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Adams Defines RailRiders Mission of Starting Fresh

By Nicole Sorce ~ April 5th, 2013. Filed under: Minor League Baseball.

David Adams is back at third base for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after an interesting week.

MOOSIC, Pa. – The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders opened their new PNC Field on Thursday evening with a disappointing extra-innings, 8-4 loss to the Pawtucket Red Sox.

While the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate may not have had the freshest of fresh starts in the books, their outlook remains just as optimistic as before the first pitch of the season was thrown (not to be confused with the ceremonial first pitch of Hall of Fame legend Reggie Jackson).

“The ultimate goal for everybody is to win ball games,” third baseman David Adams stated after going 2-5 with a double in the opener. “Today, obviously we didn’t do that.”  Adams batted leadoff in the game after hitting third much of last season at Double-A Trenton.

Perhaps the most prime example of a fresh start one can find on the Rail Riders’ roster is Adams, who, to say the least, had more than an interesting spring training. Highly regarded as one of the top infield prospects in the Yankees organization, the last thing Adams expected in Tampa, Fla., was to be suddenly out of a job.

“I was shocked, but I never felt betrayed. It’s a business and I completely understood,” Adams said on being released from the Yankees’ 40-man roster to make room for Vernon Wells. “I wasn’t healthy, and they needed to make a roster move, and it completely made sense that I was the guy.”

The Yankees released Adams on hopes he would clear waivers and be re-signed to a minor-league contract, and six days later, that’s exactly what wound up happening. Ironically, just around the time, his team would be starting over with their new stadium and management.

“I think every year is a start-over,” Adams said. “The goal for me is to look at it as a new season, come in fresh, and just be consistent.”

This season marks Adams’ first season in Triple-A, but to him, “baseball is baseball.” The only real difference he could identify between his current role and playing in Double-A is the overall consistency of rosters across the league.

“Obviously the guys are more consistent at this level,” Adams said, “and I think that’s the biggest key – consistency.”

Yet while the RailRiders failed to show such consistency in their first outing of the season, Adams was glad to be a part of history at PNC Field.

“It’s beautiful. It’s beautiful,” Adams described the new park. “We have great fan support here, and it was nice seeing everyone out on the first night. I’m excited to be here.”

Factors such as if he stays healthy, plays consistently, or even another injury in the Bronx, could influence the Yankees to purchase Adams’ minor-league contract sooner rather than later. However, whether or not that happens won’t affect his positive morale.

“I don’t think about that honestly. I just play baseball,” Adams said. “I believe in myself, and if I do well and perform, I’ll get opportunities somewhere.”

Adams, after posting a .306 average in 86 games with 23 doubles, 8 home runs, and 48 runs batted in at Trenton in 2012, is right where he needs to be. The only factor that could hold him back would be more injuries, especially after spending the past few seasons being plagued with ankle and back issues.

“Everyone has routines to keep up on the field. For me, it’s more preventative-maintenance stuff, like staying flexible,” Adams said.

It’s not so much about what he’s not doing, either. Adams has learned that he can only push his body so far.

“That’s the big key for me now – not overdoing things,” the third baseman added. “I know in the past I just overdid stuff and would just go, go, go. I need to learn to cut back and be smart about what I do.”

Follow Nicole Sorce on Twitter @nicolesorce

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