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

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Yankees minor league spring schedule and brief primer

As I posted on Twitter last week, I've booked my spring training trip for this season. Because there are now direct flights from Trenton to Tampa, I was able to accomplish a little more on roughly the same budget. Instead of my usual week at the Himes Complex, I'll be staying from March 19-28 and thus will catch nine games. 

Here's how spring games work. The Yankees divide their prospects into four groups - Triple-A, Double-A, High-A and Low-A*. Two groups will stay at the Yankees complex to play their games, and the other two will travel to their opponents. This rotates daily.

Thanks to the good people at the Phillies complex, I have a copy of this year's Thunder spring slate. I've bolded the games I'll be attending. There are three camp days this year, when all the groups stay at the complex and play against one another. Those games typically take place at 10 a.m., whereas all the others are at 1 p.m. My schedule includes two games apiece against the Pirates and Blue Jays farmhands, four with the Phillies and one camp day.

March 15 - at Pirates
March 16 - CAMP DAY
March 17 - vs. Pirates
March 18 - at Blue Jays
March 19 - vs. Blue Jays
March 20 - at Phillies 
March 21 - vs. Phillies 
March 22 - at Pirates 
March 23 - vs. Pirates
March 24 - CAMP DAY
March 25 - at Phillies
March 26 - vs. Phillies
March 27 - at Blue Jays
March 28 - vs. Blue Jays
March 29 - vs. Pirates
March 30 - at Blue Jays
March 31 - CAMP DAY

Some of the non-roster invitees and 40-man farmhands will still be with the major leaguers, meaning that some players will be slotted higher than they will wind up come April. For example, if Zoilo Almonte is still in big league camp on the 19th, then someone like Slade Heathcott will likely be playing in the Triple-A group, or a level ahead of where he'll start the year.

Consequently, that would push someone like Mason Williams or Kelvin De Leon or Ben Gamel up to the Double-A work group. If Nik Turley or Jose Ramirez are still playing their games at Steinbrenner Field, then Caleb Cotham or Matt Tracy might be slinging for the Double-A group.

*These designations are purely nominal; they have no bearing, especially in the beginning, on what the actual rosters will look like come April. 


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