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April 8, 2005

Minor League Notes: 4/8/05 (Updated)
by Fabian


Robinson Cano continued his hot start to the season. Following a Spring Training where he admittedly did not do anything overly impressive on offense other than hit some singles; Cano has discovered his power stroke. In Columbus’ second game of the year he was 1 for 4 with a double and a strikeout giving him 3 extra base hits in his first 2 games.


Jeff Karstens, one of the more unheralded pitching prospects in the Yankee system was very good in his AA debut. Karstens, a known control artist, began the game battling his control, but was able to work out of a 2 on no out jam and pitch to a promising line of 5-3-0-0-2-6-0 (IP-H-R-ER-BB-SO-HR). The most encouraging aspect of his line was that he was able to go as deep in the game as he did on a 75 pitch limit. Karstens may lack the physical ceiling of Steve White, but similar to Matt DeSalvo, he is a candidate to move faster due to being more polished.

The Trenton offensive prospects did not do much on this night. Bronson Sardinha was 0 for 4 with a walk and a strikeout, but managed not to make an error, so there’s that. Melky Cabrera was able to relax and work the count in his first at bat as he lined the 6th pitch of his at bat up the middle for a single, the harbinger of a solid night; he finished the game 2 for 5. Eric Duncan was 0 for 4 with a walk and a strikeout. Now all he needs to do is get an extra base hit and he’s shown all of his primary offensive skill set.


Hector Made followed up a quiet opening night with a loud second day of the season. The 20-year-old SS was 3 for 4 with a single, a double, and a triple. Rudy Guillen seems to be off to a good start as far as power; he hit his first home run of the season in going 1 for 4 with 2 strikeouts. I wouldn’t expect standout numbers from either of these guys being that they are playing in the FSL, but if Made can hit for average and Guillen could rack up XBH, not necessarily HR, their campaigns should be considered a success (Late edit: Rudy Guillen was actually 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts last night; the home run initially credited to him was actually Matt Carson's. In addition, Hector Made was actually only 2 for 4 with a triple and a single, I'd like to thank for the confusion. Lastly, some pitcher with the last name Abreu pitched last night, 1-3-3-2-0-1-0, no word yet on whether it was Eric, but I doubt it was). Erold Andrus, by comparison, had a quiet night as he went 1 for 4 with a single and 2 strikeouts.


In his first start of the year, Phil Hughes was very promising. While he did not throw as many strikes, in the umpires view, as I thought he would, he was still consistently around the strike zone; many of his misses were near misses that could have gone either way. In addition, outside of a troublesome stretch from the 3rd inning to the middle of the 4th he was dominant. Hughes ended the game throwing harder than he opened it, according to the announcers, and easily struck out the last 3 batters he faced for a final line of 4.2-5-2-2-1-6-0.

Irwil Rojas had a productive day at the plate despite not getting a hit; the C was 0 for 1 with a walk and a HBP. Despite his offensive productivity, Rojas had a poor day behind the plate as he had two errant throws to the 2B end up in CF, the first of which directly led to a run scoring on Phil Hughes. Estee Harris was 0 for 4 with a strikeout and Jon Poterson was 0 for 3 with a strikeout as both power-hitting strikeout prone players continue to look for their first official base hit of ’05.

Tim Battle was 1 for 4 with 2 strikeouts. In general, his approach at the plate thus far seems inconsistent; he’s either hacking away or waiting without conscience. Battle’s single was a key hit though as it enabled him to be on base when Marcos Vechionacci came through with a game winning single. Prior to his single Vechionacci had had 3 quality at bats with nothing to show, but came through when it counted. The CF misplayed Vechionacci’s ball and he was able to score, which makes him somewhat faster than I had imagined.