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Yankees demote April and May star Yangervis Solarte to Triple-A

Jul 3, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

Yangervis Solarte Yankees AP

Yangervis Solarte was one of the Yankees’ biggest bright spots early on this season, coming out of nowhere to make the team as a 26-year-old career minor leaguer, grabbing hold of the starting job at third base, and hitting .300 with six homers and an .834 OPS in 49 games through April and May.

Unfortunately he’s hit just .162 in 22 games since June 1, including his current 3-for-41 (.073) slump, and today the Yankees decided to demote Solarte back to Triple-A.

Solarte’s overall numbers are still pretty solid with a .266 batting average, .343 on-base percentage, and .736 OPS, which is actually the fourth-best mark on the Yankees behind Mark Teixeira, Brett Gardner, and Jacoby Ellsbury (and ahead of, among others, Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, Derek Jeter, Alfonso Soriano, and Ichiro Suzuki).

He deserves another shot at some point, but in the meantime the Yankees have called up 27-year-old career minor leaguer Zelous Wheeler, a utility man hitting .299 with seven homers and an .834 OPS in 66 games at Triple-A.

  1. johnnysoda - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    How the mighty fall.

    I liked him a lot, so it’s a shame he got sent down. Hopefully, he’ll regain his form in Scranton and he’ll be back in the bigs soon.

    • Glenn - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:38 AM

      The guy is probably a career minor leaguer for a reason. Getting hot for a small sample size doesn’t make him good. The list of old rookies who briefly looked impressive and disappeared is long.

      • pete2112 - Jul 3, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        I don’t know if I would consider a half a season a small sample. I think he proved he could play at this level and just needs to probably make some adjustments in the minors. You’re getting more out of him than a lot of the guys on this club that have been in a slump since the season began, so I think we’ll see him again. And honestly, what are their options? This isn’t exactly a stacked team with post season promise and Kelly Johnson is certainly not the future at 3rd. base.

      • paperlions - Jul 3, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        Half a season of baseball is a small sample…heck, a season of baseball is a small sample.

        Sadly, I think he probably has found his form. He has generally been a below average hitter throughout his MiLB career, and has usually spent multiple years at each level. Not exactly the profile of a useful MLB hitter.

      • glclemg - Jul 3, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        Unlike Kelly Johnson who’s basically a train wreck.

  2. 18thstreet - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    I don’t like to make fun of others’ names, “Zelous Wheeler” sounds like the name of a player from the 19th Century.

    • tuberippin - Jul 3, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      You might say the Yankees got a bit over-Zelous with their demotion of Solarte.

  3. SocraticGadfly - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    I dropped him from my fantasy league three weeks ago, when he had already been dropping like a rock for multiple weeks, even while many Yankee fans still touted him as the best thing in the infield since sliced Derek Jeter.

    • bobwheel - Jul 3, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      That shows real wisdom.

  4. sdelmonte - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    So much for the next starting shortstop.

    But the Yankees made a few interesting international signings yesterday, and I suspect their 2017 SS was in the mix.

    • paperlions - Jul 3, 2014 at 3:59 PM

      Those guys are all 16 yrs old. I suspect a starting 2017 A+ ball SS may be in the mix….or a starting 2020 MLB SS.

  5. bolweevils2 - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    I wouldn’t write him off yet though. It might be something so simple as getting into a few bad swing habits so the Yankees want to send him down to get straightened out and he’ll be back in a few weeks.

  6. sportsnut101 - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    Its not his slump
    It was defense yesterday
    Balls getting by him with ease
    I was there

    • bigmeechy74 - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      yeah i’m sure him hitting horribly recently has nothing to do with being sent down. great point

  7. pete2112 - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    With this mentality, the Yankees could demote everyone to triple-A with how they’re hitting. I could see bringing in someone through a trade and sending down Solarte but to swap him for another minor leaguer seems to be a bit of wash, in my opinion.

  8. deathmonkey41 - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    Awesome- can they do that with 95% of the line up now? Oh, and please, please, please fire Kevin Long already. He has steadily turned this lineup into a bunch of impatient, pull-happy, hackers over his time there. I remember when this lineup actually worked counts.

  9. bigmeechy74 - Jul 3, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    I hate the yankees. I hope they keep losing.

    • dcarroll73 - Jul 3, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      You know I never looked at it that way. After your insightful analysis, even as a Yankee fan I can understand your point. Have you ever considered a career in teaching or politics?

      • bigmeechy74 - Jul 3, 2014 at 3:50 PM


    • mazblast - Jul 3, 2014 at 6:16 PM

      I don’t hate, but even if I did, this edition of the Yankees wouldn’t be worth the effort. They’re just so resolutely–blah.

  10. jerze2387 - Jul 3, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    If the boss were alive, this would have never happened

  11. jackdiamond77 - Jul 3, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    This just PROVES how very hard it is to discover and develop a major league hitter. YET ANOTHER REASON THEY SHOULD HAVE PAID CANO. Why oh why do Cashman and Long still work 4 the Yankees? ?
    Seriously, they have screwed up so badly they should try another sport. Kevin Long is like someone on welfare. They both get paid to do nothing.

    • pete2112 - Jul 3, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      I agree that Cano would have been a nice offensive plus this season if had stayed with the team, but can you really say this team would be all that much better with Cano? Maybe they would have a few more wins, but I still don’t think this team would be going anywhere with their pitching staff and other holes in the lineup.

      • jackdiamond77 - Jul 3, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        Pete, I really think, from watching them night after night, Cano would have made a big difference. Even when the pitching is respectable they lose.

    • dcarroll73 - Jul 3, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      The issue with Cano was never whether he is a great player now. It was always about the calculation of how long to expect good things. No way he is worth it for ten years. People on HBT are complaining about the number of years that CC got, but they critize the Yanks at the same time for letting Cano walk. Seems a little inconsistent?

      • pete2112 - Jul 3, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        Very true. You either hear that they buy all their championships with their over bloated contracts or they’re getting criticized for not shelling out the cash to re-sign a player, Cano, in this case. They can’t win sometimes but I guess that’s just the way it is when you’re the Yankees.

      • jackdiamond77 - Jul 3, 2014 at 4:46 PM

        The point here is that everyone’s contract gets ‘iffy’ the longer it goes on. THAT is exactly why proven players get the perk of extra years. Pay the money and hope for the best. They need Cano bat and giving all that cash to McCann and Beltran in light of their performance just looks stupid.

  12. esyuvienco - Jul 3, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Yankees are doomed! Cursed!

    • 18thstreet - Jul 3, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      The Curse of the Rob Cano.

      (This would work if he pronounced CAY-no instead of k’NO.)

  13. genericcommenter - Jul 3, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Good. People really shouldn’t fall in love with rookies and others who get off to unexpected hot starts. Too bad they can’t start addressing another glaring issue- Guys at the end who are not going to rebound- until next year at the earliest.

  14. righthandofjustice - Jul 3, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    Let me guess… his PED exemption has expired…

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