According to Mark Newman, vice president of baseball operations, Heathcott has his knee scoped. The problem was “related” to Heathcott’s previous knee problem, which cost him the last month of so of last season.
“We’re hoping he’ll get healthy,” Newman said. “Beyond that, I don’t really have expectations now. He’s had a hard time staying on the field. He works at it, so we’ve got that going for us.”
It’s been a disappointing year for Double-A Trenton’s highly touted outfield. The Thunder were supposed to have Heathcott playing alongside Mason Williams and Tyler Austin, but Heathcott played just nine games before going on the disabled list, and both Williams and Austin have had an OPS below .700. Newman, though, points out that several players — Brett Gardner and Chien-Ming Wang are two examples that he cited — have been relatively underwhelming in their first attempt at Double-A.
“Not as exciting as if they were OPSing at 1.000,” Newman said. “But we’re going to be patient. … Mason, his month of June was his best month, and Tyler’s turning it up a little bit now, so we’ll see how they finish.”
• Shortstop Dean Anna and reliever Diego Moreno have been activated from the Triple-A disabled list tonight. It creates a bit of an infield logjam with Anna, Zelous Wheeler, Rob Refsnyder, Scott Sizemore and Kyle Roller worth regular at-bats. Guess Wheeler could get some outfield time with Jose Pirela.
• To open roster spots in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Carmen Angelini was sent back to Double-A and reliever Heath Bell was released. The Yankees took a short look at Bell but ultimately decided to move on. He got into five games in roughly two weeks with the Railriders.
• Also in Triple-A, Nik Turley is supposed to join the Triple-A pitching staff on Thursday (he’s been on the disabled list after getting hurt in spring training), and Chris Leroux should join the Triple-A team within a week or so. Turley should move into the rotation (either immediately or eventually), but Newman said Leroux’s role hasn’t been determined. That Triple-A pitching staff has been a little banged up.
• Prospects Luis Severino and Pete O’Brien will represent the Yankees at next month’s Futures Game. Severino was probably a fairly easy choice (he’s really emerged as the standout pitching prospect in the organization). If the Yankees were going to have a position player, I’d guess the decision came down to O’Brien or Aaron Judge. O’Brien is listed as an infielder, not a catcher, on the U.S. team roster.
UPDATE: Two things coming from the beat guys up on Toronto:
1. CC Sabathia is officially beginning a rehab assignment this weekend. That starts his 30-day clock, which fits the Yankees previous statements that Sabathia should be ready sometime after the break.
2. Carlos Beltran has felt a forearm issue while playing catch, so throwing is going to stop. Apparently he feels fine swinging. Sounds like he’s a DH only for the foreseeable future.