Monday, November 17, 2008

Hawaii Winter Baseball Champions

The Waikiki Beachboys (19-17) emerged as champions of Hawaii Winter Baseball, winning 5-1 over the West Oahu Canefires.

Not a big deal really, except that the Beachboys scratched and clawed their way into the title game after a very slow start to the season. They only staved off elimination in their last game of the season, after being down in the top of the 9th. Along the way, the big bats came through, the pitching settled down, and the closer (you know whose brother) slammed the door shut and put out a few fires.

Of course, we're most interested in the Yankee prospects. Injuries got to Austin Romine and Damon Sublett, but both were solid contributors. Andrew Brackman did well, considering he's coming off of TJ surgery and this was his first taste of professional ball. Jeremy Bleich may have been the surprise player of the lot, outperforming predecessors Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy.

I don't know what the Baby Bombers think of Hawaii, but I'd be surprised if they didn't enjoy the experience. Especially after capping off the season the way they did.

Congratulations to the Beachboys, the Yankee prospects, and especially Jeremy Bleich, who made the 2008 All-League Team

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Game 30

Jeremy Bleich was dominant last night, pitching 5 shutout innings while striking out 9 in a 2-0 shutout of the Honolulu Sharks.

Damon Sublett played 2B and went 0-for-3. He did have a nice defensive play in the top of the 5th to rob Ryo Hijirisawa of a basehit.

Friday night's win stretched the division lead over the Sharks to 2.5 games. Just a month ago, playing in the league championship was just a pipe dream, but the Beachboys have won 10 of their last 12 games to overtake the Honolulu Sharks. In that stretch, Andrew Brackman and Jeremy Bleich have gone a combined 4-1.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Game 28 & Minor League News

On Sunday the Waikiki BeachBoys came from behind in the top of the ninth to win 6-5. No Yankee prospects played.

After two rough starts in AFL, Phil Hughes bounced back nicely with a near perfect outing. Hughes struck out 8 and allowed only a single in his 5 innings. He left with a 3-0 lead, but got a no-decision as the Javelinas ended up losing lost 5-3. Kevin Russo was 2-for-5 with an RBI, but also committed a key error. Austin Jackson was 1-for-4. recap of the Yankee farm system spotlights the top producers.

Very cool Flashback on the minor league season.

Season in Review from Check out the win-loss records for the Yankee minor league teams.

AFL notebook taking note of Kevin Whelan's teeny-tiny ERA.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Game 27 & Updates

The Waikiki BeachBoys lost in an ugly gameand fell back into a division tie with the Sharks.

Damon Sublett played 2B and went 2-for-5, with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. Austin Romine (DH) was hitless with a walk.


Since it's a slow Sunday with no AFL games and the BeachBoys playing an afternoon game, it might be a good time to catch up with the Yankees playing winterball.

Arizona Fall League:

Phil Hughes is having an up and down season at Arizona Fall League. The main purpose is to get innings, and Hughes has logged 12.2 so far.

Jeff Marquez is a reliever, no, a starter for the Javelinas. A mixed bag for Marquez, who had 4 bullpen appearances before converting to a starter. After a rough first start, Marquez had a much better showing in his second start.

Humberto Sanchez is probably wishing he were anywhere but Arizona. He's got a whopping BAA of .433 and a WHIP of 3.11. Definitely a character-building opportunity.

Kevin Whelan is probably wishing he could stay in Arizona. He's having a great AFL season, allowing 1 earned run in 6 appearances. Whelan has pitched to a sparkling 0.90 ERA out of the bullpen.

Juan Miranda is in the midst of an 0-for-14 slump, but is still carrying a .333 batting average, thanks to his torrid start in the AFL.

Kevin Russo is quite the jack-of-all-trades. Playing all over the infield and out in left field, Russo is hitting .358 with a homerun and 3 stolen bases. There is one bad trend, though. Russo has struck out 9 times in the last 4 games (15 total for the season).

Austin Jackson started off hot in Arizona, but has cooled off a bit. One bright spot? He really likes hitting lefties. Why are 75% of Jackson's at-bats against righties, Mr. Manager?

Hawaii Winter Baseball:

Jeremy Bleich had a rough start in winter ball, but has bounced back, allowing just 2 runs over his last 3 starts (19.2 innings). Bleich's is dramatically trending down in walks and up in strikeouts, striking out 8 in his last outing.

Andrew Brackman is finally getting his sea legs in Hawaii. He's allowed just 2 earned runs over his last 2 starts, earning wins in both to improve to 3-3.

Austin Romine is back after missing two weeks due to being hit by a pitch.

Damon Sublett was also out for an extended period, but is doing well in the infield. Sublett is batting .294 with 15 RBI.

Caribbean Baseball:

Justin Christian is playing outfield for the Caneros de los Mochis. He's hitting .238 with 7 stolen bases (0 CS).

Oneli Perez is a relief pitcher for the Tigres del Licey. He had one rough outing, but hasn't allowed a run in the other 5 appearances.

Francisco Cervelli is catching for the Cardenales de Lara. His bat hasn't quite shown up yet, but Cervelli has hit a homerun and scored 3 runs.

Game 26

The BeachBoys won their 7th straight game on Friday night, to take the lead in the division. Damon Sublett played 2B, but struggled at the plate, going 0-for-4. Austin Romine was behind the plate, going 1-for-4 with a triple and a run scored in the key inning of the 3-2 win.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Game 25-Brackman Wins

Andrew Brackman pitched well on Thursday, allowing only 2 runs (1 ER) over 6 innings. Brackman worked into and out of trouble in the first, when he loaded the bases after a wild pitch on a strikeout kept the inning alive. The 5-2 win over the Honolulu Sharks secured a sweep and brought the two teams into a tie in the division standings.

It was deuces wild for Damon Sublett, who had been out of action since October 14. He played 2B and was 2-for-4, with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. Sublett hit a 2 run go-ahead homerun in the 5th inning.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Game 24 & Other News

The Beachboys blew the Sharks out of the water last night in a 9-0 win that pulled them to within a game in the standings. No Yankees played.

Congratulations to Pat Venditte for winning the Best Short-Season Reliever award. The switch-pitcher earned 23 saves while accumulating a microscopic ERA of 0.83.