Thursday, July 7, 2011

Movers and Shakers: Promotions/demotions in the Yankees minors

 Sorry Ivan Nova, you've got a right to be a big annoyed with your demotion, but it'll be good for you in the long run dude... image thanks to


Shaeffer Hall was called up to AAA for 1 start. He did a nice job. Given that it was a spot start, I don't think it matters whether he deserved the temporary promotion or not, but he has in fact done a good job for AA this season.

Buddy Carlyle was outrighted to AAA SWB. This is really not news. Sorry.

Ivan Nova was optioned to AAA SWB due to the return of Phil Hughes. He did a great job in the big leagues. If I had it my way, Freddy Garcia would have gone to the bullpen, but Nova will have the chance to become more than a 2 pitch guy if he can work on his change-up while in SWB.

Kevin Whelan also optioned to AAA. He's injured anyway, but has done a great job in SWB this season. He deserved the promotion to the majors, but belongs in the minors when he returns from the injury.

Chris Dickerson also demoted to AAA.


F Hernandez (NOT Felix) was released. Not surprising since he is garbage.

Ryan Pope was sent to AA Trenton from SWB. He was struggling a bit there, maybe he can reinvigorate himself at the level where he originally found himself as a relief pitcher.

Chase Whitley was promoted to AA. He's done a decent job so far. Had a rough first outing, but has done well since then (4.26 ERA, 6 K in 6.1 IP).

Josh Romanski to AA. The bromance as I call him, he has no runs and 3 K in 3.1 IP. Considering we got him for literally nothing, he is turning into a really solid relief prospect.

Rob Lyerly (R-Ly) was also promoted to AA. He really deserved it. I have been preaching all year long about this guy's ability to make contact. If he starts gaining some power, he will be a dangerous hitter. He has proven that he deserved the promotion so far. .305/.359/.783, 1 HR, 9 RBI in 15 g.

High A Tampa

Daniel Burawa was promoted to High A. In limited action he has performed poorly. 2.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. Honestly didn't feel he was ready for High A. In Low A Charleston, he had a 3.64 ERA and 35 K in 44.2 IP. That's good but in my opinion that's end of the season promotion good, not midseason promotion good. We'll see how he adjusts the rest of the season, it's a small sample size in High A so far.

Mike Gipson was also promoted to High A. He's been injured all season, but was listed on Low A Charleston at the beginning of the year, so this is a promotion. Don't have much to say about this except that he was good in Staten Island last season and I've been excited to see how he does all season.

Mikey O'brien also came from Charleston. He pitched great there, 68 K in 72.1 IP and a 3.2 ERA. He had a shaky first start, but since then has been great after the promotion. Definitely deserved this.

Nik Turley is another former River Dog, and this promotion has been a long time coming. He's been beastly in Low A, easily their best pitcher. He had a rough first start, but that's to be expected with a promotion.

Kramer Sneed, left handed relief pitcher. This promotion is one that I didn't understand, and so far I've been proven right. Sneed had a 4.18 ERA in Low A. He is left handed though, and stikes out more than 1/IP, so I guess the old addage, "he's left handed and he has a pulse," is accurate in this scenario.

JR Murphy, the catcher. I can't say enough about how much this kid deserved to be promoted. He was raking in Charleston, and outplaying Gary Sanchez at that level. He's young and he's got a sweet left handed swing. Yet another catcher to look out for in our system. With Gary Sanchez's fall from grace this season, he has eased that blow a little bit. He's struggled out of the gait, but seems to be easing into his role and improving every day, which is what you like to see.

Kyle Roller also deserved the promotion. They picked him for his bat, and he's done nothing but hit since he arrived here. He's got power, and should continue to move quickly through the organization at least until he starts seeing some real quality pitchers in AA. From there, anything can happen. He's played serviceably since arriving in Tampa (.250), but he'll have to continue to improve at this level.

Rob Segedin is another power hitting corner IF who deserved a promotion. I've had him and Roller paired together as similar players since the beginning of the season, and they have played very similarly. Segedin deserved his promotion, but has started off slow (.196) since his promotion. He's got some work to do.

Finally, Slade Heathcott earned a promotion to High A as well. Unfortunately, he has only played in 1 g since arriving due to injuries, however that game was an epic one for him. He was 3/5 with a HR and 2 R. There was speculation that he was bored in Charleston, but I have my doubts. I'm looking forward to his return.

Low A Charleston

Mark Montgomery made the quick move from Staten Island. So far he's shown why. So far he has made all but 2 of his outs by strikeout. He has 3 IP, and 9 K. Actually had 5 K in his first inning. I'd say he deserved a promotion, because he must be absolutely blowing batters away.

Kyle Higashioka moved in the wrong direction, going from High A to Charleston. The funny thing is, people have been talking about how good this kid is for about 3 years now, and I've never been impressed since he has proven over and over that he can't hit. Each year, however, he is promoted. Here's the funny part, he recently had really started to swing the bat well at High A Tampa, hitting a couple of HR in the week before the demotion, and hitting so well to the point that I actually feel he didn't deserve the demotion. Either way, he's in Charleston now, and has continued to hit better than he ever has before in his career (.279, 1 HR, 5 RBI). I actually feel bad for this kid, but the bottom line is that if he continues to hit, he will change minds. Just look at JR Murphy.

Now for the snubs. Who should have been promoted that wasn't? Or at least should be promoted soon. First of all, Dellin Betances should be promoted soon. He's very close. His main issue is control, but with the way that he has dominated AA batters, it hasn't mattered. There's no reason he can't work on that control in AAA. As for Austin Romine, I'm not saying he should be promoted, but he would be in AAA in any other system right now. I'm okay with it because Montero is a stud, but this kid has got to be getting bored there even though his playing quite well still. I still maintain that Raymond Kruml should have been promoted instead of Austin Krum to AAA. He's got better speed, and he's a better hitter. He has 29 SB already. If nothing else, he'd probably be great to have in the majors as a pinch runner in September. 

You might say that Zoilo Almonte should have been promoted to AA. I think we should give him time. He struggled a bit when he was promoted to High A in the middle of last season, decreasing his prospect stock. I say let him improve his stock in High A, this way he could be used as trade fodder this off-season or if nothing else build up some confidence. Increased prospect stock is never a bad thing. Jairo Heredia has been phenomenal, but only recently. He's another I'm glad they kept down because he has traditionally struggled with promotions. Let him get a true grasp on High A before giving him a new challenge. Ryan Flannery is the one snub at this level I disagree with. The guy has slowly moved up one level a year, each year dominating the level he's at. He's not getting any younger and yet there doesn't seem to be any sense of urgency in promoting him. Based on his picture he looks a bit obese, but hell, if you drafted him, then you thought he had something at some point. All he's done is prove that he can get guys out since he came here, I say give him a mid-season promotion for once in his career. Finally, I am not seeing any obvious snubs in Charleston, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

Overall, I think the Yankees did a good job evaluating who deserved a promotion and who didn't. I think there were a couple of mistakes as far as guys who didn't deserve a promotion, and a few where they probably should be promoted soon or should have already received that recognition. In the end, they will get their chance eventually.

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