Yankees News: Jaron Long Pitching Well in AAA
Yesterday we released our minor league player of the week series for the week of 5/18 – 5/24, but we may have already found a winner for the upcoming week.
Over Memorial Day Weekend 2014, New York Yankees pitching prospect Jaron Long hurled one of the best games of his minor league career as a member of the Class-A Charleston RiverDogs, throwing a seven-inning complete game shutout with a career high 9 strikeouts in a win over the Greenville Drive. Flash forward to Memorial Day 2015, and the right-hander is continuing to excel, but now at the highest level of the minor leagues as a member of the RailRiders starting rotation.
On Monday, Long scattered just three hits over a new career high 7.2 innings pitched en route to a 2-0 victory on the road against the Pawtucket Red Sox. Ironically, Long’s two best starts have come against minor league affiliates of the Boston Red Sox, and beating anything Red Sox related is always an added bonus!
But anyway, getting back on track, Jaron Long is now 3-3 and lowered his AAA ERA to 4.38 after Monday’s start.
"“Today was a really good.” Long told Ashley Marshall of MiLB.com in a post-game interview. “I was able to locate my fastball better than I have been all year. The defense played well and turned some pretty crucial double plays in the middle part of the game. It was just one of those games where everything seemed to work.”"
Jaron, a Scottsdale, Arizona native and the son of former New York Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long was signed to a minor league deal as a non-drafted free agent on Aug. 1, 2013.
On Monday, he retired the Pawtucket Sox in order the first time through the order, facing the minimum through four innings after getting Jackie Bradley Jr. to ground into 6-4-3 double play to start the fourth.
Though it wouldn’t have made significant headlines, his no-hit bid was broken up by a bunt single off the bat of Travis Shaw in the fifth inning. One inning later, Mike Miller and Deven Marrero both singled to center field, but Long pitched out of the jam by forcing an inning-ending around-the-horn double play.
Long rebounded well an inning later, tossing a perfect seventh inning and inducing two ground ball outs after walking the leadoff hitter in the eighth. He was pulled after 97 pitched, 63 of which were strikes, and sat back and watched a Jacob Lindgren-less Scranton Bullpen secure his victory.
"“I started out early mixing in all of my pitches,” said Long.”My fastball command was particularly strong. I know I walked some people, but it was strong early in the count and I got some ground balls on balls down in the zone. The changeup was effective and I went to it quite a lot, I would assume I threw 30 or so. I throw upper-80s and low-90s so it helps the fastball play. I was able to throw the curveball and I got three or four outs with that. I threw some sliders in there to keep them off some of the other pitches. In order to go that deep into a game, you have to have a good feel for them all.”"
Even more impressive is that Jaron Long out-pitched Henry Owens, the top pitching prospect in the Red Sox organization and the no. 19 over all prospect in the MiLB en route to the Memorial Day victory.
Long’s next start will likely come at the end of the Month during the teams three game set v. the Norfolk Tides.
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