Guess these fall league updates will be more frequent than I thought. That's with good reason this morning, as Ian Clarkin finally made his 2015 in-game debut yesterday in the AZFL. He missed the entire MiL season due to a still undisclosed elbow injury, but started throwing bullpens and BP again in August and September and took the hill in his first real game of the year yesterday for the Surprise Saguaros. By all accounts, I'd say it was a pretty solid debut. Clarkin went 4 innings, gave up an earned run on 4 hits and 3 walks, and struck out 2. He threw 64 pitches, 37 strikes, 1 wild pitch, and got 6 outs on the ground. The command wasn't there, as one would expect from a 20-year-old pitcher who didn't pitch all season, but it sounds like the stuff was. Keith Law was at the game and tweeted this about Clarkin:
Ian Clarkin (NYY) 90-92 in the first for Surprise with that same good curveball he's always had
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) October 19, 2015
Throwing with good velocity, throwing plus offspeed pitches, and coming through the outing with no physical problems. That's about as good as you could ask for. If Clarkin can stay healthy, he could get 25ish innings this fall as early prep work for a full return in 2016 and that would be nice. Even with the year missed, Clarkin is still an easy top 10 organizational prospect and maybe top 5 when you consider that Bird and Severino aren't on the list anymore. The Yankees would surely like to see a healthy, productive year from him next year and this start was a good first step towards that goal.