It was a rough Wednesday night in the New York Yankees organization as three of the four affiliates took a loss and the offenses managed to score a combined six runs. Can they flip the script Thursday? It won’t be easy because the opponents are throwing out top pitching prospects of their own.
Find out who takes the ball in these games, including a must-see pitching matchup at Scranton Wilkes-Barre, with our Pinstriped Previews:
Norfolk Tides (5-3) vs. Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (4-4)
6:35 PM ET I PNC Field
RHP Grayson Rodriguez (0-0. 0.00) vs. RHP Deivi Garcia (0-0, 3.00)
The RailRiders suffered their third straight loss on Wednesday as their offense was no-hit over the first seven innings. Ronald Guzman broke up the no-hitter with a home run in the bottom of the eighth. Hayden Wesneski ended up taking the loss despite not allowing an earned run in 3.2 innings of work.
Tonight, this is a must-watch event because of the pitching matchup between one of the top prospects in the game against what used to be one of the top pitching prospects.
Deivi Garcia’s prospect ranking has fallen in recent years, but he is a pitcher as Yankees fans know that can rise to the occasion. In his first start against Syracuse on April 8, the 22-year-old right-hander went three innings, allowed one run on two hits, walked three batters, and struck out one on 53 pitches (27 strikes). Garcia’s command was an issue in this game because in addition to the three walks, he also hit two batters.
Norfolk will go with Grayson Rodriguez. The 22-year-old right-hander is ranked as the 6th best prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline. The 11th pick in the MLB Draft back in 2018 had a great first start of the 2022 season on April 8 against Charlotte.
Against the White Sox Triple-A affiliate, Rodriguez allowed just one hit, walked a batter, and struck out seven over four scoreless innings (40 of 61 pitches were strikes). For a pitcher making his Triple-A debut, that is impressive. Last year, between High-A Aberdeen and Double-A Bowie, Rodriguez had at least seven strikeouts in 13 of his 23 starts.
Erie SeaWolves (3-2) vs. Somerset Patriots (3-2)
6:35 PM I TD Bank Ballpark
RHP Reese Olson (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Sean Boyle
Somerset’s offense was kept off the board in a 3-0 loss to Erie on Wednesday. The offense combined to strike out 16 times in the defeat and they’ve had 64 strikeouts as a team in five games (Erie has 74).
On the mound, the Patriots will go with Sean Boyle in his first outing of 2022. The 25-year-old right-hander pitched at all four affiliates a season ago and was efficient at every level. In 27 games (10 starts), Boyle was 8-3 with a 1.99 ERA and had 98 strikeouts to 22 walks in 86 innings of work.
Of course, everyone remembers what Boyle did at Triple-A last year when he threw a seven-inning no-hitter against Worcester on August 19. In the 10 starts he made, he went 1-2 with a 1.49 ERA in 36.1 innings of work with opponents having a batting average of .214.
The SeaWolves will go with Reese Olson in the third game of this series. Olson was acquired by the Tigers last July in the deal that sent Daniel Norris to the Milwaukee Brewers. According to MLB Pipeline, he is the 17th best prospect in the Detroit organization.
In his first start of the season on April 8 against Akron, Olson was impressive as he allowed one hit, walked a batter, and struck out seven over four scoreless innings (44 of 68 pitches were strikes).
Hudson Valley Renegades (3-2) vs. Rome Braves (3-2)
7:00 PM I State Mutual Stadium
RHP Matt Sauer (0-0, 3.00) vs. LHP Dylan Dodd (0-0, 4.15)
Down in Rome on Wednesday, the Renegades offense managed only three hits in a 8-1 loss. The Braves scored six of their eight runs between the sixth and eighth inning of the game. The one bright spot for Hudson Valley was TJ Rumfield as he went 2-for-3 with a walk (10-for-22, 2 HR, 8 RBIs to start the season).
Matt Sauer will take the mound for Hudson Valley as the rotation begins to make their second starts of the year. The 23-year-old right-hander took the no-decision in his first start on April 8 against Greenville. In three innings of work, he allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits, walked a batter, and struck out six on 61 pitches (43 strikes). Despite slowing three stolen bases, Sauer showed good command of his pitches, which is a good sign for him going forward.
The Braves will go with Dylan Dodd in this one. The 23-year-old left-hander will be making the sixth start of his professional career tonight. The Braves selected Dodd in the third round of last year’s draft (96thoverall) and he is ranked as the 23rd best prospect in their system according to MLB Pipeline.
Against Greensboro on April 8, Dodd went 4.1 innings, allowed two runs on four hits, walked two batters, and struck out seven on 76 pitches (50 strikes). He had a stretch in the first two innings in which he struck out five of six hitters he faced after he gave up a double to begin the game.
Dunedin Blue Jays (1-4) vs. Tampa Tarpons (4-1)
6:30 PM I George M. Steinbrenner Field
LHP Kendry Rojas (0-1, 108.00) vs. RHP Juan Carela
Despite a tough professional debut for Richard Fitts (2.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 44 of 59 pitches for strikes), the Tarpons were the only affiliate to win on Wednesday and they picked up their third victory in a row. Anthony Garcia had another monster home run, a two-run shot in the third, for his second of the season.
Can Tampa make it 4 in a row tonight? They will try to do that with Juan Carela on the mound in his 2022 debut. The 20-year-old got promoted from the FCL to Low-A Tampa in August last year after a good season in complex league ball (2-0, 1.64 ERA, 27 strikeouts, 5 walks, 8 hit batters in 22 innings).
When Carela got to Tampa, it was a rough adjustment period. In six starts, he was 0-2 with a high ERA of 11.51. The hit batters continued as he hit eight of them in just 20.1 innings. In addition to that, the walks (18) almost equaled the strikeouts (22) and opposing hitters hit .368 against him. The numbers can only get better for Carela as he makes his return to the Tarpons.
Dunedin will hand the ball to Kendry Rojas. The 19-year-old left-hander made his High-A debut on April 9 against Bradenton and it was not a pretty one. Rojas faced five batters and got just one out as he allowed four runs on two hits, walked two, and struck out two on 30 pitches (15 strikes) in the loss.
While Rojas struggled in that game, he has the potential to put up outstanding numbers. When he was in the FCL last year, he faced the FCL Yankees on September 9 out of the bullpen and he allowed one run on three hits, walked a batter, and struck out 11 over four innings. The one run that was scored came on a Raimfer Salinas RBI double in the top of the fourth.