The Yankees farm report: The playoffs and beyond

. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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The Riverdogs Pitch In

The Charleston Riverdogs had the best record in the South Atlantic League (42-27), but it couldn’t help them get out of their first round. And the reason becomes a familiar refrain throughout the Yankees farm team failures: Great starting pitching, horrible relief efforts.

Of course, in The Dogs case, their playoff failure has to include a complete lack of hitting. In the three game set, Charleston was outscored ten to three. And most of Greenville’s runs came late in those games.

In the first game, rising star Freicer Perez went six scoreless. But the bullpen was one Bryan Mitchell after another, giving up four runs in three innings, and the team lost 4-1. Rony Garcia went into the sixth in game two, striking out five and surrendering zero runs, only this time the bullpen backed him up.

Fortunately for everyone, this was also Charleston’s offensive explosion, and they won 2-1. If you’ve been counting, you know how many runs the Yankees team scored in the elimination game.

Nick Green gave a better-than-quality start in game three, but when your team scores zero, you usually lose. Green and the RiverDogs ended their season with a five-nothing shutout loss.

Silver Lining

But though their postseason ended earlier than some others, Charleston came away with some interesting awards.

"On a vote decided by their league peers, RiverDogs Strength Coach Jeff Dolan and Athletic Trainer Michael Sole were each named the league’s best at their respective positions."

"Both Dolan and Sole are in their first season with the RiverDogs and their second in the Yankees system in full-time positions. Dolan garners the Strength & Conditioning Coaches Society’s Strength Coach of the Year award for the South Atlantic League while Sole was awarded the top honors in the SAL from the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainer Society."

"Dolan garners his second Strength Coach of the Year award after he earned the nod in the Appalachian League while with the Pulaski Yankees in 2016."

And the awards were not limited to Yankees.

"Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park has long been considered a gem in the city of Charleston and across Minor League Baseball, and 2017 is no different. The RiverDogs’ pristine venue has once again been recognized as the South Atlantic League’s Best Playing Field of the Year as Mike Williams was honored as the top sports turf manager."

"The honor marks the fifth time the RiverDogs’ playing field has been recognized under the past nine seasons under Williams’ leadership. In a vote of the SAL Sports Turf Managers Association, Riley Park has now been named the top playing surface in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, and now 2017 with Williams getting the nod as the top sports turf manager each season as well."

I am sorrier than ever that I did not get a chance to see Estevan Florial and Blake Rutherford play together down in Charleston.