Thursday, August 7, 2008

Down on the Farm - 8/7

Time to do some catching up at the minor league level. Today we'll start with Scranton and Trenton, taking a look at how the teams and their prospects are doing.

Austin Jackson
He's really put together a solid year and word is that he'll spend the entire season at Trenton. He's batting .290-9-61 in 449 at-bats with an .816 OPS, which escalates to .936 against left-handers. He's also stolen 15 bases in 20 attempts.

Jackson has particularly been red hot with the warm weather, batting .357 since July 1.

Al Aceves
There's been plenty of buzz around the right-hander plucked from the Mexican League. But after being out with a strained groin, he's been struggling at Scranton. Chad Jennings has more.

Jason Jones
With Ian Kennedy being called up, Jones has headed up to Scranton. Jones has put together an 11-5, 3.03 record in 21 starts. His ERA had been 2.28 before being roughed up in a pair of late July games.


The Triple-A Yankees are 73-47 leading the Pawtucket Red Sox by one-half game in the International League's North Division. With promotions (Justin Christian, .309) and injuries, several players have stepped up. Juan Miranda is wreaking havoc on left-handed pitching, batting .352. Veteran first baseman Ben Broussard has belted 10 home runs and Brett Gardner has 37 steals to go with a .405 OBP.

As for pitching, the club has seen a rash of injuries and call ups, and the departure of Dan McCutchen and Jeff Karstens via trade. Kei Igawa has stepped up as the ace of the staff. Yes, we really said that. The overpaid left-hander is 12-5, 3.39 with 100 strikeouts in 132.2 innings pitched. He's 8-1 since June 1.


The Thunder have had a number of players, especially key pitchers, promoted to Triple-A, but those who have taken their place have really done the job. Trenton leads the Eastern League's Northern division by 8 games over the Portland SeaDogs (again a Red Sox farm team), and has compiled a 70-45 mark.

As we mentioned earlier, Jason Jones has put together a terrific season, but he's not alone. Phil Coke (9-4, 2.51), Chase Wright (8-2, 2.96), who recently got bumped up to Scranton, McCutchen, Aceves, and Erick Hacker (6-2, 2.82) have all contributed to the club's success. The bullpen has been solid too with Anthony Claggett (3-2, 1.76, 8 saves) and Mark Melancon (6-0, 1.81, 2 saves) being the big names.

Offensively, the team lost Matt Carson and Edwar Gonzalez to promotion, but Chris Malec is hitting .304, and catchers P.J. Pilliterre and Joe Muich have added a lot offensively. And of course there's Action Jackson.

Tomorrow - Tampa and Charleston

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