Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Down on the Farm - 8/12

We continue our look at the Yankees' farm system with their two rookie/short season teams. The Staten Island Yankees, also known as the Baby Bombers, are 32-21, 3 games ahead of the Mets' short season team, the Brooklyn Cyclones. They won for the seventh time in ten tries last night, 1-0 over the Williamsport Crosscutters. Andy Shive improved to 7-2 with four scoreless innings and Pat Venditte recorded his 14th save.

Addison Maruszak, who leads the ball club with a .333 average and .903 OPS, is second in home runs with 5, and is third in RBI with 22. First baseman Brian Beasley has a team-high 6 home runs and 32 RBI to go along with a .324 average. Dan Brewer is second on the club in RBI with 24. Mike Lyon (.283-3-18) has been one of the team's most consistent performers.

The starting pitching has been the biggest key to the team's success. Casey Erickson (2-0, 3.16), Dave Phelps (5-2, 2.98), Brandon Braboy (2-1, 3.21), and Nick Montgomery (1-1, 2.28) have helped to form a solid staff. Luke Greinke, one of the better known names on the team, has pitched in some bad luck (he's 0-6, 4.01). His numbers don't tell the true story of how well he has pitched.

The most well known name on the team is, of course, closer Pat Venditte, he of the ambidextrous throwing ability. Venditte has saved 14 wins and posted a 1.19 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 22.2 innings pitched. Andy Shive and Drew Shetrone have helped form a solid nucleus in the pen.

The Gulf Coast Yankees got off to a rough start, but have won five straight to move a game over .500 at 22-21. Catcher Neall French is off to a torrid start, hitting .385-3-11 with a 1.050 OPS. Shortstop Corban Joseph (.292-2-16), third baseman Jimmy Paredes (.302-1-11), and outfielder Tommy Baldridge (.288-2-10), have been regular contributors to the offense. Second baseman Emerson Landoni is second on the squad with a .353 average.

The team has seen a number of pitchers from higher levels rehab injuries this season. Humberto Sanchez, Jeff Marquez, Dellin Bettances, Christian Garcia, Ryan Pope, Brian Bruney, Ian Kennedy, and Chase Wright have all worn the GCL uniform. And major league veteran Victor Zambrano is also on the squad looking to make a come back.

Manny Banuelos (3-0, 2.73) and Arodys Vizcaino (2-1, 3.71) lead a pitching staff which is improving with the season. Most of the rehabbing pitchers start the game, so the team's true starters tend to come out of the bullpen for games.

Closer Mike O'Bradovich saved six games before being promoted to Staten Island. Ryan Flannery has stepped up with five saves in nine games and has posted a 0.92 ERA.

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