Yankees Farm Report: Several pitchers shuffled in busy first full week of May
At the Triple-A level, RHP Caleb Cotham, who was 1-1 with a 3.96 ERA in six starts for Double-A Trenton, was called up and made his debut on Thursday, pitching 4.2 innings and getting a no-decision in the RailRiders’ 2-1 loss to Indianapolis.
To make room for Cotham, the Yankees first placed LHP Juan Cedeno on the disabled list, and the eventually released him. It was a move that surprised some who cover the RailRiders, as Cedeno, 29, was Scranton’s lone representative in the Triple-A All-Star Game last year and had a 0.82 ERA and nine strikeouts in 11 innings out of the RailRiders’ bullpen this season.
Scranton will also have to make another move to clear a roster spot sometime this weekend, as the Yankees acquired Alberto Gonzalez from the Cubs early Friday morning and assigned him to Triple-A.
At Double-A, the Trenton Thunder announced Thursday that RHPs Mikey O’Brien and Matt Daley and LHP Fred Lewis had been promoted from Class-A Advanced Tampa.
O’Brien, who spent most of 2012 with the Thunder, started 2013 in Tampa after dealing with a nagging hamstring injury and posted a 1-2 record a 4.39 ERA in six starts for Luis Sojo’s squad, and he was set to start for Trenton on Friday night.
Daley, 30, was signed to a Minor League deal in late-2011 but missed all of 2012 due to injury; he was dominant in Tampa, not allowing an earned run and striking out 10 in 5.1 innings, and made his Thunder debut Thursday by striking out two in a scoreless inning of work.
Lewis, a 47th round pick in 2010, started in Tampa for the first time this year and had a 3.86 ERA and 19 strikeouts in eight appearances (14 innings pitched) for the T-Yanks.
With Cotham moved up, Trenton needed only to open two roster spots, and did so by placing LHP Josh Romanski on the disabled list with a sore right knee and giving LHP Shaeffer Hall his outright release. Hall, 25, spent 2011 and 2012 in Trenton’s rotation before being moved to the bullpen this year, and was 3-0 with a 3.32 ERA in 10 games/19 innings pitched; he was Trenton's opening-night starter in 2012 and went 22-18 overall in two-plus seasons, and he leaves the Thunder ranked fifth in team history in wins and fourth in innings pitched.
Down in Tampa, the T-Yanks replaced their three departed hurlers by adding RHPs Taylor Garrison and Charlie Short from Charleston and re-adding RHP Sean Black from the technically-inactive Staten Island roster.
Short, an undrafted free agent signee last summer, was 0-1 with a 0.71 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 12.2 innings (eight appearances) out of the RiverDogs’ bullpen, while Garrison, a 2012 draftee, had a 0.69 ERA and three saves in eight games (11 innings) for Charleston.
Black, 25, started the year with Tampa and made four appearances out of the bullpen, allowing just one earned run in 10 innings before being dropped from the roster in late-April, and he made his re-debut by starting in place of O’Brien on Thursday night and pitching four scoreless innings.
The T-Yanks also made a bit of a catcher shuffle behind top prospect Gary Sanchez this week, as they reassigned Francisco Arcia (.243-2-10 in 20 games) to Staten Island on Monday and temporarily added Hector Rabago from the SI Yanks roster before replacing him with Jackson Valera on Friday.
Finally, down in Charleston, the RiverDogs filled their open spots by adding RHP Adam Smith from Extended Spring Training and activating RHP Derek Varnadore, who made one start in April for the RiverDogs before getting hurt, from the disabled list.