The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Triple-A and Double-A playoffs begin tonight

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Sep 08, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The postseason in minor league baseball is kind of a strange thing. The best teams lose their best players to call-ups, and the rosters that earned spots in the postseason take on a completely different look for the most important games of the year.

To be honest, I liked that about covering Triple-A. Things change, often suddenly, and that’s part of the experience. Everyone understands and accepts what’s going on. I don’t like the phrase “it is what it is,” but it is what it is.

The Yankees top three affiliates all advanced to the postseason this year. High-A Tampa got started with a win last night. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Trenton get started tonight.

ph_524968Scranton/Wilkes-Barre opens the International League playoffs against Columbus. The first two pitchers they’ll face should be familiar: David Huff was hit in the head by an Alex Rodriguez line drive earlier this season, and Zach McAllister was traded by the Yankees to complete the Austin Kearns deal.

Even after September call-ups, the Triple-A Yankees still have some familiar names on the roster. Kevin Russo and Chad Huffman are both there after spending some time in the big leagues this season, George Kontos is there in his first year back from Tommy John surgery and Justin Christian is with Scranton after making his big league debut with the Yankees a few years ago. Of course, the roster also includes top position prospect Jesus Montero and third baseman Brandon Laird, who had a real breakout year down in Double-A.  

Here are their pitching matchups.

Tonight: Columbus LHP David Huff (8-2., 4.36) vs. Yankees RHP D.J. Mitchell (2-0, 3.57)
Thursday: Columbus RHP Zach McAllister (9-12, 5.29) vs. Yankees RHP David Phelps (4-2, 3.07)
Friday: Columbus RHP Yohan Pino (10-9, 5.75) vs. Yankees LHP Kei Igawa (3-4, 4.32)
Saturday: Columbus RHP Paolo Espino (3-3, 5.62) vs. Yankees RHP Hector Noesi (1-1, 4.82)
Sunday: Columbus RHP Corey Kluber (1-1, 3.27) vs. Yankees RHP Lance Pendleton (2-1, 4.24)

ph_519222Down in Trenton, the Double-A Thunder are opening against New Hampshire and facing top Blue Jays pitching prospect Kyle Drabek in Game 1. Of course, all eyes will be on Game 2, when Andy Pettitte makes a rehab start for Trenton.

Trenton has lost some key players to injuries and call-ups this season — most recently, Corban Joseph went on the DL – but the roster still has Austin Romine, Dan Brewer, recently promoted Pat Venditte and an impressive rotation that includes three of the top arms in the organization in Betances, Banuelos and Brackman.

The Double-A pitching matchups:

Tonight: Trenton RHP Dellin Betances (0-0, 3.37) vs. New Hampshire RHP Kyle Drabek (14-9, 2.94)
Thursday: Trenton LHP Andy Pettitte (rehab) vs New Hampshire LHP Zach Stewart (8-3, 3.63)
Friday: Trenton LHP Manny Banuelos (0-1, 3.52) vs. New Hampshire RHP Randy Boone (5-10, 3.98)
Saturday: Trenton RHP Andrew Brackman (5-7, 3.01) vs. New Hampshire RHP B.J. LaMura (5-6, 3.73
Sunday: Trenton RHP Cory Arbiso (5-5, 4.38) vs. New Hampshire TBA

Those are headshots of Montero and Romine





61 Responses to “Triple-A and Double-A playoffs begin tonight”

  1. JM September 8th, 2010 at 8:56 am

    How much longer is Kei Igawa’s contract? I keep forgetting he is still with the team.

  2. upstate kate September 8th, 2010 at 8:58 am

    hope you are the good luck charm! enjoy the game

  3. MTU September 8th, 2010 at 8:59 am


    Thru next season. :(

  4. blake September 8th, 2010 at 9:00 am

    The division may well be decided in those head to head games with Tampa. I was hoping that the Yanks could separate enough to have some leeway in those games but given the upcoming schedule it just may not happen. Apparently from the discussion last night, it would have all been different and the Yanks would be running away with the division if they’d just hit Jeter 8th…

    I understand the cause for concern by some regarding Jeter. However dropping him in the lineup will cause more harm than good and honestly if the Yankees are going to win in October then they need him to play better and lead from the top of the lineup…you don’t drop him because he has 15+ years of track record and post season experience to draw from that will be needed if the Yanks are to win…he’s earned the right to try and work through this and that’s what Girardi understands and realizes.

  5. Doreen September 8th, 2010 at 9:01 am

    JM -

    Have a great time at today’s game.


    Good luck to SWB and the Trenton Thunder. They’ve represented very well all season. :)

  6. MTU September 8th, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Didn’t you all know that the Yankees Farm system sucks.

    That’s why all 3 levels are in the playoffs.

    The AA rotation is just sick, especially with AP starting one of the games.

  7. upstate kate September 8th, 2010 at 9:03 am

    there is no way Girardi is going to drop Jeter in the line up. He didn’t drop Tex in April and May when he was struggling.

  8. GoldGlove9486 September 8th, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Is it just me or does anyone else consider the National League a joke? There go the Phillies on their way to another World Series.

  9. MTU September 8th, 2010 at 9:08 am


    We need our playoff rotation- CC, AP,and YMH to look sharp the rest of the way.

    And our offense to get on another roll.

    The BP is solid and so is the bench.

    Our defense has been great all season.

  10. JM September 8th, 2010 at 9:09 am


    I hope I bring the Yanks luck, too, but considering that they lost the game I went to Monday, maybe not. LOL. However, my record is 6-2 so far this year at games I’ve attended so I am hoping to improve that this afternoon.

  11. Doreen September 8th, 2010 at 9:11 am

    blake -

    You almost tempted me to get into the Jeter discussion, but I’m not touching it.

    The only thing I’ll say is, the Yankees ARE still in first place and they DO still have the best record in the majors, however better anyone thinks they coulda/woulda/shoulda been.

  12. 98NYY September 8th, 2010 at 9:12 am

    These games are wonderful to attend! We saw Hughes strike out 12 in six innings and SW won the Championship 20-2. The cost of seats behind home plate? …$10

  13. blake September 8th, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Agreed. A win today gives the Yanks 7-3 homestand which is still pretty good. Its not a must win but they really need Nova to step it up…this series should have been an opportunity to gain ground with Tampa at Fenway…can’t get swept at home by the O’s in a pennant race…at least you really don’t want to.

    Go Super Nova!

  14. MTU September 8th, 2010 at 9:17 am


    The O needs to show up in a big way today. Give Nova a cushion to work with early. Take some of the pressure off.

  15. blake September 8th, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Yes they do. Really need this game and with and off day tomorrow it should be handled as such….A lineup….short leash on pitchers, etc…

  16. MTU September 8th, 2010 at 9:25 am


    I’d like to leave for my trip on a positive note. :)

  17. blake September 8th, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Betances v Drabek is one I’d like to see.

  18. Bronx Jeers September 8th, 2010 at 9:28 am


    Trip? Where you off to?

  19. Bill D September 8th, 2010 at 9:28 am

    “Betances v Drabek is one I’d like to see.”

    Should be a good one. Apparently Drabek has enjoyed great success against Trenton (4-0, 1 something ERA) and Betances is Betances. Wouldn’t count on many runs being scored.

  20. pat September 8th, 2010 at 9:29 am

    There are some BARGAIN tickets available for todays game.

  21. blake September 8th, 2010 at 9:30 am

    If the Yanks are still in first after the upcoming road trip then I like their chances at hanging on to the division. We should have a good idea by next weekend where things stand…

  22. blake September 8th, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Anybody know if MLBnetwork will carry any of the minor league playoff games?

  23. Bill D September 8th, 2010 at 9:37 am

    “We need our playoff rotation- CC, AP,and YMH to look sharp the rest of the way”

    Pettitte’s the key. Sabathia is money. But if Pettitte is healthy and effective, the Yankees are in great position to repeat.

    Honestly not expecting a lot from Hughes. He’s a kid and he’s posted a 5.26 ERA and .800 OPS against over his last 20 starts. If he can author a couple 6 IP, 3 or 4 ER efforts, that would be beyond great. But I’m not at all certain I’d pitch him before Burnett. Granted Burnett is probably more likely to implode than Hughes is. But he’s also far more likely to put forth a 2009 World Series Game 2-like effort than Hughes is, IMO. It’ll be interesting to see whether one of those guys can really get going over their last few starts.

  24. LGY September 8th, 2010 at 9:41 am

    I have barely participated in the Jeter stuff, but the main reason IMO that it has become so constant is that the “dissenters” turn it into a I love Derek-You Hate Derek battle. Of course there are posters that come to the board and just bash on Jeter, but the “regulars” are simply trying to discuss a point.

    In this way the discussion never gets settled and only becomes more contentious. It turns away from its original purpose and turns into a discussion about whether Jeter is above criticism/critique or how supporting Jeter makes you a better fan.

    If people would just honestly participate in the discussion and say why they don’t think Jeter should be moved the conversation wouldn’t get so childish and ridiculous. It wouldn’t be brought up constantly, because the discussion may actually come to its logical end at some point.

    Both sides of the argument have merit. No one here hates Derek Jeter (except maybe Jerkface because he gets satisfaction from Jeter’s bad season :lol: )

  25. Bronx Jeers September 8th, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Next season at this time Mariano Rivera should be notching his 600th save. (knock on wood)

    It’s hard to believe but he’s possibly having his best season ever. A relatively light load? Yes. But his ERA+ is currently at 377.

  26. GoldGlove9486 September 8th, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I will never, ever hate Derek Jeter. If he doesn’t get another hit for the rest of his life, I’ll never boo someone that did so much, especially winning MVP of the Series against the Mets. But I don’t think he should be hitting at the top of the order anymore. He should take a pay cut and come back for a few more seasons so he can get hit number 3,000. That is all. I hope he does well, but he’s looking pretty bad.

  27. MTU September 8th, 2010 at 9:46 am


    At this point I have a lot more faith in Phil than I do In AJ.

    AP will be sharp by playoff time (I hope).

    For me the real question is Pennant winner, or Wild card ?

  28. GoldGlove9486 September 8th, 2010 at 9:47 am

    I just see the Yanks getting the Wild Card this season, and they might do so with the second best record in MLB. Their schedule is just brutal, and Andy is still not back yet. That’s the way it goes. Injuries hurt this season. We’ll have to play well on the road. If CC wins game one of any series, the Yanks immediately have the home field advantage.

  29. upstate kate September 8th, 2010 at 9:55 am

    it seems as if Jeter is the current whipping boy
    is he performing batting at the top of the order? Obviously not.
    is moving him lower the answer? I don’t know, but I can’t see Girardi doing it.
    Why? Jeter is a veteran and deserves respect. Jeter has come thru in the past. Girardi gave Tex time to sort himself out when he was struggling. Girardi knows how the players viewed Torre moving Arod down in the order, and Girardi is supportive of his players to a fault.

  30. SJ44 September 8th, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I trust Hughes more than Burnett in the post-season for one reason……..he’s more likely to keep the Yankees in the game for 5-6 innings. Odds are, Burnett will be nothing more than a 1-3 inning post-season pitcher because his stuff is a shell of what it was last year.

    AJ Burnett is having a historically bad season.

    No starting pitcher in the history of the franchise has ever had a 3-11 stretch (Burnett’s current stretch) in any season the Yankees have been 20 games or more over .500.

    In other words, he has been the worst pitcher in the history of the franchise starting for a first place Yankee team.

    The league is hitting over .360 against him this year.

    Given how bad he has been, at best, he should be nothing more than a Game 4 WS starter and omitted completely in the ALDS.

    CC is going to have to pitch some games on 3 days rest in the post-season.

    Its why I thought Girardi should have gotten him out of last nights game much earlier than he did. He could have used the break.

    CC, Pettitte and Hughes are the only 3 starters needed for the ALDS. If they are fortunate enough to get to the WS, you deal with the Burnett issue at that time.

    Vazquez? Long man in the pen and nothing more. He is as big a risk as Burnett starting a post-season game

    They are going to have to ride one starter and have an all hands on deck bullpen for the other games (like it was in 2000) to defend the title this year.

    The greater question, and one that will have to be asked in the off-season, is, what are they going to do with Burnett next year?

    If this is who he is, and he refuses to change, then this has to be his last year in NY. You can’t throw a guy this bad every 4 days. He will kill the entire pitching staff.

    If he is smart, he spends the off-season refining his two seamer and changeup and is ready to use them MUCH more in his starts next year.

    Its the only way he will improve on what he is now. Whether that’s in NY or another location.

    If he refuses to do it, they have no choice but to trade him because he can’t pitch for this team being this bad. Its not the Marlins or Blue Jays. Winning actually counts for something here.

  31. SJ44 September 8th, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Meant to say, the league is hitting over .360 against Burnett in the first inning.

    Sorry for the typo.

  32. 108 stitches September 8th, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Would like to see Andrew Brackman do well. I get the feeling he’ll join the Yankee staff no later than mid season of 2011. They’ll like what they see in spring training and he’ll go to AAA to refine whatever is needed.

  33. pat September 8th, 2010 at 10:05 am

    “it seems as if Jeter is the current whipping boy”

    I think that sums up the point LGY was making.

    Discussing Derek’s struggles does not in itself make him a whipping boy.

    Some people treat it as heresy to even discuss it.

    Others treat it as an opportunity to dig at the people who treat it as heresy.

    It becomes less about Derek’s season and more about defending him or annoying the people who defend him.

  34. SJ44 September 8th, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Derek has had a very bad offensive season. Its not out of bounds to discuss.

    Re: Moving him down in the order……….

    That creates more problems than solutions because it becomes a front page story in the middle of a pennant race. The type of distraction the Yankees don’t need.

    Also, there is no guarantee it will accomplish anything.

    Its a year you just have to ride it out, get his mind right, and hope he gets hot down the stretch or in the post-season.

    Its been enough of a struggle for him this year. Messing with his head and creating a giant distraction isn’t the way to solve the problem.

  35. Bill D September 8th, 2010 at 10:14 am


    I hear you. To me, I think Hughes can be counted on for a 6 inning, 4 run type effort. Burnett is more hit or miss to be sure, but in last year’s postseason he did manage to come up big a couple times with 6 or 7 inning 1 run efforts. The experience and ability to have that type of game, which right now I don’t think Hughes has, is why I’d give serious consideration to using Burnett ahead of him.

  36. pat September 8th, 2010 at 10:16 am

    BrianCoz Moseley listed as starting pitcher for Sunday. Looks like Hughes is getting skipped. Girardi will explain shortly #yankees

  37. Crawdaddy September 8th, 2010 at 10:19 am


    AJ might not finish out his contract playing for the Yankees, but it won’t happen until the 2011 offseason at the earliest and then they will most likely have to eat a big chunk of that 33M for those last two years.

  38. Guru Man September 8th, 2010 at 10:22 am

    SJ, Burnett can’t be traded unless the Yanks pickup most of his contract.

    As for Jeter, he should be at the bottom of the order; this is without question. keeping a weak hitter at the top of the order getting more AB’s than better hitters is simply silly. having him bat at the top is creating more of a distraction than dropping him will.

    I don’t think Jeter has all of a sudden become a .700 OPS guy from an .871 the prior year, but I think his swing is totally out of whack. he is unbalanced and I think it is mostly from all of his movement (the bat and his body/head) combined with a slight decrease in bat speed. Jeter has always had trouble getting the barrel through the zone, but he learned to make that a positive with his inside out swing that is very odd. I think his bat needs to be quieted as the first step and he should be working with Long just as Granderson did. There is no reason why Jeter can’t have an OPS of over .750 (not much to ask), but he needs to avoid being stubborn and make a change. the Yanks should drop him or bench him for a few games while he does this and then bring him back (even if it is in the 1 or 2 hole), but status quo I don’t think is the answer (like it was for Teixeira) as this has been going on for 4+ months.

    As for respect, nobody else would ever be allowed to perform this poorly for 4+ months and not move in the lineup

  39. upstate kate September 8th, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I think the problem arises when people go beyond the level of play and interject other things in…such as Javy has no guts…Joba is out of shape, stubborn and lazy, not to mention the nonsense about Posada.
    I believe it was you in the past who has said hate the play not the player, or words to that effect.
    Disussing Jeter seems to bring in all kinds of other issues, such as his upcoming contract etc.

  40. Joe from Long Island September 8th, 2010 at 10:25 am

    SJ – the facts and the logic are there.

    I wonder if Joe looks at this in a similar light to Torre moving Alex to the 8th spot in that last game against Detroit. It blew the team away, as a sign of disrespect and panic, and Alex wasn’t even as well liked (supposedly) as AJ is. Playing to the team’s psyche is part of a manager’s job.

    But so is putting your team in the best position to win. I think Joe has a well developed survival instinct, for the team and himself, and knows that he can’t give AJ infinite rope. And, we have no idea of what discussions have already gone on between AJ, Joe and Dave Eiland in this regard.

    The team sees AJ getting clobbered, they know it can’t go on much longer. In my business, it’s called laying crepe.

  41. ThunFan September 8th, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Understand why so many of the best from Trenton AA went to SWB. Congrats to them all for promotions after hard work. Do wonder why AA vacancies and injuries now filled from Charleston and Staten Island and not from Tampa, which would seem inline with policies. Thunder deserves better.

  42. blake September 8th, 2010 at 10:29 am


    Well said regarding Jeter. In addition to that I’m one that believes that they will need Jeter to perform closer to his past in the postseason if they are going to win, and I don’t think moving him is going to be helpful in achieving that end. At some point you have tp trust players with track records to perform…even when they have struggled.

  43. Bill D September 8th, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I wonder how much easier the Jeter conversation would go if he didn’t have the season he had last year.

    You look at is his 2006-2008 seasons, and you begin to see a some steady slip in production from a .900 OPS in his spectacular, should have been MVP season of 2006, to an .840 OPS in a very good, but not otherworldly 2007 season, then to a .770 OPS in a solid but unspectacular 2008 season. Based on the direction he’s heading over these three seasons, his 2010 season would seem the next logical step downward. Alas, it was not. He posted a terrific season, with an .871 OPS, a very good year in the field, and Championship #27.

    They stand a tremendous chance of locking up #28 this year with Jeter at short, and who’s to say 37 year old Derek Jeter can’t have the bounce back season that 35 year old Derek Jeter did? It’s going to be an interesting negotiation.

  44. Bill D September 8th, 2010 at 10:36 am

    “Do wonder why AA vacancies and injuries now filled from Charleston and Staten Island and not from Tampa, which would seem inline with policies. Thunder deserves better”

    Better than the three best pitching prospects in the system and Andy Pettitte?

  45. Guru Man September 8th, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Bill D, I do agree that last years Jeter’s numbers were very surprising

  46. tyanksfan36 September 8th, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I don’t know why they aren’t sending more players from Tampa up to Trenton. They did however seem to send up all the good pitching. Though last night was very promising. I know not too many people care about class A but I’ve been watching the Tampa Yankees all season and it was awesome to be at their game last night. Definitely glad I went to that game and didn’t sit at home and watch CC stink it up.
    Hall pitched a 3 hitter and the relief pitched 4 innings allowing no hits, the outfielders made some amazing catches and Suttle hit a home run. Hope they win the division and make it to the championships again.

  47. Bill D September 8th, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Some tweets:

    Hughes next start pushed to Wednesday. Moseley going Sunday.

    Aceves and Marte done for year per Girardi.

  48. tyanksfan36 September 8th, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Bill D

    I think Thunfan means they aren’t promoting position players. Yes, they have promoted the best pitchers but they have held all the position players down in Tampa and not promoted any of them. Suttle, Pirela, maybe Rye could have been promoted. Mesa is on the DL so he isn’t getting promoted. I’m sure they’ll all be up there next season.

  49. Doreen September 8th, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Bill D -

    Can’t see I didn’t expect that with Marte and Aceves. Sigh.

    Good thing the pen has really been doing fine.

  50. JoeyA September 8th, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Looks like Logan is our LHP out of the pen for the playoffs & Gaudin is our long man for the time being.

    This is somewhat concerning, but Andy Pettittes return is most important.

  51. pat September 8th, 2010 at 10:55 am

    BryanHoch Yankees lineup change – Teixeira to DH, Berkman at 1B

  52. pat September 8th, 2010 at 10:57 am

    YankeesPR Yankees 9/8 lineup: Gardner LF, Jeter SS, Teixeira DH, Rodriguez 3B, Cano 2B, Swisher RF, Berkman 1B, Granderson CF, Cervelli C, Nova P

  53. mick September 8th, 2010 at 11:00 am

    So CC goes vs TB MON, Andy Tues and Hughes Wed?

  54. blake September 8th, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Unless Tex is hurt I sure would have liked to have his glove in there for this much needed game.

  55. mick September 8th, 2010 at 11:04 am

    This would setup CC for game 4 vs TB at home.
    Andy could open it.

  56. Bill D September 8th, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Looks like Sabathia vs. Price in that 1st game in St Pete.

  57. tyanksfan36 September 8th, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I am going to the tuesday game in tampa. I’d rather not see Andy pitch against Tampa, they seem to have gotten the best of him this season. I think he should start at home where the crowd would be a little more forgiving if things don’t go well his first game back. With that said, I love Andy and it would be great to see him in a game in person because who knows how much longer he will play.

  58. mick September 8th, 2010 at 11:12 am


  59. MTU September 8th, 2010 at 11:26 am


    To see some more Indian ruins.


    That’s the way I see Phil compared to AJ at this moment. Better odds with Hughes on the mound.

  60. mick September 8th, 2010 at 11:59 am

    To see some more Indian ruins.
    Why not watch an Indians game?

  61. Madrugador September 8th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Glad someone else also dislikes the expression, “it is what it is”. It’s like a meaningless sideways palindrome.

Leave a comment below

Sponsored by:





    Read The LoHud Yankees Blog on the go by navigating to the blog on your smartphone or mobile device's browser. No apps or downloads are required.


Place an ad

Call (914) 694-3581