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Dermis Garcia playing for the Somerset Patriots on May 7, 2021. (Chris Jones)

Yankees MiLB Previews

Pinstriped Previews: Somerset aims for series sweep

The four New York Yankees affiliates all picked up wins Saturday night and each team has secured at least a split of their series this week. Today, Hudson Valley looks for its first series win of the year while Somerset is looking to complete a series sweep in Hartford. Read about this afternoon’s pitching matchups in our Pinstriped Previews:

Brody Koerner (Photo by Matt Bufano)

Triple-A

 Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders(13-4) vs. Rochester Red Wings (3-14)

 Frontier Field I 1:05 PM ET

RHP Brody Koerner (0-0, 2.25 ERA) vs. LHP Ben Braymer (0-2, 11.91 ERA)

The RailRiders will look to win their fifth game of the series this afternoon after a wild 9-8 victory on Saturday night. They will hand the ball to Brody Koerner to try to make that happen.

In the opening game of this series, Koerner had his longest outing of the season. The 27-year-old went 4.1 innings, allowed two runs on five hits, walked a batter, and struck out four on 72 pitches (49 strikes) in a no-decision. Both of those runs were scored via the home run. However, those were the first two long balls Koerner has allowed all season in 12 innings.

Koerner’s opposition that day was Ben Braymer. The southpaw struggled mightily against the RailRiders. He allowed seven runs on seven hits, walked two batters, and struck out three on 72 pitches (41 strikes) over 3.2 innings in the loss. Estevan Florial hit his first Triple-A home run  against him and Brandon Wagner had a three-run home run as well.

Braymer has allowed at least one home run in each of his first three starts and has nearly walked as many batters as he has struck out (9 walks to 10 K’s).

On Saturday, eight of the nine RailRiders had at least one hit, including Florial, who hit his second home run in Triple-A. Thomas Milone enters today’s game on a six-game hit streak after back-to-back multi-hit nights. Armando Alvarez also went 2-for-4 last night with a walk and an RBI to extend his hit streak to eight (back-to-back multi-hit games).

Matt Krook pitching for the Somerset Patriots on May 6, 2021 (Chris Jones)

Double-A

 Somerset Patriots (12-5) vs. Hartford Yard Goats (5-12)

 Dunkin’ Donuts Park I 1:05 PM ET

LHP Matt Krook (0-0, 4.91 ERA) vs. RHP Will Gaddis (0-2, 7.15 ERA)

Like the RailRiders, the Patriots will look to complete the six-game sweep of the Yard Goats today. Somerset’s offense has been tough to stop in this series, but their pitching has allowed a total of 11 runs in the 5 games played so far. The pitching success started with Matt Krook’s outing on Tuesday.

Krook got into some jams in his last start, but was able to work his way out of it. The 26-year-old allowed three hits, walked three batters, and struck out seven over five scoreless innings. 39 of his 66 pitches were strikes in what was his longest outing of the season so far.

In his first three starts in the Yankees organization, the Rule V pick from the Rays in the minor league portion of the draft is holding hitters to a .186 batting average and has allowed a total of four runs over 12.1 innings of work. He has at least six strikeouts in each of his last two starts.

Somerset’s offense has scored 40 runs in the series so far, but the pitcher that has been able to keep them off the scoreboard is Will Gaddis. Despite having an ERA of over seven, Gaddis was very good in his outing against Krook on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old allowed three hits, walked a batter, and struck out six over six scoreless innings. 57 of his 86 pitches were for strikes. The only extra-base hit that Gaddis allowed was a double off of the bat of Max Burt. Somerset rallied to win that game, 2-1, on a Dermis Garcia two-run home run in the top of the ninth.

Speaking of Garcia, he extended his hit streak to nine games with a solo home run in the top of the first and he has six home runs over that span. The Patriots have had each player in their lineup record a hit in each of their last three games.

Hayden Wesneski (Brian Blalock/Sam Houston State)

High-A

 Hudson Valley Renegades (9-8) vs. Brooklyn Cyclones (6-10)

 Maimonides Park I 1:00 PM ET

RHP Hayden Wesneski (0-0, 1.26 ERA) vs. RHP Jose Butto (0-1, 4.73 ERA)

After splitting each of the first two series of the season, the Renegades will go for their series victory of the season in Brooklyn. They hand the ball to Hayden Wesneski this afternoon. The 23-year-old right-hander has allowed a total of six hits in his first three starts of the season (14.1 innings pitched).

On Tuesday, Wesneski allowed an unearned run on four hits and struck out five over 5.1 innings in a no-decision. 45 of his 67 pitches were for strikes. The lone unearned run came in the bottom of the third. After a leadoff double by Hayden Senger, he came around to score due to a passed ball and a wild pitch.

If Wesneski can record at least four strikeouts today, he will be the fourth pitcher on the Renegades staff to reach the 20 strikeout mark on the season. As a team, Hudson Valley leads the High-A East with 208, 12 more than any other team in the league.

Wesneski was in a pitchers’ duel with Butto on Tuesday as the 23-year-old right-hander  held Hudson Valley off the scoreboard for five innings before Kyle MacDonald hit a two-run home run against him in the top of the sixth to give the Renegades the lead.

Overall, it was a good outing for Butto. He went 5.2 innings, allowed two runs on two hits, walked a batter, and struck out three on 68 pitches (45 strikes). It was his longest outing of the season and his longest outing since July 25, 2019 with then Low-A Columbia.

On Saturday night, Hudson Valley defeated Brooklyn, 5-3. Ken Waldichuk dominated on the mound once again as he held Brooklyn to one hit and struck out 10 (one walk) over 4.1 scoreless innings. However, the offense deserves recognition too.

Eduardo Torrealba went 4-for-4 out of the number nine spot, Oswald Peraza went 2-for-4 out of the leadoff spot (5-for-12, 2 doubles, and an RBI in the last three games) and Ezequiel Duran drove in a pair of runs to give him six RBIs in the last three games.

Jhonatan Munoz (Photo by John Brophy/Pinstriped Prospects)

Low-A

 Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (7-10) vs. Tampa Tarpons (13-4)

 George M Steinbrenner Field I 12:00 PM ET

RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 3.38 ERA) vs. RHP Jhonatan Munoz (0-0, 13.50 ERA)

Well, the Tarpons did it again on Saturday night as they dominated the Mighty Mussels with a 13-0 win. They will go for their fifth straight win this afternoon after outscoring Fort Myers, 51-13, in the last four games.

On the mound, Jhonatan Munoz will get the start for the Tarpons. The 21-year-old right-hander made a relief appearance in the series opener on Tuesday as he came in to start the top of the sixth. He went 2.1 innings, allowed two runs on one hit, walked four batters, and struck out three on 54 pitches (28 strikes).

The four walks by Munoz were the most walks he has had in a start since July 31, 2019, when he was with Rookie-level Pulaski. He has walked seven batters and he has seven strikeouts in the three games that he has pitched this year (6.1 innings pitched).

Sean Mooney has yet to pitch in this series and he will make his first start since May 4 after being on the injured list. Mooney, who was born in Somers Point, New Jersey, was selected by the Twins in the 12th Round of the MLB Draft in 2019 out of St. John’s University.

On May 6 against Bradenton, the 23-year-old right-hander went 2.2 innings, allowed a solo home run, and struck out five on 38 pitches (25 strikes).

Elijah Dunham went 4-for-4 on Saturday night with a pair of doubles,  a triple, and four RBIs out of the eighth spot in the Tampa lineup. Chad Bell was also one of the stars of the night last night. The third baseman extended his on-base streak to 16 games as he went 3-for-4 with a walk and a two-run home run, his second of the season.

In addition to Dunham and Bell, Anthony Volpe stole his 10th base of the season (2-for-5, two RBIs). Volpe is third in the Low-A Southeast in that category and Tampa as a team has 31 steals (third in the league). Andres Chaparro went 1-for-5 with a walk to extend his hit streak to five games and Trevor Hauver walked twice. Hauver has two or more walks in seven games this season.

Written By

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

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