Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Double Dose Of Baseball

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I sure did.

I got to see two baseball games for the price of one on July 2nd.
Originally I had a ticket for the game on July 1st (the Greg Bird bobble head giveaway), but due to bad weather the game was postponed for July 2nd. However no bobble head for me because they actually did open the gates on July 1st (not sure how many souls went to SI during a tornado watch though). I did get a drawstring bag courtesy of NY's 529 College Savings Program though.

As always let's start with the autographs.

The key highlight for me were these two Austin DeCarrs.
Austin DeCarr was the third round pick by the Yankees back in 2014. DeCarr was seen as a really promising high school arm who could be a really really good number three starter.

DeCarr is armed with a fastball that can reach the mid 90's (primarily sits in the low-90's), a curveball and change up. His curveball and change up appear to be work in progress pitches as he's still refining his command on them, but they do have potential to be above average pitches.

He was originally expected to be in Staten Island last year but he tore his UCL and required Tommy John and was out for all of 2015. Now in 2016, he's back in action with the Staten Island Yankees (albeit on a rehab stint indicating that he'll be up in Charleston by season's end).

I even had DeCarr personalize my 2014 Bowman Chrome autograph of his to me (yes, I'm making this a thing). Now I have personalized 2003, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Bowman Chrome autographs!

DeCarr was the starter for the second game of this double header and he was kind of meh (unfortunately). He gave up five hits (including one home run) and four runs (all earned) in 3.2 innings pitched. He did get four strikeouts though. I'd chalk up his troubles to getting back up on the mound after spending a year and then some away from baseball and being busy rehabbing.

Thanks to this I've completed a trifecta (IP autograph, TTM autograph and certified autograph) of DeCarr.

The photograph used for this custom card was taken by Robert M. Pimpsner of RMP Sports Media Inc. and Pinstriped Prospects

Next I got Dalton Blaser. The Cal State Fullerton product was the Yankees' eighth round draft pick this year. He was originally drafted by the Oakland A's back in 2012 but he chose to get his college degree first instead of trying his hand at professional baseball. He signed with the Yankees this year (he's a senior this year so his college days are pretty much done) and he's started his professional baseball career quite nicely. Hitting seven hits in his first 13 at-bats, hitting his first professional home run (too) and continuing that torrid run well into late June. He's cooled off a little since then but the first baseman/infielder shows promise. Although he was obviously drafted so the Yankees could save money and shift bonus pool money to Blake Rutherford, Blaser's a guy to keep an eye on considering how the Yankees surprisingly have been good at making first base depth at the lower levels of the minors. Look out Mike Ford and Connor Spencer, Blaser's coming for you.
BTW, Blaser's father is former Yankees minor leaguer Mark Blaser.

Next up is Yankees starter Anyelo Gomez. Gomez originally started one inning of the postponed game but he didn't pitch in the next game for obvious reasons (that job went to Kolton Mahoney for the record). Anyelo Gomez is armed with a fastball that sits in the low 90's/high 80's. The righty from the Dominican Republic made it stateside last year but he found his playing time limited (for unknown reasons). This year he's already been in Charleston but he's now in Staten Island. He seemed to appreciate the card I made. Or rather he seemed more interested in the picture due to how he never saw it before. That's understandable since I took that pic myself last month. Maybe I should just print out some of the pics I took of him and just give them to him as a present.

Here's Eduardo Rivera, one of the Pulaski Yankees from last year who's come up to Staten Island this year. Eduardo Rivera is a 6'5" giant who works primarily in relief. He's a strike thrower who is more of a strike out pitcher. I can't really find out much else about Rivera. I do know that he began warming up near the end of the first game though.

And my last autograph of the day was Claudio Custodio. Custodio was originally signed by the Yankees as an infielder (mostly second base) back in 2011 and showed promise by hitting for contact and showing off his speed in the lower depths of minor league ball but as he climbed the ranks upwards he started to falter a little bit. To the point where the Yankees decided to try and convert him into a pitcher. Roughly four years after he was in Staten Island as a position player, he returned to Staten Island as a pitcher and picked up the win in the first game of the season (the marathon between the Yankees and Cyclones).

So how were the games?

Well I stayed for the entirety of game one. Yankees starter Kolton Mahoney was really effective and managed to keep a shutout going until late in the game. Eventually the Yankees did have to bring in another reliever (Taylor Widener, above) but in a double header, you want to save your relief depth as much as possible.

The Yankees won 4-1 against the Oakland A's affiliate, the Vermont Lakemonsters (take that Fuji!). Because Torrens wasn't in the dugout before the game I had assumed that Torrens had been called up to Charleston. I was wrong.

Torrens eventually came out and was the very catcher catching Widener and Rivera near the end of the first game. Apparently he had hit his face prior to the game (not sure exactly when) and had seen a doctor to get his checked out. And he did seem to have an injured right cheek. According to his father, Torrens' X-Rays came back negative and he was healthy enough to play in the second game of the double header (although he was lifted in the seventh inning due to a strategic pinch running decision).

Torrens noticed me in the crowds and I waved back (okay it was more like a salute). Obviously I wanted to ask him for an autograph (I brought a red refractor just in case) but in a double header there is little time for players to accommodate autograph requests so I didn't. Not going to complain though, I've already gotten more than enough Torrens swag.

Unfortunately I didn't stick around for the second game too long. I saw DeCarr pitch in the first inning a little but left because I had to get home. Apparently the game didn't go too well for the Yankees even with the added bonus #ProspectPower of Torrens and DeCarr since the game went well into extra innings. By the time the game ended it was past midnight. The Yankees lost 6-7 in 15 innings. By then I was long gone.

And that was my latest SI Yankees game. As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

2016 IP Auto Count: 21


  1. Cool that Torrens recognizes you like that.

    I love that DeCarr Pro Debut. Looks like a great day of baseball. Lame they didn't give out the bobble heads the next day though.

    1. Thanks TLC, yeah the bobble heads was disappointing, but nothing lost IMO.

  2. Always love the personalized certified auto thing!
    Got me thinking.. what if it was a stickergraph? Peel off the sticker and have the guy hard-sign it where the sticker was? Or leave it and double up with 2 autographs on the same card? Or just leave the sticker auto as-is with a personalization added. Either way, it'd still be cool.

    1. I wonder how easily those stickers peel off?
      Many, I'm starting to wonder if Torrens is injury prone. First his shoulder and now getting hit in the face by a ball. Ouch.

    2. @Gavin: I've heard the stickers are tough to peel off. I've thought about several of those ideas but for now I just want to stick to personalizations.

      @PTT: I'm getting worried about Torrens' injury woes as well, but plenty of players with injury questions early on have gone on to have long careers.