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Yankees Minor League Playoff Primer

Two sets of Baby Bombers are geared up for a 2012 title run
09/04/2012 11:55 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

EL Manager of the Year Tony Franklin led Trenton to the Eastern Division crown.(Trenton Thunder)
As the New York Yankees prepare for the stretch run to the MLB Postseason, a pair of Baby Bombers squads are headed for their own Minor League playoff runs. And so, we bring you a quick primer to get you ready for what could be a championship finish down on the farm:

TRIPLE-A SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE: Despite never playing in the park where they will eventually raise the banner, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees finished 2012 as the International League North Division Champions.

The Yankees, who spent all season on the road while PNC Field was being renovated, finished the campaign with an 84-60 record, winning the division by five games over Pawtucket and earning skipper Dave Miley IL Manager of the Year honors.

As champions of the North, SWB will play the wild card Pawtucket Red Sox in the first round of the IL Playoffs. Games 1 and 2 will be in Pawtucket on September 5 and 6, with Games 3-5 (if necessary) to be played Sept. 7, 8, and 9 at the Yankees’ temporary home in Rochester.

If the Yankees advance, they will play the winner of the Charlotte/Indianapolis series in the Governor’s Cup Final from Sept. 11-15, with Games 1-2 in Rochester and Games 3-5 on the road. Whoever wins the Governor’s Cup Championship is also assured of one final game, as they will play the Pacific Coast League Champion in the Triple-A National Championship Game on Sept. 18 in Durham, N.C.

DOUBLE-A TRENTON: Like their “big brothers” up in Scranton, the Trenton Thunder finished 2012 as champions, bringing home the Eastern League’s Eastern Division crown with a record of 79-63. Led by EL Manager of the Year Tony Franklin, the Thunder will begin the Eastern League playoffs on Wednesday, taking to the road for Game 1 of a best-of-five series against the Reading Phillies – who finished three games behind the Thunder in the standings – for the right to represent the Eastern Division in the EL Championship Series.

Game 2 of the first-round series comes Thursday night in Reading, with Games 3-5 if necessary to be played Friday-Sunday in Trenton. Should the Thunder advance to the ELCS, they will face either Akron or Bowie; Games 1 and 2 would be Tuesday, Sept. 11 and Wednesday, Sept. 12 on the road, with Games 3-5 if necessary to be held in Trenton Sept. 13, 14, and 15.

CLASS-A ADVANCED TAMPA: The Tampa Yankees just missed out on the Florida State League playoffs. The team finished 65-70 overall, but had a 35-33 second half that left them just three games behind the Lakeland Flying Tigers in the North Division; because the FSL pits the first-half division champ vs. the second-half winner in the postseason, the T-Yanks had a chance to be Dunedin’s playoff opponent going into the final weekend, but they dropped three of four to the Flying Tigers to fall to what was eventually fourth place in the division.

CLASS-A CHARLESTON: Like the FSL, the South Atlantic League uses a halves system to determine its playoff teams…but like the T-Yanks, the Charleston RiverDogs were unable to find their way into the playoffs. The ‘Dogs finished the first half in third place behind Asheville with a 39-28 record, then landed in fourth place behind Rome with a 34-35 second-half record. The good news, though, is that in the overall standings, Charleston finished 73-63, good for second place overall in the South – a record that would have gotten them into the postseason had Asheville won the division in both halves.

SHORT-SEASON CLASS-A STATEN ISLAND: The New York-Penn League regular season ends on Wednesday, and that will bring to a close a tough campaign for the Staten Island Yankees. As of Tuesday morning, the Yankees are 28-45 and stand in third place in the NYPL McNamara Division, 22.5 games behind Hudson Valley. The SI Yanks will conclude their 2012 slate with home games against the Connecticut Tigers on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and need to win one of the final two to ensure they do not finish the year with the worst record in the NYPL.

ROOKIE LEVEL GCL YANKEES: Like their Class-A counterparts, the Gulf Coast League Yankees also just missed making it a trio (or even quartet or quintet) of Baby Bombers squads in the post-season. The GCL Yankees finished their short season 35-25, just one game behind the GCL Tigers and GCL Pirates (who went on to win the GCL Championship) in the North Division.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES

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