Blogs > Minor Matters

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

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cavalcade of stars converge at minor league complex

TAMPA, Fla. – On Sunday, Yankees catcher Jorge Posada took a few hacks at the minor league complex. The next day, second baseman Robinson Cano and Jesus Montero (who had yet to be cut from the big club) did the same.

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This afternoon, however, the star power ante was upped much, much higher. For starters, outfielders Curtis Granderson and Chris Dickerson, as well as closer nonpareil Mariano Rivera each saw action in a pair of simulated games against various Yankees farmhands.

Those three had been announced yesterday, though, and were expected. The cavalcade of major league arms that followed, however, was a bit of a surprise.

Fans who’d been shut out of the major league game across the street were treated to pitchers Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Boone Logan, all getting some last-minute work before the team departed from New York.

Yankees player development guru Mark Newman, among scattered other members of the team’s brass, watched anxiously as Granderson and Dickerson took their licks against Hughes, as well as minor leaguers Hector Noesi and Shaeffer Hall.

At one point, Newman asked Granderson how he felt after a couple of swings and misses early in the proceedings. Granderson said he felt fine. Regardless, the outfielder is scheduled to play with the minor leaguers when they travel to Bradenton to face the Pirates’ youngsters.

It was announced yesterday that left-hander Manny Banuelos, the likely frontman in the Thunder’s rotation, was the winner of the team’s James P. Dawson Award, given annually to the top rookie in spring training.

Previous winners of the award include Brett Gardner, Nick Johnson, Alfonso Soriano, Hideki Matsui and Don Mattingly.

This spring, Banuelos, the youngest player in Yankees camp, went 1-1 with a 2.13 ERA in six games, which included two starts.

He received the award in a ceremony held before yesterday’s major league game with the Tigers.

Because of the nearly three inches of rain that dumped on the Tampa area yesterday, the scheduled minor league games with the Phillies farmhands were cancelled. Players not involved in the simulated game had a light workout and then were sent home for the rest of the day.

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