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Minor league notes: Romine, Ramirez, DePaula, Rondon

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Dec 20, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

A few smaller minor league notes, just to clear out what I have from yesterday’s conversation with Mark Newman…

• It was interesting to hear Newman talk about Austin Romine. I’ve heard people in the organization speak highly of Romine’s defense, but Newman was raving. “He’s a plus, plus defender,” Newman said. “He can really play the position.” Despite so-so offensive numbers, the Yankees seem happy with the way Romine swung the bat this year in the Fall League, and Newman was especially impressed with the receiving skills he showed. Newman never said this, but I left the conversation thinking Romine’s chances of making the big league roster are better than I originally thought. I’ve always assumed that the Yankees have more immediate faith in the defense of Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli, but I might be wrong.

• The Yankees have added a second Gulf Coast League team, meaning they’ll have two full GCL rosters next season. You don’t have to dig deep to find the reason for the addition. “We’re able to sign more players, (and) we’re able to keep the players we have longer,” Newman said. “That’s the secret. The secret is obvious.”

• Tyler Austin got to Double-A in late 2012, but the Yankees aren’t sure he’ll open there in 2013. With just 36 High-A games to his credit, Austin could go back to Tampa at least to open the year. Newman said Slade Heathcott and Ramon Flores are definitely ticketed for the Double-A outfield.

• Speaking of the Double-A roster, hard-throwing right-hander Jose Ramirez will be with Trenton to open the season, but despite his big fastball, strong second half and spot on the 40-man roster, Newman said he doesn’t expect Ramirez to suddenly fly through the system. “I wouldn’t project him as moving super fast,” Newman said. “He’ll tell us (based on how he’s doing) when he’s ready to move, but I would expect him to have a full season in Double-A.”

• Another 40-man addition — probably the least recognizable of names protected from the Rule 5 this winter — is left-handed reliever Francisco Rondon. I knew next to nothing about him, so I asked. “He’s got high-caliber stuff,” Newman said. “He’s got to continue to improve his command.” Rondon’s high strikeout rate and high walk rate pretty much tell the story. Newman said his fastball can get to 93-95 mph and touch 96-97. He also has a good slider and could be more than a left-on-left specialist. “He’s got power (and) hhe can spin the ball,” Newman said. “It’s just a matter of command. He’s got really good stuff.”

• When Baseball America picked Rafael DePaula as the Yankees 10th-best prospect this winter, BA noted that DePaula was expected to jump all the way to High-A Tampa next season. Newman said that’s not really the case. DePaula is expected to finally pitch in the U.S., but jumping to Tampa seems too aggressive. “I think that’s rich,” Newman said. “There’s a chance he could pitch in Charleston.”

• Might be worth putting the name Vidal Nuno on the edges of your prospect radar. Plucked out of independent ball in 2011, the 25-year-old lefty was outstanding in Double-A last season (2.45 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) and he has a 1.99 ERA in Venezuela this winter. Nuno doesn’t throw hard, but he does everything else. “He’s left-handed and he can spin the ball and he throws a lot of strikes,” Newman said. “He’s got a chance to become a factor. He’s pushed himself into consideration, at the very least as a reliever.”

Associated Press photo

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67 Responses to “Minor league notes: Romine, Ramirez, DePaula, Rondon”

  1. Against All Odds December 20th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Shame Spencer December 20th, 2012 at 4:09 pm
    The comments in the next thread are closed..?

    LoHud has had enough of us!!

    ———————

    Team Greedy on rise and you don’t want a problem with us guys mmhmm.

    http://dazzledbytwilight.com/w.....180090.JPG

  2. Jerkface December 20th, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    ?@JimBowdenESPNxm

    @Ken_Rosenthal reporting that A.J. Pierzynski and Rangers are closing in on one-year contract….#Confirmed

    A one year deal? And the Yankees are passing?

  3. blake December 20th, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    @Ken_Rosenthal: Sources: Pierzynski, #Rangers closing in on one-year contract. Deal will be pending a physical, not yet done.

    Unfreaking believable

  4. blake December 20th, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    What are they doing?

  5. theREALkevin December 20th, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Maybe AJP doesn’t want to play for the Yanks for some reason

  6. theREALkevin December 20th, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Probably not though he was born in NY

  7. mick December 20th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    last chance for yanks on aj….unless they really loathe his defense which has always been subterfuge.

  8. blake December 20th, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I hope the have a trade for a catcher coming

  9. theREALkevin December 20th, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Looks like they are just planning on going with some combo of Romine/Stewart/Cervelli

  10. Against All Odds December 20th, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    blake December 20th, 2012 at 5:41 pm
    I hope the have a trade for a catcher coming

    ——————-

    Anyone out there that is good and available?

  11. Against All Odds December 20th, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    theREALkevin December 20th, 2012 at 5:45 pm
    Looks like they are just planning on going with some combo of Romine/Stewart/Cervelli

    —————————-

    Face meet toilet lol

  12. chicken little December 20th, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Relax — passing on AJP is all part of the brilliantly thought out master plan Hal, Randy, and Brian came up with the day after Detroit knocked the Yanks out.

  13. theREALkevin December 20th, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    AAO,

    LOL. Those guys certainly don’t inspire a ton of confidence that’s for sure.

  14. Jerkface December 20th, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    AJP for 1 year would have been great…Romine or Cervelli can get time vs LHP, while a veteran backstop gets most of the reps vs RHP

  15. Jerkface December 20th, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    @JimBowdenESPNxm

    Rangers and A.J. Pierzynski have agreed to terms on a one-year contract pending tomorrow’s physical

    blah

  16. Against All Odds December 20th, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    No they do not.

    If they don’t sign or trade for someone maybe there is some truth to what G Love posted.

  17. blake December 20th, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    @joe_sheehan: I do think highly of Zack Greinke, but Jackson at 4/52 is a much better deal than Greinke at 6/150.

    I agree

  18. disco stu December 20th, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    blake December 20th, 2012 at 5:33 pm
    @Ken_Rosenthal: Sources: Pierzynski, #Rangers closing in on one-year contract. Deal will be pending a physical, not yet done.

    Unfreaking believable

    The Yankees seem to have decided that next year’s starting catcher’s job is Austin Romine’s to lose … should be fun having a rookie coming off a season where he was basically hurt all year take the reigns of a pitching staff that includes a former Cy Young Award winner, the winningest post season pitcher of all time, and the greatest closer who ever lived.

    Like I said before, the Yankees are positioning themselves to a fluid roster full of 1 year or expiring contracts, take their best shot at having it all come together and work without having to add more payroll then is absolutely necessary, and if turns out that next season is a 1965 type disaster and they are out of contention entering July, they will have the opportunity to ship out Cano, Granderson, Pettitte, Kuroda, Hughes, Youkilis, etc. by the trade deadline to contending teams looking to bulk up for the stretch drive and bring back an enormous haul of young, inexpensive MLB talent and/or prospects.

    Hey, it I’m right, its ONE way to avoid the $189 “fiscal cliff” … LOL

  19. austinmac December 20th, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Pierzynski is probably the last free agent who could add significantly to the offense and sign for one year.

  20. blake December 20th, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    In really have no idea what the Yankess are doing…..spend 200 million on a bunch of old guys to try and win now and take no catcher into the season?

  21. Patrick December 20th, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Why would the Yanks pass on Pierzynski if he only got a 1 year deal? Cervelli and Stewart are barely backup catchers in the major leagues, let alone starters

  22. blake December 20th, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    austinmac says:
    December 20, 2012 at 5:54 pm
    Pierzynski is probably the last free agent who could add significantly to the offense and sign for one year.

    Congrats ….you were right ….where did my gruel spoon go?

  23. blake December 20th, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Patrick says:
    December 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm
    Why would the Yanks pass on Pierzynski if he only got a 1 year deal? Cervelli and Stewart are barely backup catchers in the major leagues, let alone starters

    They have a trade for Buster posey lined up

  24. Ys Guy December 20th, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    “Like I said before, the Yankees are positioning themselves to a fluid roster full of 1 year or expiring contracts, take their best shot at having it all come together and work without having to add more payroll then is absolutely necessary”
    =================================
    youkilis and pettitte were not absolutely necessary. neither was ichiro for that matter.

  25. RMS December 20th, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Yankees spent the bulk of their money, 12 million, for Youk. Their spending is over.
    Hal is a business man, not a baseball fan.

  26. exiledintampa December 20th, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Some people here seem to really like Jose Molina. Let me tell you when Tampa re-signed him, the local sports media went crazy. They hate him here. Always a passed ball at the worst times. Cost them games this past year. And, no stick whatsoever. They talk as if Molina cost them enough games that they would have made the playoffs otherwise. A 90 win team was not far off.

  27. blake December 20th, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    How can they justify spending 12 million on a broken down Youkallis and then have no catcher ?

  28. G. Love December 20th, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    If the Yankee mole I run into is to be believed, they were never going to bail Cashman out from not having a full time C because he told them Romine would be ready by 2013 and that was “the plan”. The owners are holding him to his word as some test/set up.

    I mean, on one hand, good for Romine. If he can hit .250 he’s better than Martin. You guys who are dying to see young players get a shot, here you go.

    On the other hand, it just shows you how much dysfunction exists in the front office right now. To put together a pitching staff like this and promise it a tandem of a very untested rookie with back issues and Chris Stewart is pretty risky.

    The way I interpreted what I heard was this was a put up shut up decision to Cashman and that they weren’t going to bail him out because he promised Romine would be ready so they traded “the other one”.

    The only thing that makes little sense is why they were offering Martin 3 years last off season. It’s not like Romine tore up AAA and was on the cusp. There’s a very Jeckyl and Hyde thing going on with the team. To go from trying to lock up Martin to discarding him after he hits 20HR’s and gets all this praise for his “framing” makes one wonder if they’re managing this team by which way the wind blows that day…

    I’d be interested in knowing if AJ was ever really engaged/contacted by the Yankees during this “process”…

  29. chicken little December 20th, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    To me what happened at catcher is clear. The Yanks went into the off-season planning on keeping Martin. Martin then gets an offer from the Pirates with either a deadline on it or he got nervous that the Pirates would move on. Martin told the Yanks I need an offer of I leave. If you remember no one major from the lineup side had really signed with anyone at that point and as reported in the papers Cash was being forced to work on one contract at a time (and was working on finalizing Mo then). Cash brings the Martin demand to Hal and the gang, noting Martin was asking for about $2 million more than the Yanks allotted for him. Hal reminds Cash of his budget for 2013. Cash panicking that he won’t have enough money left over if he overspends for Martin, tells Martin he can’t make an offer yet (and probably asks him to hang tight for a couple of days to see how the market for other offensive players “shakes out”). Martin instead signs with the Pirates. Cash then realizes there isn’t any other catcher potential difference maker out there other than AJP (who will undoubtedly get around or more than Martin’s $8.5 million for 2013) and decides he can’t afford him either. Rather than say that, “defense,” “agitator,” “Romine/Cervelli/Stewart” become catch-phrases.

  30. blake December 20th, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Going into a season where you’re spending 200 million dollars….and a season where your window to win a title may be closing with a rookie catcher with back issues and 2 bad back ups….just to prove a point to Cashman seems dumb.

  31. G. Love December 20th, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    blake,

    They signed Arod to a mega contract where there were no other bidders. You think they’re smart?

  32. blake December 20th, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    G. Love says:
    December 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm
    blake,

    They signed Arod to a mega contract where there were no other bidders. You think they’re smart?

    LMAO….you win

  33. Ys Guy December 20th, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    it is definitely possible that pierzynski had no interest in playing for the yankees. of course he wanted them at least mentioned as a possibility, but he may well be the kind of guy who just wanted nothing to do with new york.

    and yes i know he was born on long island but he went to HS in florida.

  34. Jerkface December 20th, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    The Yankees are probably going to score like 750-760 runs next year :(

  35. Jerkface December 20th, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Considering all the news reports was of the Yankees disinterest in AJP and not vice versa, I think trying to craft scenarios in which the Yankees wanted AJP but he scorned them are a waste of time. We must accept that the Yankees chose to miss out on this player without external help.

  36. blake December 20th, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    “it is definitely possible that pierzynski had no interest in playing for the yankees”

    I hope that’s the case….at least then it would be understandable

  37. blake December 20th, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Jerkface says:
    December 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm
    The Yankees are probably going to score like 750-760 runs next year

    And win maybe 88-90 games

  38. blake December 20th, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    @DKnobler: So Yankees pass on Pierzynski, as they said they would. They say they’re going with Romine/Stewart/Cerveilli. Do you believe them?

  39. Ys Guy December 20th, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    idk that it was just, ‘you said romine was ready so that’s all you get’ but it might have been more like ‘ you get no more than $20M to cover 3b/c and of.

  40. Against All Odds December 20th, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    just to prove a point to Cashman seems dumb.

    ——————–

    It would be dumb but ppl will go to extreme lengths just to prove a point even if it hurts.

  41. blake December 20th, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Ys Guy says:
    December 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm
    idk that it was just, ‘you said romine was ready so that’s all you get’ but it might have been more like ‘ you get no more than $20M to cover 3b/c and of.

    Then maybe he shouldn’t have wasted 12 of it on a guy that’ll probably miss 1/3 of the season and hit .235 last year

  42. blake December 20th, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    If they aren’t going to add a catcher then I really hope they just let Romine play….maybe he will improve and be ok by the end of the year….but they are really playing with fire

  43. Patrick December 20th, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    And win maybe 88-90 games

    Yep, current CAIRO projections have them at 88 wins. Toronto 90, Tampa 87

    http://www.rlyw.net/

  44. Jerkface December 20th, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Letting young players get a chance does not mean rushing prospects for no reason. Romine has back trouble, barely played at AAA, was not good when he played there. Romine is going to be facing a lot of adversity with no veteran help behind him.

  45. blake December 20th, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    “Yep, current CAIRO projections have them at 88 wins. Toronto 90, Tampa 87″

    And that’s if they pitch as well as last year…. Which is no given

  46. Patrick December 20th, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Jon Heyman ?@JonHeymanCBS
    some #yankees people didnt love AJ’s defense. they should remember: they won 4 titles w/ posada as primary catcher

    Holy CRAP, Jon Heyman is the voice of reason?

  47. G. Love December 20th, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Y’s,

    Agreed. I’m hearing stuff filtered through the mouth of a team employee who is a loudmouth who likes to hear his own voice and tell people he has all this inside dope on the team.

    I think the 12 million to Youkilis put a big choke hold on smaller more creative signings. I also think that move came from above Cashman. No inside info on that, just a hunch. They wanted a “name” at 3b in place of Arod and paid handsomely for it.

  48. blake December 20th, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    I smell a way too much for Carlos Santana trade a brewin

  49. blake December 20th, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    “Letting young players get a chance does not mean rushing prospects for no reason. Romine has back trouble, barely played at AAA, was not good when he played there. Romine is going to be facing a lot of adversity with no veteran help behind him.”

    If AJP wanted two years or turned them down then on I guess….but unless they have a trade in the works and they just passed on him for one year then they are nuts

  50. RadioKev December 20th, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Who’s more untouchable, Posey or Trout?

  51. blake December 20th, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    RadioKev says:
    December 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm
    Who’s more untouchable, Posey or Trout?

    Trout

  52. Ys Guy December 20th, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    well, i was against signing youkilis, obviously cashman expects more out of him than i do, but if he was limited to $20M for the 3 positions, he spent the biggest chunk of it for a RH corner infielder with power which makes some sense. spending alot of that money on a C wasnt going to help the offense much and they had to do something to replace swisher and arod’s production.

  53. blake December 20th, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    @FakePeteGammons: #Redsox passed on A.J. Pierzynski because they already have 6 f’ing catchers & nowhere to play them. Smart. This is Peter Gammons.

    Can we have one?

  54. RadioKev December 20th, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    But Trout’s not an MVP :)

  55. blake December 20th, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Trout is younger and more marketable and awesomer……not that Posey isn’t incredibly awesome himself

  56. RadioKev December 20th, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    I think this does lend credibility to G Love’s story yesterday about that guy within the organization. This catching situation makes no sense. Ownership must really be tying Cashman’s hands.

  57. blake December 20th, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    I’m awaiting the Sanchez, Nova, Williams, Heathcott, and baneulos for Carlos Santana trade

  58. RadioKev December 20th, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Sign for Tim Tebow

  59. Warning Track Power December 20th, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Romine is going to break camp with the big club.
    Unless he suffers an injury or walks up to the plate without a bat, I just can’t envision
    he will begin the season in the minors.
    Time for Cervelli or Stewart to take a backseat to the catcher of the future.
    Take off the training wheels and let’s finally see what Romine can do

  60. 4 NYY December 20th, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Sorry guys, but it’s $ 189 million “and” bust !

  61. comnsnse December 20th, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Mark Newman,seriously? What do you expect from the Yankee minor league “sales manager”?

    Perhaps some intrepid reporter should ask about the overall success of the farm system,the draft and the international signings!

    How this stiff and his compatriots have kept their jobes in lieu of the repeated failures of the above noted areas id a mystery.

    Their organization is presently middle of the pack in MLB ratings on the basis of perceived prospect futures.

    The key word is futures,with none ready now!

  62. J. Alfred Prufrock December 20th, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    They traded the “ready” ones.

    Had they not, we’d be an AL powerhouse about now.

  63. comnsnse December 20th, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    BTW,if Romine was such a great prospect,why the offer to Martin preseason of 3 years at 21mm.??? PR nonsense!

  64. comnsnse December 20th, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Pru, you mean Jackson and Kennedy,or should we go back to Willie McGhee,Drabek,The Crime Dog,Buhner etc..? Hey, why don’t they invite Ken Phelps back for old timers day!!! lol

  65. pinstripes7 December 21st, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Hey, you used “defense” and “Cervelli” in the same sentence. Major no-no.

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