Saturday, November 16, 2013

Yankees Sign Infielder Zelous Wheeler

The New York Yankees have signed infielder Zelous Wheeler to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training for 2014. Wheeler will provide the Yankees some much needed depth on the infield in AAA with Scranton this year and could be a a possible call up mid season if the need comes up. Wheeler is currently 27 years old and has made his name playing mostly third base but has also seen significant time at second base and some time at short stop as well  in the Baltimore Orioles system so he is a good guy to have around.

Wheeler put up a triple slash of .275/.354/.414 in 2013 and put up a seven year minor league career triple slash of .271/.366/.414 so he is not exactly a slouch with the bat. Granted all of these numbers are in the minor leagues as Wheeler has never had a cup of coffee in the major leagues but he was signed for Scranton, not the Yankees. A lot has to go wrong for us to have to use Wheeler this season but it never hurts to have him around just in case.

Yankees Protect Two From Rule 5 Draft

With all of the talk regarding free agent targets, along with re-signing Robinson Cano, there's a very good chance that you've forgotten about the Rule 5 Draft.

"Damn, I almost forgot about that."

The Rule 5 Draft will take place on December 12th, and to be eligible for the draft a player must not be on their team's 40-man roster. After that, they must qualify in one of two ways...

  1. The player was 18 years old or younger on the June 5th preceding their signing, and this would be the 5th Rule 5 Draft since said signing.
  2. The player was 19 years old or older on the June 5th preceding their signing, and this would be the 4th Rule 5 Draft since said signing.
So to prevent somebody from being drafted, you'll see a number of team's adding players to their 40-man roster. As for the Yankees, they have a handful of minor leaguers that would be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, and we recently got word that two of them have been added to the 40-man roster.

The first guy is right-handed pitcher, Bryan Mitchell. Mitchell was drafted in the 16th round of the 2009 Amateur Draft. Although he hasn't been "lights out", he does have the ability to be really good. While his fastball sits in the mid-90s, he has a curveball that's almost as good as David Robertson's. Bryan got promoted to double-A Trenton late last season, so he's probably a year or two away from MLB.

The other player protected from the Rule 5 Draft was fellow right-hander, Shane Greene. Greene was also promoted to double-A Trenton this past season, but don't be surprised if we see him in Yankee pinstripes in 2014. Greene's fastball is a bit slower than Mitchell's, sitting in the low-90s, while he complements that with a nice slider. Shane's issues before this season revolved around his control, but he was able to take a big step forward in that department as his walk rate fell from 10.8% to 4.5%.

We're sure to hear about other players being protected from the Rule 5 Draft, and we'll keep you up to date on them.

2009 New York Yankees World Series Championship Movie

I don't know about you but this has been a cold, lazy, boring, wet Saturday and no better way to spend that then watching a movie with a loved one, especially if your loved one is the New York Yankees. I feel like I should turn in my fan card for not watching this for the first time until today... am I the only one? Enjoy!

MLB Strike Zone's Meme

A little something fun for this Saturday morning...

Yankees Minor League Winter League Notes

Being posted as a part of Syndicated Sunday... on a Saturday... from Lohud

Chad Jennings does a great job in absolutely everything that he does and he did not disappoint when he covered the Yankees players playing in the various winter leagues. HERE is the original post but I will hit the high spots here. Enjoy.

• The weird Fall League of Peter O’Brien ended appropriately. He had two hits in his last 12 at-bats, but he also had four RBI in his final two games. O’Brien hit just .190 in Arizona, but he led the Scottsdale team with 19 RBI and four home runs. None of his teammates had more than two homers, and only four Fall Leaguers went deep more times than O’Brien did. He struck out 26 times and walked only twice, but he did slug .413.
• Vidal Nuno made his final Fall League appearance more than a week ago on November 6. He finished his Fall assignment with one earned run in his final 13 innings. He got off to a brutal start — an 8.10 ERA through two starts against much lower-level competition — but he finished strong, and got a total of 19.2 innings after having missed a good chunk of the season with that groin injury.
• Three straight multi-hit games for Zoilo Almonte down in the Dominican this week. He got a turn in center field on Wednesday — he’s done that occasionally in the minors as well — and he’s hitting .305/.352/.427 through 82 at-bats. Remember that Almonte missed a lot of time in the second half of the season, so he needs this playing time.
Garcia• Two straight multi-hit games for Cuban outfielder Adonis Garcia, who continues to bounce around the three outfield positions (and even got another late-inning assignment at third base on Tuesday). Garcia is in Venezuela hitting .287/.333/.448. He’s been significantly better against righties than against lefties.
• Borderline prospect Jose Pirela continues to rake in Venezuela. The guy has 16 hits in his past seven games, and he has 14 extra-base hits in a total of 31 games. He putting up a .347/.432/.525 slash line while playing second base and left field. This is not the first time Pirela has put up big numbers, yet the Yankees have never shown any indication that they think of him as an organizational stand out. Even in Venezuelan winter ball, though, this sort of offensive production really stands out.
• You know who continues to struggle offensively this winter? Musty! Playing in Mexico, Ronnier Mustelier is hitting just .224/.333/.271. He’s taking a bunch of walks, but he’s had only three extra-base hits, none of them homers.
Maruszak• Back to the Fall League, late-addition Addison Maruszak had a nice but short stint. Getting time at all four infield position, Maruszak got just 32 at-bats and hit .281/.452/.344 with twice as many walks (10) as strikeouts (5). Maruszak can play absolutely anywhere — he’s even spent some time at catcher — and has occasionally shown some ability to hit. I’ve always liked him as one of these you-just-never-know utility types.
• None of the Yankees relievers sent to the Fall League did much to really stand out. Upper-level lefty Fred Lewis probably had the best stint. He went 11 innings without an earned run, and his 1.18 WHIP is rock solid. Lefties hit .214/.313/.214 against him. He was good, but maybe not the overwhelming results that might land him a 40-man spot. … I’ve said it before, but it seems like every year some Yankees pitcher leaves Arizona with brutally bad numbers. This year it’s Brett Gerritse with a 9.26 ERA and 1.97 WHIP through 11.2 innings. … James Pazos had a much better ERA than Gerritse with a 1.74, but that stat kind of masks the other numbers. Pazos allowed 13 hits and 7 walks through 10.1 innings. The bright side is that he’s a lefty, and he held lefties to a .200 average.

This Day In New York Yankees History 11/16

On this day in 2002 the New York Yankees and the Japanese League Yomiuri Giants sign a deal that creates a partnership between the two biggest teams in their respected leagues. Both teams hope to benefit from improved scouting, marketing, and other benefits that will help both teams. Enter Hideki Matsui in 2003.