Game 28: Trenton @ Connecticut

NEWS: Welcome back, Jose Tabata!

A Yankees minor leaguer suspended for a violation of the drug program…news in the pre-game notes.

Game 28 – Trenton Thunder @ Connecticut Defenders
May 1, 2008
Dodd Stadium – Norwich, CT

Pitching Matchup: CON Adam Cowart (1-1, 2.13) vs. TRE Dan McCutchen (3-1, 1.42)

Starting Lineups:

Trenton

1 – Ramiro Pena, SS
2 – Austin Jackson, CF
3 – Colin Curtis, LF
4 – Matt Carson, DH
5 – Cody Ehlers, 1B
6 – Jose Tabata, RF
7 – P.J. Pilittere, C
8 – Chris Malec, 3B
9 – Kevin Russo, 2B

Connecticut

1 – Copeland
2 – Haines
3 – Sosa
4 – Ishikawa
5 – Witter
6 – Maroul
7 – Klink
8 – Rosario
9 – Richardson

Pre-Game Notes: Nice of the Thunder to dust off Jose Tabata for tonight’s contest…

Just got this press release from MLB: The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that New York Yankees Minor League player Angel Reyes has received a 50-game suspension for testing positive for stanozolol metabolites, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension of Reyes will be effective at the start of the season for the Single-A Staten Island Yankees of the New York-Penn League.

Peter Abraham reports that Phil Hughes has a stress fracture in one of his ribs, and will be shut down for four weeks.  If Wilson Betemit can rehab pink eye (so, uhhh…Wilson, how’d the eye feel?), which he’s doing tonight in Scranton by the way, then a Hughes rehab appearance in Trenton is certainly within reason.  In theory, he could appear in Trenton at the tail end of the home series against the Fisher Cats. 

However, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch writes that Hughes will be shut down until at least July.  Holy schnikes.

I will be covering the Yankees game today, so I might not be able to get the lineups posted.

Radio Links: Click here for the links to each team’s broadcast.

Live Box Score: The MILB.com direct link is here.

Around the Eastern League: For scores from around the EL, go here.

Former Connecticut Defenders catcher Eliezer Alfonzo has been suspended 50 games for a violation of Major League Baseball’s drug program. According to the AP, Alfonzo issued a statement, in which he said, ““I made a mistake, and I want to apologize to my family, my teammates, the fans and the Giants organization. I know what I did was wrong, and now I will pay the penalty. As a father, I now have to look my children in the eye and explain to them that I have made a big mistake, one, unfortunately, that they are also going to have to deal with, as well as me.”

Alfonzo hit .277 in 20 games with the Defenders in 2006.

Final Score: 5-4, Defenders.  Cutch gives up 10 hits — five extra-base hits — and strikes out eight in seven innings, but falls to 3-2.

A clearly inspired Jose Tabata goes 0-for-4.  Seriously, what’s going on with this guy?

Post-Game Notes: For anyone holding out hope that P.J. Pilittere would get a call-up to Triple-A, don’t.  Chad Jennings writes that the Yankees have signed J.D. Closser and assigned him to Scranton.  Closser and Chris Stewart make up the Triple-A tandem right now.

Chad Moeller is starting tonight, and will likely go down once/if Jorge Posada returns.  What happens then?  What happens when Francisco Cervelli comes back and is inevitably assigned to Trenton?

Should be interesting…

Thunder Thoughts: I’m mildly surprised to see McCutchen go through with his scheduled start today.  With Darrell Rasner scheduled to start on Sunday and possibly in the future, and Dan Giese already in Scranton’s rotation as it is, there’s going to be a need for a starter from Trenton at some point.

I shook hands with Shelley Duncan in the Yankees clubhouse after chatting with him about hitting in the 4 slot tonight.  I believe he still has my right hand…

One of the favorite moments in my six-year career was covering his first MLB home run.  I actually got a little sniffly up in the press box when that happened, because he’s such a great kid, and I never thought the Yankees would give him the opportunity.

Yankees Stuff: Ian Kennedy taking the ball tonight here in the Bronx.  Pretty much the only reason I’m here…

Nice first inning out of IPK.  Made Gary Sheffield look absolutely silly on a changeup.

Shelley’s great, isn’t he?  After Bobby Abreu hit a ball that may land in your front yard sometime next week for a three-run home run, he hits a pretty routine ground ball down the line at third, runs hard the whole way, and is safe after a bad throw from the third baseman.  He also managed to inadvertently dump truck the first baseman in the process, tumbling past the bag.

The wheels fell off for Kennedy in the third.  When the rain started, so did some shaky pitching.  The defense did him absolutely no favors, too.  If Sportscenter still did their “Not Top 10,” you’d see Bobby Abreu’s wonderful attempt on Miguel Cabrera’s triple somewhere near the top.  Good thing those walls are padded.

It took Kennedy 96 pitches to get through 4.2 innings.  He was cruising through two, but that third inning just killed him.  With Kennedy likely gone, I’m heading home too.  See you guys at the ballpark tomorrow…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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6 Responses to “Game 28: Trenton @ Connecticut”

  1. Brandon Says:

    keep us updated on Tabata Mike

  2. thunderbaseball Says:

    I’ll have a lot more info when I’m at the ballpark tomorrow…

  3. John Says:

    Tabata is back in the lineup tonight. Hope he does well.

  4. mbn Says:

    Any specific reason for his slow start this season? Tabata does not look like the same player he was in the past. Did he gain too much weight? His bat speed looked slow, the last time I saw him, earlier this season.

  5. Jcarr Says:

    With Kennedy struggling, what do you see the Yankees doing? There isn’t really any legit replacement in Scranton and I’d rather see Kennedy struggle up here than Kei Igawa, at least IPK has potential.

  6. thunderbaseball Says:

    But they have money in Igawa. Sometimes that’s more important…

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