Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mariano Rivera Ties Saves Record

In honor of the great Mariano Rivera tying Trevor Hoffman for the All-Time saves record I wanted to do a post about the beginning of Rivera's career.  We all know that he has had a great career as a closer for the Yankees over the last 16 years but some might not know how it started.

Rivera was signed out of Panama in 1990 at age 20 on February 17th.  This seems old for today's standards where central American kids are usually signed before age 18 but twenty years ago I would assume this was not as much the case.

He was then sent to the Golf Coast League which was the only minor league level he was used primarily as a reliever.  There he posted a ridiculous 0.17 ERA in 52 innings, giving up only 1 earned run.  Over the next 4 + years he made his way through the Yankees minor league system.  The teams during that time were almost all in different locations. He spent the 1991 season in Greensboro which is the equivalent of Charleston or Low A.  There he started half of the game he pitched in.

Then in 1992 he again got moved up and this time to Fort Lauderdale which is the equivalent of Tampa or High A.  There is where he began starting in all the games he pitched. He started 10 games that season.

Even though he posted a 2.08 ERA with Fort Lauderdale the 1993 season was spent between GCL and Greensboro.  He started 12 games that season.

1994 was the season that he really jumped through the minors he went from Tampa (They had switched from Fort Lauderdale to Tampa by the time Mo got back to High A) to Albany-Colonie (Today's Trenton or AA) to Columbus (Today's Scranton/Wilkes-Barre or AAA).  He started 22 games that season and posted a overall 3.09 ERA.  He had struggled in his time at AAA with a 5.81 ERA which was the first time he had any issues in the minors.  Therefore he started the 1995 season in Columbus.  After carrying a 2.10 ERA in 7 starts he was called up to the major league team and made his major league debut on May 23rd, 1995.

That first season in the bigs would be the only time his ERA would ever be over 3.00 for a season.  This season would be the last time he had any pitching struggles.  He started 10 games (pitched in 19 overall) and went 5-3 with a 5.51 ERA.  That would be the last season he made a start.

Rivera did not become the full time closer until 1997 because the Yankees had top closer John Wetteland ahead of him.  In 1996, as the Wetteland's setup man, he had his only season with over 100 innings pitched.  That season he recorded a 2.09 ERA and a phenom was born.  In 1997 he recorded 43 saves and as they say the rest is history

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Play them Joe

On this blog I usually don't talk to much about the big league club but after yesterdays game I feel that I need to write something.  The Yankees had a 9-1 lead after 6 innings and were taking out their starter, Phil Hughes.  Girardi then calls in Scott Proctor.  Why?  Proctor has been mediocre since his call up at the beginning of September and has shown what he can do in the major over his career.  Therefore why not call in a guy to make his major league debut in a low pressure situation to let them get their feet wet.  Not only are the Yankees up 9-1 but they are also in Seattle where they don't have to deal with the pressure of pitching in Yankee Stadium.  Girardi even had Brackman and Betances warm up but decided instead to use Proctor (who gave up a 2 run HR) and Luis Ayala to finish off the game.  I really don't understand why Girardi would do this.  Is there really anything you want to see from Proctor in relief? The answer is no.  He shouldn't be on the playoff roster and there is no reason to not at least give these kids a chance to show their stuff in the bigs.

This whole situation doesn't surprise me though.  Girardi's use of the bullpen has made very little sense to since he started as Yankee manager.  That has been my biggest knock on him since he was hired.  Hopefully he will not continue this trend and will use the bullpen as effectively as possible the rest of the season and through the playoffs.

Prospect and 2011 Draftee Update September 13th

Staten Island Yankees 2-1 victory over the Auburn Doubledays to win the New York-Penn League Title.
Mason Williams went 1 for 3 with a run.  Cito Culver went 0 for 3.  Tyler Austin went 2 for 4 with a RBI.  Angelo Gumbs went 0 for 3.

With the NYPL victory, Dante Bichette Jr. will have won two league titles in one season.  I'm pretty sure he was the only one called up from the GCL Championship team so that is pretty cool for him in his first professional season.

Draftee Update:
Zach Wilson went 1 for 3 with a HR, a run, and a RBI.
Cody Grice replaced Wilson and went 0 for 1.
Matt Tracy started and pitched 6 scoreless innings, giving up 3 hits, not walking anyone, and striking out 4.  He recorded his second win of the playoffs.
Zachary Arneson pitched 1 hitless inning, walking 1 and striking out 1.
Philip Wetherell pitched 1 hitless inning, walking 1.  He recorded his third save of the playoffs.
Branden Pinder pitched 1 inning, giving up 1 unearned run and a hit.

This is the final game of the Yankees minor league system.  Therefore it will be the last update for until next season.

Prospect and 2011 Draftee Update September 12th

Staten Island Yankees 9-2 victory over the Auburn Doubledays in Game 1 of the best of three Championship Series
Mason Williams went 1 for 5 with a double, a run, and a RBI.  Cito Culver went 2 for 6 with a double and a run.  Tyler Austin went 2 for 5 with a run.  Angelo Gumbs went 1 for 5 with a HR, a run, and a RBI.

Draftee Update:
Zach Wilson went 1 for 3 with a RBI, a strikeout, and a walk.
Cody Grice replaced Wilson and went 0-0 with a walk.
Zachary Arneson pitched .1 hitless innings.
Philip Wetherell pitched 1 hitless inning, striking out 1.
Branden Pinder pitched 1 hitless inning, striking out 1.
Robert Paullus pitched 1 scoreless inning, giving up 1 hit, walking 2, and striking out 3.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Welcome to Yankee Stadium: Dellin Betances

Dellin Betances (RHP) was called up a few days ago but I missed it.  He has yet to pitch.

Betances was drafted in the 8th round of the 2006 MLB draft by the Yankees out of Grand Street High School in Brooklyn, NY at age 18.  He is big guy at 6'8" 255 lbs.

He was sent first to the Golf Coast League (GCL) for the remainder of the 2006 season.  There he went 0-1 with a 1.16 ERA, 27 strikeouts, and 7 walks in 7 starts and 23.1 innings.

Before the 2007 season he was ranked as the #100 prospect in baseball by Baseball America.  That season at Staten Island (Low A Short Season) he went 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA, 29 strikeouts, and 17 walks in 6 starts and 25 innings.

After the 2007 season he dropped out of the top 100 prospect by Baseball America.  In 2008 he started the season back in the GCL.  There he went 0-1 with a 8.53 ERA, 6 strikeouts, and 3 walks in 3 games, 2 starts, and 6.1 innings.  He was then promoted to Charleston (Low A) where he went 9-4 with a 3.67 ERA, 135 strikeouts, and 59 walks in 22 starts and 115.1 innings.  As you can tell from his strikeout to walk ratio he is another Yankee prospect who struggles with his control at times.

Going into the 2009 season Betances was sent to Tampa (High A).  There he went 2-5 with 5.48 ERA, 44 strikeouts, and 27 walks in 11 starts and 44.1 innings.  After this season his prospect title was in jeopardy.  He had gone from one of the top Yankee prospect to a fringe prospect who needed to prove he could still bring it.

He did just that in 2010.  That season he started a Tampa again and went 8-1 with a 1.77 ERA, 88 strikeouts, and 19 walks in 14 starts and 71 innings.  He got a call-up to Trenton (AA) at the end of the season.  There he went 0-0 with a 3.77 ERA, 20 strikeouts, and 3 walks in 3 starts and 14.1 innings.  This season put him back in the spotlight as a Yankees prospect and quieted the wildness issues for now.

Going into the 2011 season he was ranked as the #43 prospect by Baseball America.  This season he started at Trenton where he went 4-6 with a 3.42 ERA, 115 strikeouts, and 55 walks in 21 starts and 105.1 innings.  He was selected to the mid-season All-Star team.  He was then called up to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA) toward the end of the season.  There he went 0-3 with a 5.14 ERA, 27 strikeouts, and 15 walks in 4 starts and 21 innings.  Although he did have some walk issues throughout the season he still looks to have a bright future with the Yankees.

Going forward from here he will most likely start the 2012 season at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  He will still only be 24 and will probably need one more seasons in the minors before hopefully become a big time option for the Yankees in 2013.  There is a possibility if he shows a lot in AAA that he could be a midseason call-up and contribute next season.  His upshot is to be a top of the rotation starter in the next few years.  Hopefully this will happen as we are short on young pitches and it would be great if the Yankees could develop some homegrown starters.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Welcome to Yankee Stadium: Austin Romine

Austin Romine was called up today and was called on to be a defensive replacement in today's win against the Angels.  He didn't have a plate appearance.

Romine was drafted in the second round of the 2007 MLB draft out of El Toro High School in California.  He is the son of former Major League OF Kevin Romine (Boston Red Sox, 1985-1991) and younger brother of SS Andrew Romine, the fifth-round pick of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 2007 Draft.  

In his first season, 2007, he only played 1 game for the GCL Yankees and went 1 for 2 with a double, 2 runs, and a RBI.

His first full season, in 2008, was played for the Charleston RiverDogs (Low A).  There he hit .300 with 10 HRs, 24 doubles, 66 runs, and 49 RBIs in 104 games.

In 2009 he was promoted to Tampa (High A) and hit .276 with 13 HRs, 28 doubles, 61 runs, and 72 RBIs in 118 games.  This season he solidified himself as a prospect in the Yankees system.  He was selected as a mid- and postseason All-Star, named the MVP of the Florida State League, and as the Topps FSL player of the year.

The 2010 season he was put at Trenton (AA).  Before the season started he was ranked as the #86 prospect in baseball by Baseball America.  That season he hit .268 with 10 HR, 31 doubles, 61 run, and 69 RBIs in 115 games.  He was a mid season All-Star, name an AFL rising star, and was a Futures Game selection.  

This season he started in AA stuck behind Jesus Montero, who was the starter at AAA, and played their most of the season until Montero was called up Sept. 1.  He was Baseball America's #98 prospect before the season.  In Trenton he hit .286 with 6 HRs, 13 doubles, 43 runs, and 47 RBIs in 85 games.  He dealt with some injuries so played in fewer games then he had in the previous few seasons.  When called up to Scranton/Wilkes Barre (AAA) he hit only .133 with a run and a RBI in only 4 games.  This season he was again selected to the Futures Game and a mid-season All-Star.    

Unlike Montero who will most likely spend next season in the Majors, Romine will most likely play at least one more season in the minors.  With Montero in the bigs however, that will open up the starting job at AAA, so expect him to start the 2012 season in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  Although Romine is not as highly touted offensively as Montero his specialty is his defense which could be his key to becoming a Yankee.  I'm glad to see that he will get a chance to show what he has in the big leagues before this season is over.

Prospect and 2011 Draftee Update September 10th

Staten Island Yankees 1-0 victory over the Brooklyn Cyclones to get to the second round of the playoffs.
Mason Williams went 1 for 4.  Cito Culver went 0 for 3.  Tyler Austin went 2 for 3 with 2 doubles and a run.  Angelo Gumbs went 0 for 2.

Draftee Update:
Zach Wilson went 0 for 3.
Cody Grice was a defensive replacement and didn't have an plate appearance.
Philip Wetherell pitched 2 scoreless innings, giving up 2 hits.
Branden Pinder pitched 1 hitless innings, striking out 1.