Name the role and Michael Noteware will gladly accept it.
That’s the attitude the former Glendale Community College pitcher has taken during his first season playing professional baseball with the Gulf Coast League Yankees2, the rookie ball affiliate of the New York Yankees.
“It’s about trying to do well with anything they ask,” said Noteware, who signed a free agent contract with the Yankees in June. “They are trying to do everything possible to help you get to the next level and be successful.
“I feel like I’ve been doing well, especially in situations being under pressure. I’ve set up and also been given one of the closing roles and I’m just trying to throw a lot of strikes.”
Noteware, who played at GCC from 2010-11 before transferring to Lewis-Clark State in Idaho, seems to be flourishing with the Yankees in Tampa, Fla. Through Tuesday, he’s 2-0 with four saves and a 2.86 earned-run average in 15 appearances. In 22 innings, he’s struck out 23 and walked four. Noteware has shared the closer’s role with Jose Pena.
Noteware, a right-hander, helped the Vaqueros reach the state tournament in 2011 as a primary reliever after serving as a starter in 2010. Learning how to be a relief pitcher at Glendale has helped speed up the transition at the professional level.
“That’s something I could draw off of in coming to the Yankees,” said Noteware, a former All-Western State Conference selection. “I am still learning each time out there.
“I’ve had a couple of bad games and you learn from them and move on. Sometimes it happens when we are getting beat bad or if we are winning big. You have a lot of free swingers in our league and you just have to go right after them.”
Noteware, 23, notched his first win June 30 against the Gulf Coast Pirates. He pitched two scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out three in the Yankees’ 6-3 victory. Noteware’s first save came versus the Gulf Coast Yankees1 on July 14. Noteware went 1 1/3 innings to preserve a 5-4 win.
Noteware, who received All-NAIA West first-team accolades as well as the All-NAIA West Pitcher of the Year in 2012 with Lewis-Clark, said he credits Gulf Coast Yankees2 pitching coach Jose Rosado for making a seamless transition. Rosado, a left-hander, pitched for the Kansas City Royals from 1996-2000 and appeared in the All-Star Game in 1997 and 1999.
“It’s priceless when you can learn something from him,” Noteware said. “He offers a lot of advice and encouragement.
“He’s mostly been able to help me out with things like pitch sequence.”
Gulf Coast League Yankees2 first-year Manager Pat Osborn said Noteware has met expectations.
“He’s done a great job and the numbers speak for themselves,” Osborn said. “He’s confident and he trusts his abilities, like in throwing a breaking ball or a slider.
“He knows how to go out there and pound the zone. He’s been doing the things asked of him very well. It’s just about being able to develop the players and getting them ready to move up in the organization. That’s what we like to see.”