Minor League Monday: February 8th, 2010

This week in Yankees Minor League News

  • Earlier this week, we reported some minor league managerial changes that took place in the Yankees organization. As stated in this post, Charleston RiverDogs manage Torre Tyson is now set to take the reigns of the Tampa Yankees. He will be replaced with current RiverDogs hitting coach Gregg Colbrunn. Unfortunately, this puts Luis Sojo as the odd man out in the organization.
  • According to MLBTradeRumors, the Yankees have signed Marcus Thames to a minor league contract. You may remember the name as Thames came up in the Yankees organization before being traded as part of the Ruben Sierra trade in 2003.
  • Earlier this week, an article on SWBYankees.com highlighted some players who recently participated in Winter Ball who may or may not see time in the Bronx in 2010. Some of the players include well known Yankee prospect Juan Miranda, Ramiro Pena, Ivan Nova, and Zach Segovia.
  • Haven’t had a chance to see the Yankees World Series trophy yet? Why not head out to a Trenton Thunder game on…say…April 8th. The trophy will be on display at the Thunder hosts the Erie SeaWolves on their opening night.

Yankees Minor League Player of the Week

The off-season is nearly coming to an end and spring training will be here soon. That being said, it’s never too early to start the “Player of the Week” segment. Instead of highlighting a player who’s had the best week, I’d like to take this time to highlight on a Scranton favorite(mind you, I use this term very loosely)…Kei Igawa. Before you start to scream and yell, I have good reason. Kei Igawa is one of the players recently named to have a shot at the Major League roster. The question that’s up for debate is does he have an actual chance to make the roster? Let’s take a look at what we know.

  • In 145.1 innings pitched last season, Igawa gave up over a hit per inning (10.2 hits per inning) and opponents batted .284 against him. He also posted his highest WHIP since joining the Yankees (1.411). It’s important to note that his career numbers are all better than the previously mentioned statistics.
  • Igawa has been a major part of the success of the Scranton-Wilkes/Barre franchise. He’s been an invaluable member of a very successful string of teams that has brought division titles to the Yankees organization.
  • If we want to stay positive, we can remember his one-hit, six shut out inning performance against the Red Sox. Could Igawa be better suited for the bullpen, which is exactly the spot he’ll be competing for in New York.
  • For full Minor League stats on Kei Igawa, click here.

These are just a few interesting bits of information to think about. In the end, let’s face it, this is Kei Igawa we’re talking about. I’d like to see him earn a shot at a bullpen spot, but will it happen? I’m not exactly confident. I’ve seen Igawa look VERY good at times in Scranton. At other times, he just looked over match. The bottom line with Kei Igawa is his only value remaining for the Bronx Bombers is in the pen. Sure, a spot start is possible, but the Yankees have plenty of options in that area.

When you break it down, the Yankees may be willing to give it a shot if he can prove his value in Florida this spring training. There’s one spot likely to be secured by Damaso Marte, but a second left-handed specialist spot does remain.  The question is whether Igawa he up for the challenge?

Next Week on Minor League Monday: Next week, I’ll take a look at some prospects likely to see some time in the Majors in 2010. I’ll also introduce the Minor League Monday Question of the Week.

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