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Yankees Mailbag: Automated strike zone, Bader’s return, and more

The mailbag is back to discuss the timeline for automated strike zones and how the Yankees will handle recalling Harrison Bader.

Kansas City Royals v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Good afternoon everyone, it’s time to dive back into the mailbag and answer some of your questions. Remember to send in your questions for our weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

thor14 asks: What is your take on the automated ball and strike system being used at AAA? From what I’ve seen it seems to be working.

I’ve yet to catch a game live this year so I can’t speak to the accuracy of the calls, but the league adopting this system at the highest level of the minors is a big step up from the testing they ran in the independent leagues. MLB is clearly angling towards getting the automated calls ready sooner rather than later, and given how ugly the ump show has gotten recently I’d be for giving it a shot. I definitely prefer the system where each side gets a number of challenges to review a call over outright putting trust in the outcome of the robots, but either way, it seems like an inevitability.

Pistol23 asks: Jeisson Rosario is kind of an interesting player. What might his ceiling be, and do the Yankees have any plans for him, or is he a trade chip, or just organizational depth?

No disrespect to Rosario, but I don’t think he fits into the team’s plans beyond being organizational depth. His bat took a decent step forward in the power department in 2022, but that was still only good enough to produce 11 home runs in 104 Double-A games. Rosario is only 23 years old, but he’s only managed to produce a career .712 OPS in over 500 games. He’s sitting well outside of the organization’s top-30 prospects, and would need a major leap to enter the outfield conversation in a reasonable timeline.

lidbit asks: When Bader returns, which outfielder(s) are most likely to go, Calhoun, Hicks and/or IKF? Franchy obviously stays given he is hitting.

I think the writing on the wall is there for Calhoun — he’s only played marginally, and the bat hasn’t been there when he has gotten in the lineup. Hicks and IKF both have struggled to do much of anything either, and Hicks isn’t the defensive star that he was at one point in his career, but both offer higher upside in the outfield than Calhoun does. Cordero has cooled off significantly from his hot start to the season, but that power display likely keeps him around until another roster move (such as Giancarlo Stanton’s return) needs to be made. For as awkward as Cordero has sometimes looked in the outfield, the Yankees have also been loathe to play Calhoun much out there at

jets! asks: Is there any site to see minor league pitch tracking data? Clayton Beeter has been great, and I remembered this FanGraphs interview and wanted to see if he has thrown more fastballs and change ups.

I’m afraid I don’t have anything that would help you with looking deeper into Clayton Beeter’s performances, but if you’re interested in tracking the Triple-A guys, here’s some useful info. The aforementioned automated strike zone has brought with it the ability for Statcast to cover the affiliates there*, as Sam Dykstra wrote a couple of weeks ago. This is highly useful for examining the players on the cusp of reaching the majors, and while most of the Yankees’ top prospects are not currently in Triple-A, there are a few names that could feasibly jump up at any point this season.

*You can also track Statcast data for players down in Low-A Tampa too since they play in spring training complexes across Florida that are similarly equipped.