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NYY “Down on the Farm”- Week 4: Familiar Faces

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Wednesday May 1, 2013

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

This week DOWN ON THE FARM….

As stated my Major League article this week, Triple-A lost several assets this week to the Major League club. Austin Romine and Vidal Nuno were both called to the Majors to help ease some of the injury woes facing the Bronx Bombers.  

While those new names will graces the scorecards in the Bronx, there are some familiar names still hanging around Scranton, who deserve a bit of attention this week.

 Chien-Ming Wang has started two games since his return to the Yankee organization.  Wang has managed to keep runners off base and has delivered 22 ground outs in 2 starts.  

Obviously, every Yankee fan remembers the terrific seasons where Wang posted other-worldly Ground Ball Rates of above 60%.  If his shoulder is healthy and his sinker is, well, sinking, Wang could be a very useful depth piece as the season rolls along for this organization.

You know you love Wang:

Once upon a time, Chien Ming Wang was the future of the Yankee staff.  A hard sinker baller whose ability to generate ground balls made him a very success pitcher. Now, he is a depth piece, who may see the Bronx before the end of the season.

Once upon a time, Chien Ming Wang was the future of the Yankee staff. A hard sinker baller whose ability to generate ground balls made him a very success pitcher. Now, he is a depth piece, who may see the Bronx before the end of the season.

Another familiar name who pitched well this week was the much maligned Dellin Betances.  In a match-up with Dice-K this week, Betances threw 7.0 strong innings of 7 K, 2 BB, 1 ER ball.  Betances’ problems are the same this year as they have been through his whole career.  The kid is as likely to strike out a hitter as he is to “hit the bull”.

He has no idea where his stuff is going on most nights.  A 12.9 BB Rate is generally everything you need to know about Betances.  He will need to string together several of these types of performances before anyone will believe that the light has turned on for the once-touted Yankees prospect.  

While we talk about the familiar names, the next player on the list to be called up has to be Mark Montgomery.  Montgomery is legit and ready for a shot at a Major League Bullpen.  Any injury to the current roster would invariable lead to Montgomery’s promotion as he is sitting pretty with a 41% K rate which cures most of the ills (but not all) created by his 10% BB Rate. 

In Double-A Trenton, some of the bigger names are off to slow starts, but catcher J.R. Murphy is proving to be one of the best offensive assets on the club.   The biggest change in Murphy’s game has been his control of the strike zone.  The soon-to-be 22 year old backstop is showing a 15.2% BB Rate in 79 Plate Appearances.

 The selective approach is leading to a very strong .418 OBP.  Along with patience, J.R., has found some power at the Double-A level.  Last season, Murphy hit 4 HR over 177 Plate Appearances.  In 2013, J.R. has hit 4 HR in 79 Plate Appearances.  Age may lead to more power for Murphy.  

It is fairly clear at this point that even with injuries at the catching position in the Major Leagues, the Yankees are deep at that position in the organization.  Romine, a strong defensive Catcher, was ready for the call.

Murphy is putting on a offensive show in Double-A, which may heighten his stature in the eyes of the scouting community, and of course, Gary Sanchez is widely thought of as the Yankees’ top prospect.  

It still seems likely that if the Yankees determine a strong need position prior to the Trade Deadline that the team may decide to trade from a position of depth at Catcher.  

In High-A Tampa, the news was negative as Center Fielder Mason Williams was charged with a DUI this week.  Williams is a high end prospect.  He shows good grasp of the strike zone as he leads the Tampa club in Walks and has a plus-glove in the outfield.  Mason needs to keep himself out of the news for incidents like this and in the news for his exploits on the field.  

The facts as reported of the incident do lend some credence to Williams perhaps having an argument against the charges.  Several media sources reported that Williams took a breathalyzer and was .02 below the legal limit and was only charged after failing the field sobriety  test.

 Hopefully, however the case turns out, Williams will put this behind him and continue to show positive growth on the field. 

Austin Romine was called up this past week when Francisco Cervelli broke his hand (will be out 4 - 6 weeks).  While Romine is not as offensive as Cervelli - he is known better for his defense behind the dish.  He is sure to see some game with Chris Stewart.  So far the Yankees have received decent production from their Catchers - so maybe the rest of the team can pick up the slack should they slump a little.

Austin Romine was called up this past week when Francisco Cervelli broke his hand (will be out 4 – 6 weeks). While Romine is not as offensive as Cervelli – he is known better for his defense behind the dish. He is sure to see some game with Chris Stewart. So far the Yankees have received decent production from their Catchers – so maybe the rest of the team can pick up the slack should they slump a little.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Trade and Yankees Correspondent’ Nicholas Rossoletti for preparing today’s featured article. Nicholas is a young professional living in downtown Miami. He is a lifelong baseball fan and an avid Yankee supporter.

Having grown up during the last two decades, he counts Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera as his favorite ball players of all time. He believes in sabermetrics and that new stats have already changed the way the baseball industry sees players.

He was for Trout over Cabrera, he thinks RBIs tell you a lot more about a team than a player and that defense and pitching, ultimately, win championships. Rational thought and introspective analysis over the narrative is how we come to understand the game we love.

The narrative is just a way to keep those who don’t really love the game watching. Feel free to follow Nicholas on twitter and talk the game of baseball

“There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem – once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit.” ~ Al Gallagher, 1971

a    nicholas rossoletti

Please e-mail me at: mlbreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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Posted on May 1, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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