YMLN - Melancon Just Nasty At Intrasquads

Mark Melancon took matters into his own hands

TAMPA, FL - The Yankees began their minor league Spring Training game schedule on Thursday in intrasquad style and Mark Melancon continues to look like a man among boys as he helped the Charleston Riverdogs to a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Yankees.

  • With Tampa pitchers hurling for the Charleston Riverdogs and vice-versa, Mark Melancon once again stood out. After the Charleston defense let him down in his first inning of work - with errors by Jose Pirela and Bradley Suttle putting two runners on base - he proceeded to take matters into his own hands. Sitting 90-93 MPH mostly with his fastballs, and showing a great curveball yet again, he struck out three straight batters over the course of his two innings of scoreless relief.

  • Justin Snyder, playing shortstop for Charleston in place of the injured Carmen Angelini, went 2-3 with two RBI in the winning effort. After popping up to left field in his first at-bat, he laced singles to right field and centerfield in his next two at-bats before capping off the day with an RBI sacrifice fly.

  • Dellin Betances had a very effective day on the mound in his lone inning of work. While he was missing his spots somewhat frequently, he was overpowering the Charleston batters with 92-96 MPH [averaging 94 MPH mostly] fastballs and showing some good curveballs. He struck Jose Mojica [0-2 on the day] in a nine-pitch at-bat, induced Abraham Almonte [1-3, RBI] into a groundout before Snyder singled, and then got Bradley Suttle [0-2, walk] to pop-up to centerfield.

  • Tim Battle had a good day on the afternoon as well. While he had his troubles with Melancon's curveball in his final at-bat of the day, becoming one of his strikeout victims, he did have an RBI triple in his previous at-bat with a hard-liner into the right-centerfield gap and later scored a run.

  • If Melancon wasn't the most impressive pitcher in the Tampa-Charleston game, a strong argument could have been made for Jairo Heredia. He mowed down the batters in order to start the game in his lone inning of work, and wowed the onlooking players with his incredible curveball. He quickly got Almonte and Snyder on pop-ups before getting Suttle on a harmless groundball to first base.

  • Jesus Montero had a good Spring Training game debut, going 2-3 with a run scored. He had a broken-bat single to centerfield in his first at-bat off of Noel Castillo [1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K] and a scorching double down the left field line in his second at-bat. He did, however, get thrown out at the plate trying to score from second on a David Williams' [2-3, run] single on a great throw by left field Taylor Grote [0-2, walk, run]. Defensively, Montero was 0-2 on throwing out would-be base stealers, giving up stolen bases to Alvaro Ramirez [1-3, 2 stolen bases, run] and Eduardo Nunez [1-3, stolen base, run].

  • Arodys Vizcaino didn't have the greatest debut on Thursday. While he left his lone inning of work unscathed runs-wise, he did give up two singles, a double, and a walk, but was helped out by a great throw by Chase Weems [1-2, K] throwing out a runner at second base and a double-play ball.

  • Jose Pirela, playing second base for the Riverdogs on Thursday, went 2-2 with an RBI and once again stood out during infield defensive drills prior to the start of the game. He certainly has been opening some eyes in camp so far.

  • Tampa second baseman Damon Sublett [1-3, RBI] and Tampa third baseman Mitch Hilligoss [1-3, RBI, stolen base] each had solid games, as did outfielder Josue Calzado, who had a pair of singles before running into the Melancon buzz-saw later in the game for a strikeout.

  • Ryan Pope had a so-so afternoon on Thursday. While he was charged with two runs in his one inning of work, one of them was unearned when a Bradley Suttle error put the first man of the inning on base. Pope appeared to have trouble locating his curveball but gave up just one hit outside of two RBI groundouts.

  • Charleston first baseman Brandon Laird hit the ball hard in all three of his at-bats but had just one single to show for his efforts and outfielder Austin Krum, who has had some promising moments in the cages during camp, went 0-1 but did draw a walk, stole a base, and later scored a run.

  • Shortstop Ramiro Pena, who has looked physically stronger in camp, hit a long home run for Trenton against Scranton on the other field Thursday.

  • Alan Horne struggled in his first inning of work in that game, giving up a pair of hits, two walks, and two runs, but settled down to retire the side in his second [and final] inning of work.

  • Zhengwang Zhang had a single in his only at-bat for Charleston on Thursday and later scored a run, and outfielder Carlos Urena had a deep RBI double down the left field line in his only at-bat.

  • Francisco Rondon, the Dominican left-handed pitcher, had a quick Spring Training debut. He retired the side in order in just eight pitches and once again showed a very impressive curveball.

  • Austin Romine's hot-hitting during camp over the first two weeks must have gotten into the pitchers' heads on Thursday as he didn't see a pitch to hit in his first two at-bats, drawing quick walks both times. Perhaps a bit impatient, he quickly grounded out in his final at-bat of the afternoon.

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