-With Pedro Feliciano on the DL for pretty much forever, the focus on Lefties in the Yankee system becomes far more acute. Near the top of that list (forget Manny Banny this year) is Andy Sisco, who is the 6′ 10″ 28 year old lefty the Yanks signed out of the Mexican League. He’s off to a fast start (2-0 0.00 ERA 0.833 WHIP 8.7 SO/9) but Yankee officials want to see more. Donnie Collins of SWB Yankee blog has the update:
For instance, Cashman said Sisco’s fastball was hitting 95 mph in the Mexican League when they signed him in the offseason. Now, the Yankees report it’s resting in the low 90s.
“Although you’re seeing the (stat) line, and it looks good, you’re still not seeing what we saw when we signed him out of Mexico,” Cashman said. “I’m not saying he can’t become a choice, but I wouldn’t say we’re waiting on him right now. His lines are better than what he’s throwing. Even though he’s throwing better, we still want to give him more time to get to where he needs to get to. He might become a choice at some point for us, but he’s not right now.”
-Fun fact of the week from a NY Times Yankee beat writer:
benshpigel: It took A-Rod 128 at-bats last year to hit his 4th homer. In 2011? 29.
-So the Plan To Phix Phil begins in earnest. I guess all the folks who dismissed the early camp concerns about Phil’s velocity as “another media narrative” missed this one. There are many crutches people rely on, but the “narrative” one has become among the most tired and overused of all in recent years. Almost as bad as “clutch” is from other camps.
-Speaking of overused cliches, we get it that velocity and missing bats isn’t everything. Anyone who’s paying attention that doesn’t have blinders on knows that. But velocity does increase your margin for error, just ask Phil Hughes. Velocity is like money. It isn’t everything, but its a nice thing to have and makes your life (as a pitcher) easier.
-Nothing to do with Baseball, but this is just cool.
-For those of you who follow the Yankee farm system, OF Ramon Flores made it onto this week’s Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet in the ‘Helium Watch’ section. Here’s what they said:
• Ramon Flores, lf, Yankees: Can you call a 19-year-old Venezuelan outfielder who signed for $775,000 a sleeper? Perhaps, since the 5-foot-10 left fielder is still fighting an uphill battle with his lack of size, but his swing and ability to get on base are hard to question. After hitting .329/.436/.481 in 189 plate appearances last year in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League (where he ranked as the league’s No. 13 prospect), Flores had an adjustment period in a brief call-up to Charleston at the end of the year. The sweet-swinging lefthanded hitter is off to a better start this year in the South Atlantic League, hitting .407/.515/.556 with more walks (5) than strikeouts (3) in his first 33 trips to the plate. While teammate Slade Heathcott’s tools stick out in a more obvious fashion, Flores is the RiverDog with more advanced feel for hitting and for the strike zone.
Between Flores, Heathcott and Gary Sanchez, that Charleston lineup is going to be fun to watch this year. Jesus Montero and Slade Heathcott also made the list since they’re off to hot starts this year, but you would have known about that already if you read Sean Potter’s Minor League Update on Friday.
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