Saturday, June 28, 2014

Secret intelligence dossier on last night's event in Syracuse, NY

Event: International League baseball game between the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Railriders and the Syracuse Chiefs, formerly the SkyChiefs, at BNT Stadium, formerly P&C Stadium.

Ancillary activities: Fireworks Night, with appearance of the Zooperstitions, fun-for-the-fam entertainment, featuring Harry Canary, Mackerel Jordan, Nomar Garciapparrot and Bear Bonds. (No mascots seen from the current Millennium.) 

Conditions: Blazing hot, sunny, slight breeze, ripe for thirstiness.

Scouting Report on key Scranton Railriders, future Yankee linchpins, to be seen ONLY by authorized fans.

Four Riders stood out:

Shane Greene, pitcher. Threw seven shutout innings, surrendered one hit - in the seventh. The first five were perfect. In the sixth, he walked a batter on a 3-2 count that - from my perch down the RF line - looked like a strike. Seven innings and one hit is a great outing, considering the Chiefs have several batters contending for the league lead in hitting. As Greene entered the fifth - the game moved fast - I was already checking to see if Vidal Nuno had been blasted by Boston, figuring Greene would be starting for the Yankees next week.

Greene dominated, a great night. That said, it must be noted that neither team produced a base hit over the first four innings. I think this was at least partially due to the left field shadow that hit between home plate and pitchers' mound. I don't think batters could pick up the ball. Hate to undermine a one-hitter, and Greene certainly vaults into the position of Next Call-Up (aside from CC, of course), but we need to see another game before thinking we have something. But we might.

Rob Refsnyder, second basesman. He looked unstoppable, every at-bat. First time up, he lashed a hot grounder to SS and was thrown out. Next time, he drew a walk. Then he turned on an inside pitch and crushed a two-run HR to left - the turning point of the game. Finally, he whacked a line drive single to right-center, this after nearly doubling down the left field line. He has a fast, compact swing, and he drives the ball wherever it is pitched. In the field, he handled a hot grounder. This is the future second baseman of the New York Yankees.

Kyle Roller, first baseman. He struck out on his first at-bat, then recorded the game's first hit, a line-drive single to right center. He drew a walk, then tripled off the wall in deep left center, a shot. (Keep in mind, he's LH, so he went with the pitch; it's a big, big ballpark, and flies don't carry well toward CF.) Roller didn't look as chunky as some have made him out to be. He looked like a guy who could step in for an injured Teixeira and cover 1B better than the catchers and OFs they would otherwise use. Of course, Roller is organizational fodder - he turned 26 in March. He's not the future Yankee first baseman. But the guy can play. There has to be a role for Roller.

Robert Coello, RH pitcher. He's 30, over-seasoned, big - 6'5" and 250 - and throws really hard. He pitched the final two innings, lights out. Strikeout, strikeout, ground out. Walk, come-backer force at 2B (should have been a DP, but he double-clutched, pulled a Jeter) strikeout, strikeout. You could argue that by the time Coello came in, Syracuse was six runs down and demoralized. But this guy was dealing. Considering how the Yankees go through bullpen arms, don't be surprised if he isn't pitching for us sometime in July.

Oh, and Scranton won, 6-0, as if anybody cares.

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