TAMPA, Fla. — Usually, the return of a Rule V pick to the Yankees wouldn’t merit much reaction from Brian Cashman. He’d just welcome the player back and wish him well.
The welcome back for lefthander Evan Rutckyj from the Braves’ organization this weekend will be a little different.
Rutckyj, a 24-year-old Canadian who has been in the Yankees’ system since 2010, got the general manager’s attention earlier this month when he criticized the team’s minor-league staff.
“I feel like we can talk to anybody here,” Rutckyj (pronounced RUT-skee), told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “It’s kind of different from the Yankees, where if one of the coordinators or somebody walks by you, like, put your head down and mind your own business. But here everybody wants you to talk to them.”
Rutckyj said this even though he knew there was an excellent chance that he would be right back in the Yankees’ system before the end of spring training. Rule V picks must be kept on the selecting team’s roster or be offered back to the original club. The Braves sent Rutckyj back to the Yankees on Friday.
“We heard it,” Cashman said. “We saw it. He’ll be asked about it.”
Cashman said it’s possible that Rutckyj, who has pitched only 11 times above Class A, was just showing his inexperience with the media in his first big-league camp.
“I think he probably went with the flow,” Cashman said. “But it’s not reflective of anything accurate. Like our coordinators don’t dialogue with our players? C’mon.”
You can bet there will be some “dialoguing” with Rutckyj when he reports back to the Yankees’ minor-league camp across the street from Steinbrenner Field.
“I made sure that our coordinators and our player development director saw it,” Cashman said, “so they can welcome him with open arms.”