Life as a minor league baseball player has long been known as a difficult one, traveling by bus around the country and playing half of a 140-game season on the road.
The job will be twice as difficult this year for one Triple-A team playing all of its games away from home.
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees normally play their home games at PNC Field in Moosic, Penn., but ongoing $40-million renovations will render the stadium unfit for play this summer. So the Yankees 2012 Triple-A prospects will play all of their games on the road.
Technically the Yankees will still be designated as the home squad for half their games, most of which will be played at Frontier Field in Rochester, N.Y., the home of the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings.
The two teams played each other in Rochester on Monday in one of the Yankees’ first home-away-from-home game of the season.
“It was definitely weird, because we’re not in Scranton,” Yankees pitcher Dellin Betances told The Scranton Times Tribune. “We really try not to think too much about it. But this was the first time I had ever pitched here, and it felt like a road game.”
The Triple-A Yankees posted a 7-8 record through their first 15 games with a 4-3 mark as the designated home team and 3-5 record as the visiting team.
SETBACK: Former Hephzibah High School star Casio Grider was placed on the disabled list last week but could be back as early as Tuesday.
The Dodgers prospect made the Rancho Cucamonga squad in the Advanced-A California League out of spring training. He hit .207 with three doubles, a triple and a home run in his first nine games.
TWICE THE THRICE: Last week’s minor league baseball action saw two triple plays turned in a three-day span. The Wilmington Blue Rocks, the Advanced-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, pulled off the rare play on a strikeout and botched double-steal attempt.
The South Atlantic League’s Charleston RiverDogs also turned a triple play with the bases loaded in the third inning against the West Virginia Power.
The Single-A Yankees affiliate made the play on a line drive to shortstop Cito Culver, who stepped on second for the second out. His throw to first base sailed past first baseman Casey Stevenson, and Stevenson threw to catcher Gary Sanchez, who fired the ball to third baseman Anderson Feliz for the third out and a 6-3-2-5 triple play.
The festivities at Charleston’s Riley Park also included a postgame dwarf wrestling match.
PERFECT: Orioles prospect Dylan Bundy was placed with the South Atlantic League’s Delmarva Shorebirds to start the season and has been a walk shy of perfection over his first three starts.
The fourth overall pick in last year’s draft has been limited to just three innings in each start, but he has yet to allow a run or hit in all three games. He walked a batter in his third appearance last Wednesday.
The Shorebirds and their 19-year-old right-hander are not scheduled to play in Augusta this season but will face the GreenJackets at home Aug. 8-11.