Yankees: Trenton Thunder Rotation Better Than Some ML Teams

Chance Adams: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Chance Adams: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Yankees, as we know, have a cache of young pitching talent that will soon be ready to join the big league team in the Bronx. How good they are, though, isn’t apparent until you see their names in the rotation of a Double-A team.

The Yankees skipper at Double-A Trenton, Bobby Mitchell, announced his starting rotation for the 2017 season. At least three names are familiar to fans who followed the Yankees throughout the spring, and each, at one point or another was mentioned and considered a candidate for the rotation on the big club.

And there’s no other team in baseball that can say that.

Pinstripe Prospects reports that the Trenton Thunder rotation this season will be composed of Chad Green, Chance Adams, Justus Sheffield, Domingo German, and Yefry Ramirez.

Green is reportedly one of the candidates, along with Jordan Montgomery, who will get his exercise with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders, scheduled to join the Yankees staff on April 16 when the Yankees will need a fifth starter for the first time this season.

Editor’s Note:

"In a move that parallels what life is often like for minor league teams and managers, the Yankees have transferred Chad Green to the roster of Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre where he will battle with Montgomery for the fifth spot in the Yankees rotation. This kind of here today and gone tomorrow movement of players is typical and will continue throughout the summer."

The Rest Of The Rotation

Sheffield is likely to be with the Thunder for most of the season, but the Yankees are hoping that he performs well enough to earn a promotion to the Railriders at some point this year. His ETA on the Yankees could be as early as 2018.

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Adams was an early cut this spring, and the move surprised some who thought he was at least ticketed for Scranton. But apparently, the team thought it was best to place him where he could pitch every fifth day as a starter.

The other two pitchers are not household names in the organization. Domingo German was initially drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 2010 International Draft. Hailing from the Dominican Republic, he’s a 24-year old right-hander whose rise has been less than meteoric.

He’s pitched well enough wherever he’s been, just not enough having tallied only 350 innings over six seasons. He was acquired by the Yankees in the deal that sent Martin Prado and David Phelps to the Marlins in 2014, but promptly suffered and injury that required Tommy John surgery and missed all of the 2015 season. He’ll get his chance this season, though, as a darkhorse candidate.

Yefry Ramirez is an odd sort of a ballplayer and is listed by Baseball Reference as a pitcher, third baseman, first baseman. Practically speaking, though, he’s a pitcher, who when signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks played a year as a position player, managing to hit only .169 with no home runs in 44 games.

Ramirez’s 2016 season was impressive and the cause for earning the promotion that places him with the Thunder. He has a live arm, but his progress will be determined by his ability to harness his stuff while struggling to command a presence on the mound that is required for all major league pitchers.

The Action Is At The Top

The action, of course, is at the top of the rotation. It’s likely that at least one of the three will be promoted to the Yankees at some point in the season. And with Green, that could be as early as a few weeks from now.

A lot depends on how well Michael Pineda and Luis Severino perform at the big league level and whether or not the Yankees are in serious contention for a spot in the Playoffs.

Knowing that these untapped resources are standing by in the minors has to be a comfort for the team, and also a kick in the butt for Pineda and Severino to step it up because someone indeed could be gaining on them