Archive for June, 2012

Game 79: Post-Game Notes

June 30, 2012

— Not real sure of what I can tell you that the video can’t.  Dellin Betances could tell you a hell of a lot more, I’m sure, but I never saw him in the clubhouse after the game, and neither did a few players I asked either.  Not sure what’s up there, but hopefully I can track him down tomorrow.

“He pitched a very nice ballgame, I thought he did a very good job,” said Thunder manager Tony Franklin.

— The game felt as though it was secondary tonight to the interest in Betances…but it’s not like I magically didn’t notice the bullpen coughing up another lead.  Francisco Rondon was the main culprit tonight, although as Franklin pointed out after the game, he should have got the first out of the inning after Jose Pirela and Zoilo Almonte couldn’t catch a soft fly ball to short right field.  Things snowballed from there, Rondon didn’t get an out and gave up a bases-loaded and bases-clearing double to left center by Jeremy Hazelbaker to totally waste Betances’ outing and tie the game, 3-3.

Interestingly, much like the scene in Major League, the last two runners to score were about two feet apart, and both slid at the plate, avoiding the tag of Jose Gil.

— At the loss was quicker than it could have been.  Lee Hyde came in for the ninth and gave up a walk-off, moon-shot of a home run to Drew Hedman that just got over the right field fence on the third pitch of the inning.

— Craig Heyer threw a scoreless inning in his first outing since May 13.  He was initially expecting to be activated three days from now, but was certainly happy to find himself back on the mound a little earlier than he hoped…

“I’m excited to get in there tonight,” Heyer said before the game.  “I’m not really too worried about the results, I just hope I feel good and I’m hoping I don’t walk guys.”

— Brett Marshall found from the worst possible source that he’d be pitching in the Eastern League All-Star Game.  Me.  It was my congratulatory tweet — after the Eastern League finally released the list of names that had been on Franklin’s desk for about a week — that alerted the 22-year-old righty that he’d be heading to the midsummer classic. 

“This is exciting,” Marshall said.

“I’ve been working hard, and it seems to have been paying off.  I’m looking forward to it.  It’s exciting to know that people are starting to get to know my name.”

Marshall has not heard anything about possibly starting the game, which would seem realistic now that Zack Wheeler has been removed from the roster so he can pitch in the Futures Game.

— Abe Almonte’s placement on the disabled list was a nagging right hamstring issue that hasn’t been deemed serious and was, according to Franklin, a precautionary move. 

“It just doesn’t feel right, but he’s not hurt,” Franklin said.

— Danny Farquhar and the Yankees will find out at 1 PM tomorrow whether they’ll reunite.  The deadline to claim the oft-moved reliever is then, and Franklin is hoping he returns.

“I’ve liked him ever since I saw him in New Hampshire,” Franklin said.

“I thought, ‘Boy, it would be great to have this guy on your team.’  He’s a good pitcher.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT


June 30, 2012

(Two batters in one video)

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Game 79: Pre-Game Notes

June 30, 2012

5:30 PM — WAY behind today…combination of laptop and human error.  Anyway, Melky Mesa has been named to the All-Star team…Cody Johnson, Abe Almonte and Kevin Mahoney all will be unable to play due to injury.

Craig Heyer is active today and expected to throw an inning…

Brett Marshall?  Excited to be an All-Star.  I’ll tell you what he said later tonight…

4:00 PM —
Thunder lineup:

Pirela 4, Maruszak 5, Z Almonte 9, Mesa 8, Murton 3, Gil 2, Sublett 7, Higashioka DH, Mujica 6, Betances P

Sea Dogs lineup:

Bradley 8, Hazelbaker DH, Brentz 9, Smith 5, Spring 2, Hissey 7, Gibson 6, Hedman 3, Dent 4, Hernandez P

Cats Rock Thunder In Series Finale

June 30, 2012

(PR) (New Britain, CT) – New Britain sent ten batters to the plate and scored five runs in the third inning to go ahead to stay as the Rock Cats topped the Trenton Thunder, 8-4, Friday night at steamy New Britain Stadium to win the four-game series. Mikey O’Brien (4-2) allowed 11 hits and eight runs in four innings as the Thunder dropped three of four games in a series for the first time since mid-April.
David Adams’ solo home run, his third of the series and the season, tied the score at 2 in the top of the third inning. But O’Brien allowed five hits, one walk and one hit batter in the bottom of the inning as New Britain went in front 7-2. Estarlin De Los Santos, James Beresford and Aaron Hicks each had RBI hits during the rally.

Addison Maruszak drilled his sixth homer of the season, a two-run blast to left-center, in the top of the fourth to bring the Thunder back within 7-4. But Chris Colabello led off the bottom of the fourth with a triple and Evan Bigley singled him home against O’Brien to conclude the scoring.

Logan Darnell (7-6) allowed four runs and four hits in six innings to earn the win for the Rock Cats, which have now won eight of their last nine games. Daniel Turpen threw two scoreless innings to finish the victory.

Trenton continues the nine-game road trip Saturday night by beginning a five-game series against the Portland Sea Dogs. Game one will be 6:00 pm, with right-hander Dellin Betances (NR) expected to start for Trenton against lefty Chris Hernandez (4-6). Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 5:45 pm.

Five Thunder Players Named To All-Star Team

June 28, 2012

(PR) Trenton, NJ) – The Trenton Thunder, Double-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees, in conjunction with the Eastern League, today announced that five players, CF Abraham Almonte, LF Cody Johnson, 3B Kevin Mahoney, RHP Brett Marshall, and RHP Kelvin Perez, have been selected to play in the 2012 Eastern League All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 11 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, PA.

CF Abraham Almonte, the Santo Domingo, Domincan Republic native currently leads all active players in the Eastern league in steals and runs scored. Almonte had a 14 game hitting streak from June 8th to June 23rd and has a batting average of .279, .355 OBP, 4 home runs, 19 RBI, 45 runs scored, and 30 stolen bases.

DH/LF Cody Johnson, a 23-year old power-hitting designated hitter from Panama City, Florida is in his 2nd year in the Yankees’ farm system. He leads the Thunder in extra base hits and his 16 home runs is tops among all Eastern Leaguers and also second on the team in runs batted in. The left-handed slugger has had nine games with multiple RBI and 15 with more than one hit. Johnson is currently on the disabled list.

3B Kevin Mahoney, among the team leaders in numerous categories has been selected to his first Eastern All-Star Game by the fans. Mahoney is batting .285 with a .380 OBP, 6 home runs, and 19 RBI in 151 at-bats. He is currently on the disabled list.

RHP Brett Marshall, has been picked for his first Eastern League All-Star Game appearance though the fan voting. The 11th ranked Yankee prospect according to Baseball America leads the team and is tied for first in the league in wins with eight. In 15 starts, the Highlands, Texas native boasts a 8-3 record with a 3.09 ERA, and 54 strikeouts in his 90.1 innings pitched.

RHP Kelvin Perez, a right-handed reliever from Monoguallavo in the Dominican Republic, has been virtually unstoppable out of the Thunder bullpen this year. In 47.2 innings over 28 appearances, Perez has only allowed four earned runs for a microscopic 0.76 earned run average and has held opponents to a .117 batting average, third among Eastern League relievers. This will be his first all-star appearance.

The Eastern and Western Division rosters each consist of 24 players, including at least three players from each of the Eastern League’s 12 teams. At least one position player, and one pitcher, from each team were selected by fans through online and stadium balloting. The remaining selections were made through voting by league media, managers and officials.

The Eastern Division is comprised of the Binghamton Mets, New Britain Rock Cats, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Portland Sea Dogs, Reading Phillies and Trenton Thunder while the teams in the Western Division include the Akron Aeros, Altoona Curve, Bowie Baysox, Erie SeaWolves, Harrisburg Senators and Richmond Flying Squirrels.

Thunder Get Walked Off In New Britain

June 28, 2012

(PR) ((New Britain, CT) – Oswaldo Arcia’s walk-off two-run single capped a four-run ninth inning as the New Britain Rock Cats rallied from a late 4-0 deficit to defeat the Trenton Thunder, 5-4, Thursday afternoon at New Britain Stadium. After being shutout on only two hits through seven innings, the Rock Cats scored the final five runs to stun the Thunder.
Ryan Flannery (2-2) walked three and hit one batter in the final inning, including back-to-back walks with the bases loaded making a 4-1 Trenton lead just 4-3. That set the stage for Arcia’s bases-loaded hit that scored the tying and winning runs.

The New Britain comeback spoiled a terrific start by Shaeffer Hall, who tied his career high with seven strikeouts during six shutout, two-hit innings. He left with his team in front 4-0.

Abraham Almonte’s two-run single in the fifth capped a three-run inning that put the Thunder in front 3-0. Almonte struck again in the seventh, this time collecting an RBI double to make the score 4-0. He had three hits on the afternoon.

The Thunder and Rock Cats conclude the four-game series on Friday night with first pitch slated for 6:35 pm. Right-hander Mikey O’Brien (4-1) is expected to start for Trenton while New Britain counters with lefty Logan Darnell (6-6). Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 6:20 pm.

Future Thunder: Ty Hensley Interview

June 28, 2012

With the 30th pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, the Yankees selected Ty Hensley. The RHP out of Santa Fe High School has yet to throw a professional pitch, but was kind enough to grant me an interview. You can read it in its entirety here, and see some of it in this Thursday’s Hunterdon County Democrat as well.

What was draft day like for you? Where were you, how did you celebrate, etc.?

It was a surreal kind of day. We had a private party at a local restaurant with close friends and family.

Were you expecting to go where you did?

No actually I was expected to go as high as 10, but when Correa went of the board first it changed a lot of things.

Any level of surprise/disappointment that any teams passed on you?

The interesting thing is the the average person out there thinks just because a team doesn’t pick you it means they “passed”. Really it’s about the needs of a club, not you as a player. If you are a HS RHP and they decide to go position player as an organization, it what it is. When I was selected by the Yankees, the number really didn’t seem to matter all that much anymore. I had just been drafted by THE team of baseball.

I’m guessing it won’t come as much of a surprise that a lot of fans are asking about when you’re going to sign…certainly you and the Yankees are in negotiations, but how close do you feel like things are right now?

I think we are getting closer. The toughest thing for me about this process has been that people assume it is just about the money. There is so much more that goes into this decision; both for me and for the club. I scored a 28 on my ACT and would like to pursue an engineering degree at some point and the college experience just isn’t the same at 27 as it is at 18, but at the end of the day my dream is to be a big leaguer. The fastest and most efficient path to that goal is what I want my next step to be, so it is really important to think things through and weigh everything out. There’s time built into this process to do that and I am taking it.

What have you been doing to stay in shape as the signing process plays out?

I haven’t fallen off of my workout program at all. This program includes strength and flexibility everyday. I also run about 8 miles a week. I take my vitamins and eat right, and continue my long toss and bull pens.

I’d have to imagine that you’ve seen that the Yankees don’t hesitate in moving young pitchers through their organization quickly…how
antsy are you to officially get in the organization and start that process?

Antsy isn’t even the word, I am dying to be done with this part and play ball. One of the things that excited me the most about being drafted by the Yankees was the opportunity for a guy like me to move quickly, that isn’t the case in all organizations.

Any chance of not signing and going to Ole Miss?

Yes there is that chance or I would have been on my way to Tampa a week ago. My hold up is making sure when the dust had settled, and all things considered the decision made was the one that was best for me.

Has it been difficult in any way to think about passing up the college experience?

Absolutely. I believe I answered this one above.

Can you give me a self scouting report?

I am a 6’5 physical righty who has a plus fastball that can dial it up to 97-98 and sits at 92-95. My 12-6 plus hammer at 78-81 is my out pitch, and a I have been perfecting my circle change which I am really,really pleased with at how it is coming. Most would say it is average right now with flashes of being plus once I start throwing it more often. I have been compared to Matt Cain quite a bit and I don’t mind that comparison at all.

I’ve heard a lot about your curveball…what is it about it that makes so nasty?

The spin on my ball causes it to just make the bottom fall out on hitters. I have been told over and over you can’t teach that. You either have it or you don’t.

I’d have to imagine that in high school, you can pretty much just blow your fastball by the majority of the batters you face. But secondary stuff is obviously a lot more important as you progress through pro ball…how much focus will you put on continuing to develop the changeup and the curveball?

I don’t plan on messing with my curveball too much, other then making sure my mechanics are sound so that I repeat my delivery. The change is a work in progress.

Any plans on incorporating anything else into the repertoire in the future?

One of the things I am looking forward to in pro ball is getting to work with guys that can look at my stuff and see what we can add to the equation without changing too much. I have toyed with the idea of adding a cutter.

Were there any pitchers you idolized growing up?

Lots of them, but the real answer would surprise most people. Our life was baseball because my Dad was a college baseball coach. We were at Oral Roberts until I was 3 and the Kansas State until I was 12. The guys I most looked up to early on were my dads players. We spent so much time at a park the last thing I did if I wasn’t playing was watch games on TV, but as I started appreciating the game a little more guys like Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, and Johan Santana were the guys I watched.

Anyone you’ve tried to model yourself after?

Over the last few years Justin Verlander’s success is what I strive to achieve. His ability to change speeds, the way he attacks the zone, and most importantly his work ethic on and off the field separate him from the pack for me.

Do you feel that your prowess at the plate has helped/will help you in continuing to develop as a pitcher…i.e. understanding the mentality of a hitter as well, etc.

I think you said it all right there. If you have worn the shoes then you know how they feel.

How big of a jump do you anticipate going from high school to pro ball being?

It will be a jump for sure, but I wasn’t a part timer in high school I was at it at 5:30 in the morning and not done most days until 10:30 so that part won’t be tough. The level of competition and speed of the game will be the biggest jumps and the ones that I look forward to the most.

What kind of guy are you like off the field? Interests, hobbies, etc

I am a pretty simple guy. When I do get “me” time I spend it with friends, and family or helping out in the community. I love to fish and have recently picked up golf. I can’t tell you where I will hit a golf ball at this point but it goes a long way.

Adams’ Bat And Marshall’s Arm Lead Trenton To Victory

June 27, 2012

(PR) (New Britain, CT) – David Adams smacked his first two home runs of the season, each two-run blasts to left, as the Trenton Thunder defeated the New Britain Rock Cats, 9-4, Wedesday night at New Britain Stadium. Luke Murton also nailed his 14th long ball of the season as the Thunder (44-32) evened the series at one win apiece and retained a one-half game lead over the Reading Phillies for first place in the Eastern Division standings.
Brett Marshall (8-3) returned from the disabled list before the game and worked six solid innings to earn the victory. He allowed three runs and seven hits while striking out three.

Adams drilled his first home run against New Britain starter B.J. Hermsen (4-4) in the first inning to put Trenton on top 2-0. The Thunder then batted around and scored four runs in the second off of Hermsen, including RBI hits from Jose Pirela and Zoilo Almonte.

Murton homered to start the third inning, his sixth in his last 11 games played, making the score 7-0. He is now tied for second in the league in long balls, behind only teammate Cody Johnson (16). Adams provided insurance in the ninth with his second long ball of the game, another drive to left against reliever Edgar Ibarra that made the score 9-3.

The Thunder and Rock Cats continue the four-game series on Thursday afternoon with first pitch slated for 12:05 pm. Left-hander Shaeffer Hall (6-6, 4.23) is expected to start for Trenton while New Britain has yet to decide upon a starter. Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 11:50 am.

Betances Back, Claiborne Up; Marshall Active, Miller Released

June 27, 2012

(PR) (Trenton, NJ) – The Trenton Thunder, Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, announced Wednesday that RHP Brett Marshall has been activated from the disabled list. Additionally, RHP Dellin Betances has been transferred to Trenton and Thunder RHP Preston Claiborne was promoted to Triple-A Scranton. RHP Adam Miller has been released from the organization. Marshall, who missed 10 days (6/17-6/26) with left leg bursitis, will start Wednesday at New Britain.

Claiborne, pitched in 30 games for Trenton and posted a 2.22 ERA. Claibrone last appeared on Tuesday in New Britian tossing two scoreless innings of relief. RHP Dellin Betances pitched for the Thunder in 2010 and 2011 and rejoins the Thunder after making 16 starts for Triple-A Scranton.

Rock Cats Take Series Opener

June 26, 2012

(PR) (New Britain, CT) – New Britain struck for five runs in the first four innings and held on late as the Rock Cats defeated the Trenton Thunder, 5-4, Tuesday night at new Britain Stadium. Each bullpen pitched scoreless baseball in a game that neither team scored after the top of the fifth inning.
Trenton starter Adam Miller (0-3) allowed all five New Britain runs on eight hits and two walks in four innings. Oswaldo Arcia clubbed his first Eastern League home run in the first inning to put the Rock Cats in front 2-1. The Thunder came back with a pair in the third, including Luke Murton’s second RBI single of the game against Aaron Thompson (2-2).

Chris Colabello’s run-scoring hit in the bottom of the third tied the score at 3. Aaron Hicks had three hits in four innings against Miller, including an RBI single that made the score 5-3 in the fourth capping a two-run rally.

Kelvin Perez and Preston Claiborne each tossed two scoreless innings behind Miller. Thompson worked 6.2 innings for the Rock Cats, allowing all four Trenton runs on eight hits. Bruce Pugh tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to earn the save.

The Thunder and Rock Cats continue the three-game series on Wednesday night with first pitch slated for 6:35 pm. Right-hander Brett Marshall (7-3, 2.99) is expected to be activated from the disabled list and start for Trenton while righty B.J. Hermsen (4-3, 2.81) will pitch for New Britain. Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 6:20 pm.