Yankees Minor League Notebook for April 17th

Javier Ortiz tosses a gem against New Hampshire; Eric Duncan can't be stopped at the plate; Cano puts up a four hit performance; The batting average of John Urick going through the roof; Reese blasts two home runs; Reese, Cano and Grove go back to back to back with homers; Ramon Ramirez torched again in his second start of the season; Tampa held to only 3 hits against Sarasota. All this and more in this edition of Yankees Minor League Notebook.

Columbus Clippers. The Clipper bats fell silent yet again in this game and continue their inconsistency at the plate early on in this season. They were only able to salvage two runs and they could only muster a measly 5 hits the entire game. Despite the recurring lack of offense, the starting pitcher for Columbus Clippers did not help matters. Ramon Ramirez was on the hill on Saturday and in his second start of the year he was yet again ineffective. Ramirez was smacked around in only three innings of work, surrendering five runs on four hits, striking out three and walking four. He also watched two of his pitches get rocked over the fence for Durham home runs. This start puts his season ERA at a disappointing 12.91. On this evening, not even the hottest of hitters were able to put together much of a hitting performance off Rob Bell. Darren Bragg picked up a single to keep his hitting going but not at the pace he has been for the past five games. The struggling Mike Vento showed signs of pulling out of his slump by smashing a solo home run in the game. Also with a home run was Brian Myrow. Those two had the only RBI on the entire night for the Clippers. Putting up fence posts were the red hot 2b Caonabo Cosme and Steve Torrealba who has been an excellent role player for the Clippers so far.


Trenton Thunder. For the Trenton Thunder squad, it was offense galore on Saturday night against New Hampshire as they racked up 13 hits for the game. They seemed to finally be clicking on all cylinders in this one and they picked up an absolute gem from their starting pitcher as well. Javier Ortiz, whom is considered by many to be the Trenton ace pitched his best game of the season in 7 2/3 innings of 5 hit ball. Ortiz surrendered 2 earned runs on 5 hits while striking out 6 and walking nobody. He picked up the win in this one as he improves his record to 1-0. As already stated, the Trenton lineup came to hit in this game. Out of the leadoff spot, Kevin Reese had a monster game. Reese blasted not one but two long balls, one of which was of the grand slam variety. Reese had on of the best games of his career as he also had a fantastic 5 RBI in the game. Kevin Reese now has a team high .423 batting average. Also hitting homers today were Robinson Cano and Jason Grove. In fact, Reese, Cano, and Grove hit back to back to back bombs at one point as they poured it on to New Hampshire. Robinson Cano broke out in a huge way as well as he picked up a four hit game! Dioner Navarro also heated his bat back up, picking up two singles and an RBI in this one. Jake Weber picked up two hits as well. Picking up one hit of his own was the shortstop Ferdin Tejada. The formerly hot hitting Aaron Rifkin has come to a halt with the bat and is now batting .238.


Tampa Yankees. After an absolute offensive explosion two nights ago, Tampa has been nearly silent with the sticks for the past two games. Against Sarasota on Saturday, Tampa was only able to salvage 3 hits against Luis Mendoza and the Sarasota bullpen. Perhaps the hottest hitter on the team, Gabe Lopez was shut down in this one as he went hitless. This season, OF Tommy Winrow has never yet been red hot at the plate but has seemed very consistent for Tampa and earned a promotion to the second slot in the lineup for this game. Winrow picked up a single in the game and is now batting a solid .294 for the season. Also picking up a hit in the game was the smoking hot Rudy Guillen who also had a single. The only other hit in the entire game for Tampa belonged to the designated hitter, Jayson Drobiak who had a single. Drobiak was the top offensive performer for Tampa on the night as he picked up the only two RBI of the night as well. Tampa only had two runs, both of which were driven in by Drobiak. He has now risen his season average up to .259. Jose Enrique Cruz still remains hitless on the season. The starting pitcher for Tampa, Justin Pope turned in a nice performance in 5 innings. Pope allowed 3 runs on 5 hits while striking out 5 and walking only one. Ben Moore, and Manuel Esquivia were both ineffective out of the bullpen, giving up a combined 7 runs. However, Justin Pope took the hard luck loss.


Battle Creek Yankees. It was another battle of the bats between West Michigan and Battle Creek on this afternoon but unfortunately, West Michigan came out on top. The starting pitcher for Battle Creek, Abel Gomez had an outing to forget as he was driven from the game after only two innings of work. Gomez, in his two innings, surrendered two runs on two hits, walking two and fanning two as well. He was struggling with his command and control which led to his early exit from the game. From that point on, the bullpen was not able to keep the West Michigan offense sustained and did not allow Battle Creek a chance to get themselves back into the game. Brandon Harmsen, Steve Wiseman and Adam Wheeler all surrendered three runs apiece. On offense, Eric Duncan once again was the hitting star of the game. Duncan collected another two hits on the day and also picked up two more RBI. Both of his hits were doubles. Duncan is now batting .364 for the season. Shortstop, Hector Made broke out of his mini slump with a two hit game of his own while also picking up an RBI. John Urick refuses to cool off as his batting average continues to soar into the stratosphere. He is now batting an amazing .545. Also with RBI singles were Omir Santos and Willie Vazquez who both had singles in the game.

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