The Yankees’ Double-A Trenton Thunder are only about 75 miles from Yankee Stadium, and manager Bobby Mitchell said their starting pitching talent isn’t far from the Bronx, either.
“Actually, a lot of them could probably go straight to the big leagues from here,” Mitchell said.
“You put in a lot of hard work, and that’s ultimately our goal,” said lefty Dan Camarena, “so to have Skip think that of us, it’s awesome.”
After missing last season with an elbow injury, 23-year-old Camarena has a 6-2 record and 2.55 ERA. He was a 20th round draft pick in 2011 out of high school.
Southpaw Dietrich Enns, 25, recently was promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after a 7-2 Thunder record and 1.93 ERA. He and fellow lefty Jordon Montgomery (8-3, 2.47 ERA) have been named Eastern League All-Stars this season.
Three lefties in one rotation to start the year?
“Yeah, we got a lot of lefties. I’m always partial to lefties,” Mitchell said, laughing. The skipper was a lefty-throwing centerfielder in parts of four seasons for the Dodgers and Twins in the early 1980s.
Trenton’s rotation also includes right-hander Vicente Campos, a 23-year-old who is 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA since his promotion from Class-A Tampa.
“With my experience, I think we have a couple of guys that can pitch in the big leagues right now,” said Thunder pitching coach Jose Rosado. The former Royals lefty was an AL All-Star in 1997 and ’99.
A 2014 fourth-round draftee from the University of South Carolina, the 6-foot-6 Montgomery’s velocity has increased 3 mph from college to between 91 and 94 mph.
“It definitely sets the bar high,” Montgomery, 23, said of the staff’s success. “[It] just makes you come to work every day ready and make sure you’re not the guy that goes below the bar.”