Yankees Minor League Notebook for May 20th

Andy Phillips having an incredible season on offense on every level of play; Graman has a solid outing yet again for Columbus; Buddy Carlyle has arguably his best start of the season; Aaron Rifkin making up for lost time with his red hot stick; The Melky Cabrera hit streak counter is at sixteen straight games; Ferdin Tejada carries his AA struggles down to A Tampa; Mitch Jones hitting well as of late without using the long ball. All this and more in this edition of Yankees Minor League Notebook.

Columbus Clippers. The Columbus Clippers fought out a thirteen inning war with the Indianapolis Indians and it was a war that they would eventually be victorious in. In a last man standing battle, the Columbus Clippers were victorious over Indianapolis by the final score of 5-4. They also out hit the Indians by the count of 12-10. In an amazing six at bats, Bubba Crosby had a two hit evening on Thursday including two RBI. Any Phillips continues to be incredible as he crushed his fifth AAA home run of the season as he also had a two hit game. He is now batting an outstanding .343 on the season. Phillips, remaining as red hot as he has, has earned himself the number three slot in the batting order as well. Jeff Deardorff is still swinging a strong bat as of late, smacking two hits and picking up a walk. Brian Myrow appears to pulling himself together with his two hits and two walks. Alex Graman got the start in this contest but was long gone when the game was won. Graman, however, had an outstanding start as he went six innings, conceding two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out five. The lefthander got a no decision. Out of the bullpen, Colter Bean picked up the win, pitching three scoreless innings.


Trenton Thunder. With a combination of superb pitching and excellent offense, the Trenton Thunder appear to finally be getting back on track and out of their previous tailspin. Trenton took on the Altoona Curve on Thursday and went on to get the victory by the final score of 7-1. They were also able to out hit Altoona by the count of 13-5. It appears that Trenton is getting one of 2003's best run producers back in Aaron Rifkin. Rifkin, after batting below .200 less than a month ago, now has his batting average all the way up to a respectable .263. Rifkin had another big game on Thursday, picking up two hits in three at bats. Mitch Jones is starting to get more hits than just the ones that leave the ballpark. Jones had two hits on Thursday night, including a double, two runs scored and an RBI as well. After suffering through a very bad slump after starting the season off very well, Jackson Melian appears to be back on track now as he also smacked two hits in three trips to the dish. Buddy Carlyle was on the mound on Thursday and had perhaps his best outing of the entire season. Carlyle went five strong innings, yielding no runs on only two hits while walking none and striking out seven. His ERA is still zero at the AA level. Carlyle got the victory to improve to 2-0 on the season.


Tampa Yankees. On Thursday night, the Tampa Yankees lost a heartbreaker to the Daytona Cubs. They played ten tough innings against the Cubs but eventually went on to lose the game in walk off fashion. The final score of the game was 5-4 in favor of Daytona. Tampa was out hit as well by the count of 13-10. In an extremely rare instance for this 2004 season thus far, Bronson Sardinha was actually held hitless. He had one of his worst games in while as he struck out two times as well. Big Shelley Duncan is starting to heat up his stick now as he smacked two singles on Thursday night. Very quietly, Jon-Mark Sprowl is swinging a hot bat as well. Sprowl had two hits on this night and raised his season batting average to .283. Ferdin Tejada is still having a season to forget even after being demoted from AA Trenton to A Tampa. Tejada went hitless and is batting only .167 since joining the team. In his very little playing time, Manuel Mejia makes the most of it. He is batting .395 for the year and slapped another two hits on Thursday. Justin Pope took the ball for Tampa on Thursday and while he did not pitch terribly, it was not his best outing of the year either. Pope went five innings, relinquishing four runs on eight hits while walking none and striking out one. Pope got a no decision.


Battle Creek Yankees. The Battle Creek Yankees played long into the night against Beloit as they waited out a long rain delay. They eventually got the game going but went on to lose to the Snappers by the final tally of 4-3 despite solid offense and decent pitching. However, what is disappointing is that they did not come up with the clutch hits as they did out hit Beloit by the final count of 9-6. Eric Duncan has really heated up at the plate, picking up two base hits in four at bats. The leadoff man, Melky Cabrera continues to be the heart and soul of this Battle Creek offense; he had another hit on this evening and extended his amazing hitting streak to 16 straight games. The Battle Creek club has to desperately be hoping that Estee Harris's two hit performance on Thursday is a sign of life and not just a passing good game. He is still only batting .232 for the season. Hector Made also had a two hit game as he continues to be a fairly consistent force. Steven White took the mound for the Battle Creek Yankees on Thursday and had just a so-so performance. White went six innings, surrendering four runs on five hits while walking four and striking out three as well. The 2003 draftee took his second loss of his short season to drop to 1-2. TJ Beam was out of the bullpen once again.

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