Good news for two good guys.
Justin Christian (left) has been promoted to Triple-A Scranton from Trenton, while the New York Yankees have called up Colin Curtis (right).
After getting off to a slow start after signing out of the independent Atlantic League, Christian hit .255 with two home runs and 26 RBI in 37 games for the Thunder. He stole only seven bases and has struggled with some throws from the outfield after undergoing an off-season shoulder surgery, but is certainly capable of handling himself in Scranton.
With neither Austin Krum or Edwar Gonzalez having made a particularly strong case to be called up yet this year, it isn’t surprising that Christian, who turned 30 years old on April 3rd, was given the opportunity.
As of yet, no corresponding move to replenish Trenton’s roster has been announced. Assuming it’s an outfielder — and Trenton is left with only three true outfielders, plus Justin Snyder — it would seem Jack Rye would have earned his second call-up to Waterfront Park. Rye, 24, is hitting .280 with three home runs and 23 RBI for the High-A Tampa Yankees this season, and has 20 walks and just 21 strikeouts in 193 at-bats. Melky Mesa, whose .242/6/27 line is close to Rye’s, would also likely be under consideration given his penchant for power.
Rye appeared in three games for Trenton last season, all on the road, and had one hit — a double — in nine at-bats.
As for Curtis, the cancer survivor was summoned to the big leagues when Chad Moeller was designated for assignment. If you recall, I spoke to Curtis earlier this season in Buffalo, and asked him what his goal for this season was. His answer? To get to the big leagues.
The likeable 25-year-old was hitting .280 with no home runs and 12 RBI in 35 games with Scranton this season. It was nice to see Kerm get a chance to make his debut in Arizona, considering he played collegiately at Arizona State. While certainly not on the level of, say, Austin Jackson, Curtis is above average defensively. If he can get his bat going, he has a chance to stick with the Yankees for a good portion of the season.
Curtis becomes the 7th member of the 2008 Thunder to play for the Yankees this season — Francisco Cervelli, Ramiro Pena, Kevin Russo, Alfredo Aceves, Mark Melancon and David Robertson are the others.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com