Yankees Minor League Notebook for May 21st

OF Juan Rivera leads the Clippers over the Red Wings; SP Javier Ortiz shuts down the Senators; and Brandon Claussen has been recovering nicely in Tampa; all this and much more in Wednesday's edition of the Yankees Minor League Notebook.

Columbus Clippers (AAA): With Tuesday's 7-1 Win over the Rochester Red Wings (Cincinnati), the Clippers remain 2.5 games behind the division leading Louisville Bats (Detroit). Juan Rivera had three hits on the day, raising his average to .327 for the season. The only other multi-hit player of the game was Marcus Thames, who went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI. Thames batted .556 (10 for 18) in the 5 game series against the Red Wings, who dropped 3 of 2 to the Clippers. Columbus righty Julio De Paula pitched 7 and 1/3 innings, giving up 1 run on 4 hits. He walked 2 and struck out 6 in the victory. Given the recent injury to Yankee reliever Steve Karsay, the hard throwing De Paula has a small chance of being called up if Contreras gets sent back down again. Everett Stull, Rochester's starting pitcher on Tuesday, lost his 6th game of the season, a league-leading statistic in the International League. After Wednesday's off day, the Clippers will hit the road for 4 games against the Red Sox (Boston) followed by 4 against the Red Barons (Philadelphia).

Trenton Thunder (AA): Javier Ortiz pitched a brilliant game on Tuesday to lead Trenton 8-3 over the Harrisburg Senators (Montreal). Ortiz took a two-hit shutout into the 8th inning before allowing 3 runs and has now earned the win in each of his last two starts. In handing Senators' starter, Seung Song his first loss of the season, Andy Cannizaro picked up 4 hits in as many at-bats while his teammate Bo Robinson went 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored. Rightfielder Michael Vento hit his 3rd homerun of the year, a two-run shot, to boost his team-leading average to .306. Slugging 2nd baseman Brian Myrow and Vento lead the Thunder with 77 and 73 total bases, respectively (1st baseman Aaron Rifkin is 3rd with 54). Trenton faces Harrisburg for the rubber game on Wednesday with a 6:05 PM start.

Tampa Yankees (A): The Brevard County Manatees (Montreal) defeated the Tampa Yankees by the score of 4-3 during Tuesday's action. Although Bronson Sardinha leads the team in stolen bases with 5, his power has not yet developed as expected. Batting .204 on the season, Sarddinha has struck out 42 times (most on team) to go with 20 walks (2nd most on team). Look for a power increase if the plate discipline improves. Brandon Claussen has been excellent through three starts, further proving that Tommy John surgery can heal a serious arm injury. Having made 15 starts for Columbus last season, Claussen is a power lefty with an effective curveball. He leads the team's starters with a 2.12 ERA, but more importantly sports a 20 to 3 strikeout to walk ratio, showing great control. Rik Currier has been effective in the bullpen with a 1.61 ERA through 28 innings. Like Claussen, Currier's strikeout to walk ratio (30 to 8) also stands out. Only the Lakeland Tigers are stealing bases at a more successful clip than the Tampa Yankees. Lakeland is 32 for 43 (74.4%) while the Yankees are 34 for 47 (72.3%).

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