MANCHESTER, N.H.—Yankees 22-year-old righthander Chance Adams showed a solid fastball and breaking stuff in his April 24 start for Double-A Trenton, throwing 5.2 scoreless innings with three hits allowed, three walks and four strikeouts at New Hampshire (Blue Jays).
Adams’ fastball sat at 91-94 mph and touched 96 once. He throws both a curveball and a slider but it can be difficult to distinguish the two pitches because the curveball has three-quarters action instead of true downer, top-to-bottom rotation. He mixed his breaking pitches in liberally, getting swing-and-miss with what Adams said was mostly his curveball.
“Curveball was sharp tonight so I used my curveball a lot,” Adams said. “Slider I used it a little bit tonight. I was feeling a little more comfortable with the curveball, so I just kind of went with the curveball.”
Adams’ fourth pitch is a firm changeup that he lacked much feel for, which along with improving his fastball command are focal points for his development.
“It was good,” Adams said. “I used it sparingly tonight, I didn’t use it too much, but I did throw it to I think two righties, which is something I usually don’t do, so I’m just trying to get comfortable with the changeup to righties.”
Through four starts this season, Adams has an ERA of 0.82 in 22 innings with 22 strikeouts and 10 walks. There was nothing overpowering or plus in Adams’ arsenal on Monday, but his fastball and breaking pitches looked good enough to project as a back-end starter or a reliever whose fastball should tick up in short stints.
“He’s throwing really well in his starts that he’s been here,” Trenton manager Bobby Mitchell said. “I didn’t really see anything different tonight than what he’s shown in the past. He’s really consistent in his stuff. He’s working on his command of his fastball and his secondary stuff, and it’s getting better and better and better. He threw some really nice sliders tonight in hitters’ counts that really helped him out. He just continues to get better and better. He’s really fun to watch pitch.”
Conner Greene, rhp, Blue Jays
On the mound that same night for New Hampshire, Blue Jays 22-year-old righthander Conner Greene showed a powerful fastball and held his velocity deep into his start, though his command and secondary pitches lagged behind. Greene allowed two runs over seven innings with six hits, one walk and four strikeouts. Greene sat in the mid-90s, touched 98 multiple times and topped out at 99 mph.
The fastball was by far Greene’s best pitch and his lone offering that was better than an average pitch. Greene’s 78-81 mph curveball and mid-to-upper 80s changeup were both below-average pitches that occasionally flashed a tick better, with his changeup showing more promise than his curveball.
Greene struck out just 5.9 batters per nine innings last year in high Class A Dunedin and then 6.3 per nine when he got to Double-A, with the lack of a swing-and-miss secondary pitch the reason for his modest strikeout rate.
Greene only walked one batter, but he battled his command more than the numbers might suggest. Greene is athletic, which could help him make the adjustments to improve his ability to throw strikes, but the red flags with his control and offspeed pitches suggest he might end up in the bullpen, where in one-inning bursts he should be able to maintain upper-90s velocity.
• Shortstop Gleyber Torres, the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect, should be back from the disabled list soon. “Just a sore shoulder—no structural damage or anything,” Mitchell said. Torres started throwing again on Monday.
• After the Thunder finished batting practice on Monday, third baseman Miguel Andujar stayed out on the field for some light work at first base. Andujar has only played third base in games and isn’t expected to move across the diamond in the near future, but he could see time there later in the year.
“I think they’re going to try to add to his versatility and get him some work over there when we can,” Mitchell said. “He’s pretty far from game-ready at first, but he’s definitely a good enough athlete to pick it up and learn.”
Andujar is only hitting .264/.294/.431 through 79 plate appearances this season, though against New Hampshire he made hard contact and drilled the ball well to the middle of the field and right-center during batting practice.
“Using all the fields, it’s really important for him to do that and not get pull-happy, not over-swing,” Mitchell said. “He’s started to show more and more consistency in that. So he’s really looked good for us so far this year.”
• With Torres on the DL, 21-year-old Thairo Estrada flipped across the diamond from second base to shortstop. Estrada isn’t flashy, but he’s a savvy, fundamentally sound player who is smooth in the field. He has minimal power but a knack for putting the bat to the ball, hitting .306/.433/.327 with more walks (8) than strikeouts (7) in 60 plate appearances.
“He does a really good job defensively, as you saw today at shortstop,” Mitchell said. “He can play second base really well. He probably could add to his versatility and go out to play the outfield some. I think that’s down the line a possibility for him because he’s a very valuable guy.”