Friday, May 28, 2010

Minor League News And Notes

Good morning Fackers. Friday at last. T-minus eight hours until that sweet, glorious three day holiday weekend. I'll be wasting mine driving thirty one hours roundtrip to Charleston, SC and back for a wedding which I have no interest in attending. People who get married on holiday weekends should be forced to honeymoon in Guantanamo Bay.

To make matters worse, there will be no dinner served, so I'm sure it'll be cash bar as well (facepalm). The icing on the cake: the Charleston Riverdogs are out of town, so there'll be no checking in the Yankees low A affiliate for me. On the bright side, a wedding south of the Mason-Dixon line is all the excuse I need to wear a seersucker suit.

On to the minor league notes:
Curtis Granderson completed his minor league rehab assignment in the first game of Scranton's doubleheader yesterday. He played center field for all seven innings and went 0 for 2 with a walk yesterday, finishing his stint at 4 for 16 with 2 walks and no extra base hits over five games. He left for New York after the game and will be activated for tonight's series opener against Cleveland.

Recently signed Tim Redding has been named Scranton's starter for tomorrow's game, bumping Jason Hirsh from the rotation. Redding was signed more than two weeks ago, I'm surprised it took this long for the organization to assign him to an affiliate. As for Hirsh, he was a bit stunned by the move, but as Axisa noted in last night's DoTF, this move could be a positive sign for Hirsh. With Alfredo Aceves' immediate future a question mark, the organization could be grooming Hirsh for a long/middle relief role.

David Winfree has been absent from the Scranton line up since last Thursday. Yesterday word finally leaked that Winfree has been out with a sore left wrist but Scranton's intern Conor Foley tells RAB's Mike Axisa that Winfree should be back soon. Winfree was hitting a solid .283/.314/.455 while seeing time in the outfield corners and at first before hitting the shelf.

While Winfree's been out, fellow outfielder/first baseman Chad Huffman has been heating up, going .333/.405/.394 over his last ten games, running his line for the season to .285/.355/.445.

Speaking of wrist injuries, Trenton outfielder Dan Brewer rolled his wrist while making a diving catch last night. Hmm. Suspended game and an injury? Just like the big club does it. After the initial concern, Brewer stayed in the game. He's quietly putting together a nice season, with a decent walk rate and 16 steals in 17 attempts.

The bigger story in Trenton last night was Hector Noesi's second AA start. This one went much better than his first, as he allowed one single, one walk, and five strikeouts through three scoreless innings.

We're a day late on this one, but Trenton third baseman Brandon Laird hit for the cycle Wednesday, culminating the feat with a walkoff homer. Laird is posting an impressive .305/.356/.531 thus far, and new Pending Pinstripes contributor Josh points out that when adjusted for park, Laird's line is even more impressive. Josh also recognizes that Laird is pretty well blocked by Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, and John Nalbone expands on that, noting Laird is Rule 5 eligible after this season, which will force the Yankees to make some decisions about his future in the organization.

Also out of Trenton, catcher Neall French has retired. French was Trenton's third string catcher and had spent the entire year on the DL. With the catching depth in the Yankee system he likely saw the writing on the wall.

While one minor leaguer was leaving, another was returning. The organization brought back Rudy Guillen, who hasn't appeared in organized ball since 2007. The Yankees signed Guillen out of the Dominican Republic in 2000. After spending his career as outfielder, he made three appearances as a pitcher prior to washing out of the organization in 2007. It appears he'll be an outfielder again this time, and while Baseball America sees some potential left in him, it's going to be mighty hard to kick start a career at 26 after three years out of the game.

Andrew Brackman tossed six shutout innings last night, giving up six hits and two walks while striking out seven. Over his last four starts, Brackman has surrendered just six runs, five earned, over 22.1 IP (2.01 ERA). He's allowed just 19 hits and only four walks in that time, while striking out 19. It's a small sample and nothing to get too excited over. But with the struggles Brackman has had, and with Jeremy Bleich facing surgery, and with Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos yet to pitch this year, it's great to see one of the Yankees' high ceiling pitching prospects performing well.


  1. Jason from The Heartland5/28/10, 10:10 AM

    It is good news and a nice recent trend for Brackman, Matt. Hopefully he can keep it up, continue to improve his control, and realize some of his potential after his injury and struggles.

    On the Yanks, their RISP hitting of late has been atrocious, going 17-86 (.198) in the last 9 games (3-6), with 76 left on (8.5/game). With the injuries and RISP woes of late, it feels a little (just a little) like 2008. At the same time, I feel like they're in a considerably better position to weather the storm than they were in 2008. The rotation is stronger, and the lineup is deeper. More from Teixeira and A-Rod would go a long way to rectifying things. Clearly, Granderson returning with a sharp stick is a must. The Yanks can't expect much more out of Cervelli, and asking Gardner to hit above .285 for the year seems to be asking a lot (I'd gladly take .285, too).

    They've got to make hay against Cleveland, Baltimore twice, Toronto, and Houston. This is a stretch when winning 11 isn't exactly pie in the sky.

  2. Stop by the house on your way, Matt. We'll feed you. We might even catch a Potomac National's game.