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Rutherford returns in slew of RiverDogs roster moves ahead of 'Tebow Mania'

Rutherford (CharlestonRiverDogs.com)

CHARLESTON, S.C. - With the June Amateur Draft now complete and the Short Season leagues beginning play in just a matter of days, the New York Yankees have announced a slew of Charleston roster moves, including Yankees first-rounder Blake Rutherford being reinstated from the seven-day disabled list with Charleston.

After opening the season with the Riverdogs, Rutherford, 20-years-old and the No. 3 prospect in the Yankees organization (MLB.com), was sidelined on June 6 after sustaining a foot contusion, and returns to Charleston after batting .280 with a home run, nine stolen bases, and 18 RBI in 47 games prior to the injury.

Also joining Rutherford back healthy is outfielder Alexander Palma who injured his foot at the end of last season and was on Charleston's 60-day disabled list to start the year. Palma, 21, returns to the Lowcountry after spending the last two seasons with the RiverDogs, combining for a .231/.268/.332 line in 145 games in the SAL. The Guarenas, Venezuela native struck out in just 13.9% of his plate appearances in 64 games with the RiverDogs last year.

Floridian right-hander Nick Nelson (0-5, 5.91) was also activated in advance of his start on Friday. The Panama City native will step on the bump for his ninth start looking for his first professional win in a tough assignment against Columbia righty Jordan Humphreys (9-1, 1.55) who holds the league's best ERA and number of wins while holding opponents to a SAL-low .153 average.

Outfielder Carlos Vidal and infielder Oswaldo Cabrera were each reassigned to Extended Spring Training. The Colombia native Vidal hit .277 in 36 games with the RiverDogs before being placed on the disabled list on May 30. He was activated from the DL in a simultaneous move. Righty Jio Orozco was reassigned to extended to make room for Nelson in the rotation.

Cabrera joins Vidal after making a full-season roster for the first time in his career as an 18-year-old in just his second season in the minors. The Guarenas, Venezuela native hit for a .208 average in 49 games while slugging a pair of home runs prior to the assignment.

Orozco held a 3-5 record with a 4.95 ERA with 48 strikeouts and a SALLY league high 34 walks after his start last night.

The RiverDogs (32-35) finish out the first half with a three-game tilt against Tim Tebow and the first-place Columbia Fireflies (39-26) starting on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. An hour out from game time, attendance was expected to be 25,000.


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