Thursday, April 27, 2017

To Protect James Kaprielian or to Not Protect James Kaprielian

Contrary to popular belief the Greedy Pinstripes is not the only shop in town covering the New York Yankees and their minor league affiliates. I say that with extreme sarcasm but there are some publications out there that truly either think that or at the very least act like it. That’s not me and that’s not us. We strove to be different and do it our way when we started this blog over five years ago and I think we’ve done a pretty damn good job at it personally, but I am clearly bias on the matter truth be told. I said all that to say this. I’m not afraid and have never been afraid to read other people’s work and I absolutely have no problem giving credit where credit is due which leads me to Lou DiPietro’s recent article regarding James Kaprielian, the upcoming decision on whether to add him to the 40 man roster and whether to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft or not. Here are my thoughts on his article which can be seen on the

As we all know the Yankees right-handed pitching prospect underwent Tommy John surgery last week which will keep him out at least until the halfway point of the 2018 season. This is important because the Yankees have until after the 2018 season to decide whether they should and will add Kaprielian to the 40 man roster as a way of protecting him from being taken by other teams in the annual Rule 5 Draft. This, in my opinion, should not even be up for discussion. Protect Kaprielian, period.

Kaprielian missed basically the entire 2016 season with a right flexor strain in his elbow and will miss all of this season as well with the elbow injury but don’t think that will deter teams from taking him in the Rule 5 Draft. If history has taught us anything it is that Kaprielian will be taken regardless, whether it is in the Major League phase or the minor league phase of the draft. In his article DiPietro points out that the Yankees have lost pitchers like Ty Hensley in the minor league phase in recent years and Hensley has had many more injuries and is farther away from the Majors than Kaprielian is today. Without a doubt if Kaprielian is left unprotected one of the other 29 teams in the league will snatch him up, there is zero doubt in my mind.

There’s some pitchers and players you take a chance with in the Rule 5 Draft, Dietrich Enns for example this past season who I thought would ultimately be taken and wasn’t, and there are others you absolutely cannot take a chance with, Miguel Andujar from this winter for example, and Kaprielian is definitely more of the latter than the former. So for now, and I doubt my mind changes much between now and October of 2018, you must protect Kaprielian on the 40 man roster.

What say you? Leave it below in the comments section or tweet us @GreedyStripes with your thoughts. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 4/27

The rivalry wasn’t renewed as often as we all expected it to be due to Mother Nature postponing the game on Tuesday but tonight the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox will finish their series regardless. In the finale of this rain-shortened two-game series the New York Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to square off with Chris Sale for the Boston Red Sox. Tonight’s scheduled starter CC Sabathia will start tomorrow night in the Bronx when the team welcomes the Baltimore Orioles to town. Before we get too ahead of ourselves and start thinking about tomorrow too much let’s focus on getting a win tonight first.

Tanaka pitched an absolute gem in his last start against the Chicago White Sox so changing the Sox color should make little difference to the Japanese-born right-hander. Tanaka allowed just one run on six hits in seven innings of work last time out in a victory for the Yankees. Tanaka attributed his best splitter of the season for his success in his last start.

Sale has been absolutely dominant for the Boston Red Sox since coming over from the Chicago White Sox and his sub-1.00 ERA makes the decision to trade top prospect Yoan Moncada for him a good one thus far. Sale has struck out at least ten in three of his first four starts this season and has gone at least seven innings in all four of those aforementioned starts. It could be a long, long night for the Baby Bombers tonight inside Fenway if Sale is on.

The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Fenway Park and can be seen in New York on the YES Network, in Boston on NESN, MLB Network nationally and anywhere you and your device are on MLB TV. You can also follow along on the radio in your cars by tuning into WFAN with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

It doesn’t matter if the series is two games long or eight games long it is still “Go Yankees” regardless!

House Stark Has Fallen...

Mindblowing!  That’s how I felt when I saw the news about the ESPN layoffs and the inclusion of veteran Baseball writer Jayson Stark.  I have long viewed Stark as the foremost Baseball authority at ESPN.  He consistently wrote interesting, objective, and fact-based stories.  After 17 years and recognized as a leading Baseball sportswriter, he was given the swift boot by ESPN.  Amazing.  I am not going to cry for Stark.  ESPN’s loss will most certainly be another media giant’s gain.  This proves that no industry is immune to economic turmoil.  Most likely, all of us, at one point in our lives (or more), have been victimized by financial downturns in the economy.  Still, it doesn’t make the losses any easier.  

I will be anxious to see where Stark lands.  He is too valuable to lose in this chaotic sport.  While there were a number of notable names included in the ESPN layoffs, the other that stood out to me was NFL reporter Ed Werder.  I've been following Werder since his days as the Dallas Cowboys beat writer for The Dallas Morning News.  He has been an institution for the NFL.  Like Stark, he has spent 17 years at ESPN.  Also like Stark, I doubt Werder has any problems finding his next gig but I hope it is one that affords him a national presence as I don't really follow Dallas area sports anymore.

It was definitely a crazy doubt.  Best of luck to all those affected by the layoffs.  Hopefully their entries into the free agent market will be very short-lived.  

In 2007, the Yankees first round selection (30th overall) was the long forgotten pitcher Andrew Brackman.  Once slated to be part of the Killer B's along with Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, the 6'10" Brackman was never able to realize his potential following Tommy John surgery and was later released.  He is now out of baseball.  The same year of the draft, the Yankees chose a college player in the 39th round (1191st pick overall) by the name of Eric Thames.  Thames didn't sign and went back to Pepperdine University.  Fast forward ten years, and Thames, after spending three years in Korea and now with the Milwaukee Brewers, is the Major League leader in home runs with eleven.  He has also scored a Major League-leading 27 runs.  Although he was pulled from Wednesday's game for a tight hamstring, he should be back to increase his homer total on Friday.  Wow, where did this come from?  In the off-season, the Brewers cut last year's first baseman, Chris Carter, who tied Nolan Arenado for most homers in the NL with 41, and signed Thames as his replacement.  While it is unlikely that Thames will continue at his current pace, the Brewers haven't missed a beat in getting huge production out of their first basemen.  Too bad those scouts who found Thames in 2007 didn't see the potential in the Korean Leagues.  Kudos to the Brewers scouts who did.  The year after the Yankees had drafted Thames, he was picked in the seventh round by the Toronto Blue Jays which clearly showed the Yankees had uncovered a potential diamond in the rough.  Thames did fail in chances with the Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles and Houston Astros before finding his niche in Korea.  Still, there's probably a few Yankees scouts saying "I told you so".  

The Yankees win!...

It was a very laborious 9th inning, but the Yankees beat the Red Sox 3-1 in the opener of their rain-shortened two game series at Fenway Park on a very foggy night.  Luis Severino was quite simply...incredible.  He did not look like the same pitcher on the mound.  I don't know if it was his best Major League performance but it might be his most impressive.  Sevy (2-1) was in charge throughout his seven innings of work, giving up only three hits and no runs.  He walked two and struck out six.  This is the Severino we have been waiting for.  The youngster has grown up.  Very exciting stuff.  The offense was 100% Baby Bomber-powered.  Aaron Judge, celebrating his 25th birthday, slugged a second inning two-run homer to right off AL Cy Young winner Rick Porcello (1-3).  Greg Bird, showing that a Bird #33 jersey is no longer something to cheer for in Boston, delivered a run-scoring single in the sixth, scoring Judge. Judge also made a highlight reel catch that carried him into right field foul territory stands in the third inning.  I was worried that the three runs might not be enough when Aroldis Chapman clearly didn't have it in the 9th.  He gave up a hit and allowed two walks and a run.  Boston had the winning run on base but with Chapman's 33rd pitch of the inning, he struck out Josh Rutledge to end the game.  Big sigh of relief...

Credit:  Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other Yankees to homer at Fenway Park on their birthday are Yogi Berra and Roger Maris.  8, 9, and 99.  Very select company for Aaron Judge!  By the way, Happy Belated Birthday to him!

Have a great Thursday!  Hopefully today is a sweeping success for everyone!

OK Guys, Calm Down About Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter, Jeb Bush and their group of investors haven’t officially purchased the Miami Marlins yet and I have to say I am already so sick and tired of hearing about it, especially from the fans of the New York Yankees.

Let’s start at the beginning. Jeter, Jeb Bush and a group of investors have come together and made a bid to purchase the Miami Marlins franchise for a shade over $1 billion. Depending on where you read the group have either won the bid or not been awarded with the top bid, I’ve read both as of the time of this writing although that is subject to change, but what I am being bombarded with more so is all this nonsense from Yankees fans who are actually upset about Jeter purchasing a stake in a franchise other than the New York Yankees. Say what?

I’ve seen quotes something along the lines of that Jeter is “no longer a true Yankee” and such as that because he is buying the Miami Marlins franchise, reportedly anyway. Again. Say what? So with that line of thinking I guess that Tino Martinez, a beloved Yankee who had his own day inside Yankee Stadium a couple seasons back, is not a true Yankee either since he was the hitting coach for Miami and played for other teams including the St. Louis Cardinals. Paul O’Neill? Not a true Yankee, he played for Cincinnati. Don Mattingly? Nope, he managed the Los Angeles Dodgers. Joe Girardi? Nah, he played for the Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies among other teams and also managed the Miami Marlins before the Yankees. I can keep going but I think you get the point. I get it, I do. It’s Jeter. Jeter is supposed to be and built up to be the exception to the rule by Yankees fans but come on…. I think this is exaggerating just a little too much and taking it a wee bit too far.

Chill, people. Jeter spent 20 seasons at shortstop for the New York Yankees and left everything he had on the field every single night and during the latter part of those 20 years Jeter was quite vocal about owning an MLB franchise one day. Sure he would probably like to and prefer to buy the New York Yankees but they aren’t for sale. Don’t be mad at Jeter for that and let that tarnish his career and his legacy with you, blame Hal Steinbrenner and his greedy brother Hank for that. 

So it Seems Didi Is Back?

Good morning and happy Thursday everyone. It’s almost TGIF!! It’s hard to be upset on a Friday, at least for me, although tomorrow I have a feeling will be a rough day at work. I will be tested physically and emotionally as we have just two people doing six people’s worth of work… so if you don’t hear from me that’s why. LOL. Anyway, I digress and I refuse to stress about it because Monday is another day. Enjoy today, worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.

The good news is that Didi Gregorius is expected to come off the disabled list tomorrow night before the New York Yankees play host to the Baltimore Orioles inside Yankee Stadium. Gregorius has been on a minor league rehab assignment and all signs point to his right shoulder strain being completely healed and healthy after missing basically the first month of the 2017 regular season with the injury.

Didi is back and the Yankees offense is already clicking… things are about to get scary for everyone else here in the Bronx. Have a great day everyone. Oh, and hey you :) 

This Day In New York Yankees History 4/27: Steinbrenner Sucks!

On this day in 1982 after Reggie Jackson left the New York Yankees via free agency for the California Angels he came back to Yankee Stadium and promptly hit a home run in a 3-1 Angels victory. The crowd was none to PLEASED and chants of "Steinbrenner Sucks" erupted while Jackson rounded the bases. FYI, George Steinbrenner the Yankees owner was in attendance in his press box on that day.
On this day in 1947 a crowd of 58,000 attended Babe Ruth Day at Yankee Stadium to honor the Yankees legend. The crowd was treated to an old fashioned pitchers duel when the Washington Senators Sid Hudson beat the Yankees Spud Chandler 1-0.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

3 Minus 1 Equals 2...

Credit:  Globe Staff/John Tlumacki

Impressive math skills, huh?  With Tuesday’s rain-out, the 2017 opening Yankees-Red Sox series becomes a two game affair.  It plays havoc with a wager I hold every year with a die-hard Red Sox fan.  Years ago, when we were both bloggers, we started making bets on every series.  Over the years, I’ve had to wear Red Sox caps in photos (including a pink one one year), write long posts about past and present Red Sox players, and sport Red Sox-related profile pics through social media.  My friend no longer blogs so the current bets tend to revolve around FaceBook profile and cover pics.  With only two games, a split means the win goes to the team with the most runs scored.  The loser has to use a Red Sox player as their FaceBook profile pic for three days under the current bet.  So, I have a vested interest in the Yankees to take this series.  Yes, it’s all about me.

The rained out game will be made up on Sunday, July 16th as part of a day-night double-header.   The scheduled starters are pushed back a day so Luis Severino takes the mound today against AL Cy Young Award Winner Rick “Justin Verlander Deserved It More” Porcello while Masahiro Tanaka, in the series marquee matchup, faces Chris Sale on Thursday.  CC Sabathia becomes an observer for this series, with a probable early flight back to New York for Friday’s start against the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles.

It’s raining again today in Boston but hopefully the rain gods will make way for the 7:10 pm EDT start time to allow a few hours of clear skies.  Oh yeah, this is Yankees-Red Sox, better make that four hours of clear skies.

I am not sure what I think about the possibility of Derek Jeter becoming an owner in Major League Baseball.  As Bloomberg reported yesterday, the group led by former Presidential candidate and Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Jeter won the auction for exclusive negotiating rights to buy the Miami Marlins.  The sides still have to hammer out a formal written agreement that must be approved by MLB owners, but I do not see any roadblocks to the eventual sale.  

I suppose that all things considered, it would have been worse for Jeter to buy his local Tampa Bay Rays.  Under that scenario, the Yankees would have had to face a Jeter-owned team 19 times a year in the fight for the American League East.  With Jeter owning a National League team, the Yankees won’t face the Marlins except for every few years in inter-league play.  There’s the possibility that the Yankees could face the Jeter-owned Marlins in the World Series at some point.  But for the most part, they won’t step foot on the same field at the same time.  So, this is probably the best situation for Jeter’s dream to be a Major League owner, particularly considering the Steinbrenner Family has no interest in selling the Yankees.  

It was tough to watch Don Mattingly, a lifetime Yankee, put on another team’s jersey.  If I have a second favorite or National League favorite team, it is probably the Los Angeles Dodgers (okay, not probably, it is).  Mattingly as an assistant coach for Joe Torre in Los Angeles and then later the manager was very palatable.  I was fortunate to live in Los Angeles during the Mattingly regime and I enjoyed having a long-time favorite player as manager of the local team.  I remain a fan of Mattingly’s even though he now calls Miami home, but it’s weird.  I am hopeful that he finds his way back home to Yankee Stadium one day.  I do not know Jeter’s intended ownership percentage or how active he will be as the face of the organization.  Unlike Mattingly, he won’t be putting on a Marlins uniform so technically the Yankees uniform should remain his only one.  Magic Johnson is one of the owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers but activity-wise, he is a bigger part of the Los Angeles Lakers.  Will Jeter take that type of passive ownership role or will he be the front man for the team like Denver Broncos non-owner John Elway?  I can’t really see Jeb Bush taking a backseat to Jeter unless Jeter has the greater ownership interest.  These are the things that will shake themselves out in the course of the coming days, weeks and months.  Congrats to Jeter for apparent achievement of his lifelong dream.  I hope he still finds time to visit the old stomping grounds on occasion.  

Credit:  Getty Images

I saw an article today on the YES Network asking if the Yankees should protect James Kaprielian on the 40-man roster next year in advance of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft.  I want to say now, they had better make room.  This should not even be a discussion.  I will be very upset if the Yankees do not add him to the 40-man next year and risk losing him.  I was mad about the sequence of events that led to Jacob Lindgren signing with the Atlanta Braves.  I hope we do not have a repeat situation with Kaprielian.  I know that he has been plagued by injuries and his body of work in the minor leagues is fairly slim, but he is a top talent.  If, I know…ifs and buts…, if he can stay healthy, I really feel that he’ll be a high end starter in the rotation.  I am steadfastly a fan of Kaprielian’s and I look forward to the day he takes the mound at Yankee Stadium.

The San Diego Padres, who had been carrying three catchers including Rule 5 draftee Luis Torrens (from the Yankees), demoted one of the catchers to AAA.  Starter Austin Hedges has played very well this year.  The catcher sent to AAA, Christian Bethancourt, was attempting to be a combo pitcher/catcher.  The demotion leaves the soon-to-be 21 year-old Torrens as the primary backup for Hedges.  In reality, Torrens should be no higher than A or AA so I am optimistic that events will force the Padres to upgrade backup catching to more seasoned talent to pave the way for the return of Torrens to New York.   But as each month goes by, the chances decrease.  Time will tell.

Have a great Wednesday!  I hope it’s a dry one!

This Day In Yankees History 4/26: An A-Bomb, From A-Rod, Again & Again & Again

On this day in 2005 Alex Rodriguez hit home runs in his first three at bats becoming only the 11th player in Major League history to knock in 10 or more RBI's in a single game. A Rod would come up one RBI short of the American League record of 11 by fellow Yankee Tony Lazzeri in 1936. A Rod would come up two RBI's short of the Major League record of 12 set by Jim Bottomley in 1924 and Mark Whiten in 1993.

Also on this day in 1961 Roger Maris would hit his first of his record breaking 61 home runs in that magical season. It took Roger eleven Yankees games before he hit his first home run against the Detroit Tigers in old Tiger Stadium.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 4/25

Game time and rivalry renewed ladies and gentleman as the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox play their first series of the 2017 season tonight inside Fenway Park. The Yankees will send Luis Severino to the mound to start the series opener while the Red Sox will counter with Rick Porcello. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Fenway Park and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV while you can also follow along on WFAN.

Follow along and interact with us on Twitter all season long by giving @GreedyStripes a follow. As always, Go Yankees!

USA Today’s Weekly MLB Power Rankings

Another week down in this 2017 Major League Baseball season and another week of MLB Power Rankings brought to you here from the USA Today Sports publication. I just like the USA Today and I really can’t describe why. Their work is non-bias, or as close as you can get in my opinion, and they really put in the work and the research. You can always spot a place that puts stuff out there for views and you can also see a spot that takes pride in their work and the USA Today is definitely the latter and not the former. With that I once again bring you their weekly power rankings and, spoiler alert, once again it was a good week for the New York Yankees.

Last week the New York Yankees were the biggest risers in the league according to the rankings and they kept on rising this week as well climbing three spots from the #11 spot into the Top 10 with the 8th overall position. This week the biggest rise went to the St. Louis Cardinals who rose eight spots to the #15 spot while the Minnesota Twins were the biggest fall of the week falling 11 spots all the way down to the #26 position. Ouch.

The Top Five teams in the league according to the rankings are the Washington Nationals who unseated the now #2 ranked Chicago Cubs while the Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians followed in descending order. The five worst teams in the league according to the rankings are the Minnesota Twins at #26, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Chicago White Sox, the San Diego Padres and the #30 ranked Atlanta Braves. Again, ouch.

The more these rankings go on the larger the sample size gets and the truer and clearer the picture that is depicted gets. To see the Yankees continue to climb really excites me and just cements to me what I have been saying since the offseason and since spring training, that this team can surprise people this season. And they have. And they will continue to. Bet.