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

Monday, May 31, 2010

Around the System - May 30

Triple-A: Syracuse 6, Scranton 4
Romulo Sanchez allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings, and Mark Melancon blew a save during while the Yankees fell to the Chiefs. Jason Hirsh, in his first bullpen appearance since being pushed aside for Tim Redding. Reegie Corona doubled twice, and David Winfree added another two-bagger. Winfree and Jesus Montero had Scranton's RBIs. Montero produced his with a sacrifice fly.
Box score

Double-A: Trenton 13, New Hampshire 2
Dan Brewer's grand slam in the ninth inning capped an offensive explosion for the Thunder, who slugged three more longballs against New Hampshire hurlers. Brandon Laird connected on his tenth longball, and Marcos Vechionacci and Austin Krum also went deep. With 50 RBIs, Laird is third in all of the minor leagues. Impressive stuff. Laird also was a triple away from the cycle. Lost in all the offensive madness was another stellar start from Lance Pendleton, who scattered four hits over seven innings of two-run ball.
Box score

High-A: Tampa 14, Bradenton 5
Corban Joseph's four-hit, two-HR effort led the way in the T-Yanks' beatdown of the Marauders. Joseph is 12 for his last 25. Jack Rye led off the game with a longball, and finished with two hits and two runs. Trent Lockwood, Jose Pirela and Francisco also put together two-hit efforts. Oh, and then there's Shaeffer Hall, who blanked Bradenton for five innings in his Tampa debut. Hall, a lefty from Kansas, fanned six and walked three.
Box score

Low-A: Kannapolis 7, Charleston 1; Charleston 10, Kannapolis 6
In game one, the Intimidators roughed up Kelvin Perez to the tune of seven earned runs on seven hits in five innings. White Sox prospect Brady Shoemaker hit two home runs off of Perez, a grand slam and a solo bomb. Jimmy Paredes, Luke Murton, J.R. Murphy and Francisco Arcia collected the only hits for Charleston, all singles.

In game two, Charleston got its revenge. Paredes and Murton both went deep, and the bullpen combination of Michael Solbach, Ryan Acosta and Ryan Flannery were good enough. Paredes' longball was part of a 4-for-4 effort, and Murton added a double to his home run. Paredes also had three RBIs. Murphy went 0-for-4, but did add his 11th RBI in just 14 games with the RiverDogs.
Box score 1
Box score 2

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Around the System - May 29

Triple-A: Scranton 3, Syracuse 2
Ladies and gentlemen, Stephen Strasburg's first professional loss. Rene Rivera smacked a solo home run off of the phenom, and they got a pair more in the sixth after Strasburg put two runners on before being replaced by Josh Wilkie. Chad Huffman's RBI double play and Jesus Montero's single did the damage. Matt Cusick had two hits, including a double.
Box score

Double-A: Trenton 3, New Hampshire 1; New Hampshire 7, Trenton 0
Wilkin De La Rosa twirled five solid innings in the first game, but Cory Arbiso wasn't up to the task in the nightcap. Brandon Laird's double in the first inning of the first game scored Austin Krum, and he recorded his second RBI on a groundout. Austin Romine's single drove home the third run. Laird and Brewer had the lone hits in game two.
Box score 1
Box score 2

High-A: Tampa 7, Bradenton 3
Graham Stoneburner turned in his finest start with Tampa, fanning five of seven innings of two-hit baseball. In 22 innings of High-A, Stoneburner, a 2009 draftee, has 24 strikeouts and 10 walks. Pat Venditte allowed three runs in his inning, and Jonathan Ortiz closed out the win. Addison Maruszak was 3-for-5, and Melky Mesa, Francisco Santana and Mitch Abeita each had two hits. Jack Rye connected on his second home run of the season, a leadoff shot.
Box score

Low-A: PPD

Dominican Summer League: DSL Red Sox 8, DSL Yankees 3
Juan Heredia got hit for three runs in as many innings, and the DSL Yankees fell. Melvin Mercedes and Dubeny Soto also got roughed up. Ravel Santana was 2-for-3 with a double and a home run. Jose Javier and Gian Arias also had an RBI apiece.
Box score

Dominican Summer League: DSL Yankees 5, DSL Mets 1
The combination of Heri Olivo, Dawerd Cruz and Melvin Croussett allowed one run, leading the DSL Yankees to victory. Damian Taveras and Edwin Fulgencio had two hits apiece, and Taveras scored twice. Both of Fulgencio's hits were doubles.
Box score

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Around the System - May 28

Triple-A: Scranton 6, Syracuse 2
Dustin Moseley allowed a pair of runs over six innings, earning his second win of the season. He fanned three and walked as many. Boone Logan and Royce Ring finished the evening with 2 1/3 innings of one-hit ball. Reid Gorecki, Jeff Natale, Rene Rivera and Jesus Montero each doubled. Gorecki and Chad Huffman had two hits apiece, and Huffman scored twice. Reegie Corona also crossed the dish twice, and connected on his third home run of the season.
Box score

Double-A: New Hampshire 7, Trenton 6
David Phelps was brilliant once again, but the bullpen of Wilkins Arias and Josh Schmidt was not. The pair allowed two home runs, including a three-run, inside-the-park bomb from Eric Thames, and allowed the Fisher Cats to erase a 6-1 deficit and extend their lead in the Eastern League's Eastern division. Austin Romine, Brandon Laird and Luis Nunez each collected two hits and scored a run. Laird drove home two runs.
Box score

High-A: Bradenton 8, Tampa 1
On the afternoon he was named to the Florida State League All-Star team, Adam Warren had his worst start of the season. A first-rounder from last year, Warren gave up five runs on seven hits over 2 2/3 innings. It's the second time he's allowed five runs this season (just four were earned the first time). Corban Joseph had two hits, and Jose Pirela drove home the lone run.
Box score

Low-A: Postponed

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Shaeffer Hall promoted to Tampa

As the headline says, left-hander Shaeffer Hall has been promoted from Charleston to Tampa. Hall was 2-2 with a 1.85 ERA in 68 innings. He fanned 46 and issued 11 walks. The move could be a precursor to a promotion for Adam Warren, but it also gives the T-Yanks four true starters.

As it stands, the rotation is (in no order):
1. Shaeffer Hall
2. Andrew Brackman
3. Adam Warren
4. Graham Stoneburner
5. Dan Kapala or Craig Heyer, depending on whom Torre Tyson choose to keep in the rotation.

Also, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos are in the offing.

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Around the System - May 27

Triple-A: Scranton 2, Syracuse 1; Syracuse 6, Scranton 3
In the opener, Zach McAllister continued his rebound from a poor start to his Triple-A career. The right-hander fired six innings of three-hit, one-run baseball in his fourth victory of the season. McAllister has allowed just seven runs over his last 27 innings, fanning 16 against three walks in the process. Chad Huffman had two hits, and Greg Golson and Matt Cusick each drove home a run.

The Yankees couldn't complete the sweep, however, because Kei Igawa started the nightcap. The Japanese left-hander permitted three runs on seven hits in just three substandard frames. Kevin Whelan gave up another two runs in the fourth inning. P.J. Pilittere and Chad Huffman each collected two hits in the loss.
Box score 1
Box score 2

Double-A: Suspended after three innings, 0-0

High-A: Tampa 5, Bradenton 2
Ladies and gentlemen, Andrew Brackman may be turning a corner. Yesterday's outing (6 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 7 SO, 0 R) represented his fourth consecutive solid start, and the third of those four in which he's allowed one or fewer runs. That sound you hear is Mark Newman quietly celebrating. Melky Mesa and Mitch Abeita each collected two hits, and Mesa homered, scored twice and stole a base. Addison Maruszak also swiped a bag.
Box score

Low-A: Charleston 7, Greenville 5
Jairo Heredia permitted four runs over 6 2/3 frames, but didn't figure in the decision. The win fell to Ryan Acosta, who, by allowing a run in an inning, also picked up a blown save. Kyle Higashioka, Zoilo Almonte and J.R. Murphy each went deep. The home run was the first in Low-A for Murphy, a top Yankees prospect. Luke Murton, Rob Lyerly and Kelvin Castro each doubled in the win.
Box score

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A glut of Hector Noesi videos

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A couple of quick notes

A few days ago, I told you that the Yankees were sending high-ranking scouts to watch Asher Wojciehowski pitch for The Citadel in a Southern Conference playoff game against Furman. Here's how he did. The SoCon's Pitcher of the Year allowed 11 hits over eight innings, with eight strikeouts and one walk. Here's a picture of Wojciechowski delivering.
Credit: The Charleston Post and Courier

Also, the last person in the major leagues to hit a walk-off home run to complete a cycle, like Thunder third baseman Brandon Laird did last night, was Red Sox outfielder Dwight Evans on June 28, 1984.

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Around the System - May 26

Triple-A: OFF

Double-A: Trenton 7, Erie 6
The best game of the year, bar-none. Brandon Laird hit a walk-off home run that completed the cycle and redeemed the bullpen that had blown what had been a three-run cushion. Overall, Laird was 4-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBIs. Austin Krum and Luis Nunez had two hits apiece. For Erie, center fielder Wilkin Ramirez collected three home runs. D.J. Mitchell also struck out nine over six innings.
Box score

High-A: Lakeland 7, Tampa 2
After throwing six scoreless innings against the Flying Tigers, Craig Heyer allowed three (only one earned) in the seventh, and reliever Brandon Braboy permitted four more in his frame. Corban Joseph had three hits, moving his batting average north of .300 for the first time since May 14. The T-Yanks' second baseman also drove in a run. Neil Medchill connected on his third home run of the year, a solo bomb in the fourth.
Box score

Low-A: Charleston 5, Greenville 0
Sean Black dominated the Drive, firing seven innings of three-hit, no-walk baseball with five strikeouts sprinkled in. Ryan Flannery held Greenville down for the final two innings. DeAngelo Mack notched three hits, including a double. Ray Kruml and Rob Lyerly had two hits and two RBIs apiece. Kruml also stole his eighth base.
Box score

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Postgame Audio from yesterday

The Thunder topped the SeaWolves 4-0 yesterday, and Lance Pendleton was squarely at the center of the victory. He pitched seven scoreless innings and lowered his ERA to a solid 3.69. Here is a link to the story I wrote today. Below is the postgame with Tony Franklin. I also spoke to Kevin Towers for about 10 minutes. You will see some of that later, coupled with quotes from Philadelphia's Chuck LaMar.

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Around the System - May 25

Triple-A: Louisville 3, Scranton 1
Rutgers product Todd Frazier connected on his third bomb this series, and the Bats edged the Yankees. Ivan Nova got the start for Scranton, and didn't pitch poorly. The right-handed prospect allowed four hits and two earned runs over six strong innings. He did allow to longballs, however, one to Frazier and one to Zack Cozart. Eduardo Nunez went 2-for-4 with a double, and drove in the Yankees' lone score. Curtis Granderson, continuing his rehab assignment, was 0-for-3.
Box score

Double-A: Trenton 4, Erie 0
Lance Pendleton was brilliant for seven innings, and the Thunder ran their record against the SeaWolves at Waterfront Park to 6-0. Pendleton allowed just two hits and three walks in the win, moving his record to 2-2 and lowering his ERA to 3.69. He threw 62 of his 99 pitches for strikes. Austin Krum and Luis Nunez each had two hits and an RBI. Nunez also scored twice.
Box score

High-A: Lakeland 10, Tampa 3
Brad Suttle, Trent Lockwood and Melky Mesa each had a pair of hits -- one of Mesa's was a home run -- but the T-Yanks could not overcome a case of bad pitching on Tuesday. Dan Kapala allowed five runs in as many innings, Adam Olbrychowski added another two in his pair of innings, and Trenton Lare let up three in his three outs of work. Tampa pitchers walked as many as they struck out (five) and permitted 13 hits in the process. Mesa also scored twice.
Box score

Low-A: Greenville 1, Charleston 0
The RiverDogs wasted a stellar effort from Shaeffer Hall when Michael Almanzar's infield hit brought home Derrik Gibson with the game-ending run in the bottom of the ninth. Previously, Hall had given his teammates eight innings of shutout baseball, permitting just three hits and a walk along the way. The Kansas product fanned three and walked none. Lyerly and Kyle Higashioka each doubled in the loss. Kelvin Castro stole his fifth base.
Box score

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Hector Noesi's delivery -- frame by frame

Here are some pictures I took the other day while watching Thunder starter Hector Noesi -- who will start on Thursday against Erie -- throw a bullpen session. As you can see by his expression in the background, pitching coach Tommy Phelps is clearly happy with what he sees.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Around the System - May 23 and 24

Triple-A: Louisville 5, Scranton 1; Scranton 6, Louisville 3
On Sunday, Jason Hirsh gave up three home runs (including a pair to former Rutgers standout Todd Frazier), and the Yankees could not recover. Kevin Whelan, Grant Duff and Royce Ring each fired a scoreless frame in relief of Hirsh. Rene Rivera and Eduardo had two hits apiece. Jeff Natale scored a run, and Nunez had the lone RBI.

On Monday, Romulo Sanchez let up three runs (two earned) over 5 1/3 innings with five punchouts and three walks mixed in. Mark Melancon, who gave up five hits over 2 2/3 scoreless frames, picked up the win in relief. Curtis Granderson and Jon Weber each had three hits, and all of Weber's were doubles. Jesus Montero and Reegie Corona had two knocks apiece.
Sunday box
Monday box

Double-A: Portland 7, Trenton 6; Trenton 6, Erie 4

On Sunday, Mike Cameron's walk-off bomb off of Paul Bush rendered irrelevant what had been a tremendous comeback for the Thunder, who scored five runs to erase what had been a 6-1 deficit. The loss also meant a split of the series for Trenton.

David Phelps gave up all six of his runs in the fifth, but the rest of his frames were scoreless. In fact, outside of the fifth, Phelps allowed just one hit. He did not figure in the decision, however. Austin Romine and Brandon Laird each had two hits, and one of Laird's left the yard.

On Monday, Cory Arbiso, Wilkins Arias, Ryan Pope and Eric Wordekemper held the SeaWolves down in the currently unoccupied slot in Trenton's rotation. The Quartet of K fanned 14, tying the team's season-high. Trenton put up five in the fourth, with Laird's RBI double as the centerpiece.
Sunday box
Monday box

High-A: Tampa 2, Palm Beach 1; Lakeland 4, Tampa 1

Adam Warren pitched five solid innings on Sunday, limiting the Cardinals to one run on one hit with five strikeouts. Overall, Warren is 6-3 with a 1.93 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 51 1/3 High-A innings. Shouldn't be long before he's in Double-A. Phil Bartleski held the Cards to four hits over the final four innings. Addison Maruszak and Brad Suttle had the T-Yanks' RBIs.

On Monday, Graham Stoneburner made his second start with High-A, and aside from a rough second inning, things went well. He fanned eight and walked none over five innings of three-run ball. Neil Medchill had two of the T-Yanks' four hits. Melky Mesa and Myron Leslie had the other two. Medchill also had a stolen bases.
Sunday box
Monday box

Low-A: Savannah 6, Charleston 2; Greenville 8, Charleston 7
On Sunday, Jose Ramirez allowed two earned runs over three innings before being pulled. He struck out three and walked none. Ryan Acosta then allowed four more (three earned) in his two innings. Gabriel Tatis and Ryan Flannery went the rest of the way. Rob Lyerly had two hits, and Ray Kruml and Luke Murton had an RBI apiece.

On Monday, Francisco Arcia, Luke Murton and Jimmy Paredes each had three hits, but the RiverDogs fell to the Drive. Zoilo Almonte also had a pair of knocks in the loss. Kelvin Perez was solid, but Michael Solbach and Ronny Marte gave up seven runs over the final 3 1/3 innings.
Sunday box
Monday box

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Postgame Wrapup - 5/24

Here are the five bits of audio I gathered before and after the Thunder's 6-4 win over the Erie SeaWolves this evening: From the top down is: Paul Bush, Tony Franklin pre-game, Kevin Mahoney, David Adams, Tony Franklin postgame. Also below are (again, from top down) Reggie Jackson helping with PFP, Kevin Mahoney taking some BP, Hector Noesi throwing in the bullpen and Cory Arbiso talking about his start

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Notes from Game 43

Here's today's lineup:

Christian - DH
Krum - CF
Romine - C
Laird - 3B
Brewer - LF
Vechionacci - 1B
Gonzalez - RF
Nunez - SS
Snyder - 2B

The big news of the day here involves two injuries to pretty significant players. Starter Jeremy Bleich is scheduled for surgery on his left labrum, meaning his season is over. Although he was promoted before the injury was discovered, Hector Noesi will essentially take Bleich's spot in the rotation.

Bleich was 3-2 with a 4.79 ERA over 41 1/3 innings. He also issued an unsightly 28 walks during that time. He left before the Thunder's last road trip, complaining of shoulder stiffness. The team sent him back to Florida, where was he checked out and the decision to have surgery was made.

Also, David Adams was placed on the disabled list with a right ankle sprain. The diagnosis seems to be 2-3 weeks, but nobody would be surprised if it lasted longer. He was replaced on the roster by Kevin Mahoney, the former Canisius star and 2009 MAAC Player of the Year.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Brief Adams injury update

Per Justin Shackil, David Adams, who injured his ankle in Game 1 of yesterday's doubleheader, is still with the team but will see doctors tomorrow. He also said that Adams can put weight on the ankle.

I have a text message in to Jeremy Bleich, who is in Florida receiving treatment for a stiff left shoulder. Don't expect a response back from Bleich.

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Around the System - May 22

Triple-A: Louisville 5, Scranton 0
Not the most memorable day for the Yankees, who got one-hit by Sam LeCure and the Bats. Chad Huffman had the lone knock, a single in the seventh. Dustin Moseley permitted four earned runs on nine hits. Kevin Whelan and Zack Segovia blanked Louisville on one hit the rest of the way.
Box score

Double-A: Trenton 8, Portland 6; Trenton 3, Portland 2
Justin Christian had four hits, including two home runs in Game 1, and the Thunder swept a doubleheader from the Sea Dogs. Justin Snyder's longball in Game 2 gave the Thunder three runs and a lead they would never relinquish. Snyder was playing in place of David Adams, who sustained an ankle injury in Game 1.

Hector Noesi made his Double-A debut in the first game, and allowed five earned runs over six innings. He walked the first man he faced, just the seventh walk he's issued all season
Box score 1
Box score 2

High-A: Tampa 3, Palm Beach 1
Andrew Brackman continued turning the corner, tossing six innings of three-hit, one-run baseball with zero walks. Over his last three starts, the Yankees' 2007 first-round pick has permitted five runs on six hits and two walks. He's struck out 12 during that time, a 16 2/3-inning span.

Trent Lockwood was 3-for-4 with an RBI, and Addison Maruszak collected a pair of hits and scored a run. Melky Mesa and Brad Suttle also scored. Neil Medchill stole his second base, and Mesa swiped his 12th.
Box score

Low-A: Charleston 7, Savannah 6
Zoilo Almonte was a double shy of the cycle, and clubbed a three-run homer in the ninth inning to help the RiverDogs tie the game in the ninth. Hector Rabago also went yard in the ninth before Charleston won it in the 11th. Starter Jairo Heredia allowed three earned runs over five innings, but did not figure in the decision. Catcher J.R. Murphy had two more hits, making him 7-for-17 over his last four games.
Box score

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Around the System - May 21

Triple-A: Scranton 10, Indianapolis 7; Scranton 7, Indianapolis 4
The Yankees clubbed five doubles in the first game, the completion of Thursday's suspended contest, and in the process helped Kei Igawa added to franchise-best win total. Igawa began the game in place of starter Ivan Nova, who allowed five runs in 2 1/3 innings before play was stopped. Grant Duff and Jonathan Albaladejo worked the final four innings.

David Winfree, Jon Weber, Matt Cusick, Greg Golson and Reid Gorecki had Scranton's two-baggers, and Jesus Montero went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a walk. His batting average is now .244.

In the scheduled game, Zach McAllister went all seven innings, allowing four runs (three earned) along the way. He struck out five and walked one. His season ERA stands at 4.33.

Chad Huffman, Reid Gorecki and Eduardo Nunez each had doubles, and Huffman drove in two runs. Greg Golson swatted his third longball of the season. He was 2-for-4 with two runs overall. Nunez also stole a base, his 11th.
Box score
Box score

Double-A: Portland 11, Trenton 8
A brutal collapse in the eighth inning on the parts of Paul Bush and Noel Castillo (Wilkins Arias got an out in between them) led to the Thunder blowing an 8-6 lead and moving into a tie for second place in the EL East. Bush retired none of the three men he faced, and took the loss. His ERA is infinite. Starter D.J. Mitchell somehow allowed just four runs on 11 hits over five innings. He also allowed a home run to Mike Cameron, was rehabbing with the Sea Dogs.

Austin Romine was 3-for-5 with three doubles, three runs and two RBIs. Not too shabby. David Adams also walked twice, and Luis Nunez took Tommy Hottovy deep. Brandon Laird was also 3-for-5 with a run and two RBIs.
Box score

High-A: Tampa 3, Palm Beach 1
No Hector Noesi, no problem. Trenton Lare made a spot start and allowed three hits over four shutout innings with one strikeout. Adam Olbrychowski, Pat Venditte and Jonathan Ortiz worked the final five frames.

Corban Joseph went 2-for-3 with an RBI, raising his batting average to .297. Melky Mesa doubled and Jose Pirela legged out a triple. Joseph, Neil Medchill and Addison Maruszak had the T-Yanks' RBIs.
Box score

Low-A: Charleston 9, Savannah 6
Sean Black allowed one earned run over 5 2/3 innings in the RiverDogs victory over the Sand Gnats. Ryan Acosta, Gabriel Tatis and Ryan Flannery finished the game, with Flannery picking up his sixth save of the season.

The RiverDogs pounded out 13 hits, including three from Justin Milo and two apiece from Jimmy Paredes, Zoilo Almonte, Rob Lyerly and Luke Murton. Lyerly, Murton and Paredes had a pair of RBIs apiece. Lyerly and Murton each carded two doubles, and DeAngelo Mack added his eighth two-bagger of the year.

J.R. Murphy went 1-for-5 with a run and a stolen base.
Box score

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Jeremy Bleich could be gone for a while

The New York Post is reporting that there's a good chance that Thunder starter Jeremy Bleich will need surgery on his throwing shoulder. He was placed on the 7-Day disabled list and headed back to the Yankees complex in Tampa, Fla., before the Thunder's current road trip.

Here's a link to the article, which is part of the Beating the Bushes blog, run by Tim Bontemps.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Series in Preview - Thunder vs. Sea Dogs

RHP Casey Kelly (0-3, 3.20) vs. RHP D.J. Mitchell (4-2, 4.95)
RHP Stephen Fife (2-1, 3.22) vs. RHP Hector Noesi (0-0, 0.00)
TBA vs. LHP Wilkin De La Rosa (1-2, 4.95)*
TBA vs. RHP David Phelps (3-0, 1.73)*
* One of these games will probably be LHP Felix Doubront (4-0, 2.51)
EDIT, 6:39 p.m: Doubront has been promoted, Jeremy Kehrt added to Portland

Look out for: Dan Brewer and Austin Romine, who each have RBI doubles off of Casey Kelly this season. Austin Krum also has a single. This seems to be the extent of the damage the Thunder have done against Kelly.

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Around the System - May 20

Triple-A: Suspended Game

Double-A: Trenton 9, New Hampshire 7
Somehow, the Thunder's pitching staff allowed 20 hits and still won. Josh Schmidt, freshly back from Triple-A, pitched the best and got the win in relief. His Double-A ERA is 0.90. Ryan Pope pitched a shaky eighth, and couldn't retire any of the three batters he faced in the ninth. Despite allowing two more runs to cross home in the ninth, Eric Wordekemper picked up his fourth save.

Every starter but Austin Krum picked up a hit yesterday, and Austin Romine notched two singles, a double, an RBI and a run scored. His .316 average has surpassed David Adams for the team lead. Adams, Dan Brewer and Luis Nunez each had a pair of hits. Adams and Nunez also had a pair of RBIs apiece.
Box score

High-A: Tampa 6, Palm Beach 0
Stepping into Hector Noesi's spot for the time being, Craig Heyer locked up the Cardinals on three hits over 5 2/3 innings. Tim Norton went the rest of the way, permitting just two baserunners over the final 3 1/3 frames.

Addison Maruszak went 3-for-4 in the win (all singles), and Melky Mesa and Trent Lockwood added two hits apiece. One of Lockwood's hits was a double. Neil Medchill launched a two-run home run in the third inning, his second with Tampa.
Box score

Low-A: Savannah 5, Charleston 2
Shaeffer Hall pitched well, permitting just two runs over seven walk-free innings, but the bullpen (as well as some shoddy defense) couldn't make his efforts stand up. A Kelvin Castro miscue opened the door for two runs in the eighth, breaking a 2-2 tie and giving the Sand Gnats the cushion they needed.

J.R. Murphy, Jimmy Paredes and Luke Murton had a double and a single apiece in the loss. Each of Murphy's hits drove in a run.
Box score

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rotation confusion

After Jeremy Bleich was placed on the 7-Day Disabled List and sent to Florida yesterday, there are a lot of questions about how the new Thunder rotation will shake out. When the team left for its current road trip, its starting five looked like this:

1. Lance Pendleton
2. D.J. Mitchell
3. Jeremy Bleich
4. Hector Noesi
5. David Phelps

Now, with Bleich on the shelf, Paul Bush, a member of last year's Trenton rotation, has been taken off the disabled list. What he is not, however, according to team broadcaster/public relations man Justin Shackil, is a member of the rotation. Neither is Ryan Pope, who was pushed to the bullpen when Noesi was promoted but before Bleich was injured.

So, as it stands now, the Thunder's rotation looks like this:

1. Pendleton
2. Mitchell
3. Noesi
4. TBD
5. Phelps

Before the recent move, Pope had been a starter all his life. Bush made five starts with the Thunder last season, and two more with Scranton. He also made a handful of relief appearances in Triple-A.

Also, we know, again via Shackil, that Wilkin De La Rosa and Cory Arbiso, respectively, will start each game of the doubleheader on Saturday. I assume that one or both of Pope and Bush will see relief work at some point during those games.

So, where does that leave the Thunder as far as a fifth starter goes? As far as I see it, there are two possible scenarios, one that is exciting, and one that is not.

1. Rotating bullpen starts. Josh Schmidt, Kanekoa Texeira and Wilkins Arias made 13 starts last year, and something like that is a definite possibility for the near future. Arbiso or De La Rosa could feasibly take the place of Texeira. Eric Wordekemper could fill that role as well.

2. The other idea is Adam Warren joining Hector Noesi in the Trenton rotation. Nardi Contreras mentioned a few weeks ago that there was a good chance Warren makes his way north sometime this season. He also said Dellin Betances was close to being activated and joining Tampa's rotation.

So far with High-A, Warren is 5-3 with a 1.94 ERA in eight starts. He's struck out 32 and walked just 12 in 46 1/3 innings. By comparison, Noesi had tossed 43 innings and also made eight starts before his promotion last week.

For what it's worth, Warren last pitched Monday, which would put him on track to start Saturday in Portland, one day after Noesi.

Stay tuned, things could get interesting.

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Around the System - May 19

Triple-A: Scranton 7, Indianapolis 5
Yes, Romulo Sanchez walked six Indians yesterday. He also allowed no runs, one hit and fanned seven in yesterday's Yankees win. In his first regular-season Triple-A outing, former Thunder closer Grant Duff gave up two runs on three hits over his lone frame.

Chad Huffman was 3-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs. The 25-year-old outfielder is 12-for-31 (.387) over this last 10 games. Eduardo Nunez, Jon Weber and Reid Gorecki each had a pair of knocks. Gorecki also had two RBIs.
Box score

Double-A: PPD

High-A: Charlotte 8, Tampa 3
Dan Kapala allowed seven runs over 5 2/3 innings, and the T-Yanks just couldn't catch up. Phil Bartleski threw one-run ball over the final 2 1/3.

Jack Rye was 2-for-4, including a third-inning home run and a double. He also scored twice. Melky Mesa and Addison Maruszak each had two hits, including a two-bagger for both. Maruszak also had an RBI and stole a bag.
Box score

Low-A: Rome 12, Charleston 5
On the surface, Kelvin Perez allowing 11 runs in 2 2/3 innings is very, very bad. However, when you consider that just two of those runs were earned, then perhaps it was the defense that was very, very bad. Indeed, shortstop Kelvin Castro made two errors before the fourth inning, and Rob Lyerly added another in the sixth. Runs scored by the Braves in those frames: 10

With three hits out of the leadoff spot, Jimmy Paredes led the charge for the RiverDogs, who got at least one hit from each of their starters. Castro and J.R. Murphy each had two knocks. DeAngelo Mack, Castro and Lyerly had a double apiece.
Box score

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Transaction Action: Schmidt, Duff, Bush, Bleich

Yesterday, while I was watching the Pirates beat Roy Halladay, Grant Duff got promoted to Scranton. To take his place on the Thunder roster, Josh Schmidt was transferred back to Trenton.

This means the Thunder have lost their closer, and have gained a long reliever to go with Ryan Pope. Based on the way Tony Franklin used his pen last night, it seems like Wilkins Arias might be the guy to step into Duff's role.

Of course, Tony really never likes to designate anyone for a specific role, so it might be closer by committee for a while.

Today, after a spate of poor starts, Jeremy Bleich was placed on the disabled list and sent back to Florida yesterday. There is no word on Bleich's injury.

To take Bleich's spot, Paul Bush, a member of the Thunder staff last year, was activated off the DL. He is in New Hampshire with the team, and will be available tonight.

Interesting note: Both Bush and Pope will work out of the bullpen. There's no word on a fifth starter, says Thunder broadcaster Justin Shackil. Also from Shackil, Wilkin De La Rosa and Cory Arbiso will start in games 1 and 2

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Around the System - May 17 and 18

Triple-A: Scranton 5, Charlotte 4; Indianapolis 3, Scranton 0
The biggest happenstance on Monday was Jesus Montero showing signs, however small, of emerging from his funk. The catcher smacked a grand slam as part of a 1-for-2 effort with two walks. He has three home runs and 19 RBIs this season. Eduardo Nunez also went 2-for-4 with two runs. Dustin Moseley threw eight innings of three-run ball.

On Tuesday, the S-Yanks found themselves chopped up by a man named Veal -- Donald Veal, to be precise. The Pirates prospect held Scranton to just two hits (Eduardo Nunez, Chad Moeller) over seven innings, with seven strikeouts mixed in. Former Yankees farmhand Anthony Claggett did the job in the eighth, and Brian Bass sealed the deal in the ninth.
Monday box score
Tuesday box score

Double-A: OFF; New Hampshire 3, Trenton 2
The Thunder's 10-game winning streak came to a close in dramatic fashion on Tuesday night, when Shawn Bowman's double off of Wilkins Arias scored Adam Calderone in the bottom of the ninth at Stadium, giving the Fisher Cats a walk-off victory.

The hit spoiled another solid outing from David Phelps, who allowed six hits and two earned runs over eight innings, the longest outing from a Thunder starter this year. Phelps' only blemishes were a home run and an RBI double to Adam Loewen, the former Orioles pitcher.

Brandon Laird and Austin Romine each had two hits in the loss.
Box score

High-A: Tampa 7, Charlotte 6; Tampa 2, Charlotte 0; Charlotte 3, Tampa 5
The T-Yanks played a doubleheader on Monday, and there were positive signs all around for Yankees pitching prospects. In Game 1, Andrew Brackman tossed four perfect innings before allowing a pair of longballs to Stephen Vogt and Henry Wrigley. Overall, Brackman allowed four runs over 5 2/3 innings. Walter Ibarra and Jose Pirela each had two hits.

In Game 2, Adam Warren blanked the Stone Crabs over seven innings (a complete game). Eighteen of his 21 outs were grounders, and none were strikeouts. Impressive, but puzzling.
Addison Maruszak was 3-for-3. Ryan Baker and Corban Joseph drove in the T-Yanks' runs.

On Tuesday, Graham Stoneburner couldn't follow up his excellent Tampa debut. Instead, the right-hander allowed four runs in four innings before being relieved by Brandon Braboy and Adam Olbrychowski, the latter of whom was placed on the DL today.

Neil Medchill and Trent Lockwood each doubled, and Jose Pirela drove in two runs.
Monday box score 1
Monday box score 2
Tuesday box score

Low-A: Rome 14, Charleston 6; Rome 7, Charleston 4; Rome 9, Charleston 2
On Monday, in the completion of Sunday's suspended game Dickson Marquez picked up where Sean Black left off. Unfortunately for the RiverDogs, he was nowhere near effective. Marquez and Gabriel Tatis each allowed six runs over a combined four innings.

Luke Murton and Kyle Higashioka each had two doubles, and Zoilo Almonte added a two-bagger. Almonte and Murton drove in two runs apiece.

In Game 2 on Monday, Jairo Heredia got torched for seven runs in five innings. His ERA with Charleston is now 6.94. Rob Lyerly, Jimmy Paredes, Ray Kruml and J.R. Murphy each had doubles in the loss. Murphy's was his first hit since being called up, and it drove in a run.

On Tuesday, Arodys Vizcaino, who probably would have been in the Charleston trade were he not dealt to Atlanta for Javier Vazquez, limited the RiverDogs to three hits over eight walk-free innings. He struck out five.

On the other side, Jose Ramirez allowed six runs (three earned) on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He also walked none, and fanned six. His ERA moves to 2.44. Kyle Higashioka and DeAngelo Mack each had two hits -- one of Higashioka's was a double. Kelvin Castro had a triple.

Monday box score 1
Monday box score 2
Tuesday box score

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Noesi's debut changed to Friday

Per Thunder play-by-play man Justin Shackil, the team has moved Hector Noesi's debut to Friday against the Portland Sea Dogs. That would seem to push his home debut to May 26, which coincides with Mick Foley Night at Waterfront Park. No word as to a reason for the switch, but good money's on the fact that there's a doubleheader with the Sea Dogs on May 22.

That is all.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Dan Brewer quietly sparking Thunder

Here's a link to my off-day story about Dan Brewer, who has added a combination of speed and pop to the Thunder lineup. Also, below are two videos of the interview with Brewer conducted by myself and Bucks County Courier Times correspondent Ken Mandel

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Around the System - May 15 and 16

At about 3 a.m. this morning I realized I forgot to do yesterday's ATS, so here it is, along with today's. My sincerest apologies, loyal readers.

Triple-A: Scranton 2, Charlotte 1; Scranton 7, Charlotte 6
On Saturday, Zach McAllister tossed seven solid innings of one-run ball, helping his team edge the Knights. Z-Mac had two strikeouts and no walks, and his ERA stands at 4.40. Mark Melancon and Jonathan Albaladejo pitched the eighth and ninth. Chad Huffman had a tie-breaking home run in the seventh, and Eduardo Nunez smacked his eighth double. Reegie Corona also swiped a base.

On Sunday, after an awful performance from Kei Igawa, the Yankees rallied against former major leaguer Alan Embree to score a comeback victory and deny Thunder alumnus Jeff Marquez a win. After Igawa and Amauri Sanit let up five runs in seven innings, Josh Schmidt and Mark Melancon held the Knights to just one run over the final two frames. Schmidt picked up his first Triple-A win.

Kevin Russo, Reegie Corona and Jon Weber each had two hits. David Winfree and Chad Moeller picked up a double apiece. Jesus Montero was 0-for-4, lowering his batting average to .228.

Saturday box score

Sunday box score

Double-A: Trenton 6, Binghamton 2; Trenton 13, Binghamton 7
The Thunder took the last two games of their series with the B-Mets, completing the sweep and moving their winning streak to 10 games, three short of the team record. If they want to eclipse that mark, they're going to have to do it against the division-leading New Hampshire Fisher Cats, with whom they open a three-game set tomorrow.

On Saturday, D.J. Mitchell continued the slow progression toward where he wants to be as a Double-A starter. He allowed two runs in the third, but was otherwise solid over 5 1/3 innings.

Austin Romine's two-run double in the fifth was the big blow for the Thunder, ending the catcher's mini-slump after four games as a designated hitter. Dan Brewer also had a pair of doubles, and David Adams added a fourth two-bagger. Adams also had a triple, his third in the last 10 days.

Sunday at Waterfront Park was the Brandon Laird Show. The third baseman popped a three-run home run and a grand slam, marking his fifth multi-homer game and a career high in RBIs. Dan Brewer and Edwar Gonzalez also went deep in the win.

Jeremy Bleich, however, was the win's only dull spot. The left-hander picked up the win, but allowed six runs in five innings before being lifted with no outs in the sixth. He walked three more, bringing his season total to 28 and putting him into the EL lead in that category.

Saturday box score

Sunday box score

High-A: Tampa 2, Lakeland 1; PPD on Sunday
In his final start with Tampa, Hector Noesi fired a gem at the Flying Tigers. The right-hander, who was promoted to Trenton yesterday, tossed five scoreless innings with six strikeouts and a walk mixed in. Overall with Tampa, Noesi was 5-2 with a 2.72 ERA. Still, even with the solid outing, Noesi didn't get the decision. That honor went to Jonathan Ortiz, who tossed a scoreless 1 1/3 innings.

Walter Ibarra was 3-for-4 (his average: .387), and Brad Suttle had two hits, including the go-ahead RBI single in the 11th. Addison Maruszak's double set up the late rally.
Box score

Low-A: Augusta 3, Charleston 1; Sunday's game suspended
Shaeffer Hall allowed three runs over 7 2/3 innings, but was outdueled by the GreenJackets' Jorge Bucardo. The RiverDogs collected just four hits, including a solo home run from Luke Murton, his sixth bomb of the year. Rob Lyerly, Kelvin Castro and Ray Kruml had the other hits.
Box score

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Postgame Notes and links

The Thunder won today, 13-7, over the Binghamton Mets. It was the team's 10th straight win, and provides a huge helping of momentum as the team heads into a seven-game string with division leading New Hampshire and third-place Portland, who are just a half game back of the Thunder for second in the EL East. Here is the game story.

- Brandon Laird had a grand slam and a three-run home run, totaling seven RBIs. It was the fifth multi-homer game of Laird's career. He had three with Charleston, and one with the Gulf Coast League Yankees. He also did it in front of his parents and grandparents.

- Laird's seven RBIs give him 36 for the season, best in the Eastern League.

- In addition to Laird's two bombs, Dan Brewer and Edwar Gonzalez also went deep. The four home runs mark a season high for the Thunder.

- Ryan Pope made his first appearance out of the bullpen. He was perfect for two innings, including four strikeouts. For now, it does not appear he will be used in the late innings. Those slots, manager Tony Franklin said, will be filled by Eric Wordekemper and Grant Duff. I expect Pope to assume a Josh Schmidt-esque, jack-of-all-trades type of role.

Here's some video of Pope fanning Jose Coronado yesterday:

- It was mascot Boomer's birthday today, and several mascots were in the house to help celebrate. The ones I could identify were: Scorch (Trenton Devils), the Rutgers Scarlet Knight, a Canada Goose from Wawa, Buster (Lakewood BlueClaws) and a Philadelphia Wings mascot.

- In the other big news of the day, Yankees prospect Hector Noesi was promoted to Trenton, pushing Ryan Pope out of the rotation. Noesi, who was suspended for the first 50 games of the 2007 season, was 5-2 with a 2.72 ERA. He fanned 53 in 43 innings, and walked just six.
Here's the link to that story.

Here's some postgame audio from (top down) Jeremy Bleich, Brandon Laird, Austin Romine and Tony Franklin:

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Hector Noesi called to Trenton

The Thunder just got word from the front office that Hector Noesi, one of the organization's top pitching prospects and the Tampa ace, has been promoted to Double-A. He is tentatively scheduled to start on Friday against Portland.

This explains the move of Ryan Pope to the bullpen, and fills the empty spot vacated by Josh Schmidt.

With Tampa, Noesi was 5-2 with a 2.72 ERA in eight starts. He struck out 53 in 43 innings and walked just six.

Much more on the promotion later.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Postgame Notes and Audio from Thunder's ninth straight win

This win was a total team effort. Every starter but Marcos Vechionacci had at least one hit or RBI, and, aside from a little hiccup from Cory Arbiso with the bases loaded, the pitching was stellar throughout. The Thunder also played error-free baseball and turned two double plays.

Here's a reminder that tomorrow's starter is Jeremy Bleich, not the originally scheduled Ryan Pope. Pope will be moving to the bullpen for the remainder of the series to help give the team a needed lift. They've been down a man since Josh Schmidt was sent to Scranton.

The combination of team on a hot streak, the Mets' minor leaguers in town, postgame fireworks and the best weather all year brought in the biggest crowd of the season, 7,853. Afterward, PR extraordinaire Bill Cook noted that last night's crowd was the biggest walk-up in two years. Impressive stuff.

Here are the postgame sessions with (from top) D.J. Mitchell, Austin Romine and Tony Franklin.

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Pre-Game Notes + Audio

So, there's quite a bit of news around Thunder land today. First, in what I assume is a precursor to a promotion, Ryan Pope has been moved to the bullpen. The staff is running short a man, so the move makes sense. Jeremy Bleich, who was supposed to start Monday, will take Pope's place tomorrow. I spoke with Tommy Phelps, Tony Franklin and Pope himself about the move, and the audio from those interviews is below.

Secondly, Austin Romine is back behind the dish after serving as the designated hitter for a few games. The "tired arm," it seems, is nothing to become alarmed about. We'll see over the next few days how the rest treated him. For what it's worth, it appears Romine's hitting has suffered a little bit from not playing the field.

Finally, in non-Thunder news, the Mets have promoted infielder Reese Havens. He's batting second for the B-Mets and is playing second base. Should be a treat to see him work over the next few days.

Here's today's Thunder lineup:

1. Justin Christian, DH
2. Austin Krum, CF
3. David Adams, 2B
4. Austin Romine, C
5. Brandon Laird, 3B
6. Daniel Brewer, LF
7. Marcos Vechionacci, 1B
8. Edwar Gonzalez, RF
9. Luis Nunez, SS

Here's the audio from today's pregame sessions:

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Yesterday's links

The Thunder won their eighth straight game yesterday, with a little help from Lance Pendleton and Marcos Vechionacci. Mike Ashmore was covering for The Trentonian, and filed this story.

Also, in surprising news, the Yankees released Thunder Opening Day starter Christian Garcia, who was on the 40-man roster. The move was made necessary when the Yankees picked up righty fireballer Shane Lindsay, who had been released by the Colorado Rockies.
Here's the story Mike wrote.

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Around the System - May 14

Triple-A: Scranton 6, Columbus 1
Chan Ho Park started and pitched an inning of rehab, but the real story was the dazzling performance put forth by Romulo Sanchez. The big righty with the high-octane gas fanned nine Clippers over seven one-run innings. Jonathan Albaladejo closed out the win with a scoreless ninth. Eduardo Nunez was 3-for-5 with a run. Reid Gorecki and David Winfree both had a pair of knocks. Jesus Montero was 1-for-4 with a two-run triple.
Box score

Double-A: Trenton 3, Binghamton 0
The streak rolls on for the Thunder, who used some late-inning magic from Marcos Vechionacci to put their eighth straight win in the books. Vechionacci, who seems to have taken the everyday first baseman's job from Kevin Smith, had two of the Thunder's three hits, including a two-run single in the seventh. Lance Pendleton threw six innings of one-hit baseball, with four walks and six strikeouts sprinkled in. Wilkin De La Rosa picked up the win with two innings of scoreless relief, and Grant Duff captured his sixth save.
Box score

High-A: Lakeland 5, Tampa 1
Dan Kapala gave up three runs over six innings, but three runs were too much against Adam Wilk and the Flying Tigers. Trenton Lare allowed a pair of unearned runs, and Tim Norton closeed out the loss. Melky Mesa was 2-for-4, and Jose Pirela had an RBI triple. Pirela also made his 15th (!) error of the season.
Box score

Low-A: Augusta 8, Charleston 4
Kelvin Perez got rocked for six earned runs in three innings, moving his ERA to 2.32. That tells you how well he'd been pitching before last night. Mike Solbach, Dickson Marquez, Gabriel Tatis and Ryan Acosta closed things out. Luke Murton and Kelvin Castro each had three hits in the loss, and Jimmy Parededs swiped his 18th bag.
Box score

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Christian Garcia released (NOW WITH QUOTES)

Sad, sad news about a good, good kid, but Mike Ashmore is reporting via Chad Jennings at that oft-injured Yankees prospect Christian Garcia has been released to make room for right-handed pitcher Shane Lindsay, who was signed today.

Whether this marks the end of Garcia's career with the Yankees remains to be seen -- this same scenario played out with Humberto Sanchez around this time last year -- but if it does, here's hoping he catches on with another team and finds his way to the show someday.

Garcia was the winner on Opening Day, and was 17-18 over the course of his minor league career.

Here are some quotes from Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, via Scranton Yankees beat writer Donnie Collins, about Garcia and Lindsay.

On Lindsay:

“He has a big arm. He has a major, major tool in terms of that gifted arm. We took a flier on it,” he said. “He’s a lesser version of Brian Bruney. Brian Bruney had a lot more development time than Lindsay. But they have similar characteristics. He has a big arm, and maybe someday, he can figure it out. … If he does, he can jump up a couple of prospect lists, because (his arm) is that kind of tool.”
On Garcia:

“No, not really,” he said about whether it was a tough call to release him. “I mean, he’s got a history of injury. He’s on his second Tommy John surgery now. When he declared himself as having Tommy John surgery a month ago, I knew that at some point, if I got in a roster crunch, he’d be released. It’s too bad, too. Tool-wise, he was one of our better-ability players. But physically, he couldn’t hold it together.”

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Around the System - May 13

Triple-A: Scranton 7, Columbus 3
Jason Hirsh tossed six strong innings, and Kevin Whelan and Zack Segovia finished the job in the Yankees' defeat of the Clippers. Chad Huffman had three hits, while Jon Weber and Eduardo Nunez each had a pair. Jesus Montero clubbed a double, his first extra-base hit since May 3 and just his fourth since April 23. He's hitting .233/.295/.654 with Scranton.
Box score

Double-A: Trenton 5, Binghamton 2
David Phelps hit his pitch count and lasted just four innings, his shortest outing of the season. Still, Wilkins Arias, Noel Castillo and Eric Wordekemper blanked the B-Mets the rest of the way, racking up seven strikeouts in the process. Brandon Laird had a big two-run double in the seventh, highlighting a 2-for-4 day in front of his parents. Austin Krum was 2-for-2 with three runs scored and two walks.
Box score

High-A: Tampa 6, Fort Myers 2
Graham Stoneburner made his High-A debut, and in smashing fashion. The right-hander retired the first 15 men he faced, and tossed six innings of two-run ball overall. He struck out seven and walked one. Brandon Braboy and Pat Venditte went the final three innings. Walter Ibarra and Brad Suttle each had three hits and an RBI apiece. Two of Ibarra's hits were doubles. Corban Joseph, Melky Mesa and Jack Rye each had a stolen bases.
Box score

Low-A: Charleston 3, Augusta 2
Jose Ramirez threw eight dazzling innings of shutout ball, fanning five and walking none. With the outing, Ramirez's ERA drops to 2.13. Ronny Marte allowed two in the ninth, but held on for his third save of the season. Rob Lyerly was 3-for-4 with a double. Kelvin Castro was 1-for-2 with a two-run double. Justin Milo had two hits.
Box score

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Morning Links

Good morning. The Thunder topped the Binghamton Mets last night, 5-2, in the first of a four-game series at Waterfront Park. David Phelps went a season-low four innings, but the bullpen, notably Wilkins Arias and Noel Castillo, both freshly back from Triple-A, held the fort.
Here is the game story

Also, in perhaps bigger news, Austin Romine has a "tired arm," which has kept from catching since Saturday against Bowie. He's thrown out just 4 of 21 runners this season, a mark of 19 percent. Both he and Tony Franklin insist Romine is fine, but he was checked out by team doctor William Gomez, as John Nalbone reports.
Here's that story

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Around the System - May 12

Triple-A: Columbus 4, Scranton 3; Scranton 5, Columbus 3
Thunder infielder Justin Snyder went 2-for-6 with an RBI during the doubleheader, the beginning and end of his brief foray into Triple-A. Here's the amazing part: He played center field in both games. David Winfree was 3-for-6 with three RBIs in the double-dip. Jon Weber and Chad Huffman each had two hits in the nightcap. Mark Melancon struck out six in 2 1/3 innings to earn the win in Game 2. Jesus Montero had his first RBI since May 6.
Box score 1
Box score 2

Double-A: PPD

High-A: Fort Myers 2, Tampa 1
The most important part of this game was Andrew Brackman's line: 4 2/3 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. This marks Brackman's first start without allowing an earned run since May 31, 2009. Craig Heyer gave up one run in his 3 1/3 frames, but that was enough to get him the loss. Jack Rye was 2-for-4 with a double; his average stands at .370. Walter Ibarra also had a double, and Neil Medchill had a triple.
Box score

Low-A: Charleston 6, Augusta 4
Yes, he allowed just two earned runs in his six-Charleston debut, but Jairo Heredia managed to give up an astounding 11 hits over six innings last night. He picked up the win. Ryan Flannery struck out four over the final 2 1/3 innings for the save. Justin Milo was 2-for-3 with an RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base. Jimmy Paredes and Ray Kruml each had doubles.
Box score

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Series in Review - Thunder vs. New Britain

Monday: Thunder 8, New Britain 2
Tuesday: Thunder 2, New Britain 1
Wednesday: PPD

KEY TO THE SERIES: Given the fact that they allowed just three runs in 18 innings, I'd say starting pitching. As a matter of fact, Trenton starters have given up just seven earned runs over their last 35 innings. No starter during that time has allowed more than two earned runs in a start. I don't know if that's because they're getting over an early-season hump, or because they've been facing suspect competition (Akron, Bowie, New Britain), but David Phelps' effort tonight against Binghamton.

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Series in Preview - Thunder vs. Binghamton

RHP David Phelps (3-0, 1.21) vs. RHP Eddie Kunz (3-2, 6.99)
RHP Lance Pendleton (1-2, 5.28) vs. RHP Dylan Owen (2-1, 3.34)
RHP DJ Mitchell (3-2, 5.23) vs. RHP Brad Holt (0-2, 9.72)
RHP Ryan Pope (1-3, 5.11) vs. RHP Scott Shaw (4-1, 8.02)
* (of course, this is all subject to weather)
The Thunder in general. Trenton is riding a six-game winning streak, and have moved to two games above .500 for the first time since April 24. During that stretch, starting pitchers have claimed four of the six victories. Wilkins Arias recorded the other two. ... Over his last five games, Dan Brewer is 7-for-18 with three RBIs and three stolen bases. ... Marcos Vechionacci has four hits and three RBIs in his last seven at-bats. ... Tonight's starter, David Phelps, has permitted just four earned runs all season, and has a league-best 1.21 ERA to show for it. His 0.88 WHIP is second only to Richmond's David Mixon, the EL's reigning Pitcher of the Week.

Notes: The Thunder's last six wins have come against teams with sub-.500 records, one against Akron, three against Bowie and two against New Britain. The B-Mets are 19-14, and one spot ahead of Trenton in the EL East, so this series could be huge.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Around the System - May 11

Triple-A: PPD

Double-A: Trenton 2, New Britain 1
Jeremy Bleich allowed three hits and one run over 6 1/3 innings, and Marcos Vechioancci socked the longball that gave the Thunder the cushion they needed. Cory Arbiso and Grant Duff took the ball for the rest of the night. Vechionacci and Austin Krum had two hits apiece.
Box score

High-A: Fort Myers 6, Tampa 2
Adam Warren got tagged for three earned runs in four innings, raising his ERA to 2.29. Phil Bartleski and Tim Norton didn't fare much better, allowing three runs over their four combined frames. Jack Rye, Brad Suttle, Melky Mesa, Myron Leslie, Addison Maruszak and Jose Pirela collected the T-Yanks' hits, all singles.
Box score

Low-A: OFF

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Around the System - May 10

Triple-A: Columbus 10, Scranton 2
With Ivan Nova called to New York, Scranton was immediately hamstrung against the Clippers. Amarui Sanit was forced into a starting role, and he did not fare well. Sanit gave up four runs in his three innings before giving way to Kevin Whelan, Josh Schmidt and Zack Segovia. Schmidt, in his first appearance in Triple-A, gave up three runs on five hits over three innings.

In his first day back in the lineup after being benched for disciplinary reasons, Jesus Montero was 0-for-4. Reegie Corona went 3-for-4 with a double, and Chad Huffman had a pair of knocks.
Box score

Double-A: Trenton 8, New Britain 2
The Thunder's hot offense kept on rolling, tagging David Bromberg for eight runs on 11 hits in just 4 2/3 innings. Bromberg came in with an ERA of 1.61 and left with a mark of 3.58. Austin Krum and Jose Gil each had three hits, and Justin Christian, Austin Romine and Dan Brewer collected two hits apiece. Christian's two-run double was the only one of the Thunder's 14 hits that went for extra bases.

With six innings of one-run ball, Ryan Pope collected his first win of 2010 and lowered his ERA to 5.11. The defense turned three double plays behind Pope.
Box score

High-A: Fort Myers 4, Tampa 2
Although he pitched beautifully, the T-Yanks' Hector Noesi was outdueled by the Miracle's Kyle Gibson, last year's first-round pick for the Twins. Noesi fanned eight over six innings of two-run ball. Overall, the 22-year-old Dominican has racked up 47 Ks in 38 innings, all the while pitching to a WHIP of 0.89, second best in the FSL.

Melky Mesa, Brad Suttle and Mitch Abeita each had a double in the loss. Corban Joseph went 1-for-4, putting his batting average at .331.
Box Score

Low-A: Charleston 4, Delmarva 3
Perhaps in advance of a promotion, Graham Stoneburner was yanked from the game after just one inning. He was relieved by Sean Black, who allowed two unearned runs on two hits over four innings. Luke Murton had a two-run home run off of Ryan Berry in the fifth. Francisco Arcia had two hits, including a double, and Rob Lyerly also had a two-bagger in the win.
Box score

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Thunder Series in Preview - Thunder vs. Rock Cats

RHP Ryan Pope (0-3, 6.10) vs. RHP David Bromberg (1-0, 1.61) - 6:35 p.m.
LHP Jeremy Bleich (1-2, 4.50) vs. RHP Carlos Gutierrez (4-1, 5.96) - 6:35 p.m.
RHP David Phelps (3-0, 1.21) vs. LHP Tyler Robertson (0-2, 4.00) - 10:35 p.m.

Austin Romine brings an 18-game on-base streak into this series with the Rock Cats, who are an EL-worst 6-23. ... David Adams has a league-high 13 doubles. He's also had triples in his last two games. He's hitting .378/.417/1.061 over his last 10 games. ... Dan Brewer has multiple hits in four of his last 10 games, and his 13 stolen bases are second in league behind New Hampshire's Darin Mastroianni.

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Schmidt promoted to Triple-A

(PR) The Trenton Thunder, Double A Affiliate of the New York Yankees, announced today that they have transferred RHP Josh Schmidt to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre.

Schmidt, 27, is 1-0 with a 0.98 ERA in 13 games for the Thunder this season. Schmidt was an Eastern League All-Star in 2009 with Trenton and posted a 8-4 record with a 1.61 ERA (46 games). He was drafted in the 15th round of the 2005 draft out of the University of the Pacific.

Around the System - May 9

Triple-A: Scranton 9, Durham 3
Zach McAllister fired seven innings of two-run ball, and the Yankees blew by the Bulls in their series finale. Royce Ring and Mark Melancon worked the final two frames. David Winfree was 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and two runs scored, and Reegie Corona, Jon Weber and Matt Cusick each had two hits. One of Corona's hits was a double, and he also stole a base.
Box score

Double-A: Trenton 15, Bowie 4
Trenton scored nine times in the sixth inning, and D.J. Mitchell spun six innings of two-run ball as the Thunder completed a three-game sweep of the Bowie Baysox yesterday at Waterfront Park. David Adams, Brandon Laird and Edwar Gonzalez each had two hits in the win, and Adams had four RBIs. Dan Brewer connected on a three-run bomb, his first in Double-A.
Box score

High-A: OFF

Low-A: Charleston 5, Delmarva 3
Shaeffer Hall rebounded from a mediocre start last time out to limit the Shorebirds to one run over 6 2/3 innings, and the RiverDogs took the second game of the series. Jimmy Paredes went an amazing 4-for-5 with three stolen bases in the win. DeAngelo Mack had three hits, and Rob Lyerly and Kyle Higashioka each had two. Both of Higashioka's knocks were doubles.
Box score

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Morning Links and video

The Thunder used a 15-4 beatdown to punctuate a three-game sweep of the Bowie Baysox yesterday at Waterfront Park. Here's the game story.

Lost in the hubbub of the 15 runs was D.J. Mitchell's recovery from a rocky first inning to turn his best start in weeks. Here's that story.

Also, here's some video from yesterday's game. From top to bottom: Dan Brewer's double play scores a run, Mitchell talks about his outing and Hamilton High and Rider University star Jim Hoey gets Reid Gorecki to pop out.

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