Yankees Minor League Notebook for April 21st

The Clippers rough up their former ace, Brandon Claussen; Bragg is still hot as he picks up another three hits; Mitch Jones hits two more long balls, leads the Eastern League with 6; Cano has another four hit game; Navarro is still slumping badly as his average dips below .200 for the year; Tampa puts 17 runs on the board; Karstens pitches 5 inning perfect game for Tampa; Duncan and Melky lead the way for Battle Creek. All this and more in this edition of Yankees Minor League Notebook.

Columbus Clippers. Columbus took this game by the score of 7-4 and it was due to a combination of good offense by the Clippers and also because of some excellent pitching. Nerio Rodriguez was on the hill for the Clippers and he was able to go seven innings and pitch a superb game. He surrendered 3 runs on four hits while striking nine and walking none. This was a very dominating performance for Nerio. He is now 1-0 on the season. Sam Marsonek came into this game for the ninth inning and picked up the easy save. On the offensive side of the ball, Darren Bragg is still red hot wit the bat as he picked up three more hits in this game. Caonabo Cosme continues to be a surprise as he smacked another two hits tonight and is now batting .342 for the season. Mike Kelly had a good night with the bat as he got two hits including a home run. Felix Escalona is heating up again as he had a three hit game. Homer bush had two hits in the game as well. Mike Vento is slowly but surely heating up his stick as he poked a single of his own in this game. Pitching for Louisville was familiar face, Brandon Claussen but he was roughed up by Columbus, not lasting through the fifth inning.


Trenton Thunder. Trenton had yet another good game as they start to get on a mini hot streak after struggling early on. The offense was there again for them as was the pitching as well. The seemingly infinitely hot hitting Kevin Reese got another two hits, one of which was a double and he also drew a walk in the game. He is still pushing .400 as he is now batting .395. All of a sudden, Dioner Navarro is in a very apparent and very bad slump as his season average dropped to a season low .194. It was and has been just the opposite for 2b, Robinson Cano, smashing 4 hits in the game. Cano had 3 RBI, a double and a home run as he is now batting a fantastic .356 for the season. Left fielder Mitch Jones not only picked up his power surge again but also had 3 hits on the night. Jones cracked his 4th and 5th home runs of the year on this night and drove in two as well. Mitch leads the Eastern League with his 6 home runs. Jackson Melian has also done nothing but hit as he picked up two more in this game and now is batting an even .400 on the year. J.T. Stotts smacked a single of his own as well. The pitching for Trenton was nearly flawless in this one for Trenton as the starting and relief efforts were impressive. Starting pitcher, Matt Smith went six innings, giving up six hits, no runs while walking 3 and striking out 5. Smith earned the win and is now 1-1 to go along with his 1.69 ERA. John Blankenship came in for the three inning save.


Tampa Yankees. The Tampa Yankees have gained a reputation early on this season for having an explosive offense and buy did they show it off tonight. Tampa, for the second time this season put 15 runs or more on the board as they put up a 17 spot in this one. The offense was so hot tonight that the coldest hitter on the team, Jose Enrique Cruz broke out of his season long hitless streak by racking up three hits and three RBI. Bronson Sardinha also kept up his hot hitting with 3 RBI in this game. With a huge game was Shelley Duncan who had four hits, including a home run, 3 doubles and 5 RBI. He is now batting .313 for the season. Getting a start in RF was Matt Carson and he made the most of it. Carson had 3 hits, including a home run, a double and 3 RBI as well. Also with a three hit game was Manuel Mejia as he drove in a run as well. As a whole, Tampa an incredible 20 hits and three home runs on this night. Pitching was also not an issue for Tampa in this game whatsoever. Jeffrey Karstens went 5 innings but what an impressive 5 innings it was. Karstens gave up nothing, no hits, no runs and no walks. Because it was his first start of the year, despite the fact he was pitching a perfect game he was removed after 5 innings. Jeremy King and Manuel Esquivia both pitched two innings of solid relief a piece.


Battle Creek Yankees. The Battle Creek Yankees fell again to Fort Wayne as their lack of consistency has continued to baffle in regards to their offense. The pitching for Battle Creek has not been bad at all thus far despite the fact that it was considered questionable at best coming into this season. Josh Smith was on the mound for this one and was pretty good in six innings of work. He gave up four runs on 5 hits while walking three and fanning five. Despite the decent outing, Smith still has a hideous 10.67 season ERA. Out of the bullpen, Heath Castle took the loss and now has an 8.53 ERA. Melky Cabrera is suddenly red hot as he slashed two more hits in this game. Both of his hits were doubles and he also had two runs scored. Melky is now batting .316 for the year. Hector Made and Eric Duncan also had two hit games in this one. Duncan had an RBI too. Erold Andrus had a single and an RBI. Omir Santos and Luis Robles both had doubles in this game. Santos and Robles also both had an RBI apiece. Bryce Kartler continues to struggle at the plate and is now batting a lowly .222 for the season thus far.

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