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

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Yankees Notes: Joseph, Pirela, Adams, Montero, Brackman, Betances, Instructs

In an email this morning, Yankees senior vice president of baseball operations confirmed that Thunder second baseman Corban Joseph would miss the Arizona Fall League because of surgery he had on his right wrist toward the end of the regular season.

Joseph, promoted to Trenton on Aug. 3, missed the entirety of the Eastern League playoffs with the injury. Before shutting it down, the 21-year-old was hitting .216/.305/.647 in 31 Double-A games.

Replacing him on the Phoenix Desert Dogs roster is Jose Pirela, a middle infielder who spent the season with High-A Tampa.

Pirela, a 20-year-old out of Venezuela whom the Yankees signed in 2006 for $300,000, really put it together in the second half after starting off very slowly in the Florida State League.

His post-All-Star break batting average was a whopping 56 points better than what he posted over the first couple of months. He also nearly tripled his walk total (15 in the first half, 42 in the second). He also swiped 22 of his 30 bases during the second half.

When the Yankees signed him, they were interested in his bat and his ability to burn up the basepaths. While his offensive numbers won’t blow anyone away, he has delivered on his promise of speed.

In four seasons, he’s succeeded on 58 of his 80 attempts, good for an outstanding 72 percent clip.

Pirela joins pitchers George Kontos, Manny Banuelos and Craig Heyer, outfielder Brandon Laird and catcher Austin Romine on the Desert Dogs roster.


Speaking of second basemen, David Adams, who got just 159 at-bats before a broken foot ended his season, has begun functional drills, Newman said.

Adams’ injury, initially diagnosed as a high ankle sprain, was downgraded around the time he was to be shipped to Seattle in the deal that would have made Cliff Lee a Yankee.

Seattle’s doctors didn’t like what they saw, however, and put the kibosh on the deal.


The Yankees instructional league rosters were released last week, and there are more than a few interesting names on the list.

The team’s first three draft choices, Cito Culver, Angelo Gumbs and postseason Thunder bench player Rob Segedin, all will get a little more work before their offseasons begin.

Joining them will be Thunder pitchers Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos, as well as Eastern League MVP Brandon Laird, who will continue his transition to the outfield.

Dominican Summer League standouts Yeicok Calderon, Jorge Alcantara, Daniel Lopez, and Rafael Polo will also get some work.

Perhaps the strangest part of that roster, however, is Addison Maruszak being listed as a catcher. He’s played many positions during his brief career, but has never been a backstop.


According to the same email from Newman, catcher Jesus Montero has not decided whether he will play in the Venezuelan Winter League, but he is leaning toward doing so.


Betances, Montero and Andrew Brackman each joined the Yankees last week, but only Brackman, by virtue of his spot on the 40-man roster, was active.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman have each hinted that Brackman, in what has been a tremendous bounce-back year, will get some work down the stretch.

Montero and Betances are there strictly to observe and get a taste of life in the big leagues during a playoff race.

As an aside, Cashman referred to Betances in the most recent issue of Baseball America, saying he “might be our best pitching prospect ever.”

Considering the state of the system, that’s very high praise.

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