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Ken Waldichuk (Robert M Pimpsner)

Yankees MiLB Previews

Pinstriped Previews: Another tough test for Waldichuk

On Wednesday, there are six games scheduled in the Yankees organization and that includes pair of doubleheaders in the upper levels of the system and one top pitching prospect faces a lineup filled with some of the best names in the Tigers system. Read all about that start and more in our Pinstriped Previews:

Brody Koerner (Photo by Matt Bufano)


Syracuse Mets (15-38) vs. Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (35-16)

PNC Field I 5:05 PM ET (Game 1)

Game 1: RHP Jesus Reyes (0-6, 5.69 ERA) vs. RHP Brody Koerner (2-3, 3.86)

Game 2: LHP Anthony Banda (3-2, 6.86) vs. RHP Brian Keller (0-0, 2.20)

The RailRiders began their week with an 8-3 win over the Syracuse Mets on Tuesday. They have now won 11 straight games against the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate. Hoy Park went 3-for-4 with a walk and a double to move his average up to .353 and Andrew Velazquez went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs in the win. Today, the two teams play a scheduled doubleheader dating back to a rainout that occurred on June 19.

Brody Koerner will start for the RailRiders in Game 1. Koerner had a rough month of June as he went 1-2 with a 5.51 ERA in five outings (four starts). He struck out 17 batters and walked 9 over the course of 16.1 innings.

Koerner’s last outing was out of the bullpen against Worcester on July 3. He threw two scoreless innings, allowed two hits, and struck out two on 26 pitches (17 strikes). He has faced the Syracuse Mets twice and picked up a no-decision in both games. On June 17, he allowed two runs on five hits, walked two, and struck out five on 68 pitches (43 strikes) over the course of four innings.

As for Syracuse, they will go with Reyes, who is still looking for his first win of the season, He has allowed at least three runs in nine of his ten outings this season. On July 1 against Rochester, he went five innings, allowed four runs on 10 hits, walked two, and struck out three on 86 pitches (55 strikes) in the defeat.

Today will be Reyes’s third outing against Scranton Wilkes-Barre this season. He has allowed four home runs against them in the previous two games. The most recent start was on June 20 when he went 5.1 innings, allowed three runs on seven hits, walked three batters, and struck out three on 88 pitches (52 strikes). The one home run he allowed was to Socrates Brito.

For Game 2, the RailRiders will be going with Brian Keller, who has not made a start since June 10. However, the 27-year-old has done a good job out of the bullpen as he has allowed just one run in his last 7.2 innings pitched. In his most recent outing against Worcester on July 3, he walked a batter and struck out two in a scoreless eighth inning.

Keller will be facing the Mets for the third time this year and the one outing in which he allowed a run as a reliever did come against Syracuse. On June 15, he went 3.2 innings, allowed one run on three hits, walked three, and struck out three on 66 pitches (36 strikes) in relief of Deivi Garcia.

On July 2, the Mets acquired Anthony Banda in a deal from the San Francisco Giants. Banda was a 10th Round pick of the Brewers back in 2012 and has since been in four different organizations (Brewers, Diamondbacks, Giants, Rays) before joining New York.

Today will be Banda’s Mets organizational debut. The 27-year-old southpaw last pitched for the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate on June 26 against Reno. He allowed nine runs (six earned) on seven hits, walked a batter, and struck out four over three innings in a loss. He threw 63 pitches with 46 of them going for strikes.

Janson Junk pitching for the Somerset Patriots on May 7, 2021. (Chris Jones)


Erie SeaWolves (32-22) vs. Somerset Patriots (35-18)

TD Bank Ballpark I 4:00 PM (Game 1)

Game 1: RHP Chance Kirby (1-0, 2.61) vs. LHP Ken Waldichuk (1-0, 3.60)

Game 2: RHP Chavez Fernander (1-0, 1.64) vs. RHP Janson Junk (4-1, 1.00)

In what could potentially be a playoff preview in late September, Erie and Somerset will play six games in the next five days. These two teams played each other earlier in the season with Erie winning four of the six games that took place in Pennsylvania.

The Patriots are coming off shutting out the Senators in back-to-back games and in three of the last four games. Now, their pitching will face a tough test with an Erie lineup that features the top pick in last year’s MLB Draft, Spencer Torkelson, and power hitting outfielder Riley Greene among others.

Somerset will go with Ken Waldichuk in Game 1. The left-hander held his own against a top pitcher in his last start out in Harrisburg up until a rough fourth inning. In five innings of work, the 23-year-old southpaw allowed three runs (one earned) in three hits, walked three, and struck out eight on 83 pitches (48 strikes) in a no-decision.

Waldichuk has been nearly automatic when it comes to strikeouts. He now has 80 in 10 starts between High-A and Double-A this year (.131 opponents batting average) and he has struck out seven or more in nine consecutive starts.

The SeaWolves will go with Chance Kirby in Game 1. The 25-year-old right-hander (turns 26 on July 19) was called up to Double-A on June 18 after beginning the season at High-A West Michigan. The Tigers selected Kirby in the 25th Round of the 2018 MLB Draft.

In his two starts with Erie, Kirby has seven strikeouts in only 10.1 innings of work. Despite not having many strikeouts, he only has allowed three runs and that includes two home runs. He picked up his first Double-A win in his last start on June 25 against Akron. He went six innings, allowed one run on five hits, walked a batter, and struck out three on 93 pitches (61 strikes).

In Game 2, Somerset will go with the Double-A Northeast Pitcher of the Month in Janson Junk. The 25-year-old right-hander has been one of the best surprises in the Yankees system this season. He has held opposing hitters to a .150 batting average in 45 innings this year.

Over his last five outings, Junk is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA (four starts) and had 24 strikeouts to 7 walks in 27 innings of work. He last pitched out of the bullpen on July 2 against Harrisburg and threw three scoreless innings, allowed two hits, and struck out two on 32 pitches (23 strikes) in a victory.

Junk has won three consecutive starts. In his last start on June 25 against Portland, he allowed one run on three hits and struck out three over seven innings (55 of 79 pitches for strikes). In fact, he has not a walked a batter in three straight innings. In fact, his last walk came against Erie on June 13 (6 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 9 K’s, 54 of 84 pitches for strikes).

Erie will go with Chavez Fernander in Game 2. The right-hander, who turns 24 today, was the Tigers’ 35thRound selection in the 2018 MLB Draft. He began the season at West Michigan and has now made his last six outings with Erie as a reliever.

Today will be Fernander’s first start with Erie and his third total start for the year. With the SeaWolves, he has allowed two runs, struck out eight, and walked two over the course of 11 innings.

Pablo Olivares (Robert M Pimpsner/Pinstriped Prospects)


Brooklyn Cyclones (18-34) vs. Hudson Valley Renegades (35-19)

Dutchess Stadium I 7:05 PM

RHP Jose Butto (1-4, 4.53) vs. RHP Reid Anderson (0-1, 4.35)

The Renegades brought out the long ball in the series opener against Brooklyn last night. En route to a 9-7 win, Pablo Olivares (3 RBIs), Josh Breaux, and Chad Bell all went deep for Hudson Valley. Plus, Josh Smith went 2-for-5 out of the leadoff spot and now has 11 doubles with the Renegades this year. In their 13 meetings this season, the Renegades are 9-4 against the Cyclones.

Hudson Valley will have Reid Anderson start tonight’s game. The 25-year-old has been a starter since joining the Yankees’ High-A affiliate on June 15 and has walked seven batters in his three starts. However, he does have 13 strikeouts in his last two outings.

Back on July 2, Anderson took the loss in his last start against Jersey Shore. He allowed three runs on four hits, walked two, and struck out six over 3.2 innings (42 of 63 pitches for strikes).

Brooklyn will counter with Jose Butto. The 23-year-old right-hander is 0-2 with a 3.60 ERA in his last four starts. The command has been good for him in those starts as he only has four walks to go with 22 strikeouts over the course of 20 innings.

Butto had a quality start in a loss against Aberdeen on June 30. He went six innings, allowed two runs on five hits, walked a batter, and struck out nine (season-high) on 87 pitches (63 strikes). He has faced Hudson Valley three times this year and gone at least five innings in each start. In total, he has allowed three runs in 15.2 innings of work and struck out 15 while walking three. The one home run Butto has allowed against the Renegades came on May 18 off the bat of Kyle MacDonald.

Yoendrys Gómez (Photo by John Brophy/Pinstriped Prospects)


Tampa Tarpons (36-16) vs. Dunedin Blue Jays (21-32)

TD Ballpark I 6:30 PM

RHP Yoendrys Gomez (0-0, 4.50) vs. TBD

Due to Tropical Storm Elsa, the Tarpons’ series opener in Dunedin was pushed back to today and the two teams will makeup Tuesday’s game as part of a doubleheader on Thursday.

These two teams haven’t played against each other since May 30 and the Tarpons have won 9 0f the 12 matchups. In those nine wins, they have scoured double-digit runs in six of those games.

No starter is listed for the Blue Jays, but Yoendrys Gomez is scheduled to pitch for the Tarpons. In his last start on July 1 against Jupiter, the 21-year-old went two innings, allowed one run on one hit, walked a batter, and struck out two on 45 pitches (26 strikes).

Written By

I am an alum of St. John's University, where I majored in sports management.

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