Results tagged ‘ Double A ’

Gardner Yanks’ nominee for Clemente Award

Brett Gardner is the Yankees’ nominee for the 2016 Roberto Clemente Award and will be recognized before Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium as part of the 15th annual Roberto Clemente Day.

The award has been presented annually since 1971 and named for the Hall of Fame outfielder two years later after his death in a plane crash while on a mission to Nicaragua to aid victims of an earthquake. The Roberto Clemente Award recognizes a player from each major league club who “best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.”

Gardner was a charter member of the Taylor Hooton Foundation’s Advisory Board to educate youth about performance-enhancing drugs. The left fielder’s extensive community outreach also notably includes heavy involvement with the Ronald McDonald House in both New York and his home state of South Carolina.

Yankees winners of the award were Derek Jeter in 2009, Don Baylor in 1985 and Ron Guidry in 1984.

The Yankees’ top-five minor league affiliates all qualified for the 2016 postseason in their respective leagues: Triple-A Scranton/WB (91-52), Double-A Trenton (87-55), Single-A Tampa (77-58), Single-A Charleston (76-63) and Short-season Single-A Staten Island (44-31). The Yankees are one of two organizations whose minor league affiliates qualified for the postseason at all four full-season levels. The other is the Mariners. The Yankees’ four Yankees affiliates combined for a 331-228 (.592) record.

Yanks’ minor leaguers drawing attention

There is some good news for several Yankees minor leaguers.

Four members of the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders were elected to the 29th annual Sonic Automotive Triple A All-Star Game July 13 at Charlotte, N.C. Pitcher Chad Green, catcher Gary Sanchez and outfielders Ben Gamel and Aaron Judge are the SWB All-Stars, the most of any International League team in balloting by managers, general managers, media and fans online.

Judge, who was named the IL Batter of the Week for June 20-26, leads the league in home runs with 16, including four in his past sis games. He ranks second in the IL in runs (49) and total bases (140), third in extra-base hits (31) and tied for fourth in runs batted in (46). This month, Judge has hit .337 with nine home runs and 21 RBI in 26 games. His on-base plus slugging percentage is 1.156.

Sanchez is tied with Judge for fourth in the IL in slugging with a .490 percentage and is second on the team in homers (8) and RBI (32). Green leads the league with a 1.54 ERA in 14 starts and 81 2/3 innings and has a 17-inning shutout string going. Gamel, the IL Rookie of the Year in 2015, is batting .293 with a team-leading 12 stolen bases.

Double A Trenton catcher Kyle Higashioka was chosen the Eastern League Player of the Week for June 20-26 for batting .467 with a double, four home runs, 12 RBI and a 1.333 slugging percentage in four games and 15 at-bats. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native is batting .301 with 11 doubles, six homers and 33 RBI in 38 games and 133 at-bats this season.

Sanchez and infielder Jorge Mateo were selected to play for the World Team in the 2016 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, which will be played at 7 p.m., Eastern Times, Sunday, July 10, at Petco Park in San Diego as part of the Major League All-Star Game festivities.

In 48 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Sanchez is hitting .277 with 25 runs, 16 doubles, one triple, eight home runs and 31RBI in 195 at-bats. He has also appeared in one game with the Yanks this season and was 0-for-4.

Mateo is batting .270 with 45 runs, eight doubles, eight triples, five homers, 33 RBI and 26 stolen bases in 69 games and 281 at-bats for Class A Tampa. He leads the Florida State League in steals and is tied for the league lead in runs and triples.

Neck stiffness resurfaces for slumping Teixeira

While Alex Rodriguez is on the road back to good health and expected to rejoin the Yankees for Thursday’s late-afternoon series finale against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, there are other physical concerns disrupting the club.

Rodriguez homered in two at-bats for Double A Trenton Wednesday night after going 2-for-4 with a run batted in Tuesday night on an injury-rehabilitation assignment. It is too bad A-Rod did not take to playing first base a couple of years ago because the Yankees may have a real need there.

Mark Teixeira was out of the lineup Wednesday night because of neck stiffness, the same ailment that forced him to miss two home games earlier this month against the Royals. It has been a rough month for Teixeira, who is batting .164 with three doubles and two RBI in May that has driven his season batting average down to .195. Tex was 4-for-25 (.160) on the recent trip to Phoenix and Oakland. He went 16 games without an RBI from May 3-21, the longest stretch of his career. He was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts in Tuesday night’s 6-0 victory over the Blue Jays. Teixeira has not homered since April 13, another career-worst stretch of 124 at-bats.

Dustin Ackley was at first base batting sixth in the order Wednesday night. Manager Joe Girardi conceded he does not have that many options at that position. He said he could use backup catcher Austin Romine at first base or use Romine behind the plate and have regular catcher Brian McCann at first. Romine was taking grounders at first base during batting practice.

Gary Sanchez, the catcher Romine beat out in spring training for the role of McCann’s caddy, is also hurt. Playing at Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, Sanchez took a foul ball off his right hand Tuesday night and sustained a bone fracture in this thumb that placed him on the disabled list.

A former Yankees catcher was a primary reason the Yankees’ six-game winning streak came to an end. Russell Martin, who entered the game without a home run and only one extra-base hit in 122 at bats, cranked two home runs to drive in three runs for Toronto in its 8-4 victory that dropped the Yankees back below .500(22-23).

The Yanks got a pair of home runs on back-to-back solos by Chase Headley (No. 3) and Didi Gregorius (No. 4) in the seventh but it was too little too late. For the seventh straight game, the Yankees’ starter pitched six innings or more. Ivan Nova (2-2) lasted two outs in the seventh before he hit Edwin Encarnacion with a pitch and was replaced by Chase Shreve, who gave up a two-run homer to Patrick Saunders.

The Blue Jays were not finished with Shreve. Justin Smoak doubled and Martin followed with his second homer of the game. His first came leading off the sixth against Nova, who was charged with four earned runs in 6 2/3 innings. A couple of two-out infield singles in the fourth hurt Nova, who then yielded a bases-clearing double by Ryan Goins.

Martin’s sixth-inning homer came in his 125th at-bat, the second longest drought at the start of a season in his career. Martin did not hit a home run in 2009 until his 218th at-bat for the Dodgers. Martin’s bid for a three-homer game came in the ninth but center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury caught his drive on the warning track.

Toronto starter Marco Estrada earned his first victory in eight starts since April 10. The righthander, who had received scant run support prior to Wednesday night, loaded the bases with none out in the second on singles by Headley and Gregorius and a four-pitch walk to Aaron Hicks but gave up only one run on an infield out. Gregorius had three hits, including a singe off lefthander Chad Girodo, which raised his team-leading batting average against southpaws to .368 in 38 at-bats.

Rodriguez has played only two games at first base, both in 2015, in his career and was not a bit comfortable on that side of the infield as he has been over the years as a shortstop turned third baseman. A-Rod made one error in his 9 2/3 innings as a first baseman.
The Yankees are hopeful Teixeira’s health issues are short-term. If the problem should linger, they would have to weigh all options. After a hot start at SWB, Nick Swisher has cooled off to a .260 batting average with four home runs and 13 RBI. He has been platooned there with Chris Parmelee, who is batting .244 with six homers and 18 RBI.

Injury rehab stint at Trenton for A-Rod

Alex Rodriguez’s return from the 15-day disabled list will be delayed for at least another day or two. Rodriguez, who was placed on the DL May 4 due to a strained right hamstring, went on an injury-rehabilitation assignment to Double A Trenton Tuesday night. The Thunder has night games Tuesday and Wednesday.

Rodriguez has been eligible to come off the DL since May 19, but he was not activated during the Yankees’ recently completed four-game sweep at Oakland. Carlos Beltran was the DH in all four games and was 9-for-18 (.500) with three runs, five doubles, one home run and eight RBI.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi explained before Tuesday night’s opener of a three-game series against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium that the decision on Rodriguez was reached Monday during a conference call with club officials. Girardi said the thinking was that A-Rod has been idle for three weeks and needs at-bats. With three righthanders starting for Toronto in this series there is less of a need to hurry Rodriguez back.

And although it is purely coincidental, the Yankees have gotten hot during A-Rod’s absence. They are 12-6 since he went on the DL. DHs have hit a combined .323 with 10 doubles, five home runs and 19 RBI in 62 at-bats. Almost all of the damage has been by Beltran, who started 12 of 15 games as the DH (there was no DH in a three-game series in the National League city of Phoenix) and batted .367 with 11 runs, nine doubles, five home runs and 18 RBI in 49 at-bats. The Yanks were 10-2 in those games.

Using Beltran as the DH spares his aging legs, improves the outfield defense with Aaron Hicks in right field and offers some playing time for Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre call-up Rob Refsnyder. Girardi did say that once Rodriguez returns he would again be the full-time DH, but for the time being there is no emergency.

The Yankees made a player move Tuesday in claiming pitcher Layne Somsen off waivers from the Reds and optioning him to SWB. The righthander, 26, made his major league debut with Cincinnati this season and appeared in two games. Somsen pitched a scoreless inning May 14 at Philadelphia and allowed five earned runs in 1 1/3 innings May 16 at Cleveland.

The South Dakota native also made 10 appearances with Triple-A Louisville This year and posted a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings without any decisions. In 86 games, including seven starts, over parts of four minor league seasons, Somsen has a 9-5 career record with a 2.50 ERA.

The Yankees’ 40-man roster now stands at 40.

An abundance of bullpen options for Girardi

Among the added benefits of having Aroldis Chapman as the closer out of the bullpen is that it allows Yankees manager Joe Girardi to use Dellin Betances or Andrew Miller earlier in the game when the situation calls for a key pitching change.

Take Saturday’s 2-1 victory over the White Sox, for example, the first game in which all three power relievers appeared in the same game. Girardi had Betances warming up in the bullpen in the sixth inning in case starter Ivan Nova ran into trouble.

Nova, who made his second start since joining the rotation following CC Sabathia’s assignment to the 15-day disabled list, was not in any real trouble most of his outing. His sinker produced 13 ground ball outs, including the first two outs of the sixth. But when he walked Todd Frazier, out of the dugout came Girardi, who signaled for Betances.

Frazier had accounted for Chicago’s run in the fourth inning with his 12th home run, so Nova needed to be careful. Betances finished the inning with a strikeout of Melky Cabrera and struck out the side in the seventh as well.

That set up the Yankees’ new bullpen formula, which went into effect for the first time. Miller pitched the eighth and allowed one hit with two strikeouts. Chapman brought his trademark heat in the ninth with two more strikeouts for his second save. This was right out of the blueprint.

The 10-out performance by this powerful trio extended the bullpen’s scoreless streak to 15 2/3 innings. In 12 games since May 3, Yankees relievers have combined for a 1.54 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 35 innings.

Nova is 2-0 with a 1.02 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings in five games (two starts) at the Stadium this season. He has allowed one run in each of his past two starts (1.74 ERA) covering 10 1/3 innings. The quality start from Nova was very welcomed coming on the heels of a rocky start Friday night by Luis Severino, who was placed on the DL due to a strained right triceps.

The Yankees made several other moves Saturday. They signed righthanders Chad Green and Conor Mullee to major league contracts and called them up from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, optioned catcher Gary Sanchez to SWB and transferred pitcher Bryan Mitchell, first baseman Greg Bird and outfielder Mason Williams to the 60-day DL. Those moves created space on the 40-man roster for Green, Mullee and J.R. Graham, a right-handed pitcher obtained from the Twins for a player to be named and cash considerations. Graham was optioned to Double A Trenton.

The Yankees guaranteed a winning homestand with Saturday’s victory that made them 6-3 with one game remaining. They are 13-2 against the White Sox at the Stadium dating to June 30, 2012. It was the Yankees’ first victory when scoring two or fewer runs since Sept. 26 last year, also by 2-1 and also against the White Sox. The Yanks had lost 18 consecutive games when scored two or fewer runs.

Both Yankees runs came in the second inning after two were out off Jose Quintana, the lefthander who originally signed with the Yankees and went to the White Sox as a six-year, minor-league free agent. Chase Headley walked and scored on a double to center by Aaron Hicks. A single to right by Didi Gregorius scored Hicks. Austin Romine followed with a double, but the automatic kind that bounced over the fence in right-center, which hurt the Yanks because Gregorius had to go back to third base. Brett Gardner grounded out to end the added threat.

Another positive sign was center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury on the field for the first time in eight games since injuring his right hip as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning. At two hours, 24 minutes, the game was the shortest nine-inning game at the Stadium since a 2:20 game June 6 last year against the Angels

Yanks pluck another prospect from the minors

It has worked so far for Luis Severino. Maybe it will as well for Greg Bird.

It, of course, is being thrown into the major-league fire. Severino, the Yankees’ top pitching prospect, has supplied two strong starts since his call-up from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to help a rotation that is without Michael Pineda, who is on the 15-day disabled list and will make an injury-rehabilitation start Sunday at Double A Trenton.

Bird, one of the Yankees’ top hitting prospects, was recalled Thursday and was inserted into the lineup for the series finale at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. Bird will play first base and bat seventh in manager Joe Girardi’s lineup. The move gives a break to Mark Teixeira, who has been struggling this month with a .175 batting average, two home runs and four RBI in 40 at-bats.

With the designation for assignment of Garrett Jones for the second time this season, the Yanks were without a legitimate back-up first baseman other than Brendan Ryan, who also fills in at the other three infield positions. Bird, who is 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, is a pure first baseman who was batting .301 with six home runs and 23 RBI in 34 games at SWB following his July 4 promotion from Trenton where he hit .258 with six homers and 29 RBI in 49 games.

The Yankees certainly can use a jolt in the offense that has gone sour lately with only nine runs scored in the past six games, the last five of which have been losses to drop them out of first place in the American League East by one game to the Blue Jays, who won their 11th straight game Thursday on the eve of a three-game series against the Yankees at Rogers Centre.

Yanks make full recovery with sweep of Twins

Perhaps the most amazing thing about the Yankees’ 9-5 victory Thursday that completed a four-game sweep of the Twins was that Robinson Cano had very little to do with it. For the only time on the seven-game trip to Baltimore and Minneapolis, Cano did not get a hit, although he drove in a run with a first-inning sacrifice fly.

Others in the lineup provided the fireworks for the Yanks on the Fourth of July as they moved out to a 9-1 lead by the sixth inning. Ichiro Suzuki at the top of the lineup as Brett Gardner got a needed day off fell a home run short of the cycle, scored twice and knocked in two runs. Travis Hafner reached base four times with two doubles, a single and getting hit by a pitch and crossed the plate twice. Vernon Wells had two hits and three RBI, Zoilo Almonte in the 2-hole had two hits and two RBI and near the bottom of the lineup Luis Cruz and Carlos Gonzalez drove in one run apiece.

It was a nice ensemble effort by the Yankees, who banged out 13 hits and did not have to rely on Cano carrying them as he did for most of the trip. With six multi-hit games, Cano had 14-for-28, a .500 clip, with nine runs, two doubles, four home runs and 11 RBI.

David Phelps rebounded from a dreadful prior start in Baltimore (nine earned runs and nine hits in 2 1/3 innings) and had a decent outing (four earned runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings). The Twins closed the gap to four runs, but Joe Girardi did not have to bring in Mariano Rivera for the first time in the Target Field series as Shawn Kelly and David Robertson provided perfect relief in the eighth and ninth innings.

The Yankees’ second four-game sweep of the season (they also accomplished it April 25-28 at Yankee Stadium against the Blue Jays) removed the bitter taste of being swept in three games by the Orioles. The Yankees returned to third place in the American League East and got back to 1 ½ games behind second-place Baltimore, although they remain six games behind the first-place Red Sox.

The Yankees open a 10-game homestand leading into the All-Star break Friday night against the Orioles, the first of a three-game set. Then the Royals come to the Stadium for four games and the Twins for three. This should be happy news for the Yankees, who are 14-3 (.824) against AL Central competition this season, the second best record by a club against a division within its league, trailing only the Indians’ 12-2 (.857) mark against the AL West. The Yanks have won 14 of their past 15 games against the AL Central after losing their first two games at Detroit April 5 and 6. They are a combined 105-55 vs. the AL Central over the past five seasons, the highest winning percentage (.656) for any AL team against the division.

This was the Yankees’ first sweep of the Twins in a series of at least four games since May 15-18, 2009 at home and the first time in Minnesota since April 18-21, 2003 when the Twinkies were still at the Metrodome.

The Yankees played the Twins on Independence Day for the seventh time since the original Washington Senators franchise moved to Minnesota in 1961. The Yanks are 4-3 in those games. They swept a doubleheader (remember those on the Fourth of July?) at the original Yankee Stadium in 1964, 7-5 and 2-1; lost a doubleheader at old Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington (now the site of Mall of America), 3-8 and 6-7; won, 3-2, in 1985 and lost, 2-6, in 2007, both at the renovated Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees played on the road on the Fourth of July for the third straight year, the first time they have done that in three consecutive seasons since 1988-90. They are 30-27 on the Fourth of July in the Expansion Era (since 1961).

The Elias Sports Bureau pointed out that with Wednesday night’s victory CC Sabathia became the 27th pitcher in major-league history and only the eighth in the Expansion Era to get his 200th career victory prior to his 33rd birthday. The others were Don Drysdale, Jim “Catfish” Hunter, Fergie Jenkins, Greg Maddux, Juan Marichal, Jim Palmer and Tom Seaver. All are in the Hall of Fame except for Maddux, who will go on the ballot for the first time this year.

Francisco Cervelli’s recovery from a fractured right hand has been complicated by a stress reaction in his right elbow. The catcher, who has been catching in simulated at-bats in the Yankees’ minor-league complex in Tampa, has been shut down for the next two weeks. On the positive side, infielder Eduardo Nunez will continue his injury-rehabilitation assignment at Double A Trenton.

A-Rod cleared by Yanks to play injury-rehab games

Yankees fans have to hope that Alex Rodriguez’s comeback from injury goes better than that of Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis. All three ended up back on the disabled list after briefly returning to action. Teixeira, who need surgery on his left wrist, will be gone for the rest of the season. The Yankees are hopeful that Granderson, who broke his hand, will return sometime later this month and Youkilis, who required spinal surgery, perhaps in September.

Rodriguez, who had off-season left hip surgery, was finally given clearance to begin an injury-rehabilitation assignment by the Yankees Monday and will play a minimum of three innings for Class A Charleston Tuesday night. The Yanks chose the South Carolina affiliate because there are weather issues for Triple A Scranton and Double A Trenton, although A-Rod eventually will make stops in both minor-league towns as he works his way back to the Yankees.

“I’m actually very excited,” Rodriguez told reporters in Tampa where he has been working out at the Yankees’ minor league complex. “It will be the first game I’ve played in maybe over eight months. It has been a long time. And it will be great to suit up again. Its gets me one step closer to helping my team win in New York.’’

Teixeira & Youkilis working their way back

Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis began their injury-rehabilitation assignments Wednesday at Double A Trenton and should be back with the Yankees soon. This has resulted in speculation on the radio talk shows that their return might upset the chemistry the club has developed in the first six weeks of the season.

I have heard some people say that maybe the Yankees should keep things the way they are with Lyle Overbay at first base and David Adams at third. This type of thinking is nothing short of preposterous.

There is no question that Overbay has been a godsend in the season-long absence of Teixeira, who never gets off to good starts anyway. Adams has also shown that he can hit major-league pitching and has displayed better defensive skills than had been expected. That said; let us not forget that Teixeira and Youkilis are former All-Star players with an abundance of postseason experience that includes World Series championships.

Following a two-game series at Citi Field in which the Yankees scored only two runs in 18 innings, who can say the quality of bats swung by Teixeira and Youkilis aren’t needed? The Yankees have gotten from their replacements more than they could have dreamed when they left training camp.

The Yankees took a 30-21 record into Wednesday night’s shift of the Subway Series to Yankee Stadium, and there is not one person in the organization who is not at least somewhat surprised at the developments.

But as manager Joe Girardi acknowledged before Wednesday night’s game, the Yankees’ lineup remains overly left-handed (seven of the nine hitters in the order bat from the left side), so the prospect of Teixeira and Youkilis returning is welcomed. Girardi intends to be careful with both and will gradually work them into the framework as he did earlier this month when outfielder Curtis Granderson came off the disabled list (only to bounce back on with a broken little finger).

For that reason, Overbay is likely to be retained despite the fact that Tex and Youk both can play that position. There is still a fear among the Yankees that Teixeira might not be completely out of the woods as the Jose Bautista situation last year in Toronto attests. If Adams is sent back to Triple A Scranton, the Yankees would be wise to see that he plays primarily on the infield corners rather than his normal second base spot.

The point is, the Yankees need a healthy Teixeira and Youkilis to give the team a boost as it moves into the second third of the season.

The Yankees were still recovering from the two-game sweep at Citi Field and the unexpected bullpen breakdown. The series marked the first time David Robertson and Mariano Rivera each took the loss in the same series.

Rivera’s blown save Tuesday night was his first of the season and ended a streak of 23 converted save opportunities dating to last season. It was the first time Mo blew a save without recording an out and only the third appearance of any kind in his career when he did not get an out. It was his second straight blown save against the Mets, following that of July 3, 2011 at Citi Field and the third time in his career he squandered consecutive save chances at an opposing park. It also occurred July 12 and 14, 2002 at Cleveland and three in a row Sept. 9, 2010, April 24, 2011 and May 18, 2011 at Baltimore.

The Yankees have been held to one run in consecutive games for the first time since May 16-17, 2012 at Toronto (8-1 and 4-1 losses) and lost consecutive one-run games for the first time since July 29-30, 2012, 3-2, to the Red Sox and 5-4 to the Orioles. It marks the second time the Yanks lost consecutive one-run games to the Mets. It also happened July 3-4, 2004 by scores of 10-9 and 6-5. The Yankees started the season with a 5-0 record in one-run games but have lost four of the past five such games and are 9-6 overall.

Yankees starters Phil Hughes and Hiroki Kuroda in the two-game sweep each pitched seven innings and allowed four hits. It was the first time that Yankees starters put up those stats in consecutive starts and the Yankees losing both games since Aug. 9-10 against the White Sox at Yankee Stadium by Shawn Chacon (7 innings, 3 hits) and Aaron Small (7 innings, 4 hits).

Kuroda’s start Tuesday night was his fourth of the season in which he pitched at least seven innings without allowing a run, tying the Indians’ Justin Masterson and the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw for the most in the majors. It was his 10th such start since joining the Yankees, the most in the majors over the past two years.

The Yankees were swept by the Mets in a series of any length for the first time since 2008 and went winless in a series in Queens for only the second time. They sustained a three-game sweep July 2-4, 20004. The Yankees have lost consecutive games to the Mets for the first time since losing three in a row May 22 to June 18, 2010.

A-Rod begins injury rehab assignment

Alex Rodriguez will get his first taste of live pitching in five weeks Friday night when he serves as the designated hitter for Class A Tampa at Lakeland in a Florida State League game while on an injury-rehabilitation assignment. Rodriguez has been on the disabled list since July 25 due to a broken bone in his left hand.

The Yankees will travel to Tampa following Sunday’s series finale against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium and are hopeful that A-Rod may be activated for the three-game series against the Rays.

Andy Pettitte, disabled since June 28 because of a fractured left fibula, is expected to throw a bullpen session sometime over the weekend in his rehabilitation toward a possible return to the mound in September.

Pedro Feliciano, who is recovering from left rotator cuff surgery, was scheduled to have his rehab assignment transferred to Class A Staten Island Friday night. The lefthander has pitched 6 1/3 combined innings in seven outings – four with the Gulf Coast League Yankees, one with Class A Tampa and two with Double A Trenton. He has allowed two earned runs, six hits and three walks with eight strikeouts for an ERA of 2.84.

With little more than a week to play in the minor-league season, the Yankees’ top two affiliates have secured postseason berths. Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre clinched the North Division of the International League Thursday night. Double A Trenton has clinched a playoff berth and has a magic number of two to clinch the Eastern Division title of the Eastern League. Class A Tampa is one game out of first place in the North Division of the Florida State League with three games to play.

Trenton’s Tony Franklin was named 2012 Eastern League Manager of the Year for the first time in his career. His victory came a few days after SWB’s Dave Miley was named 2012 Manager of the Year in the International League.

The Yankees will be in first place in the American League East Saturday when the calendar turns to September. They have made postseason in each of the past 15 times they were first at the start of play Sept. 1 since divisional play began in 1969. According to Stats LLC, the Yanks finished first in 39 of the 43 seasons when they led the division Labor Day.