Blogs > Minor Matters

Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Things are getting interesting again ...

Heading into the four-game set with Harrisburg that starts tomorrow, the projected starting pitchers look something like this:

Tomorrow: RHP David Phelps (6-0, 2.04) vs. LHP Ross Detwiler (0-0, 1.17)
Friday: RHP Lance Pendleton (6-3, 3.70) vs. RHP Andrew Kown (2-3, 3.77)
Saturday: RHP DJ Mitchell (6-3, 4.70) vs. LHP Aaron Thompson (4-9, 5.63)
Sunday: RHP Hector Noesi (5-1, 1.90) vs. LHP Tom Milone (6-3, 3.34)

The key word there is projected. Via Donnie Collins, Friday's starter in Scranton is TBA, although they already know who it is but are not at liberty to release the name yet. I've already started hearing rumors about David Phelps being promoted, and he certainly would deserve it.

That said, it wouldn't surprise me terribly to see Lance Pendleton get promoted, either. Between last year and this year, he's had what amounts to a full season at Double-A, and is pitching brilliantly. He, too, would be deserving of a move up.

This is where the fun begins.

With Manny Banuelos being activated off the disabled list this afternoon, Tampa has six guys who can start: Banuelos, Adam Warren, Graham Stoneburner, Shaeffer Hall, Dellin Betances and George Kontos.

Were Pendleton to go up, Betances would be on turn to start in Trenton on Friday evening. Were Phelps to go up and start Friday for Scranton, then things would get really confusing. Five days prior in Tampa, Adam Olbrychowski -- a former Thunder reliever -- was the starter. A day prior to that, it was Kontos, but he threw on Tuesday, so that would probably mean a bullpen start for Trenton.

In any case, things should get a lot clearer over the next 24 hours. Stay tuned.

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J.B. Cox heading to Trenton; Duff heading to DL

Per a team report, reliever Grant Duff, who got roughed up his last time out, is heading to the disabled list with an undisclosed injury. So far, the closer is 1-4 with a 2.84 ERA over 31 2/3 innings of work. He's struck out 38 against 16 walks and allowed four longballs.

Replacing him on the roster is J.B. Cox, a former prospect who's fallen on hard times and nearly retired in the middle of last season. He's 0-1 with an 8.59 ERA so far in Tampa. He's allowed 14 hits and two walks in 7 1/3 innings.

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Around the System - June 30

Triple-A: Pawtucket 7, Scranton 1

Jesus Montero: 1-for-4
Jorge Vazquez: 1-for-4, R
Rene Rivera: 1-for-4, RBI
Mark Melancon: 2/3 IP, 1 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO
Eric Wordekemper: 1 1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO
Box score

Double-A: Trenton 4, New Britain 0; New Britain 5, Trenton 2

Hector Noesi: 7 IP (CG), 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO
Austin Romine: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 BB
Brandon Laird: 3-for-6, R, 2 RBI
Austin Krum: 2-for-6, 3 R, HR
Box score 1
Box score 2

High-A: Tampa 5, Lakeland 0

Corban Joseph: 2-for-5, RBI, R
Brad Suttle: 2-for-5, 2 RBIs, R
Myron Leslie: 2-for-4, RBI, R
Adam Warren: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 3 SO
Box score

Low-A: Charleston 4, Augusta 2

J.R. Murphy: 2-for-4, R
Neil Medchill: 2-for-4, 2 R, 3B, HR, 3 RBIs
Rob Lyerly: 1-for-3, 2B, RBI
Jairo Heredia: 6 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 7 SO
Box score

Short Season: Staten Island 10, Aberdeen 8

Casey Stevenson: 2-for-2, R, 2B, 2 RBI
Kelvin De Leon: 2-for-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI
Jose Mojica: 3-for-5, R
Kevin Mahoney: 2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI
Box score

Gulf Coast League: Yankees 6, Blue Jays 1

Gary Sanchez: 1-for-2, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB
Cito Culver: 4-for-5, 2R, 2B, RBI
Henry Pena: 2-for-4
Rey Nunez: 1-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI
Box score

Dominican Summer League 1: Yankees 4, Marlins 3

Daniel Lopez: 2-for-4, 3B, RBI, R, SB
Jorge Alcantara: 1-for-3, R, RBI, 2 SB
Cristofer Cabrera: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 2 SO
Box score

Dominican Summer League 2: Dodgers 9, Yankees 6

Rafael Polo: 4-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, RBI, SB
Sandy Brito: 1-for-5, 3B, R, RBI
Box score

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

An electronic conversation with Mark Newman

Mark Newman, the Yankees VP of Player Development, was on hand during last weekend's series with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Because of time constraints, I didn't catch up with him in person. I did, however, fire him a series of questions via e-mail, and he responded this morning.

Here are my questions and his answers:

Q: Obviously Brandon Laird has been hotter this season than just about anyone could have expected. After seeing him this weekend, and looking at his overall season, what do you think he needs to improve to get him to the next level?

A: Brandon needs to continue his growth as a player in a general sense. While there is no specific need, he needs to refine his approach at the plate and on defense. These are the subtleties of the game and involve adapting to various game situations and pitcher hitter match-ups.

Q: What are your overall impressions on the seasons of Phelps and Romine? Have they hit the expectations you and the organization had for them before the season? With Romine, I'm especially curious about how the organization views his defensive season (I've noticed Mosquera at Waterfront quite a bit.)

A: Phelps and Romine are both on track. Romine will be a very good defensive catcher at the ML level. He will also be a force with the bat. A really good looking young player. Phelps has met or exceeded all of our expectations.

Q: Shifting away from Trenton, you guys have to be ecstatic with the way Betances has responded after surgery. I know it's only four starts, but if he keeps performing like this (or anywhere close, frankly), could we see him with the Thunder toward season's end/playoff time?

A: Betances will be in Tampa. He is only 10 months out of surgery. He will go slow for the near future.

Q: Sticking with Tampa, the rotation down there has been outstanding all season long. Particularly intriguing is Graham Stoneburner, whom I got to see with Charleston earlier this year. Obviously the hard fastball is one of his strengths, and slider is improving. How much more work does the slider need before it's up to the standards the organization would like to see?

A: Stoneburner is making very solid progress with the SL. He should be in Trenton next year. This is his first full professional season and he has already been promoted once this year.

Q: I believe you mentioned to my colleague that David Adams' latest setback on his ankle sprain could cost a few more weeks of rehab. If that is the case, is there a promotion for Corban Joseph in the near future?

A: Adams had a tough injury and he will need a few more weeks. He is a tough guy and a great worker. He will be ready as soon as humanly possible.

Q: It seems that Manny Banuelos is close to returning to action after the long recovery from the appendectomy. What plans are there for his workload the rest of the way as far as getting him up to an appropriate innings load is concerned? Might fall/winter ball be an option?

A: Banuelos will get regular work for the remaining portion of the season. His arm is fine. Appendectomy.

Q: Moving down the ladder a little bit, what are the plans for Slade Heathcott and J.R. Murphy this season. Will they stay at Charleston all season, or might they wind up in Staten Island?

A: Heathcott and Murphy will stay with Charleston.

Q: Speaking of Staten Island, what kind of progress is the organization looking for from Kelvin De Leon in his first season out of rookie ball?

A: DeLeon needs to make contact and allow the plus power to play.

Q: Last one, are there any thoughts to bringing Christian Garcia back into the fold once he completes his latest rehab?

A: Garcia is no longer with the organization and who knows what the future holds. He has had several tough injuries and it is a shame that we have not gotten a chance to see the ability on a regular basis. A good guy with big ability and some very bad luck. We all hope he gets through this and gets to play again.

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Phelps, Romine, Laird and Pendleton selected to EL All-Star Game

Via a team press release, here are your Eastern League All-Stars for 2010.


Brian Jeroloman (NH)*
Austin Romine (TRE)*

Shawn Bowman (NH)
Tagg Bozied (REA)
Ray Chang (POR)
Nick Evans (BNG)
Luis Hernandez (BNG)
Brandon Laird (TRE)
Matt Rizzotti (REA)*
Nate Spears (POR)*

Darin Mastroianni (NH)
Kirk Nieuwenhuis (BNG)*
Ben Revere (NB)*
Eric Thames (NH)

Kyle Gibson (NB)*
Kyle Drabek (NH)*
Stephen Fife (POR)*
Deolis Guerra (NB)
Trystan Magnuson (NH)
Lance Pendleton (TRE)
David Phelps (TRE)*
Michael Schwimer (REA)
Josh Stinson (BNG)*
Vance Worley (REA)*

Field Staff: New Britain Rock Cats (Manager Jeff Smith)


Jhonatan Solano (HAR)
Hector Gimenez (ALT)

Lonnie Chisenhall (AKR)*
Brandon Crawford (RIC)
Danny Espinosa (HAR)*
Joel Guzman (BOW)
Matt Hague (ALT)*
Josh Harrison (ALT)
Chris Marrero (HAR)
Michael Martinez (HAR)

Andy Dirks (ERI)*
John Drennen (AKR)
Tyler Henson (BOW)*
Thomas Neal (RIC)*

Zach Britton (BOW)* %
Brooks Brown (ERI)*
Rafael Cova (RIC)
Pedro Beaton (BOW)
Derek Hankins (ALT)
Daryl Maday (RIC)*
Rafael Martin (HAR)
Tom Milone (HAR)*
Rudy Owens (ALT)*
Zach Simons (ERI)
Bryce Stowell (AKR)*

* = Fan Vote
% = unable to pitch in game due to Futures Game participation

Around the System - June 28

Triple-A: Scranton 7, Rochester 6

Eduardo Nunez: 1-for-3, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Jorge Vazquez: 2-for-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Jesus Montero: 0-for-3, BB, R
Box score

Double-A: Trenton 8, New Britain 2

Dan Brewer: 3-for-4, 2R, 2B, 3 RBI
Austin Krum: 2-for-5
Kevin Smith: 2-for-4, R, RBI
Luis Nunez: 3-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R
Justin Snyder: 2-for-4, R, RBI
Box score

High-A: PPD

Low-A: Greenville 5, Charleston 4

Neil Medchill: 1-for-4, HR
Kyle Higashioka: 2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, BB
DeAngelo Mack: 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBIs, BB
Box score

Short Season: Aberdeen 4, Staten Island 2

Shane Brown: 2-for-3, 2B, R, BB
Jeff Farnham: 2-for-3, 2B, RBI
Jose Mojica: 2-for-4
Kevin Mahoney: 1-for-4, RBI
Shane Greene: 5 2/3 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO
Box score

Gulf Coast League: Blue Jays 11, Yankees 7

Gary Sanchez: 3-for-4, 3 R, 2B, RBI
Reymond Nunez: 3-for-4, 2R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI
Henry Pena: 3-for-4, 2 2B
Box score

Dominican Summer League 1: Yankees 9, Nationals 4

Claudio Custodio: 0-for-3, 2 R, RBI, BB
Yeicok Calderon: 2-for-4, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB
Jorge Alcantara: 2-for-4, 3 R, BB
Deivi Mojica: 5 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, SO
Box score

Dominican Summer League 2: Yankees 5, Astros 4

Eladio Moronta
1-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 SB
Elio De La Rosa: 2-for-3, 2B , 2 RBI
Jose Javier: 0-for-3, BB, R, 2 SB
Box score

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Around the System - June 27

Triple-A: Scranton 8, Rochester 4

Justin Christian: 2-for-4, BB
Eduardo Nunez: 1-for-3, BB, 3 R
Jesus Montero: 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 3 R (average up to .254)
P.J. Pilittere: 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB
Eric Bruntlett: 3-for-5, 3 RBI
Greg Golson: 2-for-4, RBI
Zach McAllister: 7 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO
Box score

Double-A: New Hampshire 8, Trenton 6

Brandon Laird: 2-for-5, 2B, R
Jose Gil: 1-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R
Marcos Vechionacci: 3-for-5, 2B, RBI
Justin Snyder: 0-for-1, R, 3 BB
Box score

High-A: Tampa 6, Lakeland 5

Ray Kruml: 3-for-7, 2B, R
Corban Joseph: 4-for-6, 2 R, 4 2B, 2 RBI
Brad Suttle: 3-for-6, 2 RBI
Melky Mesa: 2-for-7, R, RBI
Zoilo Almonte: 2-for-7
Walter Ibarra: 2-for-6, BB
Dellin Betances: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 SO
J.B. Cox: 3 IP, 4 H, 2 SO
Box score

Low-A: Greenville 5, Charleston 4

Slade Heathcott: 1-for-2, 2 R, 2 BB
Francisco Santana: 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBIs
Jimmy Paredes: 2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI
Rob Lyerly: 1-for-4, R
Box score

Short Season: Staten Island 8, Hudson Valley 6

Kelvin De Leon: 2-for-4, 2 HR, 6 RBI
Kyle Roller: 2-for-3, 2 R, BB
Kevin Mahoney: 1-for-3, 2 R, BB
Nathan Varce: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO
Box score

Gulf Coast League: NO GAME

Dominican Summer League 1: NO GAME

Dominican Summer League 2: Yankees 6, Royals 4

Gian Arias: 1-for-3, R, RBI
Elio De La Rosa: 2-for-4, HR
Sandy Brito: 1-for-3, 2 RBI
Box score

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Around the System - June 26

Note: Because I'm so far behind, we're gonna do these next three days River Ave Blues style.

Triple-A: Scranton 2, Rochester 1

Justin Christian: 2-for-6
Eduardo Nunez: 2-for-5, triple, BB
Jesus Montero: 3-for-6, HR
Reegie Corona: 1-for-4, triple, run, two BB
Ivan Nova: 6 2/3 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO
Box score

Double-A: Trenton 2, New Hampshire 0

Matt Cusick: 1-for-3, R, RBI, BB
Marcos Vechionacci: 1-for-2, 2 BB
Justin Snyder: 1-for-4, RBI
David Phelps: 6 IP, 6H, 0 R, 2 BB , 7 SO
Box score

High-A: Tampa 4, Clearwater 3

Ray Kruml: 3-for-5, 3 2B, R
Corban Joseph: 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, BB
Zoilo Almonte: 2-for-4, RBI, BB
Melky Mesa: 2-for-3, 3B, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB

Low-A: Greenville 9, Charleston 5

Slade Heathcott: 2-for-4, R, RBI
J.R. Murphy: 2-for-4, 2B, 3B, RBI, R
Jimmy Paredes: 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs
Rob Lyerly: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI
Jose Ramirez: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO (was on 10 days rest)
Box score

Short Season: Hudson Valley 8, Staten Island 1

Eduardo Sosa: 1-for-4
Luis Parache: 1-for-4, RBI
Nick McCoy: 1-for-2, 2B, R, BB
Wilton Rodriguez: 5 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO
Box score

Gulf Coast League: Phillies 3, Yankees 2

Anderson Felix: 1-for-4
Cito Culver: 1-for-4
Gary Sanchez: 1-for-3
Nathan Aron: 1-for-2, 2B, RBI
Brett Marshall: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO
Box score

Dominican Summer League 1: Giants 4, Yankees 0

Daniel Lopez: 2-for-4
Yamiel Orozco: 1-for-3
Edwin Beard: 1-for-3, 2B
Box score

Dominican Summer League 2: NO GAME

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Around the System - June 25

Triple-A: Scranton 9, Rochester 0
Jesus Montero was 3-for-5 with two runs, and the Yankees were able to blank the Red Wings. With the effort, Montero upped his average to .243. Justin Christian, Reid Gorecki, Jorge Vazquez, Reegie Corona and Eric Bruntlett each pounded out two hits. Bruntlett (solo) and Gorecki (three-run) each went deep. Bruntlett, Vazquez and Gorecki each scored twice. Romulo Sanchez lasted seven innings and held Rochester to a hit and a walk. He fanned eight.
Box score

Double-A: New Hampshire 6, Trenton 2
Andrew Brackman made his Double-A debut -- and earned his first loss at the level. The right-hander allowed eight hits and two earned runs over five innings. He fanned five and walked one before giving way to Cory Arbiso. Brandon Laird connected on his 19th longball of the year, collecting his 77th RBI in the process. Marcos Vechionacci was 2-for-4.
Box score
High-A: Clearwater 5, Tampa 3
George Kontos continued his rehab, tossing three shutout innings against the Threshers on Friday evening. Noel Castillo and the bullpen, however, couldn't make a 1-0 lead stand up. Castillo and J.B. Cox allowed five runs over the final two innings. Ray Kruml, Zoilo Almonte and Trent Lockwood each collected two hits in the loss.
Box score

Low-A: Greenville 3, Charleston 1
Kyle Higashioka's longball was the only offense the RiverDogs got during their loss to the Drive on Friday. Kelvin Castro also collected two hits. J.R. Murphy, Neil Medchill and DeAngelo Mack collected the remainder of Charleston's hits. Josh Romanski started and allowed one earned run over 5 1/3 frames while striking out eight.
Box score Short-Season: Staten Island 4, Aberdeen 1
Mikey O'Brien dominated over six innings, and the Yankees were able to get past the IronBirds. O'Brien allowed just the one run on seven hits while fanning four and walking none. Nathan Forer and Preston Whitley worked the final three innings. Michael Ferraro was 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Isaiah Brown went 2-for-4.
Box score

Gulf Coast League: Phillies 4, Yankees 3
Gary Sanchez was 2-for-4 with a two-run HR and two runs scored, but the Yankees couldn't overcome the Phillies. Damian Taveras also had two hits in the loss. Making a rehab start, Manny Banuelos went three shutout innings, allowing one hit, two walks and four strikeouts.
Box score

Dominican Summer League 1: PPD

Dominican Summer League 2: Yankees 8, Red Sox 7
Eladio Moronta was 3-for-5 with a double three RBIs, and the Yankees were able to down Boston. Elio De La Rosa was 2-for-5 with a run, a double and an RBI. Rainiero Coa was a perfect 3-for-3 with a run and an RBI.
Box score

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Game 74: New Hampshire at Trenton


New Hampshire
Darin Mastroianni - CF
Manny Mayorson - 3B
Eric Thames - LF
Shawn Bowman - DH
Adam Loewen - RF
Jonathan Jaspe - 1B
Matt Liuzza - C
Jonathan Diaz - SS
Callix Crabbe - 2B
Adrian Martin - RHP (4-1, 2.86)

Dan Brewer - LF
Austin Krum - CF
Austin Romine -DH
Brandon Laird - 3B
Matt Cusick - 2B
Jose Gil - C
Marcos Vechionacci - 1B
Luis Nunez - SS
Justin Snyder -RF
Lance Pendleton - RHP (6-3, 3.72)

Pregame Notes: If you've noticed Romine has been DHing a lot more after night games, instead of the regular day off, you've got a good eye. Franklin said before the game that it's by design, not because of any injury. He did, however, admit that he is taking a risk when he does that because, if Gil gets injured and Romine was forced into duty behind the dish, then they'd have to bat the pitcher.

Another postgame media BONANZA

Below are videos (shot by Mike Ashmore for The Trentonian) of Austin Romine and Andrew Brackman reacting to Brackman's debut on Friday night. Also below is audio from Nardi Contreras (15 minutes), pre- and postgame from Tony Franklin (pregame is in two parts), and David Phelps dissecting last night's start. Enjoy.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Game 73: New Hampshire at Thunder


New Hampshire:
Darin Mastroianni - CF
Manny Mayorson - 2B
Eric Thames - LF
Shawn Bowman - 3B
Adam Loewen - RF
David Cooper - 1B
Jonathan Diaz - SS
Brian Jeroloman - C
Danny Perales - DH
B.J. LaMura - P

Dan Brewer - LF
Austin Krum - CF
Austin Romine - C
Brandon Laird - 3B
Matt Cusick - DH
Marcos Vechionacci -1B
Edwar Gonzalez - RF
Luis Nunez - SS
Justin Snyder - 2B
David Phelps -P


Friday, June 25, 2010

Andrew Brackman scouting report

From a scout who's seen him throw, here's a quick overview of Andrew Brackman's arsenal:

Fastball: 90-94 miles per hour with good downward tilt and armside run.

Curveball: 71-75 with sharp, three-quarter break and bite.

Changeup: 75-76 with late, gradual fade.

Since this report, Brackman has added a slider and has reportedly shelved the knuckle-curveball.

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Around the System - June 24

Triple-A: Scranton 5, Pawtucket 1
Quick poll: If you thought Reegie Corona would have more longballs than Jesus Montero nearly halfway through the season, raise your hand. Well, if your hand is raised, you are correct. Corona swatted his fifth dinger of the year, a two-run shot, and the Yankees topped the PawSox. Montero, who has but four homers, was 1-for-4. Overall, Corona was 2-for-4 with the two RBIs and two runs scored. Eduardo Nunez and Justin Christian also had two hits apiece.
Box score

Double-A: Trenton 11, Erie 2
Brandon Laird did what usually does -- destroy pitching --and the Thunder mounted a late comeback to drop the SeaWolves. From the seventh inning on, Laird was 2-for-2 with a grand slam and a three-run homer, both of which came off of reliever Jay Voss. Overall, Laird was 3-for-5. Austin Romine was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs. Oh, and then there was Hector Noesi, who fanned 10 over seven innings of two-run ball. It's the second time during his tenure with the Thunder that he's fanned ten.
Box score

High-A: Tampa 4, Clearwater 2
Shaeffer Hall, starting in place of the recently promoted Andrew Brackman, was magnificent, allowing two runs (none earned) over six innings. He fanned six and walked none before being replaced by Trenton Lare. In 23 1/3 High-A innings, Hall has permitted just two earned runs.
Jose Pirela was 3-for-3 with a run, Trent Lockwood had two hits, and Walter Ibarra went deep.
Box score

Low-A: Greenville 7, Charleston 6
Kyle Higashioka went deep and J.R. Murphy was 2-for-5, but the bullpen blew this one to the Drive. Neil Medchill, in his first game after being sent down from Tampa, was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and even stole a base. Emerson Landoni swiped two bags, and Jimmy Paredes also stole one. Jairo Heredia started and allowed two runs on three hits and three walks before being removed.
Box score

Short Season: Aberdeen 8, Staten Island 5
Eduardo Sosa doubled, tripled and drove in three runs, but the Yankees couldn't overcome a poor performance from starter Sam Elam. The lefty allowed five earned runs on six hits and four walks over 3 2/3 innings before handing the ball to Matthew Jernstad. Jose Mojica also collected two hits. He's hitting .409 in the early going.
Box score

Gulf Coast League: Yankees 6, Tigers 5
Anderson Felix, Fu-Lin Kuo and Ramon Flores were a combined 8-for-15 with five runs and four RBIs, and the Yankees edged the Tigers. With five innings of three-run ball, Brett Gerritse earned the win. He struck out five and walked just one.
Box score

Dominican Summer League 1: PPD

Dominican Summer League 2: PPD

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Newman: Brackman coming to Trenton

Three years after the Yankees chose him with the 30th selection in the 2007 draft, Andrew Brackman is ready to test his mettle at the upper levels. The 6-foot-10 right-hander will make his Double-A debut tonight when the Thunder face the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Waterfront Park.

Yankees Vice President of Player Development Mark Newman confirmed the move with The Trentonian earlier this evening.

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Around the System - June 23

Triple-A: Pawtucket 7, Scranton 6
Dustin Moseley coughed up six runs in five innings, and the Yankees couldn't top the Lars Anderson-powered PawSox. Rene Rivera led the way for Scranton, racking up a three-hit night that included a two-run longball. His first HR of the season was off the immortal Stephen Strasburg. Reid Gorecki and Eduardo Nunez collected two hits apiece. Former Thunder reliever Eric Wordekemper tossed 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Box score

Double-A: Trenton 12, Erie 7
Dan Brewer, Austin Krum and Austin Romine connected on back-to-back-to-back home runs in this teeter-tottering affair. D.J. Mitchell, in his first game back since having a start skipped to protect his innings count, was thwacked to the tune of seven runs (six earned) over 4 1/3 innings. He allowed three longballs. Brewer, Romine and Luis Nunez each had two hits and scored twice. Krum and Jose Gil, who also went deep, also scored twice. Kevin Whelan pitched a perfect seventh and eighth inning for the win.
Box score

High-A: Dunedin 2, Tampa 0
Graham Stoneburner's scoreless innings streak ended at 29 (!), but his streak of not allowing an earned run continues. The last time he permitted one of those was the second inning on May 24 against Lakeland, nearly a month. Still, the pair of unearned tallies he gave up in the sixth inning of this game cost him and his team a win. The T-Yanks collected just three hits: two from Corban Joseph and one from Walter Ibarra.
Box score

Low-A: OFF

Short Season: Staten Island 6, Aberdeen 5
Jose Mojica was 1-for-3 with two RBIs, and the Yankees held off the IronBirds. Casey Stevenson, Kevin Mahoney and Kelvin De Leon each had RBIs as well. Shane Brown scored twice. Shane Greene, the Yankees' opening night starter, allowed five earned runs on 11 hits over four innings. He struck out four and walked nobody.
Box score

Gulf Coast League: Tigers 5, Yankees 2
Bryan Mitchell, making the first appearance of his career, got shelled for five runs on two hits and four walks over two innings. Anderson Felix was 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored, and Gary Sanchez and Reymond Nunez picked up the Yankees' other two hits. Nunez also drove in the other run.
Box score

Dominican Summer League 1: PPD

Dominican Summer League 2: PPD

Around the System - June 22

Triple-A: Pawtucket 3, Scranton 1
Robert Coello bested Zach McAllister, and the Yankees fell to the PawSox. McAllister, however, had one of his best starts of the year, allowing three earned runs over seven innings. He fanned one and walked a pair. Mark Melancon struck out four over the final two innings. With a double and a longball, first baseman Jorge Vazquez was one of the only Yankees able to solve Coello. Reegie Corona put together a three-hit afternoon, and P.J. Pilittere collected a pair of knocks.
Box score
Double-A: Trenton 8, Erie 3
Matt Cusick hit a three-run homer, doubled and collected four RBIs, and Lance Pendleton tossed six strong innings in the Thunder's win over the SeaWolves. Austin Romine busted out of his recent slump with a 2-for-4 effort. Pendleton allowed three runs (all in the fifth), earning his sixth win of the season. He struck out six and walked one.
Box score
High-A: Tampa 3, Dunedin 0; Dunedin 4, Tampa 0
Game one: Dellin Betances strung together his third brilliant start in row, this time surrendering just a hit and a walk over six shutout innings. He fanned eight. Over 18 innings since returning from arm surgery, Betances has permitted one run on six hits and two walks. He's struck out 21. Walter Ibarra was 2-for-4 in this contest, and shortstop Jose Pirela had two RBIs.
Box score
Game two: Adam Warren allowed four earned runs in as many innings, and the T-Yanks' offense could muster just three hits against the Jays. With the loss, Warren's record falls to 6-5 and his ERA moves to 2.84. He struck out two and walked nobody. Pat Venditte and George Kontos each chipped in a scoreless inning of relief.
Box score

Low-A: OFF

Short Season: Staten Island 2, Hudson Valley 2

Dominican Summer League 1: Postponed

Dominican Summer League 2: Postponed

Gulf Coast League: Yankees 11, Pirates 2
Reymond Nunez went 3-for-5 with a two-run blast, and the Yankees got past the hated GCL Pirates. Ramon Flores, formerly with Tampa, also collected three hits and scored four times. Fu-Lin Kuo, Henry Pena and Anderson Felix each had two hits in the win. Nik Turley started and went just 2 2/3 innings before being lifted. Evan DeLuca picked up the win in relief.
Box score

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Justin Christian promoted, Noesi and Romine to Futures Game

This happened late last night, but outfielder Justin Christian got promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The move comes as no surprise, especially considering the S-Yanks had been at three outfielders for quite some time. Technically that's the situation they're in now, but that'll change once Marcus Thames is activated.

Now, the question is: Who's coming to the Thunder to replace Christian, if anyone? Well, there's a couple of scenarios. They could use Justin Snyder in left field, as was done 11 times last season. He's also played center field 18 times, so he could go there if Austin Krum needs a blow one of these days.

That said, if Snyder moves to the outfield for a while, that could pave the way for David Adams' activation from the DL, which should happen any day now regardless.

It could also mean that the Thunder are getting a new arm here soon. Currently, the Tampa Yankees have Andrew Brackman, Adam Warren, Dellin Betances, George Kontos, Graham Stoneburner and Shaeffer Hall active as starters. Manny Banuelos, who rehabbed yesterday in the GCL, isn't far behind.

That's seven starting pitchers for five spots. I suspect we'll see Brackman and/or Kontos here in short order.

Additionally, the XM Futures Game rosters were announced today, and catcher Austin Romine and starter Hector Noesi made the cut. Romine, one of the Yankees' bushelful of catching prospects, is hitting .283/.349/.759 in Trenton. Noesi, who arrived with the Thunder last month,
is 8-3 with a 2.54 ERA in 78 innings between High-A and Double-A. He's fanned 82 against 11 walks.

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Around the System - June 21

Triple-A: Scranton 4, Pawtucket 3
Justin Christian, the newest Yankee, made a good impression on his teammates when he drew a walk in the ninth and later scored the game-winning run when Fabio Castro uncorked a wild pitch. Christian was promoted from Trenton earlier in the day. Ivan Nova started for Scranton, and scattered five hits over 6 1/3 innings. He walked one and fanned seven. P.J. Pilittere and Reegie Corona each collected two hits in the win. Pilittere and Jorge Vazquez doubled, and Eduardo Nunez collected his second triple of the season.
Box score

Double-A: OFF

High-A : PPD

Low-A: OFF

Short Season: Hudson Valley 3, Staten Island 2
Casey Stevenson went 3-for-5, and Jose Mojica and Garrison Lassiter each collected two hits, but it wasn't enough to get the Yankees past the Renegades. Wilton Rodriguez started and allowed three runs (two earned) over 5 1/3 innings. He allowed six hits, walked two and struck out three. Fred Lewis and James Gipson worked the final 2 2/3 frames.
Box score

Dominican Summer League 1: PPD

Dominican Summer League 2: Yankees 3, Indians 1
Rafael Polo and Elio De La Rosa each collected a double, accounting for half of their team's hits, and the Yankees were able to hold off the DSL Tribe. Gian Arias and Abraham Ramos were responsible for the other two knocks.
Box score

Gulf Coast League: Yankees 10, Pirates 8
Prized Yankees catching prospect Gary Sanchez made his professional debut in a big way, by belting a grand slam in his second at-bat. Overall, the 17-year-old (!) was 2-for-4 with a run and four RBIs. Still, that's not even the most exciting news from this game. Manny Banuelos, sidelined all season with an appendectomy, made the start. He went 2 2/3 innings, allowed one earned run on no hits and a walk. He fanned two. Kelvin Duran and Jose Rosario also went deep.
Box score

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Around the System - June 20

Triple-A: Lehigh Valley 4, Scranton 1
Reegie Corona went 2-for-4 with his fourth home run of the year, but it wasn't nearly enough to hold off the IronPigs. Jorge Vazquez, playing first base, went 2-for-4 with a double. Jesus Montero took the collar in four trips. Romulo Sanchez was the hard-luck loser, allowing just an earned run over 4 2/3 innings. Eric Wordekemper extended his Triple-A scoreless streak to three innings.
Box score

Double-A: Trenton 4, Binghamton 3
This win, coupled with New Hampshire's loss, puts the Thunder back in first place atop the Eastern Division. David Phelps didn't get the win, but he fan a career-high 10 against just one walk over six innings. Tim Norton and Grant Duff shut the door the rest of the way. Austin Krum's two-run bomb in the eighth put Trenton on top for good. Brandon Laird hit his 16th home run, and his second in as many nights.
Box score

High-A: OFF

Low-A: Rome 1, Charleston 0
The RiverDogs collected three measly hits -- a DeAngelo Mack triple and singles from J.R. Murphy and Jimmy Paredes -- and couldn't earn a win for spot starter Michael Solbach, who turned in an excellent outing. Solbach allowed one unearned run over five innings before handing the ball to Ryan Flannery, who blanked the Braves for the final three frames.
Box score

Short Season: Staten Island 2, Brooklyn 1
Mikey O'Brien dominated for seven innings, scattering two hits, striking out four and walking just one as he led the Yankees to their first victory of 2010. Preston Claiborne and Chase Whitley closed out the final two frames. Isaiah Brown stroked a pair of doubles and drove in a run, and Jose Mojica also collected two hits.
Box score

Dominican Summer League 1: OFF

Dominican Summer League 2: Dodgers 2, Yankees 1
Guillermo Matos collected two hits, including a home run, but the Dodgers still edged the Yankees' Dominican leaguers. Rafael Polo also went 2-for-4. Edwin Rodriguez fanned five in three innings in relief of starter Ramon Rodriguez.
Box score

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Around the System - June 19

Triple-A: Lehigh Valley 5, Scranton 4
Jesus Montero and P.J. Pilittere both went deep, but the Yankees could not overcome the IronPigs. It was the fourth longball of the season for Montero, and it drove home his 24th and 25th RBIs of what has been a massively disappointing season for the 21-year-old. Eduardo Nunez was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Tim Redding allowed five earned runs in as many innings and earned the loss.
Box score

Double-A: Binghamton 10, Trenton 9
The Thunder staged a big comeback in the ninth, only to lose in the tenth on a close play at the plate following a sacrifice fly to right. Austin Romine, who had been slumping of late, was 3-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI in the loss. Brandon Laird connected on his 15th homer of the season, and Marcos Vechionacci and Jose Gil each went deep as well. Vechionacci was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Luis Nunez and Justin Christian both collected two hits.
Box score

High-A: Clearwater 5, Tampa 1
Andrew Brackman allowed five runs over five innings, suffering his first loss since May 6. He also walked two, which may be the biggest indicator that he just did not have his best stuff, considering he had issued just seven free passes entering the game. Pat Venditte blanked the Threshers over the final three innings, fanning six in the process. Brad Suttle was 3-for-4 with the T-Yanks' lone RBI, and Corban Joseph collected two doubles.
Box score

Low-A: Rome 11, Charleston 6
Sean Black allowed six runs (three earned) on 10 hits over five innings, and the RiverDogs couldn't get past the Braves. Black struck out four and did not walk a batter. Jimmy Paredes went 3-for-6 with a double and an RBI. He did, however, make two errors. Kelvin Castro also went 3-for-4. Slade Heathcott, J.R. Murphy and Rob Lyerly had two hits apiece.
Box score

Short Season: Brooklyn 9, Staten Island 6
Sam Elam allowed five runs (one earned) over 3 2/3 innings, and the Yankees fell to the Cyclones. Shane Brown was 2-for-3 with a run scored and a walk. Kevin Mahoney was 1-for-1, got hit by three pitches, stole a base and collected two RBIs in his season debut. Kelvin DeLeon, Jose Mojica and Carlos Urena each drove in a run.
Box score

Dominican Summer League 1: Yankees 10, Nationals 2
The bottom of the lineup ruled in this effort. Jamiel Orozco, Edwin Beard, Jerison Lopez and Ali Castillo combined to go 9-for-13 with three doubles, a triple, six runs scored and seven RBIs. Jorge Alcantara and Yeicok Calderon scored once each, and Isaias Tejeda crossed the plate twice. Kenedy Agramonte and Deivi Mojica scattered three hits over their seven combined innings, striking out six and walking none.
Box score

Dominican Summer League 2: Postponed

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Kyle Roller's Five At-Bats

Very quickly, here is long video of Kyle Roller, the Yankees' eighth-round pick this season, out of East Carolina University, taking the first five at-bats of his professional career. This video came from the Staten Island Yankees' Opening Night game on Friday at Richmond County Bank Ballpark against the Brooklyn Cyclones.

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Around the System - June 18

Triple-A: Scranton 4, Lehigh Valley 1
Jesus Montero was 3-for-4 and a longball away from the cycle, and the Yankees were able to get past the IronPigs. With yesterday's effort -- which included no RBIs -- Montero now has triples in back-to-back games and a batting average of .248. Colin Curtis and Eduardo Nunez each had two hits in the win, and Nunez drove home a pair. Dustin Moseley struck out 10 over seven innings of three-hit, one-run ball.
Box score

Double-A: Binghamton 1, Trenton 0
The B-Mets and Chris Schwinden got their revenge on the Thunder and Hector Noesi last night, outdueling 1-0 on the strength of a Brahiam Maldonado longball in the sixth. Otherwise, Noesi was nails once again, scattering six hits over seven innings of walk-free ball. He also mixed in six strikeouts. Dan Brewer and Luis Nunez had doubles.
Box score

High-A: Clearwater 9, Tampa 4
George Kontos made his season debut yesterday, and it went as well as can be expected for someone coming off of major arm surgery. The right-hander lasted just 2 2/3 and allowed four hits and three earned runs. He also fanned four and walked one. Don't be surprised if he's in Trenton in short order. Mitch Abeita was 2-for-3 with two doubles, and Neil Medchill and Jack Rye also had two hits apiece. Medchill also drove in three runs and scored once.
Box score

Low-A: Rome 4, Charleston 1
Josh Romanski was reached for 11 hits and four runs over 5 2/3 innings, and the RiverDogs couldn't touch the Braves' pitching. Zoilo Almonte collected a double, the team's lone extra-base hit, and worked one of its five walks. J.R. Murphy was 1-for-4.
Box score

Short Season: Brooklyn 5, Staten Island 3
Kyle Roller with a two-run double and a walk, but the Yankees couldn't generate any offense after a three-run first on Opening Night at Richmond County Bank Ballpark. Casey Stevenson, Jose Mojica and Garrison Lassiter also doubled. Eduardo Sosa was 2-for-3, and Kelvin De Leon reached on a walk and catcher's interference in his non-Florida or Dominican debut.
Box score

Dominican Summer League 1: Yankees 2, Giants 1
Yeicok Calderon was 2-for-4 with a triple, a home run and a run scored as the Yankees topped San Fran's Dominican Leaguers. Jorge Alcantara and Jamiel Orozco also had two hits; Alcantara is now batting .451. Yankees hurlers combined to strike out eight, and Melvin Croussett picked up his third save.
Box score

Dominican Summer League 2: Royals 6, Yankees 3
Rafael Polo was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, but the Yankees couldn't surpass the Royals DSLers. Gian Arias also collected two hits and scored a run in the loss. Ravel Santana swiped a bag. Yankees pitching allowed nine (!) stolen bases.
Box score

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Around the System - June 17

Triple-A: Lehigh Valley 2, Scranton 0
Zach McAllister allowed just a two-run home run to Andy Tracy over his four innings, but that was enough to beat Scranton on this night. Overall, McAllister gave up six hits and two walks, and struck out three. He also hit a batter. Mark Melancon, Eric Wordekemper and Jason Hirsh worked the final five innings. The only Yankees who collected hits off the IronPigs were Reid Gorecki (single), Colin Curtis (double) and Jesus Montero (triple).
Box score

Double-A: Trenton 8, Altoona 4
One night after he made what his manager called a "bone-headed play," Luis Nunez was 3-for-4 with a three-run home run. Marcos Vechionacci and Edwar Gonzalez were both 2-for-4 with two runs, and Austin Krum collected two hits of his own. Lance Pendleton tossed seven innings of four-run ball, with the only blemishes coming courtesy of solo home run from Gorkys Hernandez and a three run jack from Josh Harrison. Tim Norton, in his first Double-A appearance, threw perfect eighth and ninth innings.
Box score

High-A: Tampa 4, Clearwater 2
By allowing one earned run over 5 2/3 innings, Shaeffer Hall actually managed to raise his ERA -- from 0.77 to 1.04. Hall, a 2009 Draftee out of Kansas, fanned five and walked one last night, and in three starts with Tampa has a 17:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Melky Mesa clubbed a two-run homer, and Jose Pirela was 2-for-3 with a double and a run. Brad Suttle collected two RBIs.
Box score

Low-A: Rome 6, Charleston 1
Emerson Landoni followed his 5-for-5 effort by going 2-for-3 with a longball last night, amounting to the only RiverDogs run against the Braves. Aside from Landoni, however, a Slade Heathcott single was all Charleston could mount against Rome. Kelvin Perez took the loss, allowing five runs (two earned) on nine hits through six innings. He struck out five.
Box score

Dominican Summer League 1: Orioles 5, Yankees 1
The Yankees didn't collect a single extra-base hit yesterday, and fell to Baltimore. Jorge Alcantara was 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. Ericson Leonora stole two bases. Yeicok Calderon also collected one of the Yankees' six hits.
Box score

Dominican Summer League 2: OFF

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Game 64: Altoona at Thunder (with audio)


SS - Chase d'Arnaud
CF - Gorkys Hernandez
3B - Josh Harrison
1B - Matt Hague
2B - Jordy Mercer
RF - Alex Presley
C - Kris Watts
DH - Shelby Ford
LF - Anthony Newman
RHP - Bryan Morris

LF - Justin Christian
CF - Austin Krum
C - Austin Romine
3B - Brandon Laird
2B - Matt Cusick
RF - Dan Brewer
1B - Marcos Vechionacci
DH - Edwar Gonzalez
SS - Luis Nunez
RHP - Lance Pendleton

6:56 - Sorry to be so late on this stuff, been talking to a lot of people about a variety of things. As you can see, Matt Cusick is in the lineup for the first time, hitting fifth. With Scranton this year, Cusick was hitting .265 with nine RBIs in 29 games. He had been hitting .365 over his last 10, which makes the demotion a bit of a bummer.

Tony Franklin's pregame audio, in which he discusses the aftermath of last night's loss and post-game lecture, is below. Enjoy.

7:49 -Here's some thrilling video of Matt Cusick's first 2010 Thunder plate appearance, a four-pitch walk.

8:57 - Thunder have opened it thanks to a bunch of infield singles and a three-run bomb from Luis Nunez, who is 3-for-3 tonight after a bad baserunning mistake last night. Josh Harrison did some work for Altoona, clubbing a three-run jack of his own off of Lance Pendleton, who before that had made very few mistakes.

Here's some video of Marcos Vechionacci singling before Nunez's bomb.

It's an 8-4 final here from Waterfront Park as the Thunder complete a series win over the Altoona Curve. Here's some postgame audio from Tony Franklin and Luis Nunez, who went 3-for-4 with a three-run home run. The Nunez audio is the last two files.

Also, here's some video of Tim Norton's debut, and Lance Pendleton dissecting another excellent start. As Mike Ashmore points out, 5-3 with a 3.66 ERA ain't too bad for someone who started the year as a reliever.

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Around the System - June 16

Triple-A: OFF

Double-A: Altoona 8, Trenton 4
After mounting a successful comeback against Rudy Owens, the Thunder's bullpen failed to build on that momentum when the bullpen, which had been underused over the past few games, failed to hold the lead. Dan Brewer was 2-for-3 with a bases-clearing double in the loss. Marcos Vechionacci also hit a double that briefly tied the game at 4-4. Thunder pitchers walked 10 batters, including five by Kevin Whelan in just 1/3 of an inning.

High-A: Tampa 5, Dunedin 0
Graham Stoneburner's mastery of the Florida State League continued yesterday, when the 2009 draftee and college teammate of D.J. Mitchell, tossed seven scoreless innings at the Jays, complete with five strikeouts and zero walks. It is Stoneburner's third start in a row with seven scoreless innings. Trent Lockwood was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Brad Suttle also drove home a pair. Walter Ibarra scored twice.
Box score

Low-A: Charleston 15, Augusta 6
Emerson Landoni was 5-for-5 with three RBIs, and that was just the beginning of the RiverDogs' offensive assault on the Greenjackets last night. Slade Heathcott doubled twice and drove home four runs. Kelvin Castro had a pair of two-baggers. Rob Lyerly collected three singles. Jimmy Paredes and Zoilo Almonte also had two hits apiece. DeAngelo Mack was 1-for-2 with three runs and three walks.
Box score

Dominican Summer League 1: No score reported

Dominican Summer League 2: Red Sox 5, Yankees 2
Rafael Polo went 2-for-2 with an RBI triple and a run scored in game that was completed after just five and a half innings. Eladio Moronta and Ravel Santana collected the Yankees' other two hits, both singles, off Red Sox starter Raul Alcantara, who went all five innings. Juan Heredia and Melvin Mercedes held Boston's Dominican Leaguers to just one earned run over their six trips to the plate.
Box score

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A couple of bonus morning links

First, here's the excellent Robert Pimpsner's preview of the Staten Island Yankees, whose season begins tomorrow. I will be at Game 1 and 2 of their season, bringing you pictures, video and interviews with such exciting young players as Kelvin DeLeon, Eduardo Sosa, Kyle Roller, Garrison Lassiter and Sam Elam. Stay tuned to the blog for that.

Second, here's Joel Sherman's latest blog post, which has news that Andrew Brackman may soon be making an appearance at Waterfront Park. It appears that the 6-foot-10 former first-round selection may have accomplished all he can in High-A, and the Yankees want to see how his newfound dominance translates to the upper levels.

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Morning Links and Postgame Audio

Yesterday's 8-4 Thunder loss, even coming after an eight-game win streak, prompted a stern lecture after the game about the dangers of complacency. In making three errors, failing to catch a runner after he'd been picked off, and turning the tying run at second base into the third out at third base, Trenton suffered easily its most painful loss of the season.

Franklin had a lot to say about it afterward. Check out the nearly 10-minute audio.

Also, Justin Snyder had a few good comments about what a bad loss like this means to a team that has been very good all season long.

Here are the game story and sidebar that I wrote yesterday. The sidebar is about the hidden danger of your starters going deep into games -- bullpen rust.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Game 63: Altoona at Thunder


SS - Chase d'Arnaud
CF - Gorkys Hernandez
3B - Josh Harrison
1B - Matt Hague
2B - Jordy Mercer
C - Hector Gimenez
LF - Alex Presley
RF - Miles Durham
DH - Shelby Ford
LHP - Rudy Owens (6-3, 2.49)

LF - Justin Christian
CF - Austin Krum
C - Austin Romine
3B - Brandon Laird
RF - Dan Brewer
1B - Marcos Vechionacci
DH - Edwar Gonzalez
SS - Luis Nunez
2B - Justin Snyder
P - Wilkin De La Rosa (2-2, 5.18)

4:52 - Just got here after getting a bit of a late start. Matt Cusick is here and is wearing number 34. Tim Norton has been issued number 55. Good news is here, too: The rain has moved out of the forecast until 11 p.m. Seems like tonight's game should be safe.

6:00 - Hate to be a bit of bringdown, but there's really not much happening here. Tommy Phelps' kids are still around, it's gray and humid, and the purple bullpen backpack is now safely in the possession of new reliever Tim Norton.

7:00: - Here's the pregame audio of the press conference with Tony Franklin. Be forewarned. It's a long one, so grab your popcorn.

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Around the System - June 15

Triple-A: Scranton 4, Indianapolis 1
In a battle of former Thunder starters, Ivan Nova got the better of Dan McCutchen at PNC Park. The young right-hander held the Indians to one run on five hits over eight innings. He struck out five and walked two. Matt Cusick, in his final game before being sent to Trenton, was 2-for-3 with two doubles and a run scored. Reid Gorecki collected four RBIs, three of which came on his second longball of the year.
Box score

Double-A: Trenton 9, Altoona 1
David Phelps pitched seven solid innings, Brandon Laird hit his 14th home run of the season, and the Thunder rolled to their eighth consecutive win. Justin Snyder, who seems to be clicking with regular playing time, was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. In his last 10 games, Snyder is 12-for-29 and has scored 12 runs, including a 11 in his last seven contests. Justin Christian and Edwar Gonzalez smacked doubles.
Box score

High-A: Dunedin 6, Tampa 2
For six innings, Dellin Betances was outstanding. For one inning, J.B. Cox was anything but. Betances, in his second start back from arm surgery, held the Jays to two hits and walk while striking out seven. Cox, however, in his first appearance after a long layoff during which he pondered retirement, let up five runs over one inning, including a three-run home run to Brian Van Kirk.
Box score

Low-A: Charleston 4, Augusta 3
Zoilo Almonte clubbed his 10th home run of the season, and the RiverDogs pulled out a late win over the Legends. Rob Lyerly was 3-for-4 in the win, boosting his average to .321. Jimmy Paredes legged out his third triple of the season. Slade Heathcott stole two bases, and Emerson Landoni swiped another. Jose Ramirez let up three runs over 5 1/3 before Ryan Acosta and Ryan Flannery shut the door.
Box score

Dominican Summer League 1: Yankees 11, Mets 2
Isaias Tejeda, Ericson Leonora, Jamiel Orozco and Daniel Lopez all doubled as the Yankees routed the other New York team's Dominican Leaguers. Tejeda, Orozco and Leonora each had two hits in the win. Jorge Alcantara scored three times, and Yeicok Calderon went 1-for-5. Cristofer Cabrera and Edison Mejia combined to hold the Mets to seven hits and two walks.
Box score

Dominican Summer League 2: Rays 8, Yankees 7
Ravel Santana and Rafael Polo had two hits apiece, but it wasn't enough to stop Tampa Bay yesterday. Polo tripled, as did Sandy Brito, and Elio De La Rosa connected on a three-run blast n the loss. Yankees hurlers fanned nine and walked just four, but Alexander De Los Santos' four runs allowed over 1 2/3 innings ultimately did in his team.
Box score

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Postgame multimedia BONANZA

From tonight's 9-1 Thunder win, here are four videos, all shot by a combination of Trentonian interns Erin Egan and Lucas Pasch, of Brandon Laird's home run (two videos), an entry interview with new pitcher Tim Norton, and, of course, yesterday's Boomer race.

Also, for your listening pleasure, here are my postgame interviews with (from top) David Phelps, Brandon Laird, Kevin Mahoney and Tony Franklin. Mahoney is being sent to Staten Island. Matt Cusick, who played with Trenton last year, will take his place after coming down from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

That's it for tonight. Check back tomorrow for game two of the Thunder's series with Altoona.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Thunder vs. Altoona: Game 1 (Norton, Wordekemper promoted) Now with Pregame Audio


Chase d'Arnaud - SS
Gorkys Hernandez - CF
Josh Harrison - 3B
Matt Hague - 1B
Jordy Mercer - 2B
Hector Gimenez - C
Alex Presley - LF
Miles Durham - RF
Shelby Ford - DH
Tim Alderson - P

Justin Christian - LF
Austin Krum - CF
Austin Romine -C
Brandon Laird - 3B
Dan Brewer - RF
Marcos Vechionacci - 1B
Edwar Gonzalez - DH
Luis Nunez - SS
Justin Snyder - 2B
David Phelps - P

4:16 - Nothing really noteworthy here thus far. The Thunder are rolling out the batting practice equipment, some Curve players are running sprints in the outfield, and one of pitching coach Tommy Phelps' kids just got done fielding grounders with Dad.

4:43 - A few notes from around the Yankees system: Andy Shive was activated from the disabled list, and has been placed on the Charleston roster. J.B. Cox who appeared on the verge of retirement last season, is with Tampa now, and has taken the place of Adam Warren, who has been shelved.

4:55 - RHP relief pitcher Tim Norton has been promoted from High-A Tampa. Eric Wordekemper moved to Triple-A to open up a spot.

5:52 - Here's some pregame audio from Tony Franklin and D.J. Mitchell. Tony talks about Norton, Marcos Vechionacci's recent hot streak, Paul Bush's second opinion and Mitchell being skipped a start.

Paul Bush, by the way, visited Dr. James Andrews, who diagnosed him with scar tissue in his right elbow. Bush was obviously happy that it wasn't more serious. He's on a throwing program now and will be back this season.

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Series in Preview - Thunder vs. Altoona

Today: RHP David Phelps (4-0, 2.08) vs. RHP Tim Alderson (5-2, 4.29)
Tomorrow: LHP Wilkin de la Rosa (2-2, 5.18) vs. LHP Rudy Owens (6-3, 2.79)
Thursday: RHP Lance Pendleton (4-3, 3.50) vs. RHP Bryan Morris (3-1, 2.33)

- Phelps is third in the Eastern League in ERA for the month of June, while Owens is 10th. Hector Noesi, who will not pitch in this series, is seventh in that category.

- Phelps is also tied with Portland's Robert Coello for sixth in strikeouts this month.

- Marcos Vechionacci is hitting .500 (13-for-26) this month, tops in the EL. Altoona's Hector Gimenez is ninth, with a .357 mark.

- Altoona's Chase D'Arnaud and Trenton's Brandon Laird each have seven extra-base hits in June.

- The Curve's Josh Harrison has a league-high six doubles this month. D'Arnaud has five. Justin Christian has four.

- Altoona's .268 team average is tied with New Hampshire for tops in the circuit. And the Thunder? They sit at .266, good for second in the league. The Curve have also walked 222 times, just three more than Trenton's total of 219. The Thunder have also struck out just three more times than the Curve, 430 to 427.

- Altoona leads the league in triples, with 21.

- The Curve have two major connections to the Phillies. D'Arnaud is the brother of former Phillies farmhand Travis, who was traded to the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay during the offseason. Additionally, pitcher Mike Dubee is the son of Philadelphia pitching coach Rich Dubee.

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Around the System - June 14

Triple-A: Scranton 8, Indianapolis 6
Scranton recorded a season-high 17 hits, including Jorge Vazquez's first Triple-A bomb, and the Yankees edged the Indians. Jesus Montero was 3-for-4, bumping his average all the way to .240. Progress, people, progress. Colin Curtis was 4-for-5, Eduardo Nunez was 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, and Reegie Corona collected two knocks. Vazquez, Curtis and Nunez combined for seven RBIs.
Box score

Double-A: OFF

High-A: Tampa 7, Dunedin 3
The Andrew Brackman Show took center stage again, and boy it a doozy. The former first-rounder continued his impressive return to form, fanning 11 over six innings of two-ball. He's allowed just seven walks in 55 innings this season, or one every eight innings or so. Addison Maruszak continued to mash, swatting a two-run bomb as part of a 2-for-4 night. Corban Joseph went 2-for-4 with two runs, and Jack Rye added a pair of knocks.
Box score

Low-A: Augusta 7, Charleston 4
Zoilo Almonte pounded his third home run in four games, but the RiverDogs couldn't top the GreenJackets. Almonte was 2-for-4 overall, as was Jimmy Paredes, who clubbed two doubles in the loss. Rob Lyerly also added a two-bagger. Slade Heathcott and J.R. Murphy were 2-for-7 combined. Sean Black got lit up to the tune of five runs on five hits in just 2 1/3 innings.
Box score

Dominican Summer League 1: Yankees 10, Cubs 5
Claudio Custodio smacked a first-inning grand slam, and Isaias Tejeda added a longball in the same frame as the Yankees rolled past Chicago's Dominican leaguers. Tejeda was 3-for-5 overall. Daniel Lopez, Ericson Leonora and Yeicok Calderon, the top three hitters in the lineup, were a combined 8-for-14 with six runs scored.
Box score

Dominican Summer League 2: Mets 12, Yankees 2
Gian Arias smacked a solo home run in the eighth inning, and Sandy Brito drove home Fernando Perez with the Yankees' other run in this blowout loss. Elio De La Rosa was the only Yankee with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 overall. Leadoff man Eladio Moronta singled and also collected an outfield assist.
Box score

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Postgame video, audio, morning links

There were three stories from yesterday's Thunder game in today's Trentonian. There was:

The game story, written by yours truly
A sidebar on John Maine's rehab start, written by correspondent Erin Egan
A sidebar on MLS players Shannon Myers and Danleigh Borman, written by correspondent Jeremy Schneider

Also, here's video of Hector Noesi fanning Mike Nickeas for the last out of his complete game yesterday, as well as Edwar Gonzalez talking about a variety of topics postgame.

And here's some postgame audio from Tony Franklin and Hector Noesi (with his girlfriend acting as interpreter).

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