Yankees Minor League Notebook for April 24th

Beal pitches Columbus past Indianapolis; Navarro has a four hit game in second Thunder game; Caonabo Cosme is now second in the International League batting race; Aaron Rifkin now 3 for his last 31 at the plate; Edwardo Sierra now 6 for 6 in save opportunities as he continues to dominate; Andy Phillips making his case for a promotion; Ferdin Tejada shows signs of coming out of his season long slump. All this and more in this edition of Yankees Minor League Notebook.

Columbus Clippers. The improving Columbus Clippers took this one against first place Indianapolis by the score of 8-6. Formerly one of their hotter hitters, Darren Bragg went cold in this one out of the leadoff spot. If you want a hot hitter, Caonabo Cosme is about as red hot as they come. The young 2b went 3-4 in this game. His batting average has skyrocketed to .408. Cosme is now 11 for his last 18 at bats (.611) and is second in the international league in batting. By far, he has been Columbus's best hitter so far this season. Batting in the third spot for the first time this season, Mike Vento picked up a single as he is slowly but surely creeping his batting average back up. Besides the three hit game for Cosme and the hitless game for Bragg, the rest of the lineup put up fence posts. Jeff Deardorff got two RBI in this game as Cosme had three. Those two are tied for the team lead. Mike Kelly has started to get his stick heated up. He has had a hit in each of his last two games and the veteran could be showing signs of breaking out of his mini slump. Andy Beal pitched a superb game for the Clippers as he went 6 innings and got his first win of the season. Beal gave up two runs on five hits while walking three and striking out one.


Trenton Thunder. Game 1. Trenton split their "doubleheader" of sorts but they won the first game by the score of 5-3 against Gavin Floyd and Reading. The Thunder got a huge game out of their designated hitter Jackson Melian who has been superb out of every role he has been placed in. Melian picked up two hits in this game, including a home run and two RBI. Melian is now 6 for his last 12 at bats (.500) in limited playing time. That could soon change if he continues to hit so well. Dioner Navarro ended his 0 for 11 slump by smacking a single in this game. Andy Phillips continues to make his case for a promotion to AAA by picking up a triple and an RBI in this game and is now batting .333 since joining the club. Aaron Rifkin is falling deeper and deeper into a terrible slump and has his batting average all the way down to .211. He is now 3 for his last 27 (.111) after having a fast start to the season in the first week. Mitch Jones is much like last year hit or miss as he is batting .220 for the year and went 0-4 in this one. The horribly scuffling Ferdin Tejada had a single in this one and Trenton hopes that it will finally kick start him to how he was hitting in spring training. Tejada is only 4 for his last 29 at bats. Rik Currier threw five solid innings for Trenton and got the win. He surrendered 2 runs on 2 hits while walking three and striking out two. David Shepard came in for four outs and got the save (2).

Game 2. Trenton's fate was not quite as good in the second game as they lost 6-5 to Reading. However, there were still many bright spots to point out. Perhaps the most relieving sight for the Thunder was that of Dioner Navarro getting back to his old self. Navarro had four hits in the game and raised his batting average by 78 points! Navarro went 4-5 with his first home run of the season and two RBI. He now has his batting average back up to .278 for the year. Still pushing for a promotion, Andy Phillips picked up three more hits in this one and is now batting .421 since joining the team. Aaron Rifkin only worsened his struggles at the plate as he went 0-4 and is now 3 for his last 31 at bats. His batting average has now sunk below the .200 mark. The playing time of Jake Weber will continue to dwindle as he went hitless again in this one. Sean Henn was on the hill for Trenton in this second game and he was once again very solid. Henn went 7 innings, surrendering 4 earned runs, scattering 9 hits while walking four and striking out four as well. He received a no decision.


Tampa Yankees. Rather than utilizing their normally explosive offense, the Tampa Yankees turned to excellent pitching and little ball on this night against the Fort Myers Miracle. The Tampa offense only managed 4 hits as oppose to the Fort Myers 8 but they still came out on top. Rudy Guillen, after being so red hot has suddenly hit a mini slide. Guillen is now 4 for his last 21 at bats (.191). He went 0-4 in this game. Bronson Sardinha smacked a single in this one and has now hit safely in 13 straight games. That is the longest hitting streak of any Yankee farmhand so far this season. Sardinha has an impressive .358 batting average. Shelley Duncan maintains his reputation of being perhaps the most productive Tampa hitter as he drove in two more runs in this game while crushing a double. Gabe Lopez now finds himself in a slump of his own. He is now 4 for his last 21 at bats, despite going 2-5 in Friday's game. Jared Koutnik got a rare start at DH in this one and was able to hit a single. Pitching for Tampa was Matt DeSalvo and he was excellent in 5 innings of work. DeSalvo gave up no runs on four hits in 5 innings while striking out 8 and walking three. He got another no decision. In relief, Ben Julianel got the win. Coming in for a four out save was the incredible, dominating Tampa closer, Edwardo Sierra. Sierra as usual had no problems. All four outs he recorded were on strikeouts. He recorded his 6th save of the year without blowing a save once. His ERA still sits at 0.00.


Battle Creek Yankees. The Battle Creek Yankees saw their offense come alive in this one as they defeated the West Michigan Whitecaps by the score of 6-3. Has Eric Duncan been just a hitting machine this year? It sure seems like it. Duncan chipped in two hits tonight and now has hit safely in 13 out of his last 14 games. If not for one hitless game, he would have had a 14 game hitting streak right now. John Urick has hit so well this season that he has played himself into becoming an everyday player rather than being a part of a platoon. Urick had a hit in this one and is now batting .385. He leads the team in that category. Both he and Duncan had home runs this game. For Duncan it was his second and Urick's third. Willie Vazquez is doing a good job of filling in for Melky Cabrera as he had a hit in this game as well. Hector Made had a single in this game and is putting together a solid year here in the early going. Estee Harris however, still appears lost even after a three hit game on Saturday. Harris went 0-4 in this game. Chase Wright was on the mound for Battle Creek and he has solidified himself as a true ace on this staff. Wright is now 2-1 on the year as he got the win. He went 6 innings, giving up 3 runs, scattering 10 hits while walking 1 and striking out 2. He now has an impressive 2.19 season ERA.

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