Monday, June 20, 2011

VAZQUEZ STRUGGLING FOR YANKS' AAA AFFILIATE AFTER HOT START

Two months into the season at the end of May, Jorge Vazquez looked like a candidate for a call-up to New York Yankees. Although the Culiacan native had cooled down after a torrid April in which he hit .323 with nine homers and 27 RBIs (including Player of the Week honors April 11-18) in just 23 games for the International League’s Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, Vazquez ended May with a decent .281 batting average and 18 roundtrippers.

Then came June.

During the first 19 days of the month, the right-handed first baseman was hitting just .188 with two homers and seven RBIs. The worst of it has come after June 13, when he singled and doubled in a game at Syracuse. Since then, Vazquez has gone 0-for-18 with nine strikeouts in five games and a call-up to Yankee Stadium seems far away. On the surface his current average of .257 with 20 homers and 52 RBIs in 65 games looks respectable, but the parent club has got to be concerned about Vazquez’ 93 strikeouts in 261 at-bats, a pace that would put him over 200 for the IL season.

Still, it would be foolish to write the season off for the 5’11” 225-pounder. After all, this is a guy who was named the Caribbean Series MVP in February after leading Obregon to the first Mexican CS crown since 2005, then impressed the Yankees with his bat during spring training. “He’s got some thunder,” said Yanks senior director of pro personnel Billy Eppler.