Jin Ryu re-signed with the Dodgers, one yr. $17.9 MM. Pitched well (1.97 ERA for them in 2018) but the lefty missed 1/2 the season.

Arizona may be looking to unload Zack Greinke’s salary in a deal, and the Giants may want to do the same with Madison Bumgarner.

But you wonder what the Yanks would have to give up in a deal. Miguel Andujar?

The Yanks are still looking to trade Sonny Gray and would like another starter to join Severino, Paxton, Tanaka and CC in the rotation. Hopefully a #3 or better.

Some free agents available are Happ, Lynn, Keuchel, Kikuchi,  Charlie Morton, Gio Gonzalez, Wade Miley…. so you can see outside of Happ and possibly Keuchel (who is up and down and slipping) a dropoff.

Apparently the Yanks didn’t even make an offer to Corbin. They apparently told him they were comfortable with $17-$20MM per year for 4-5 years and when Corbin said he was looking for Yu Darvish $$$ (and he eventually got 6 yrs at $23.5MM per from Washington), the Yanks basically said good luck.

The AAA All-Star Game will be hosted by the Yanks’ AAA club in Moosic, PA (Scranton/Wilkes Barre, or as is usually abbreviated, SWB).

Good video recently on the YES network showing how Luis Severino was tipping pitches at the end of last year. Apparently Boston picked up on it (hence Sevy’s poor outing in Game 3 of the ALDS) but the A’s didn’t (or else maybe Oakland wins the Wild Card game). It may also explain his pedestrian second half.

The Yanks announced their 2019 spring training schedule. Pitchers report Feb. 13, first workout the next day. Position players report Feb. 18 with the first full-squad workout the following day. The first spring training game will be Feb. 23 vs. you-guessed-it, Boston.

Sad to read about a failed car robbery that resulted in the deaths of two players (one being Luis Valbeuna) in Venezuela. You fear for the players from Venezuela and their safety, like Gleyber Torres. Maybe (hopefully?) Gleyber can just come and stay here in the U.S. instead of being subject to the B.S. going on in Venezuela.

 

 

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Pitching: Who is left in the minors, and who is Kikuchi?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

As the Yanks seek to add another starter (Free agents Corbin? Keuchel? Eovaldi? Trade for Kluber or Carrasco?) in addition to the recently acquired James Paxton, and also look to find a suitor for Sonny Gray, we look at the second tier—those pitchers who may be called up to make an emergency start, or a couple, in case a member of the starting rotation goes down with injury. With the fragility of this rotation, a certain possibility.

I thought this would be especially interesting now that the Yanks have traded away Justus Sheffield.

Some guys I will be discussing are years away. Some, I will miss out on in discussing them in this article. But I hope to tackle a lot of prospects in this article, and give you an idea of who is left for AAA, AA and maybe one or two at High A.

First off, what will be done with Domingo German and Jonathan Loaisiga? As for German, he was 2-6, 5.57 in 14 starts, 7 relief appearances. 26, he has good stuff, but in looking at his career, he has a 6.19 ERA as a starter, 3.13 in relief. I wonder if the Yanks would be best off in making him a middle reliever, and in hoping his stuff plays there as it has for Chad Green. He can be pulled out of the bullpen for an emergency start if necessary. Stretch him out in spring training but he then goes into the bullpen to be used as the new “Adam Warren” if you will.

As for Loaisiga, 24, I really like his stuff but feel he needs a full year as a starter in AAA. His splits last year were opposite German’s. Four starts, ERA 3.00. In relief at the end of the year, 10.80. (Overall 2-0, 5.11, 4 starts, 5 relief appearances). He needs to build up his arm. He only pitched a total of 80 2/3 innings last year (6-1, 2.98 in the minors), and that is majors and minors combined. He hasn’t even pitched in AAA yet, the Yanks having brought him up from AA. Give him AAA experience, stretch out that arm. Bring him up only if doing well and if someone goes on the DL and prepare him to take over in the rotation for the retiring CC in 2020.

Michael King. This is a guy to watch out for. I see him starting the year at AAA and he could be a sleeper. 23, he started last year at Tampa (A+), and ended with AAA SWB, going a combined 11-5, 1.79. If he does well again at AAA in 2019, he could get a callup in case of an emergency.

Chance Adams, meanwhile, took a step backward in 2018. He’ll probably start at AAA in 2019. He had one start (in Fenway) and two relief appearances for the Yanks in 2018, going 0-1, 7.04. He was 4-5, 4.78 in AAA in 2018 after going 15-5, 2.45 between AA/AAA in 2017. Back to AAA and hope for a rebound.

Then of course, we have Luis Cessa, 26, and A.J. Cole, also 26, neither of whom I am high on. I don’t know how many options Cessa has left. He was 1-4, 5.24, in 5 starts and 11 relief appearances with the Yanks in 2018 and is 5-11, 4.71 in his MLB career (19 starts, 24 relief appearances). Cole was 3-1, 4.26 for the Yanks, overall 4-2, 6.14 (Wash/NYY) in 2018. I can see both on the SWB/NYY shuttle or see both eventually DFA’d. Neither thrill me.

So a possible AAA rotation in 2019 could conceive of Loaisiga, Adams, King and Cessa, all “on the ready” for a callup in case of an emergency.

In AA, I can see Albert Abreu, 23, who was 4-6, 5.20, mostly at High A Tampa, and also Domingo Acevedo, 24, who was 3-3, 2.99, mostly at AA Trenton.

Garrett Whitlock, 22, I can also see at AA. He, like Deivi Garcia (see below), went through Low A, High A and AA last year, and he had a combined record of 8-5, 1.86.

Deivi Garcia, 19, went 5-4, 2.55 between Low A Charleston, High A Tampa and AA Trenton. I can see him starting out at High A Tampa. (The one game he DID pitch for AA Trenton last year had him pitching five no-hit innings and striking out seven!). But no use in rushing the kid, which is why I have him at A+ because he is 19, while I have Whitlock at AA because he is 22. The Yanks may think differently, however. Maybe both at AA, maybe both start at High A Tampa.

Two other pitchers I think could be targeted for AA are Nick Nelson, 23, and Adonis Rosa, 24. Nelson went 8-6, 3.55 at all three levels, A, A+ and AA last year, while Rosa was 14-6, 3.93 between A+, AA and AAA last year.

So I have Cessa, Loaisiga, Adams, King, and maybe German or Cole at AAA, with either German or Cole having a chance to make the Yankees as a long man (of course, we have to see what other moves are made between now, November 25 and the start of spring training).

At AA, I have Nelson, Rosa, Abreu, Acevedo and Whitlock. Nick Green, 23, could also slot in here, or at A+. Last year, he went 8-7, 3.32 between Tampa (A+) and AA Trenton.

Deivi Garcia I have at A+.

So there is your depth for now. Maybe you can get a couple of prospects for Sonny Gray that you could fill in at Tampa along with Garcia.

Now for some bullpen guys.

J.P. Feyereisen, 25, I have going back to AAA. He was 6-6 there with a 3.45 ERA last year.

Anyelo Gomez, 25, only pitched in 7 games for AAA last year due to injury. 0-1, 2.45. So back to AAA for him.

Raynel Espinal, 27, was 7-2, 3.09 for SWB last year. Another reliever at AAA waiting for the call.

James Reeves, 25, 2-2, 2.88 between AA/AAA, could be a lefty in the AAA bullpen.

A lefty at AA could be Phillip Diehl, 24, 2-3, 2.51 between A+ and AA.

Joe Harvey, 26, is on the Yanks’ 40 man roster, and was 3-2, 1.67 between AA and AAA last year and if he doesn’t make the Yanks, should start the year at AAA.

So there is a lot of pitching in the minors, and we’ll see in 2019 which pitchers separate themselves and really show the potential.

Getting off of pitching for one moment, it’ll be interesting to see how infielder Thairo Estrada does next year. Estrada, 22, hit .301 for Trenton in 2017 but missed most of last year after getting shot in the leg during the 2017-2018 offseason.

Another free agent pitcher to keep an eye on: Japan is expected to post Yusei Kikuchi, 27, a lefty who in Japan has gone 74-48, 2.81. Last year, 2018, he went 14-4, 3.08. The Yanks have interest, but even though the Yanks have had success with Tanaka, when I think of Japanese lefties, the nightmare of Kei Igawa crosses my mind. We’ll see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yanks make minor deal.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

From the NY Post:

The Yankees acquired outfielder Tim Locastro from the Dodgers on Wednesday for minor league right-hander Drew Finley and $75,000.

The 26-year-old Locastro made his big-league debut with the Dodgers in 2017, appearing in three games, and hit .182 (2 for 11) this year with one double and four steals in 18 games, including three starts in center field. He batted .286 with 23 doubles, four homers, 29 RBIs and 19 steals in the minors this year, mostly at Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Locastro is a native of Auburn, New York, and played at Ithaca College.

Finley, 22, spent the past three seasons with the Class A Staten Island Yankees and was 2-4 with a 7.24 ERA this year in one start and 15 relief appearances.

Locastro has played in only 21 MLB games, going 2 for 12 (.167) with 5 SB. A .292 hitter in the minors, it appears he has little power, about 7 HR, 50 HR per year if about 120 games, but has some speed, about 40 SB a year if at that pace. Bats righty.  Mostly 2B, CF and SS.  Put on the 40 man, now full. Basically minor league depth. Of course, with future moves and free agent signings, that 40 man will be very flexible this offseason.

Yanks add Joe Harvey to 40 man roster, make a minor deal.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

From the NY Post:

The Yankees added right-hander Joe Harvey to their 40-man roster on Tuesday. The 26-year-old split 2018 between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  ….  The team’s 40-man roster is now at 39 in advance of next month’s Rule 5 draft. The Yankees also acquired minor league RHP Jefry Valdez from Colorado in exchange for RHP Jordan Foley.

Harvey turns 27 in January, and the Post actually had his numbers (deleted above) wrong. He was 3-2, 1.67 with 11 saves between AA/AAA.

Foley, 25, who probably wouldn’t have been protected from the Rule 5 draft, was traded to get something for him instead. He went 4-4, 2.98 at AA Trenton with 10 saves but was 0-2, 9.15 in the recently concluded Arizona Fall League.

Valdez, 23, went 3-1, 5.82 at Low A.

Yanks retain infield depth. Re-sign minor leaguer Urshela. Twins’ Mauer retires. Catching up with the AFL.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks have apparently re-signed Gio Urshela, 3B, to a minor league contract to provide minor league depth.

Urshela, 27, finished last year at SWB. In 167 MLB games, with Cleveland and Toronto, he has hit .225-8-39, OPS+ 57. He is known more for his defense.

In 2018, he only played in 19 MLB games, all with Toronto, and hit .233-1-3 in 43 at bats.

Twins C/1B Joe Mauer, 35, has announced his retirement. Mauer was a 6x All-Star, won 3 batting titles, the 2009 MVP (he finished in the top 10 three other years), 5x Silver Slugger winner. He also won 3 Gold Gloves. His 162 g. average was. .306-12-80, OPS+ 124. He hit .275-0-1 in 10 postseason games.

On baseball-reference.com, Mauer is listed as the 7th best catcher of all-time, between Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey.

Catching up with the Arizona Fall League,  the Glendale Desert Dogs, who have some Yankees’ prospects on the team, are 10-15. The season ends next Thursday, Nov. 15 and the Desert Dogs have been eliminated from the playoffs. Not too good numbers by these guys:

SS Thairo Estrada .250-0-7
1B Steven Sensley .179-0-7
CF Estevan Florial .169-0-8

SP Jordan Foley 0-2, 10.34
RP Hobie Harris 1-0, 4.50
RP Matt Wivinis 1-0, 1.59
RP Kyle Zurak 0-1, 16.20

 

 

Yankees looking for new manager at AAA SWB.

cropped-the-stadium-facade.jpg

From the NY Post:

The Yankees didn’t renew the contract of Bobby Mitchell, their manager of Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Cashman confirmed. The Times Leader of Scranton first reported the news.

Yanks have 3 finalists, but no GG winners. Florial shines in AFL All-Star Game.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks had three finalists for Gold Glove awards, but no winners. LF Brett Gardner lost out to KC’s Alex Gordon again. Aaron Judge lost out in RF to Boston’s Mookie Betts, and P Masahiro Tanaka lost out to Houston’s Dallas Keuchel.

From MLB.com, the list of winners.

National League
C: Yadier Molina, Cardinals
1B: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs; Freddie Freeman, Braves (TIE)
2B: DJ LeMahieu, Rockies
3B: Nolan Arenado, Rockies
SS: Nick Ahmed, D-backs
LF: Corey Dickerson, Pirates
CF: Ender Inciarte, Braves
RF: Nick Markakis, Braves
P: Zack Greinke, D-backs

American League
C: Salvador Perez, Royals
1B: Matt Olson, A’s
2B: Ian Kinsler, Angels/Red Sox
3B: Matt Chapman, A’s
SS: Andrelton Simmons, Angels
LF: Alex Gordon, Royals
CF: Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox
RF: Mookie Betts, Red Sox
P: Dallas Keuchel, Astros

In the Arizona Fall League on Saturday night, Yankees’ OF prospect Estevan Florial, playing for the west, had a triple and a walk and scored a run as the West edged the East, 7-6.