Yankees Minor League Notebook for April 16th

Halsey much more impressive in his second AAA start; Vento sinks back into his extended slump; Guillen and Tampa lineup finally cooled off; Jeremy King stomped in his start against Sarasota; John Urick batting an amazing .556 as he picks up three more hits; Josh Smith rocked again in second start of the year; Eric Duncan hitting well and hitting often. All this and more in this edition of Yankee Minor League Notebook.

Columbus Clippers. As the Columbus Clipper's play continues to improve over their last couple of games, it has hinged on their pitching but has also been assisted by the awakening of their formerly silent offense. They picked up another 10 hits on this night as they went on to win it 8-4. LHP,  Brad Halsey had a solid night on the mound as he made up for a sub par debut. Halsey went 5 innings, surrendering 3 runs on 6 hits. He also walked 2 batters and struck out three. Despite his efforts, Halsey only got a no decision as the win came out of the bullpen for Columbus. There was only one hitter in the Clipper's lineup that didn't pick up a hit and that was the heavily slumping Mike Vento. Vento appeared to be coming out of his slump as he picked up 3 hits in Thursday's contest. The big stick on this night was swung by the red hot shortstop, Felix Escalona. Escalona had two hits on the night, picking up 3 RBI and a double. He raised his season batting average to .316. Brian Myrow had a good night as well, picking up a key double and an RBI. Also with RBI doubles were Homer Bush, and John Rodriguez. Remaining the model of consistency for Columbus thus far has been Jeff Deardorff batting out of the third spot. Deardorff picked up a single in this game and has a steady .280 batting average. Out of the bullpen, Jim Mann was on in relief of Brad Halsey and was able to nail down the win.


Trenton Thunder. The Trenton Thunder have been inconsistent in their performance and overall very unpredictable in all facets of the game. Trenton got an outstanding performance from their starter, Matt Smith in this one but it was only wasted by a lack of offense by the Thunder hitters. Smith went 5 innings of solid baseball in this one. He gave up two runs on four hits while striking out an impressive 8 batters and walking 1.  He picked up his first loss of the season (0-1) and now has a fantastic ERA of 2.70. They only picked up a dismal three hits in the entire game against Gustavo Chacin and the New Hampshire bullpen. The one hits were picked up by Kevin Reese, Sandy Madera and Jackson Melian. The hits by Madera and Reese were both doubles. Ironically, these three hitters are the team leaders in season batting average. Reese has a .381 average, Madera (.333), and Melian (.375). As of late, Dioner Navarro has been cooled of considerably at the plate and now has a lowly .222 batting average. He has gone from red hot to the midst of a slump.


Tampa Yankees. Well, now Sarasota and Tampa have traded knockout punches. Tampa smashed Sarasota 15-2 on Thursday but Sarasota came right back on Friday and slammed Tampa 13-1. Starting pitcher for Tampa Jeremy King was coming off an excellent start his last time out. This time around, King was rocked for 8 runs on 10 hits in 4 innings of work. King's record falls to 1-1 on the season. He now has a bloated 7.20 ERA. The offense seemed out of gas after their offensive explosion on Thursday night as they only were able to come up with 4 hits the entire night. There was only one extra base hit in this one and that belonged to Deivi Mendez who smacked a triple, his only hit of the game. The hot hitting 2b, Gabe Lopez picked up a single as did Matt Carson and rehabbing Travis Lee. The hot hitting Shelley Duncan went silent on this night. Duncan is batting a solid .308 on the year. With another single tonight, Gabe Lopez stayed hot and has a .375 average. Well, Rudy Guillen was also, finally cooled off but he is still batting .400.


Battle Creek Yankees. The Battle Creek Yankee bats were out much more on this night than they have been thus far but the timing of their big hits was not there. Battle Creek blasted 3 solo home runs but the key word is "solo". Erold Andrus, Bryce Kartler and John Urick all hit bombs of their own in this one. For Urick and Andrus it was their second of the year but for Kartler it was his first. Both Andrus and Urick had three hit games on this night. Urick is batting a crazy .556! Also swinging a lethal bat as of late has been top prospect Eric Duncan who had two more hits on Friday. Duncan has raised his season average to an impressive .357 as he continues to hit. Also picking up two hits were Bryce Kartler and picking up a single was Melky Cabrera. Hector Made continues to struggle at the plate going hitless and dropping his season batting average to a dismal .207. Josh Smith had a rough night on the mound for Battle Creek as he only lasted three innings. Smith gave up 9 runs on 9 hits as his season record drops to 0-2. His ERA is also 14.04.

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