When the New York Yankees made their trades at the trade deadline, it meant that all of the affiliates in the organization had to undergo a little bit of renovation. While that is typical all across Minor League Baseball, Staten Island might have taken the biggest hit of any roster in the organization.
For a team that has the best ERA in the New York-Penn League, they have lost Daniel Alvarez, Christian Morris, Chase Hodson to promotions and Paul Young is on the 60-day DL. If you add in the fact that Luis Rijo was traded to the Minnesota Twins on Monday, the Baby Bombers bullpen has lost some of its pitching staff because of the recent transactions.
With that being said, it has not affected how Staten Island goes about their everyday strategy as they have used other starters to fill the gap. This week, they haven’t used more than three pitchers in any game. Manager Lino Diaz discussed how it is all about protecting the pitchers that are on the roster while the club waits for reinforcements:
“Well, I wouldn’t say it affects it. We just try to protect our guys, get some guys who can back them up and especially after you lose some guys like we did on Monday, we have kind of a thing in the bullpen. We try to find some guys that can piggyback until we can get back again and bring the guys that we need in there, said Diaz on Tuesday
Despite Hodson going up to Double-A Trenton and Morris going to High-A Tampa on Tuesday, Diaz did not rule out those two relievers coming back to the team and he mentioned how both of them have a chance to make a good impression at their next destination.
“I think it is great that they were able to send those guys up there and give them a chance to pitch in a higher level and showing what they can do. A lot of the times that happens when you can go over there, do a good job and they say, hey we want to keep you here. It is a great opportunity for them I think.”
Hodson appeared in five games with the Tarpons this season and had a 1.35 ERA in five outings. Once he got to Staten Island, the 26-year-old right-hander continued that success. In 11 outings with the Yankees, he had a 2.93 ERA and had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 23:1. He had five strikeouts in an outing twice.
As for Morris, he gets a second stint with the Tarpons after starting the year in Tampa (12.27 ERA in six outings). As a member of the Yankees bullpen, he was dominant as he had a 0.92 ERA in 12 outings and he converted all four of his save chances. In 19.2 innings of work, he had 27 strikeouts to six walks and held the opposition to a .157 batting average.
Despite those players moving up, Staten Island’s pitching continues to be the strength of their team as they have a league-leading 2.42 ERA and they have 398 strikeouts (third in the league). With that being said, it is always interesting to watch as a roster is being put together with one month to go in the regular season.