Yankees Minor League Notebook for June 28th

The Gulf Coast Yankees are back in action; Phil Hughes makes his long awaited debut in the GCL as he pitches two flawless innings; Robinson Cano and Dioner Navarro promoted to AAA Columbus; Cano a hit in his first AAA game; Eric Duncan struggling mightily at the plate for Battle Creek; Jesse Hover becoming a strikeout machine in Staten Island as he has now fanned 17 batters in 8 innings pitched. All this and more in this edition of Yankees Minor League Notebook.

Columbus Clippers. It was a big night of lots of changes for the Columbus Clippers, who have been playing excellent baseball, moving into first place. the Clippers stayed red hot in this game but two major additions were added before this game. Top prospects, Dioner Navarro and Robinson Cano were both promoted from AA to finish out this season. Columbus also went on to win this ballgame over the Syracuse Sky Chiefs by the final score of 11-4. They also out hit the Sky Chiefs by the final count of 14-12. It didn't take very long in this game for Robinson Cano to prove that he could perform at the next level. Cano had a huge night as he went 4-4 with a double and three RBI as well. As for Navarro, he appeared much more anxious in his first AAA appearance, going 0-4 with a strikeout in this game. Mike Vento had a huge night at the plate as he had four RBI. The right fielder went three for three, all in which were doubles. Carlos Reyes got the ball for the Columbus Clippers on Monday night and he tossed a very solid outing. Reyes went five innings, conceding two runs on nine hits while walking one and striking out two. He got the win to improve to 2-0 on the season.


Trenton Thunder. Tight ballgames were taking place all over the Yankee Farm System on Monday night and it was the same case with the Trenton Thunder. Trenton was taking on the Bowie Baysox but a win was not in the cards for them on this particular night. They went on to lose to the Baysox by the final score of 7-5. The Thunder were also out hit by Bowie by the final count of 14-10. With two stars gone (Robinson Cano and Dioner Navarro), it is now time for some other players to step up for the Trenton Thunder. The newly demoted Caonabo Cosme stepped in and picked up two hits in three trips to the plate including a walk and an RBI. This was a far cry from his terrible struggles with AAA Columbus this season. The only other multi hit game belonged to the designated hitter, Kevin Thompson. Thompson had two hits in three plate appearances including a base on ball and a double as well. Javier Ortiz has been pitching outstanding baseball for well over a month now and he turned in another nice effort on Monday night. Ortiz went seven innings, relinquishing three runs on nine hits while walking two and striking out two also.


Tampa Yankees. Despite some sloppy play in the field in this ballgame against the Lakeland Tigers, the result was a positive one for the Tampa Yankees on Monday night. It was a tight contest throughout and the Tigers made a valiant comeback but the T-Yanks still found a way to come out on top. They went on to win this ballgame by the final count of 6-4. They also out hit the Lakeland Tigers by the final count of 11-7. Melky Cabrera continues to be perhaps the most consistent hitter in the Yankee Farm System this season. He has taken a stranglehold on the third spot in the batting order and is now batting .306 in the Florida State League. Melky picked up two hits in five trips to the plate on Monday including two RBI as well. Jared Koutnik has been a run producing machine for the Tampa Yankees this season and he continued this trend on Monday. Koutnik went 2-4 including a double and an RBI as well. Jon Skaggs took the mound for the Yankees and turned in a solid outing. Skaggs went seven innings, surrendering four runs (one earned) on six hits while walking none and striking out five. He picked up the victory to improve to 8-5 on the season.


Battle Creek Yankees. It was a very tight contest for the Battle Creek Yankees on Monday evening as they took on the Fort Wayne Wizards. However, the end result would not be a good one for the battle Creek Yankees. They went on to lose this ballgame by the final count of a tight 4-3 score. They were also widely out hit by the Wizards by the total of 14-7. The bats were very silent on this night but one that exemplified the struggles was that of Eric Duncan. Duncan has really struggled over the past month and has seen his batting average plummet to .266 for the season. He went 0-5 in this game as he continues to search for answers at the plate. The only two players that did have multi hit games on Monday were John Urick and Omir "Pito" Santos. Urick had two hits including a double and two RBI as well. Santos had two singles in the game. Tyler Clippard was on the mound for the Battle Creek Yankees and while he was not bad, the outing was not as good as he would expect it to be. Clippard went five innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on nine hits while walking none and striking out five. He got a no decision. 


Staten Island Yankees. The Staten Island Yankees played an excellent all around baseball game on Monday night and hopefully it will help them to emerge from their season long skid. They were taking on the Vermont Expos and they went on to defeat them by the final score of 6-3. They also out hit Vermont by the final count of 8-5. The Baby Bombers had a big sixth inning in which they scored three runs and began to pull away from the Expos. Ben Jones has gotten very limited playing time so far this season but he has shown that he can really hit the long ball. Jones blasted his second home run of the season on Monday. It was a to hit night for Jones as well. After starting off red hot in this season, Cody Ehlers has gone ice cold as of late. He is now 2 for his last fifteen at the plate. Rafael Rodriguez had a good night at the dish as well as he picked up two hits in four trips to the plate including a run scored. Edgar Soto was the starting pitcher for the Yankees on this night and he turned in another nice outing. The lefthander went 5 1/3 innings, yielding one earned run on four hits while walking tow and striking out two as well. Jesse Hoover came in to pitch the final 2 1/3 innings for Staten Island and again he was lights out. Hoover has done almost nothing but strike batters out this season. In fact, in eight innings pitched, he has struck out 17 batters! A truly amazing statistic. Hoover went 2 1/3 inning and gave up no runs and no hits while striking out another six batters. There has been no one more dominant in the New York-Penn League than Jesse Hoover. He got the save in this game.


Gulf Coast Yankees. The GCL Yankees are back n action. They have gotten off to a fantastic start this season mostly because of their mega talented roster that they have. The roster includes multiple top draft picks and former Dominican Summer League stars. As of now, they are 5-2 and are in first place in the Northern Division. This season has brought a lot so far but one player that has stood out has been former DSL star, Marcos Vechionacci. You get the feeling that with the five tool skills this guy has, that he could be a top prospect in the near future. He is making strides toward that as he is batting a lofty .448 this season with one home run so far. He stayed on fire on Monday as he picked up two hits in five trips to the plate (that seems routine for him) including two runs scored. Tim Battle has also begun to emerge as the talented player that the Yankees thought he was last year when they drafted him last year. Battle is batting .345 so far this season. on Monday, he also had two hits in five plate appearances out of the leadoff spot. There was a rehabbing Rudy Guillen sighting on Monday as he is preparing for his return to Single A Tampa. Guillen went hitless as the designated hitter. However, on struggling hitter for this ballclub has been the 37th overall pick in 2004 draft, Jon Poterson. Poterson has struggled to hit for average so far as he is only batting .143. He was drafted as a catcher but it appears that the organization has him slated for the outfield, which he has been playing in the GCL. It was a big event on Monday night for the Yankee organization as their 1st round selection and 23rd pick overall, Phil Hughes would make his debut on the mound. Hughes did not disappoint as he was only scheduled to throw two innings but gave up no runs on only two hits while walking none and striking out three. Needless to say, it was an excellent professional debut.

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