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Payroll and the Doc

December 7, 2009 Leave a comment

The Yankees are cutting payroll?! What an unbelievable thought. Except, in reality, if the Yankees are going to go out and get a free agent starter then the amount they cut from the payroll will not really be significant at all. Just thought I would mention that.

Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated twittered that the Red Sox have the best chance to land Halladay. He also notes that the Blue Jays would want a combination Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Austin Jackson, and Jesus Montero from the Yankees. Combine that with the 20 million a year that Halladay will command for 4-5 years and unless the Blue Jays are willing to make a different deal it appears that the Yankees will not go that far to get the Doc.

After all who can blame them? You are talking about two of their best young pitchers who have both proven to be shutdown relievers and have, though Hughes more than Joba, potential to be great starters in the majors. Then you have two of the Yankees best prospects who are considered by many scouts to have MLB-ready bats. I ask, is giving up three of these players too much, even for a pitcher as dominant as Halladay?

Montero and McAllister named Top Organizational Players

November 25, 2009 Leave a comment

RHP Zach McAllister and C Jesus Montero were named the Yankees’ top organizational players of the year. Montero had an outstanding year at FSL Florida and Double-A Trenton, hitting .317 with 17 HR and 70 RBI, along with a .562 SLG and .951 OPS. McAllister went 7-5 in 22 starts at Trenton, and had an organization-best 2.23 ERA. In 121 innings, he allowed just 98 hits, 33 walks and 4 home runs. McAllister was called up to the Triple-A SWB Yankees for their playoffs. Both players were named EAS All-Stars this year.

photo from MiLB.com

Also a quick congrats: Class A Charleston RiverDogs manager Mike Williams was named South Atlantic League Manager of the Year.

How Are the Kids?

November 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Hey readers, my name is Dan Reiner; I did a couple posts late in the season covering the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. I’m a die hard Yanks, Giants, Knicks, Rangers, Sentinels and PSU Nittany Lions fan. Though I am only in high school, I have complete knowledge of the MLB, and hope to someday study journalism in college, and follow my dream to be a sports writer. I’ll continue to write about the minor league teams and players on here, so read up to see how the kids are doing, as well as all of the posts!

Well first off, I’d like to say that DH/OF Shelley Duncan and 2B Kevin Russo were named to the 2009 TOPPS Triple-A All-Star team for their great seasons. Duncan led the International League with 30 HR and 99 RBI, and Russo was third in the IL with a .326 batting average.

And now with the IL season finished and players needing to improve to try to take the next step in the organization, the Fall Leagues come around. I’ve been following the key players in the Yankee organization that are taking part. So..how are the kids doing?

RHP Ian Kennedy (AFL) has 6 games and starts with a record of 1-1 and a 4.74 ERA; In 24.2 IP hes allowed 25 hits 23 K and the key.. just 5 walks.
RHP Josh Schmidt (VWL) hasn’t looked good. 7 games, 5 starts 1-3 4.63 ERA. In 23.1 IP, 22 H and 20 K
LHP Mike Dunn (AFL) has looked shaky. In 8 games, a record of 0-2 4.32 ERA with 1 save. In 8.1 IP, 8 hits but a remarkable 15 K.
RHP Romulo Sanchez (VWL) has looked solid. 11 G 2-2 3.83 ERA 14.1 IP, 10 H, and a very good 20 K with only 4 walks.
LHP Zach Kroenke (AFL) has pitched 10 games. A record of 1-0 with a 5.02 ERA. 14.1 IP 13 hits 12 K and 4 BB
RHP Ivan Nova (DWL), who we saw get a few postseason starts in AAA, has 5 games, 4 starts with a 1-0 record. A 1.05 ERA in 25.2 IP, with just 17 hits 4 walks and 17 Ks is exactly what scouts are looking for.
-1B Juan Miranda (DWL), just joined the league, and in 13 at-bats already has a 5 hits, 1 HR and 4 RBI
-C Jesus Montero (VWL) has been extremely disappointing to say the least. In 9 games, just 3 hits, a .115 BA, and 1 RBI.
-3B Brandon Laird (AFL) is tearing up opponents right now. In 20 games, he has a .313 BA, and is tied for 2nd in the league with 6 HR and 24 RBI
-2B Reegie Corona (VWL) has played 17 games, with a .314, 0 HR and 5 RBI
-OF Colin Curtis (AFL) has played 17 game, with a great .388 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI, and 2 SB

AFL= Arizona Fall League, VWL=Venezuela Winter League, DWL=Dominican Winter League

Look for some of these guys in trade talks or even on the big club come next season.

Are We There Yet?

November 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Hello Everyone my name is Stephen Crociata and I am the newest contributer to The Pinstriper. I am 19 years old and I’m currently attending Iona College for my degree in Sports Management. I hope to someday work for a MLB franchise and experience what is like to run things behind the scenes. I am a die hard NY Yankee, NY Giant, and Colorado Avalanche fan; I also spend most of my free time on Yahoo! Sports just so I know exactly what is happening. i only sleep about 7 hours a day at max so you can be assured I read up on exactly what is happening in the sports world as much as humanly possible. Enough about me though I have an issue I would like to get to.

Drew Henson, Eric Duncan, and Bronson Sardinha three names most Yankee fans know very well. They were all “up and comers” who were going to be the future of the Yankees. Only Duncan is still with the Yankees, but he is more and more looking like a career minor leaguer. These are notables but they are not alone the Yankees have dealt with this for a while and luckily of late with guys like Cano, Cabrera, and Gardner fortunes may be changing. The major difference is that the recent success of Yankee farm hand is actually more of a pleasant surprise, but the expected future hasnt materialized. Now welcome Austin “AJAX” Jackson the name that has been piped into the brains of all Yankee fans since 2005. The 2010 season is approaching and many may be asking “Are we there yet?” is this the time of Jackson, and it may be a surprise but I say still not yet. I have a lot of confidence in Austin, as do I with the other big Yankee prospects such as Romine and Montero, but I believe its just not his time. Almost a SO a game this season in AAA for AJAX and it was not because of a surplus of power, 4 HR in 504 AB. Jackson is still young, 21, and there are benefits for the team and him if he sticks with Wilkes-Barre for a little longer. In my opinion the Yankees can use a few “bridges” to their prospects.

This offseason may be very impactful on the future success of the NY Yankees. If a guy like Mike Cameron is brought in to solidify the CF job for a season or two he becomes the “bridge” to Austin Jackson. The same can be done for Jesus Montero, who has not shown to be a great catcher, if he is moved to RF fan favorite Nick Swisher becomes his so called bridge, and another could include Posada handing off his place behind the plate to Austin Romine. This all will be essential to keeping the Yankees young and establishing Cashman’s initial goal which was to entirely build the Yankees from the inside (obvious with some outside additions).

10 Questions with Trenton Thunder Beat Writer Mike Ashmore

July 28, 2009 2 comments

In my first segment of 10 questions with, I ask 10 questions to Mike Ashmore, Trenton Thunder beat writer.

1. Out of all the players in AA this year….who has impressed you the
most? Who has dissapointed you the most?

Mike Ashmore: Impressed me the most is probably Ivan Nova or Josh Schmidt. Looking
at his previous numbers, I really wasn’t expecting a lot out of
Nova…and I thought his confidence might be shot from getting knocked
around in big league camp with the Padres. While I don’t think he was
as consistent as he would have liked to have been in Trenton, he did a
lot to improve his stock while he was here.

As for Schmidt, he isn’t a guy who will ever be considered a prospect,
despite the fact he’s always put up numbers. He’s the kind of guy a
lot of fans will ignore because they don’t read about him in the
prospect books and so on…but he’s been unflappable for most of the
season, performing better than the guys with supposedly better stuff.

2. Give us some background info on Josh Schmidt?

MA: Schmidt is a great guy, and it seems you won’t find anyone who will
tell you any different. It’s not uncommon to see him chatting away
with a fan, the grounds crew, a beat writer or anyone he can find.
His engaging personality is very similar to another Californian, Phil
Coke
. Throws a mid 80’s fastball, a so-so slider and an absolutely
devastating slow curve. I’ll be very, very curious to see how his
repetoire plays against Triple-A hitters…and I think that chance
will come soon.

3. Give us some info on Zach McAllister?

MA: Z-Mac isn’t really that exciting on or off the field. He’s a quiet
kid in the clubhouse, and doesn’t really blow anyone away on the
mound, nor does he have what you could describe as one standout
offering. But he really pounds the zone, has great command of his
stuff, and flat out knows how to pitch. He’s attracted the interest
of quite a few scouts who have passed through Waterfront Park…

4. If you had to pick one player on the Thunder that will have a long
and successful MLB career who would it be?

MA: It would be hard to bet against Jesus Montero right now. I’m not sure
if that career will come behind the plate, but his bat will take him a
long way.

5. After seeing the whole Tony Bernazard and Binghamton Mets story
play out and the Mets be repeatedly chastised for their lack of depth
how do you feel the Yankees are at the same thing? Do you feel they
have good enough depth in the system?

MA: No. They’ve had to dip into the minor league free agent pool and
independent baseball recently. And even with that, some of the
options to be called up aren’t exactly very appealing. It seems that
the position player depth is a bit behind the pitching depth…and
even the pitching depth doesn’t seem to be what it used to.

6. Give us some insight on Jesus Montero?

MA: Has a big body for a 19-year-old…he could stand to improve a bit
behind the plate, but he continually works to do so. It’s not
uncommon to see him working on blocking balls in the bullpen or in the
batting cage. He struggles a bit with offspeed stuff at the plate
sometimes, but overall…the bat is absolutely there. Seems to crush
line drives with the flick of the wrists.

7. Give us the best prospect you’ve seen (thunder or non-thunder) that
has impressed you the most?

MA: Assuming I’m sticking with guys I’ve seen just this year, both Tim
Alderson
and Junichi Tazawa (who is on the Redsox AA Affiliate) were both really impressive. Had I seen
Jeanmar Gomez’s perfect game, I’m sure I’d have included him here as
well.

8. Were you surprised when you saw Francisco Cervelli and Ramiro Pena
jump from AA to the MLB? Are there any current AA players that you
think can do the same any time soon?

MA: Cervelli didn’t surprise me because they really didn’t have a choice
with the way the 40-man roster was constructed. You can’t argue with
what he did while he was there, but considering the way he was playing
in Trenton, you could make a case that he didn’t exactly earn it,
either. Pena was a surprise just because of the role he was asked to
fill. All he ever really did in Trenton was play shortstop, and there
he was filling at third base for Alex Rodriguez. I was surprised at
how well he handled it.

As far as any of the current Thunder players being able to make the
jump…honestly, I’m not really sure anyone on the current roster is
ready for that right now. I’m sure there are guys who would perform
well if they were given the opportunity…but there isn’t anyone
standing out for me. Maybe Jorge Vazquez? His age and his bat would
make him a candidate.

9. When talking about the minor leagues we always seem to use the word
“potential.” The Yankees may promote Andrew Brackman despite his
horrific numbers in Charleston because of his potential. The Yankees
were so reluctant to promote Pat Venditte because they felt he didn’t
have much potential. I think Josh Schmidt would be a good case in AA.
Can you describe the effect potential has on minor leaguers compared
to actual success?

MA: I don’t know if it’s so much that they didn’t think Venditte had
potential as it was his stuff may not have compared favorably to other
guys in the organization. And a lot of it’s financially related as
well. Look at the investment they’ve made both financially and with a
roster spot they’ve made with Brackman. They have little choice but
to keep throwing him out there, regardless of how he does.

The guy with the better stuff, sometimes regardless of results, will
likely get a look before the guy who’s getting by with average stuff
but is putting up numbers. If you were doing things based off of
numbers, Josh Schmidt and Eric Wordekemper would be in Scranton right
now.

10. What is your favorite story that you’ve had with the Thunder?

MA: This season, probably the Thunder Burger Challenge…it was an
off-beat story and had nothing to do with baseball, which was nice
because I can kind of get tired of writing about it 24/7.

Overall, probably anything regarding last year’s championship. After
they won it on the road in 2007, it was nice to be able to be a part
of it last year and see them win it in front of the home fans.

Thanks again to Mike for answering the questions!