I've decided to bring back a post I used to do a few years ago for IIATMS, where we take a look at how the various minor league affiliates are doing. Given the never-ending stream of Yankees landing on the injured list this season, it may be more important than usual to keep an eye on the players who could be filling in for the big club. All notes here go through Sunday’s games.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (7-4):
The Yankees’ Triple-A team split its first four-game series of the season at Buffalo, before dropping two of three at Lehigh Valley. They seem to be clicking now, however, as they turned around and swept Buffalo in their four-game home opener. Much of their success at the plate can be attributed to Mike Ford, who is hitting an impressive .471/.525/1.029 in nine games. The first baseman has five homers and fourteen RBIs. Trey Amburgey has put up some strong numbers at the plate, hitting .357/.386/.476. On the mound, Nestor Cortes, Jr., has put together two solid starts. He threw 12.2 innings and gave up just one earned run on six hits for a 0.71 ERA. He has fourteen strikeouts and only two walks.
Trenton Thunder (6-3):
Much like the RailRiders, the Thunder seem to be picking up steam in the past week. They dropped their first series, losing two of three in Erie. They won the next two games against Akron, though they were unable to complete the three-game sweep. For their home opener, Trenton swept Portland. The first three games were all one-run games, but the Thunder beat up on the Sea Dogs in the fourth game, taking a 10-0 victory. The Thunder has gotten some good offense from their outfield. Ben Ruta leads the ten with a .406/.500/.594 slash line. He has two doubles, a tripe and four RBIs. Rashad Crawford has a .333/.419/.407 line and a pair of doubles and three RBIs. He has struck out twice and walked four times. Garrett Whitlock has had a good start off the mound. In his two starts, he has pitched twelve innings and given up just eleven hits, two runs and two walks. He has struck out 10.
Tampa Tarpons (4-8):
The Tarpons are off to a tough start. They split their first series of the year, a four-game stint in Lakeland and were then swept at home by St. Lucie. They rebounded a bit by taking two out of three against Daytona. Tampa is really struggling at the plate, currently owning the lowest team batting average in the league (.206). Oswaldo Cabrera is hitting .378/.452/.486 with four doubles and five RBIs. Isiah Gilliam is hitting .333/.422/.538 with two homers, two double, and seven RBIs. Rony Garcia has made three appearances and two starts for Tampa this season. He has a 2.03 ERA and has allowed fourteen hits. He has limited walks to four, while striking out seventeen.
Charleston RiverDogs 5-6:
The RiverDogs had a good first series, taking three of four in Columbia. Unfortunately, when they arrived in Asheville they were clobbered 3-17. They dropped the next game as well, but pulled off one win to avoid the sweep. Their four-game set against Greensboro, however, wasn’t any more successful. They lost three of the four games. Mickey Gasper is leading the RiverDogs’ offense with a .393/.452/.643 line with a homer and two RBIs. Kyle Gray has a .314/.478/.571 line with five RBIs, a homer, two triples and two doubles. Shawn Semple has been impressive coming out of the bullpen. He has made three appearances for a total of thirteen innings. He has two saves, a 0.69 ERA, and has only given up one walk while striking out 26 batters.