The time has arrived, the 2014 NY-Penn League season begins tomorrow when the Brooklyn Cyclones visit the Staten Island Yankees at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark. This season marks the Staten Island Yankees 15th Anniversary season and their 12th season playing in St. George. Both teams are boosting a more experienced team while their respected major league affiliates sign the recent draftees.
Let us take a look at the pitching matchups to start the season.
June 13, 2014 – Octavio Acosta RHP vs David Palladino RHP
Starting for the Brooklyn Cyclones on opening day is the six foot right hander Octavio Acosta. The 22-year old has been with the Mets organization since the 2010 season. In 32 career games he started just 11, reaching as high as the Florida State League’s St. Lucie Mets for two games in 2013. He owns a career 4-6 record with a 3.42 ERA over 94.2 innings while striking out a total of 88 batters and walking 33.
Getting the start for the Baby Bombers will be the 6’8” righty David Palladino. This will be Palladino’s second year with Staten Island as he split last season between the rotation and bullpen. This year he will be a starter and make use of his five pitches. His fastball is consistently in the low-90s, mid-70s curveball, low-80s curve, a change up and a splitter.
Last year he was 3-3 in 15 games, throwing just 54 innings striking out 49 and walking 26. His best game of the season was a start against the Brooklyn Cyclones on August 20, 2013 where he pitched six no-hit innings allowing just a walk and struck out five. Unfortunately he earned a no decision in that start with reliever Andy Beresford picking up the win.
June 14, 2014 – Sam Agnew-Wieland RHP vs Casey Meisner RHP
Getting the start for Staten Island in Brooklyn will be the returning Sam Agnew-Wieland. Sam spent last season as a reliever for the Baby Bombers going 2-4 with a 3.72 ERA in 17 games and 38.2 innings pitched while striking out 42 batters. This will be his first season as a starting pitcher in the pros after spending his last two college seasons as a starter. Wieland has a low-90s fastball with a slider, curve and changeup he can throw for strikes.
Casey Meisner will be the starter for the Brooklyn Cyclones. Meisner spent last season with the Gulf Coast League Mets where he went 1-3 with a 3.06 ERA in 10 games and 35.1 innings pitched.
June 15, 2014 – Carlos Valdez LHP vs. Jordan Cote RHP
Carlos Valdez is making his return to the Cyclones for the 2014 season. Last season he owned a 2-2 record with a 2.58 ERA in nine games and 45.1 innings pitched. He struck out just 33 last year while walking 17. In 2012 he pitched in 4 games for the Kingsport Mets where he was 0-1 with a 1.17 ERA in 7.32 innings.
For the Yankees, right-hander Jordan Cote will get the ball. Cote was drafted in the third round of the 2011 draft out of High School. Cote did not pitch in 2011 and made his debut in 2012 with the Gulf Coast Yankees where he was 3-0 with a 0.98 in six games and 27.2 innings. Last season he returned to the Gulf Coast League where he was 0-1 in nine games throwing 28 innings and striking out 20 while walking just five. He started this season in the bullpen for the Charleston RiverDogs where he struggled in 12 games going 1-1 with a 5.32 ERA in 22 innings. Cote possess a fastball that sits around 92 MPH on the gun along with a Slider and Changeup.
June 16, 2014 –Dillon McNamara RHP vs. Corey Oswalt RHP
The Staten Island native Dillon McNamara will make the start on Monday in Brooklyn. McNamara spent last season in the Yankees bullpen where he was 4-3 in 20 games throwing 37 innings, striking out 31 batters. He has a mid-90s fastball with a slider, and a splitter.
For the Cyclones it is Corey Oswalt getting the ball. Oswalt spent the last two seasons with the Kingsport Mets where he split the time between the rotation and bullpen. Last year he was 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA in just three games and 13 innings pitched. In 2012 he made nine appearances tossing 35.1 innings with an 8.15 ERA.
At the Plate
At the plate the Staten Island Yankees will have many talented players, 2014 13th round pick Bo Thompson is a slugging first baseman whose power could make a big difference in the Staten Island lineup. In addition to Thompson Staten Island has 2013 All-Star first baseman Bubba Jones returning. Bubba lead the 2013 team with a .284 batting average. The 18-year old shortstop Thairo Estrada will be a player to watch on the team as well. Austin Aune, the shortstop turned outfielder will also be on the team. Outfielder Daniel Lopez will be playing his third consecutive season with the Staten Island Yankees. Tenth round draft pick Ty McFarland will be manning the hot corner for the Baby Bombers and 26th round pick Collin Slaybaugh will be behind the dish.
New York Mets top prospect Amed Rosario will be on the 2014 Cyclones roster. Amed began the year with the Savannah Sand Gnats where he was hitting just .133 in 30 at bats. Last season he hit .241 for the Kingsport Mets. Third baseman Jhoan Urena who spent last season in the Gulf Coast League where he hit .299 in 157 at bats with six double and three triples. In addition 2014 Mets sixth round pick Tyler Moore will be on the roster.
It will be an interesting series to watch as the two teams will be resuming the best rivalry in minor league baseball.