Yankees Minor League Notebook for May 23rd

Jackson Melian making his presence known since his promotion to Columbus; Caonabo Cosme suffering through a prolonged tailspin; Matt Smith leaves with injury that could mean trouble brewing in the throwing elbow; Aaron Rifkin continues his tear as he blasts two runs for the Thunder; Jeffrey Karstens tosses seven innings of lights out ball in Tampa loss; Ferdin Tejada is struggling at every level of play. All this and more in this edition of Yankees Minor League Notebook.

Columbus Clippers. It was a good day all around for the Columbus Clippers but especially for their suddenly explosive bats. They were able to take home a victory over the Ottawa Lynx by the final score of 9-5 and win their ninth straight game at home. The ball was flying for the Clippers as they out hit the Lynx by the final count of 13-6. Darren Bragg continued to smack the ball and keep his batting average over .300 on Sunday night. Bragg had a three hit evening in five at bats including a home run (4), a double, two RBI and two runs scored. Jackson Melian is wasting know time at the plate since his promotion from AA to Columbus. He is batting .400 since joining the teams as he had a two hit performance on Sunday. Caonabo Cosme has gone down hill severely from his early season offensive display. His batting average is all the way down to .285 and he once again went hitless in this contest. Mike Vento is starting to get hot with the bat as he smacked two hits including a home run and two RBI. The pitching was also there for Columbus in their victory. Eric Schmitt was outstanding in six innings of work. In six innings, Schmitt allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits while walking two and striking out three. He would pick up the victory to improve his record to 2-0 for the season.


Trenton Thunder. The Trenton Thunder fought it out in an all out slugfest but eventually came out on the wrong end of the battle. They dropped this one in disappointing fashion to the Reading Phillies by the final score of 12-10. In a combined total of 26 hits between the two teams, Trenton was out hit by Reading by the count of 15-11. How hot can Aaron Rifkin get? He just got even hotter with the bat as he blasted two home runs in this game and raised his season average to .278. The first baseman is now 8 for his last 19 at bats (.421). The home runs were his fifth and sixth of the season. Robinson Cano was cooled off from his mini hot spell and lowered his batting average below .300 for the first time in weeks. The teams big slugger, Mitch Jones snapped out of his home run drought and blasted his tenth home run of the season. Jones' main problem is still that he is hit or miss and has only a .224 batting average. Dioner Navarro is starting to come alive at the plate with a hit today in three trips to the plate. The pitching was not the strength for Trenton on Sunday. Trouble started early as Matt Smith, one of the team's most reliable starters all year, had to leave the game with an injury that many suspect is his elbow flaring up. That could spell bad news for the Thunder and the future of their young starter.


Tampa Yankees. In a very tight contest, two pitchers from the Tampa Yankees and the Daytona Cubs dueled it out but in the duel, Tampa would come out on the short end. Tampa fell to the Daytona Cubs by the final score of 2-1 in a game that offense was scarce. However, the Tampa Yankees did out hit the Cubs in a miniscule count of 4-3. Sloppy play in the field with two errors is what spoiled this one for the TYanks. The bat of Bronson Sardinha is starting to heat up again as he smacked two hits on Sunday in four trips to the plate. Tommy Winrow is still having some kind of season and has played himself right into the leadoff spot in the lineup. He is now batting an amazing .364 for the season after his one hit in three at bats on Sunday. The only other Tampa hit of the night belonged to Jared Koutnik and the only RBI belonged to Jayson Drobiak. The main concern for not only Tampa but the entire organization is the lack of hitting by top prospect Ferdin Tejada. He was batting under .200 with AA Trenton and he is now only batting a pathetic .077 with Tampa. The big story of the night for Tampa was the pitching. Jeffrey Karstens was on the mound and he was incredible. He threw seven great innings, surrendering two runs (none earned) on three hits while walking one and striking out ten! He took the hard luck loss to fall to 1-2 on the season.


Battle Creek Yankees. Game 1. This day-night doubleheader started off incredibly ugly for the Battle Creek Yankees as their bats went silent and the pitching was roughed up by the Beloit Snappers. They lost this first game by the final score of 11-1. Even though the game was dominated by Beloit, the BC Yanks were only out hit 14-8. One of the biggest stories from either side was that the major hitting streak of Melky Cabrera was snapped at 17 straight games as he went hitless in four at bats. Erold Andrus may finally be coming to life at the plate as he smacked two hits in four at bats. BC is also hoping that Enrique Cruz' hit on Sunday is a sign of good things to come. Cruz was demoted from A Tampa last week after he struggled mightily at the plate. Bryce Kartler is having a nightmare season with the stick thus far but he made strides in this game to possibly come out of it. He is still batting only .196 for the season but he did pick up two hits in three at bats in the first game. This game was one to forget for BC starting pitcher, Chase Wright. Wright went only two innings, getting lit up for five runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out one. He took the loss to even his record at 4-4 on the season.

Game 2. The Battle Creek Yankees managed to survive a split of this doubleheader with the Beloit Snappers as they squeezed out a victory in the nightcap. It was a very close game throughout but the BC Yanks were able to come out on top by the final score of 5-4. The game was very tight even as far as hits; Beloit and BC both had six hits apiece in this ballgame. In an extremely rare instance for this season, Melky Cabrera was held hitless for the second game in a row. He went 0-2 in the game but did manage two walks. Eric Duncan broke out the power stroke in this contest as he blasted his eight home run of the season while also driving in a run. Bryce Kartler fell right back into his struggles in this second game as he went hitless in lowered his season average to .179. Estee Harris is started to gain some consistency at the plate as he had singles in each of these two games of the doubleheader. Abel Gomez returned to a starting spot in the rotation and faired pretty well. Gomez was solid going 5 1/3 innings, conceding three runs on three hits while walking three and striking out seven. He got the victory in this game and is now 5-0 on the season for Battle Creek.




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