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4/10 Minors Report: Slade Heathcott is on Fire; Jesus Montero; Betances & Warren Struggle; Prior Works Back-to-Back Days

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Charleston:

We will once again start in Charleston today, where Slade Heathcott kept up his early season power surge, knocking out two doubles amongst his three hits as Charleston lost to Lexington, 12-4. Heathcott is now 9-for-18 on the season with four doubles, one triple, and two home runs. That’s good for a 1.167 slugging percentage.

Gary Sanchez also doubled, and scored a run in the losing effort.

Rough debut for Kramer Sneed, a 32nd round pick in the 2010 draft. Sneed went 3.1 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on three hits. He walked two and struck out two. The 22-year old left-hander out of Boston College went 1-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 10 games (7 starts) late in 2010. He walked 10 and struck out 51 in 39.1 innings.
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Scranton:

Jesus Montero went 2-for-5 with a run scored, while Jordan Parraz and Jorge Vazquez both homered in a 7-5 Scranton victory. Montero is 6-for-15 with one extra base hit (home run), no walks, and two strikeouts thus far in 2011.

The home run was Parraz’s second in the young season.

Adam Warren started and struggled with his control. The 23-year old right-hander only lasted 4.2 innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He walked five and struck out only one. Guys like Warren, Phelps, and Brackman may have an opportunity to crack the Yankees rotation at some point this year, even if it is only for a start or two. So far, both Phelps & Warren had rough opening outings.

Andrew Sisco pitched two scoreless innings of relief to earn the win. With Feliciano still shut down, a guy like Sisco could earn his way up to the big club with a solid start. Kevin Whelan, who blew yesterday’s game, earned the save today.
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Trenton:

Dellin Betances and the offense both struggled today in a 5-0 loss to New Hampshire.

Betances went 4.2 innings, allowing four runs (one earned) on five hits. He walked two and struck out only one hitter.

Austin Romine (.188) contributed a hit to the losing effort, as did Bradley Suttle (.133), who doubled. Hasn’t been a strong offensive start in Trenton – the highest batting average after today’s game belongs to Austin Krum at .214.

27-year old right-hander Tim Norton pitched a scoreless inning in relief, striking out two. He now has one walk and five strikeouts in two innings to start the season. Norton has pitched well in the organization, when he has been healthy. In four years prior to this one, he has yet to appear in more than 23 games. In 19 games last year, he struck out 47 and walked only 7 in 32.1 innings. His ERA was 1.39. In his minor league career, he has put up a 2.56 ERA in 168.2 innings, walking 38 while striking out 195. Even though he is obviously older, you never know – he may be able to help the big club yet.
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Tampa:

Abraham Almonte went 1-for-4 with a walk and his third stolen base, but it wasn’t enough in a 4-2 loss to Lakeland.

Mark Prior pitched again today, throwing a scoreless inning, walking one. Kind of interesting that they are already throwing him in back to back games. A good test, if his arm is ready for it.

Luke Murton went 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI. The 24-year old right-handed hitter is 5-for-14 with a double, triple, and three RBI thus far in 2011. In 2010, he put up a .282/.361/.463 line in Charleston with 32 doubles and 12 home runs.

Scott Ham

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