Pitching has carried the Yankees at the major league levels this season, but there have also been numerous impressive results coming out their minor league system. In the weeks since July 10th, the Yankees’ various minor league squads have thrown five no-hitters and carried at least two other no-hitters into the eighth inning.
It is an impressive run that shines a bright light on the work done by Yankees minor league pitching coordinator Sam Briend and his chief deputy Desi Druschel as they have built an impressive system that is getting results from top to bottom this year. Let’s take a look back at the numerous no-hitters for the minor league system this season.
July 10: High-A Hudson Valley Renegades vs. Brooklyn Cyclones (NYM)
Follow a strong outing by Mitch Spence in game one of a Saturday night doubleheader, the Renegades sought to top their 7-1 opening game victory. Making his High-A debut that evening was Sean Boyle, who was just recently promoted from Low-A Tampa to fill in.
Boyle walked two batters in the first inning before working out of the most trouble the team would have all night. In what would become the other trend of the night, Josh Breaux got the scoring started in the bottom of the inning with his first of three home runs that would account for all of the scoring on the night.
In the fifth inning, Nick Ernst would take over and continue the strong pitching. By the time Derek Craft entered the game in the top of the seventh inning, Breaux had busted things open with his third home run of the game to push the lead to 5-0. Craft finished out the game with a perfect seventh inning, striking one in the process. With the doubleheader sweep, the Renegades moved 20 games over .500, and have continued to be one of the best teams in the minor leagues for the entire season.
July 12: DSL Yankees 2 vs. DSL Giants Orange
Just two days later, on the opening day of the Dominican Summer League season, the DSL Yankees 2 team combined for another no-hitter. After scoring a run in the bottom of the first inning, the game remained scoreless as the Yankees’ trio of pitchers worked through the DSL Giants lineup. Geremias Peruero, Riordan Oropeza and Jose Guzman combined on the work that day. They walked five, but one of those runners was cut down by catcher Jesus Rodriguez trying to steal second in the fifth inning. In the ninth inning, with the DSL Yankees leading just 3-0, the final hitter of the game lined out to the first baseman for a double play.
The strong start of the season has not translated well for the hurlers involved. Of the three pitchers, Guzman had two more strong outings before going on the 60-day IL. Oropeza and Peguero struggled and neither has appeared in a game since early August.
July 21: Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders vs. Rochester Red Birds
Entering the game, Luis Gil was coming off a frustrating one-inning outing against the Worcester Red Sox. It was not frustrating in that he gave up a lot of runs, but in that he pitched in a game that day that never should have started. With the rain hitting hard after just one inning, the game would be suspended, leaving Gil to wait six days for his next turn in the rotation.
Gil came out strong on his normal rest on July 21st striking out nine opponents in six innings. After a strong night’s work he gave way in a 2-0 ballgame to one of the RailRiders’ most effective pitchers this season in Reggie McClain. McClain, who the Yankees claimed in the minor league portion of the Rule-5 draft last December, pitched two flawless innings, lowering his ERA on the season to 0.55.
While McClain was in the game, Scranton stretched the lead out a little farther to 8-0 and were cruising to a victory. With a big advantage, the team went to another pitcher who has since become very familiar to Yankees fans in Stephen Ridings. A minor league free agent before the season started, Ridings turned into a beast in 2021, running a 13.9 K/9 rate with a .155 opponents’ batting average. The hard-throwing right-hander surprisingly did not strike anybody out in the no-hitter, but retired the side without issue and seemed surprised by the reaction of his teammates as he apparently did not know what he and his teammates had just done.
COMBINED NO-HITTER— SWB RailRiders (@swbrailriders) July 22, 2021
Congratulations to Luis Gil, Reggie McClain and Stephen Ridings! pic.twitter.com/3yPot048H3
August 8: Double-A Somerset Patirots vs. Bowie Baysox
There was some star-power in the building on this day as the Patriots welcomed rehabbing players Luis Severino and Chris Gittens to the stadium for the day’s game. On the opposite side of the field was the newly minted top-prospect in all of baseball, Adley Rutschman, who was soon to be promoted to Triple-A himself. Severino set the pace early and pitched four perfect innings. He was followed by four innings of perfect relief from Shawn Semple, who then turned a perfect game over to Ron Marinaccio. A walk to the second hitter of the inning spoiled the perfect game, but Marinaccio was able to close out the no-hitter for the team.
WATCH | Ron Marinaccio gets the final out in the first no-hitter in franchise history! pic.twitter.com/IsHuXiDFyU— Somerset Patriots (@SOMPatriots) August 8, 2021
August 19: Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders vs. Worcester Red Sox
The Worcester Red Sox had the misfortune of meeting Sean Boyle during his first start at a new level, in the second game of a doubleheader. As the opposition found out during Boyle’s High-A Hudson Valley, he can be very hard to hit when facing the challenge of a higher level. He was once again up to the task in Worcester. After a first-inning walk, Boyle retired the next 14 batters before hitting a Red Sox hitter in the sixth inning. He rebounded quickly and retired the next five hitters to complete the seven-inning gem.
The next game out, JP Sears led Scranton’s effort to shut down Worcester again. Behind six strong innings from Sears they took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before a few hitters reached base. Overall, Scranton faced 52 consecutive Worcester hitters over the course of a few nights without allowing a hit.
The Yankees’ minor league system has seen its share of impressive performances this season. All four of their full season affiliates are in the top-four of their respective leagues in ERA and many other pitching statistics. It seems like the no-hitter banner is flying at least once a week lately as the team flirts with and often pulls off the feat.