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Minor Night Cap: Tampa Yankees Lose 5-3

SWB – was postponed so only one game tonight.

Tampa Yankees L 5-3

PTF J.R. Murphy – 1H, 1BB, .255

Eduardo Sosa – 1H, 2K, .258

Kelvin Castro – 1K, .226

Rob Segedin – 2R, 2H, (Solo Homer), 1RBI, .308

Kyle Roller – 1R, 2H, .235

Ramon Flores – 1H, 1RBI, 1K, .200

Shane Brown – oH, .188

Tyson Blaser – 1H, 1BB, .333

Jose Mojica – 2K, .275

Pitching
PTF Nik Turley -(DNP)

Shane Greene – 5.0IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 5BB, 5K, 3.15era

Aaron Dott – 1.2IP, 1H, 2BB, 1K, 0.00era

Kramer Sneed – 0.1IP, 1H, 3R, 3Er, 2BB, 10.29era

Branden Pinder – 2.0IP, 1H, 1BB, 5K, 5.11era

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Nova struggles as Mets win 7-6 on walk-off HR

This was Ivan Nova‘s final Spring Training start of the season and although you would like to say “it’s just Spring Training,” Nova was knocked around as the Mets were able to defeat the Yankees 7-6 in a walk-off fashion.

Ivan Nova lasted 2.2 innings giving up 5 runs on 8 hits. His stuff just wasn’t there. David Phelps helped the Yankees, pitching 1.1 and only allowing a hit, D.J Mitchell  pitched 3 innings allowing 1 run on 2 hits, Pat Venditte pitched 2/3 of an inning getting both batters he faced, Branden Pinder also faced 2 batters and retired them both and Mark Montgomery only threw 4 pitches before he allowed the game winning HR.

THE GOOD: Yankees were able to rally back to get the lead for the moment. Nick Swisher was the main hitter for the Yankees going 2 for 3 with 1 RBI. David Phelps continues to have a good Spring and did a great job cleaning up Ivan Nova’s little mess. If Phelps is fighting for a job in the bullpen then he certainly is doing a good job at it.

THE BAD: Aside from David Phelps, Pat Venditte & Branden Pinder, the remaining pitchers gave up runs. Ivan Nova was the main culprit, letting the Mets get to him since the first inning. Another bad move was made by manager Joe Girardi. Instead of leaving Pinder for the final 2 outs of the game, he changed pitchers and allowed the Mets to win the game on a walk-off HR. If he was trying to manage from the binder then he needs to stop. He is the manager. The binder is just a bunch of papers with numbers on it.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Yankees (and Mets) will all head to Tampa one last time to face one another, this time on the Yankees home turf. Andy Pettitte will pitch in an inning (he won’t start the game though) and the Yankees will have their A-List lineup out for the Mets. After the game, the Mets will head to New York to face the Braves on Thursday while the Yankees will take a bus trip to Tropicana Field where they will face the Rays on Friday

Offense comes to life as Yankees beat the Pirates 10-3

For the first three innings the story revolved around Michael Pineda. He was scheduled to have a 75-80 pitch count which should have lasted about 5 innings. He needed 30+ to get out of the 1st inning. Pineda had fastball control issues, getting into multiple full counts before allowing a 2 run HR to Andrew McCutchen. The Yankees were able to back Pineda up and prevented him from getting the loss.

Justin Maxwell (who went in for an injured Nick Swisher) got 2 RBI’s while Alex Rodriguez recieved 3. Mark Teixeira, Andruw Jones, Robinson Cano & Colin Curtis each had an RBI as well.

Mariano Rivera (2-0) came in and pitched for the Yankees in the 4th with another dazzling inning, Boone Logan was able to get out of a small jam by getting the double play (and ended the 5th Inning with Joe Girardi segment), Cory Wade allowed 1 run, Juan Cedeno had a scoreless inning, George Kontos had a scoreless inning & Branden Pinder had a scoreless 9th to seal the Yankees 9th Spring Training win of the season.

THE GOOD: Curtis Granderson made it on base all 4 times (2 hits, 2 walks), Russell Martin showed that a groin injury wasn’t going to stop him & Brett Gardner had a bunt base hit today, and if you didn’t see it boy it was a beauty. Also today, Andy Pettitte threw a 50 pitch bullpen session today and impressed everyone who was there, including pitching coach Larry Rotschild. Pettitte set his return to the Major Leagues to May 1, so pitchers in the rotation…beware.

THE BAD: Nick Swisher had to come out of the game after aggravating his right groin. Girardi said that Swisher will have 4-5 days off before coming into another game. Derek Jeter is not scheduled to play until Friday.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Yankees will take a trip to Pt. Charlotte where they will face the Tampa Bay Rays. The game is at 1:05pm on ESPN & MLB Network. Phil Hughes (who has been impressive all season) will make the start.

Minor League Recap – Short Season A Staten Island Yankees

The Short-Season Staten Island Yankees won the regular season 14-team New York Penn League with a 45-28 record and also won the league post-season championship.  They did so with a strong all-around team that was 2nd in team average (.265), 3rd in runs scored and 5th in team ERA (3.50).  The success of the Yanks 2 lowest level teams (Staten Island and Gulf Coast Yanks) proves the success of the latest drafts in 2010 & 2011 and bodes well for the future of the organization.

HITTERS
CF – Mason Williams – 20, 6’0″ 150

Impressive rookie year for Mason Williams

Williams was arguably the best prospect in the entire NY Penn Lg and he did nothing to disappoint with his on-field performance.  He tore up the league finishing 2nd with a .349 average and 1st with 28 stolen bases & 94 Hits. He also finished in the top 10 in OBP (.395), SLG(.469), OPS(.863), Triples(6), Total Bases(126) and Runs(42). Mason is a wiry athlete with plus speed, a plus arm and a smooth left-handed stroke.  He has a good feel for the strike zone but was very aggressive at the plate.

Williams has been compared to Brett Gardner because of his outstanding speed and defense.  He projects to add more power as he grows into his slim frame and could end up being a cross between Gardner & Curtis Granderson.I was impressed to see that despite his immense physical talent, his coaches also regard him as a very hard worker who lives in the batting cage and has an infectious personality.  Be prepared to see Williams in everybody’s Yankee  Top 10 prospect lists this year and with his skill set & work ethic he could rocket through the system. He’s shown the ability to make hard contact so it will be interesting to see how much power he can generate as he starts to add more strength and weight to his 6’0″ 150 lb frame.

1B - Zachary Wilson – 21, 6’1″ 205

Wilson was a 21st round pick out of Arizona State who finished 2nd in the lg with 10 HRs plus a big solo shot for the 1st run in the 2-1 championship game. He hit .256 with a .346 OBP & .456 SLG% but doesn’t do anything particularly well except hit for power.

2B - Angelo Gumbs, 18 – 6’0″ 175

Angelo Gumbs - 2010 2nd round Pick

Gumbs is an athletic, up the middle player taken by the Yanks in the 2010 Draft. He got a $750,000 bonus as a 2nd -rd pick and has flashed all of the tools the team paid for despite tailing off at the end of the season due to injuries. He has great bat speed and a lot of raw power which he used to  hit .264/.332/.406 with 3 HRs. Gumbs showed off his good speed with 11 SBs & 4 triples. This speed may make him better suited as a CF or LF moving forward because he wasn’t great at 2B with 9 errors.

SS – Cito Culver, 19 – 6’0 185

The Yanks were criticized for taking Culver with their 1st pick in 2010 but he’s impressed scouts with his rocket arm and a nice compact swing from both sides of the plate. Like most players right out of HS, he was inconsistent during the season but he showed a good approach at the plate but his poor August had him finish at .250/.323/.337. Cito is going to take a while to develop both offensively & defensively as he must cut down on his 17 errors. One area he is advanced in is his base running, as he shows good instincts and above average speed which he used to steal 10 of 10 bases.

3B - Tyler Austin, 20 – 6’2″ 200

Tyler Austin mashed all year long

Austin was a 13th round pick in 2010′s draft who started the season in the Gulf Coast Lg where he mashed the ball to a .390/.438/.622 clip in 20 games before he was promoted to Staten Island.  He kept on hitting after the promotion in 27 games to finish a combined .354/.418/.579 for a .997 OPS.  Tyler was also a perfect 18 of 18 in Stolen Base attempts.

Leading up to the draft Austin was considered a high ceiling H.S. player with big time power and solid speed & arm strength. But many thought he was a project but he has come out mashing.  Tyler overcame testicular cancer as a teenager and battled back from a broken had last yr.  He also has a reputation as a “gamer”, a hard-nosed type of player.  He sounds a lot like Bichette to me and it seems the Yanks are looking for guys like this based on their recent draft picks. With his MLB power, solid speed & attitude, Austin is one of my favorite prospects and I will be following him closely as he develops.

PITCHERS

RHP - Bryan Mitchell – 20, 6’2″ 175

Raw righthander Bryan Mitchell

Mitchell is a tantalizing prospect with a high ceiling but is still very raw. He has plus stuff but his questionable mechanics and inconsistent arm angle make him a project. The couple of videos I saw of him look like 2 different pitchers. Mitchell had a mediocre season but finished with 4 strong starts at the end of the season during which he gave up 3 ER in 21 IP.  Overall, he went 1-3 with a 4.09 ERA, 8.6 K/9,  4.5 BB/9 & impressive 2.19 GO/AO ratio. The high strikeout & ground ball rates are very encouraging as he is likely to improve his command/control as he refines his mechanics.

LHP - Evan DeLuca - 20, 6’1″ 195

DeLuca is a New Jersey kid who played his HS ball at Immaculata in Somerville where he was picked in the 44th rd of the 2009 draft by the Yankees.  Like Mitchell, he has taunted with his amazing stuff and wild bouts of inconsistency.  I read scouting reports on him in the beginning of the season where he was sitting at 91-93 and topping at 94-95 and was getting excellent results at 3-1 2.19 ERA through July 22.  But later reports had him at 87-89 which led to him getting ripped in his last 4 starts and eventually finish the yr on the DL.

LHP - Matt Tracy – 22, 6’3″ 212

Tracy was a 24th rd pick out of U of Mississippi this yr who had a solid season splitting time as a starter and reliever.  He was 1-2 with a 3.04 ERA, 2.65 FIP, 9.1 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and 2.26 ground out to Air out ratio. He was the team’s best starter in the post-season going 2-0 including 6 shutout innings of 3-hit ball in the clincher.

RHP - William Oliver – 24, 6’2″ 185

Oliver had a strong season going 5-2 with a 3.45 ERA, 7.5 k/9, 3.7 bb/9 & 1.83 GO/AO rate.  The 35th rd pick in 2010 out of Palomar College is a lot older than most of the players in this league so will need to prove himself at a higher level to show he’s a prospect.

RHP - Branden Pinder - 22, 6’3″ 210

Branden Pinder dominated NYPL hitters

Pinder was a 16th rd pick out of Cal State Long Beach this year and quickly got himself comfortable as Staten Island’s closer.  He used his 94-95 MPH fastball with excellent command to finish 2-2 with 14 saves and a minute 1.16 ERA. He held hitters to a .152 BA and had a 11.0 k/9 & 1.5 bb/9 in 31 ip.  He really has no quality secondary offerings but with command of a mid 90s heater he need only develop one other pitch to advance as a MLB reliever.

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