Thursday, October 18, 2018

Hurricane Michael, Former Yankees Prospects, & Alan Horne is an Amazing Person

I have been writing and blogging about the New York Yankees for as long as I can remember, but The Greedy Pinstripes began back in January of 2012. We set out with the mission of being different and with the mission of doing things our own way. Over the years we made a lot of friends, both in terms of players and fans alike, and one such friend is former Yankees prospect Alan Horne.

Horne was a first-round draft pick for the Indians out of High School, but he instead opted to head to Ole Miss, and eventually the University of Florida for his collegiate career. Horne had Tommy John surgery after two seasons at Ole Miss and eventually, after transferring to Florida, became an 11th round pick for the New York Yankees in the 2005 MLB First Year Players Draft. Horne remained with the Yankees minor league affiliates through the 2008 season before injuries once again derailed his path to the Major Leagues. Horne eventually retired from professional baseball and moved to a town about 15 minutes away from where I currently reside down here in Georgia. Horne is now a business owner owning and operating his own State Farm insurance facility and seems to be genuinely happy, unless his Gators lose of course. I think a lot of Horne’s happiness stems from the old saying, “You get out what you put in.” Horne was a great talent on the field, but he is an even more amazing person. He probably doesn’t want the credit for this, if I know him like I think that I do, but he is going to get the credit and recognition for it anyway… because he deserves it.

When Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida coast Alan was quick to respond. Alan announced on his Facebook page that he was en route to the panhandle and to South Georgia with generators, water, chainsaws, and as much gas as he could hold in his truck. When it was all said and done, Alan had 50 gallons of gasoline, four chainsaws, three generators, oil, extension cords, cases of water, tons of bread, and lots of snacks for anyone and everyone who needed it. Alan gave out his cell number many times and even gave out his Zello, which could be used to radio him. What did he ask in return? Absolutely nothing. Well, he asked that his Facebook friends shared his post to reach as many as he could, but other than that he didn’t want a damn thing in return.

Many shared the post, many thanked him and congratulated him on his efforts, but he never responded. Sure, he “liked” the posts as recognition, but he has never beat his own chest or said a word. Alan has been and continues to truly help out of the kindness of his own heart.

Alan has continued to be giving since the storm in any and every way possible. With supplies, with suggestions or the sharing of his knowledge of the insurance industry, or just with his insightful and positive words on Facebook that continue to pick people up.

As of yesterday, Alan was still in Florida helping anyone and everyone that he could. His family was also hit in the storms, but at last check in he said that there was damage, but that they were very fortunate.

I just want to get the word out to anyone and everyone about what is going on down in Florida, and what some amazing people throughout the country, not just Alan, are doing. Continued prayers and thoughts go out to not only the people in Florida and South Georgia, but also to the fine individuals, former Yankees prospects or otherwise, that are doing everything that they can to help the cause. Thank you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Sonny Gray, Paul Goldschmidt, and a Match Made in the Bronx

Late Monday evening I received a text on my phone from a person that I trust. This person was a friend of a friend that works within the Yankees organization that gives us a bone whenever he or she can. They told us about Johnny Damon coming to the Bronx in 2005 a few days before it happened, although I was not big on social media or blogging then, and they dropped other information to us including the New York Mets signing Curtis Granderson (we had the exact years and dollar amounts, Joel Sherman, so unblock me and give credit where credit is due) and others. Long story short, when this person talks… we listen. This person talked again this week and let us know that the Yankees are already actively talking to opposing GM’s about right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray, and they state that Cashman has already had discussions regarding Gray with the Atlanta Braves, the Arizona Diamondbacks and other National League teams.

The source made it very clear that Cashman’s intention was to shop Gray to National League team’s first, which makes sense. Gray is a good pitcher, but he just can’t get out of his own head. Some people aren’t made for New York, and Gray seems to be one of them. Gray is going to figure this thing out if and when he is traded this offseason, and the Yankees would rather him figure it out with a team that would not see the Yankees all that often going forward.

So, with that said, let the speculation begin. What would the Yankees potentially get back from either of these teams, and ultimately what are their needs? It is hard to say, but we will pretend like the trade is imminent and keep the Yankees current needs in mind. This could obviously change the deeper into the winter and the hot stove season gets, but we will cross that bridge when we get there if this trade stuff goes that long. The Yankees don’t NEED another outfielder, and they don’t NEED a first baseman, and it is unlikely that they will trade Gray for the starting pitching help that they so desperately need, leaving just the bullpen and the farm system as potential areas to upgrade with the trade.

The Braves had pitching woes of their own here in 2018, so the only pieces of value that Atlanta will be able to offer the Yankees in return for Gray is a couple players out of their farm system. Pick the names, it doesn’t really matter at this point to be completely honest. Gray is a lost trade for Cashman and company and anything that he gets back will help lessen the hit. The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, could think outside the box with a trade since their farm system is pretty barren right now. Arizona has already discussed the possibility of trading first baseman Paul Goldschmidt this winter, could this be the very early stages of a trade package between New York and Arizona?

Obviously, the Yankees would have to include a lot more than just Sonny Gray to pry away Goldschmidt from the Diamondbacks, but with Arizona presumably losing Patrick Corbin to free agency they may value Gray and his upside more than the Yankees, or most teams for that matter, do. The window for winning in Arizona is closing and Gray may give the team one more shot at going deep into the postseason with this current team. Who else would be in the package from the Yankees? Again, take your pick. Arizona’s farm system is barren, and I am sure they would merely take the best available prospects rather than a specific need, like a shortstop for example. If the Yankees don’t have enough or are unwilling to part with everything the Diamondbacks would ask for in a Goldschmidt trade, bring in a third team. The Yankees and Diamondbacks have done it before with the Tampa Bay Rays just last season, there is no reason they couldn’t do it again. Maybe even bring in the Braves, who knows? The specifics are left up to someone a lot smarter than me, but at least on paper this could potentially be the beginning of a match made in the Bronx.

The Yankees don’t NEED Goldschmidt, but damn it would be nice to have some stability at first base for once. Get Greedy, Get Goldy? It has a nice ring to it…

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

An Article for the All the Miguel Andujar’s Defense Haters by Daniel Burch

Good morning Yankees family and welcome back to the blog. The New York Yankees fans are the worst, at least that is what I wrote earlier this offseason, and since the elimination from the postseason they have not gotten much better. The hottest topic of them all appears to be the possible acquisition of Manny Machado, Miguel Andujar’s defense at third base, and a potential move for the 23-year old next season. There have been many doom-and-gloom posts about his “historically bad” defense this season, but here is a post giving Yankees fans everywhere a little hope regarding Andujar and his potential future as a Major League third baseman.

When looking at prospects and young players the scouts, analysts, and fans always look to other players to compare these young players to. How about this comparison for Andujar, how about Adrian Beltre? Beltre is highly respected around Major League Baseball both on and off the field and is considered to be one of the best third baseman defensively in the game. This was not always the case for the former Texas Rangers third baseman and soon-to-be free agent. When Beltre broke into the Major Leagues he was 19-years old, granted that is a lot younger than Andujar who is 23-years old, playing in 77 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Beltre’s bat left much to be desired, and so did his defense, and it wasn’t until the 2004 season that the Dodgers finally saw his true potential come to fruition.

As a rookie, Beltre committed 13 errors. In his first full season in 1999 the right-hander committed 29 errors which was good for a .932 fielding percentage. In 2000, Beltre committed another 23 errors. From 2001 – 2003, Beltre committed 16, 20, and 19 errors respectively. It was not until the 2004 season, the same season that Beltre began to find his groove at the plate as well, that we started to see the defensive wizard that we have seen over the past decade or so. Yet, for whatever reason, some writer at another publication writes an article that we cannot just assume that Andujar’s defense will improve, and everyone loses their mind. Everyone is preaching that article like it is the gospel, yet history (and common sense) would say otherwise.

Just as an FYI, for those who need a reminder, Andujar committed just 15 errors for a .948 fielding percentage in 2018. If you want to compare apples-to-apples, Andujar had a better defensive season than Beltre in his first two-or-three seasons. Beltre improved drastically on the defensive side, yet Andujar can’t according to many Yankees fans, writers, and journalist? I call bullshit. The numbers don’t lie. Be patient, and root for your team… or go root for the Mets.

Too Many Damn Right-Handed Hitters?

The New York Yankees hit too many damn home runs, and now apparently, they have too many damn right-handed hitters as well. This was the common theme yesterday and for much of the offseason every time that Manny Machado is linked to the Yankees as a free agent this offseason. Many fans are quick to point out that not only does the team need more pitching, which I agree with wholeheartedly, but that the team has too many right-handed hitters for it to make sense signing Machado. The former I can agree with, and I think this will ultimately be addressed whether Machado dons pinstripes next season or not, but the latter I cannot. It is nice for a team to be able to alternate left-handed and right-handed batters to keep an opposing manager on his toes in terms of pitching changes and strategies, but it is even better when your right-handed heavy offense can handle right-handed pitching just as well, or better than they can handle left-handed pitching. Do the Yankees have this? Baseball Reference has the answers.

Gary Sanchez:
vs RHP256844751120193365113172200.257.331.509.839
vs LHP12328624644581320543872.236.339.533.872
Provided by View Original Table

(Gary hits better against RHP than he does LHP)

Miguel Andujar:
vs RHP143438418631303320721568.311.338.538.876
vs LHP831761622044167241129.272.318.512.831
Provided by View Original Table

(Miguel hits better against RHP than he does LHP)

Gleyber Torres:
vs RHP12035031337871313512883.278.341.444.785
vs LHP651341181730311261439.254.336.576.912
Provided by View Original Table

(Gleyber hits better against RHP than he does LHP)

Didi Gregorius:
vs RHP7162218202728154710181269140303.270.320.453.773
vs LHP4188207458919230138744125.258.311.358.669
Provided by View Original Table

(Didi hits better against RHP than he does LHP, granted he is a LHB)

Aaron Judge:
vs RHP2849558001722283767163138301.285.391.588.978
vs LHP142316239435611162874101.234.421.490.910
Provided by View Original Table

(Judge hits better against RHP than he does LHP)

Aaron Hicks:
vs RHP524155113291973075143159190306.231.328.380.708
vs LHP3136805988614728278175146.246.329.431.761
Provided by View Original Table

(Aaron Hicks is a switch hitter that hits lefties better overall)

Giancarlo Stanton:
vs RHP1085369432255028371662235724071086.260.347.523.870
vs LHP48811229601752857082200150263.297.393.6341.027
Provided by View Original Table

(Finally, a RHB on the Yankees that doesn't hit better against a lefty)

I have included Manny Machado for informational purposes only. I know Machado is not a Yankee, and I know there is no guarantee that he will be. Let’s assume that he becomes a Yankee for the sake of this post, although even without him the Yankees numbers as right-handed batters against right-handed pitching are good enough to prove my point without Manny. But still… Get Greedy… Get Manny.

Manny Machado:
vs RHP88229632710376763141137400209509.282.333.491.824
vs LHP45311111010146287703811387160.284.342.474.816
Provided by View Original Table

(case closed)

So, in closing. Do the New York Yankees have too many damn right-handed batters, and would they if they added Manny Machado to third base while moving Miguel Andujar to first base? The stats don’t usually lie, so the consensus has to be simple. No, they don’t. If their right-handed batters continue to hit right-handed pitching they could have nine right-handed batters every single time out there and it just wouldn't matter. Are more balanced lineups ideal? Sure, no one would argue that. Should the Yankees add a left-handed bat to the lineup if they can and if it makes sense? Absolutely. But, if they cannot should the team stay away from a potent right-handed bat like Machado knowing that he, and many others in the lineup, hit RHP just as well or comparable to how they hit LHP? Absolutely not. Get Greedy, Get Manny. 

Please, people. It is a long offseason already, don’t make it even longer by speaking without at least doing a little bit of research. I had one guy claim yesterday that he was right about Andujar’s defense at third base after reading an article on another Yankees blog. The writer wasn’t a scout, a manager, a coach, or even a member of the Yankees organization. Nope, just another nerd (and I mean that in the best way possible) like myself in front of a computer putting his opinions, speculations, and research out there for all to read for free. His opinion does not prove your “theory” that Andujar sucks defensively and will never improve, get over yourself before I have to write a part two to my “Yankees Fans are the Worst” article. Stay classy, stay informed, and thank you all for reading.

* all stats are career stats and are courtesy of Baseball Reference. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Miguel Andujar, Manny Machado and My Thoughts on the First Base Situation

Good morning Yankees family. It has been a minute since I have been on the blog, and when we last spoke I wasn’t in the best of moods. The Yankees had just been eliminated from playoff contention by the Boston Red Sox and Yankees fans were in full riot mode. I called out and put on blast every single Yankees fan that took things too far and I don’t regret it, but at the same time I don’t want to make that sort of negativity a “thing” here on the blog. Moving on, just like the Yankees and Brian Cashman presumably already have. The offseason will officially be here in less than a month and I have begun looking at some of the winter options for the team. The first hot topic button I would like to address is third baseman Miguel Andujar, the potential acquisition of Manny Machado, and the Yankees current first base situation.

First and foremost, let me be frank. Luke Voit was a great acquisition by Cashman and company. He brought and energy and a power bat to the team that likely landed the Yankees their Wild Card Game in the Bronx this season. Without him, this team is playing in Oakland on October 3rd against the Athletics. Many stars shine bright only to fizzle out after their initial orbit through the sky and I think the same will be said for Voit. Don’t get me wrong, I love Voit, but there is something to be said about a 27-year old player that didn’t make his MLB debut until the 2017 season. There is something to be said about a player that was drafted in the 32nd round of the 2009 MLB First Year Players Draft taking an addition eight-or-nine years to make it to the big leagues. The Yankees rode the hot hand of Voit and tried to hide his abysmal defense at first base, but I cannot with confidence just hand him the first base job next season. I can’t, sorry. You know who I would like at first base next season though? Miguel Andujar, which would open up Voit and his stock (that will never be higher) to be traded.

Now, before everyone jumps down my throat about Andujar moving to first base… I did my research, unlike many who just simply want to move him to left field because of the impending free agency of Brett Gardner (and for no other reason). Unlike left field, Andujar has worked out and has attempted to learn the first base position. The position is not completely foreign to him, we and others wrote about it multiple times this season already.  

 June 28, 2017 – The Greedy Pinstripes

“The New York Yankees have a good problem on their hands, the team has too many good prospects and not enough positions to play them all at. The Yankees have Gleyber Torres scratching at the door of the Major Leagues, presumably at third base, leaving their next best third baseman to potentially learn a new position. Miguel Andujar, once thought to be the future in the Bronx at the hot corner, was seen last Friday taking reps at first base before his game with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders.”

March 25, 2018 – CBS Sports

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said earlier this spring that Andujar will play about 20 percent of his games at first base this season, Bryan Hoch of reports.
The bulk of Andujar's starts with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to begin the season will still come at third base, but his ability to play both corner spots could accelerate his return to the big leagues if Greg Bird's right foot inflammation proves to be a long-term issue. Bird will be evaluated Monday in New York and could open the season on the disabled list, but it doesn't appear Andujar would be called back up from the minors to fill the void at first base immediately. Instead, Cashman suggested that Neil Walker would be the most likely candidate to start at first base if Bird is unavailable for Opening Day.”

March 26, 2018 – YES Network

“The Yankees also decided, even before Greg Bird's foot because an issue once again, to start working Andujar at first base this year, with Boone saying late last week that Andujar will be getting "about 80/20" work in Triple-A between his given position and the new one -- giving him versatility the manager desires, and versatility that can only help his case for a roster spot.”

March 30, 2018 – Elite Sports NY

Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reported a couple weeks ago that the Yankees gave Andújar a look at first base with their Double-A affiliate, the Trenton Thunder, in an intrasquad against Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre.
This past weekend,’s Bryan Hoch tweeted that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that Andújar will play “20 percent” of his games in the minors at first base.”

April 3, 2018 –

“Still, Andujar should take quickly to first base, said Luis Sojo, the team's Dominican Republic/United States transition head and minor-league infield coach.
Andujar worked out there last season and in spring training, and Yankees manager Aaron Boone has said it's possible Andujar play first base in the majors for however long he's up.
"When you play the middle infield or you play third base," Sojo said last week at the team's minor-league development complex, "(first base) can be real easy for you. He's got the ability to do it."

I could keep going, but I think you get the point. The Yankees think that Andujar’s future is at first base, and they think he can handle the position well. When you have the opportunity to sign a once-in-a-lifetime talent like Machado without disrupting too much with the team, you do it. Period. Signing Machado to play third base and moving Andujar to first base gives the Yankees a healthy infield that would rival any infield of all-time. Machado, Didi Gregorius (when healthy), Gleyber Torres and Andujar from left-to-right not only gives the Yankees one of the best hitting infields of all-time, but that’s pretty damn good defensively as well.

I haven’t said this since the offseason before the 2009 season, but I am going to say it again. This was the exact phrase that kicked off The Greedy Pinstripes, and it will be the phrase that brings another title to the Bronx in 2019.

Get Greedy… Get Manny.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Hey Red Sox Fans, But the Game's Not Over...

‘Stros Send the RSN Home Early in Game 1…

I wasn’t going to watch Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, but I got sucked into it when the Houston Astros took a one-run lead off on the Boston Red Sox, with everybody’s favorite…Joe Kelly…on the mound, in the top of the sixth inning. It was awesome in the top of the ninth when one-time Red Sock Josh Reddick blasted a solo shot against his former team to make it a two-run game. When Yuli Gurriel parked a three-run homer into the right field stands, the Red Sox fans were exiting Fenway Park in droves and their team had yet to take their final swings in the bottom of the ninth. It was such a beautiful sight!

Photo Credit: Houston Chronicle (Karen Warren)

The Astros won the game, 7-2, to ensure they’ll head to Houston with no less than a split pending the outcome of today’s game. They could sweep the games at Fenway Park before jumping on a Texas-bound plane and they do have the good fortune of facing Yankees punching bag David Price later today. Hopefully the Astro bats will enjoy hitting off Price as much as the Yankees do.

Photo Credit: Boston Globe

Gerrit Cole draws the Game 2 pitching assignment for Houston. It is easy to look back to last winter and say the Yankees should have been more aggressive in their pursuit of Cole. Ken Davidoff wrote a great piece in The New York Post today regarding the Yankees and Cole. The Yankees were willing to package a deal centered on outfielder Clint Frazier, but the Pittsburgh Pirates wanted the inclusion of Miguel Andujar as a centerpiece too. In retrospect, despite the lost season for Frazier, it’s hard to find fault with the Yankees’ decision to hold onto Andujar even if the Yankees desperately need pitching. Also, there was no guarantee Cole would have pitched as well in New York as he did in Houston. Maybe Andujar eventually gets moved for another frontline starter. Oh well, I am not going to look back and criticize the Yankees for their failure to acquire Cole. The Pirates chose to accept an inferior package from the Astros. It was their decision; not ours. There’s nothing we can do about it. Cole is a good pitcher, but he’s not worth handing over the farm system for. Now if we are talking about Jacob deGrom, that’s a different story.

Many Yankee fans were offended when Alex Rodriguez lost a bet to David “Big Papi” Ortiz and had to wear Red Sox gear on Fox TV, thanks to Boston’s win over the Yankees in the ALDS.  Honestly, I could care less. It would have hurt if the player had been one of the core Yankees, but A-Rod’s not in that category. I know he’s done much to rehabilitate his image, but I truly wish the Yankees would have never acquired him. I would have been fine with him wearing a Red Sox uniform for real in 2004. I think A-Rod has done a fine job on the broadcasting side and I know he continues to preach the Yankees are his favorite team, but it doesn’t mean that I have to like him. The fact remains he tarnished the game and he lied to the fans. But aside from that, I’ve lost bets and had to wear Red Sox jerseys or hats before so to me it was no big deal.  

Photo Credit: FS1

I saw a funny Twitter post yesterday that said Milwaukee Brewers reliever Brandon Woodruff has more postseason homers than Boston’s Mookie Betts. Woodruff hit what would prove to be the eventual difference-maker in Milwaukee’s NLCS Game 1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night off the great Clayton Kershaw. So far in the 2018 post-season, Betts only has 4 hits in 20 at-bats, with no homers and a couple of RBI’s. Betts is a great player but he is not immune to the post-season blues.

Everyone is making their predictions for which pending free agents the Yankees should re-sign or let walk. I hate to say it, but I don’t see the Yankees bringing Brett Gardner back. They’d be foolish to exercise the $12 million option and while declining the option and re-signing him to a lower one-year deal is possible, I am convinced the presence of a healthy Clint Frazier and, ugh!, Jacoby Ellsbury will force the Yankees to move on.  

If the Yankees sign free agent Patrick Corbin of the Arizona Diamondbacks (as many expect) and re-sign J.A. Happ, I also do not see the Yankees bringing back CC Sabathia. So, the Yankees could be on the verge of losing their top two veteran leaders. I have no doubt other guys will pick up the void but I am appreciative of the Yankee careers for both Gardner and Sabathia. They’ve worn the Pinstripes proudly and will be missed.

Photo Credit:

The Yankees face big decisions in the bullpen. With both David Robertson and Zach Britton ready to hit the free market, the Yankees have to decide whether to try and bring both back, just one, or let them both go elsewhere to the highest bidder. I’d love to see both return and I feel that having a super bullpen is so critical. Unless Luis Severino can make major adjustments this winter, the Yankees lack a true ace and signing Corbin does not change that fact. A super bullpen compensates for the deficiencies in the starting rotation. I love D-Rob’s heart, but if I had to make a choice for only one, I’d go with Britton. Unfortunately, I think Britton will get an insane offer from some other bullpen deficient team to be their closer, so it’s probably more likely the Yankees bring back Robertson. I’d really hate to see both leave.

While I think it is possible the Yankees go over the luxury tax threshold next year, the realist in me knows that Managing General Partner will give GM Brian Cashman a defined budget that may not include paying luxury tax penalties. I think some fans are expecting a 2009-like splurge with great young free agent superstars like Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, but there’s a very good chance the Yankees pass on any extended nearly half a billion dollar contracts. I see many fans predicting both Machado and Harper in the 2019 Yankees lineup and that’s simply not happening. I know this website is called The Greedy Pinstripes but Hal's wallet is tighter than our dreams and aspirations.  

It’s amazing to think former Yankees third base coach Joe Espada might get a managing job before his former boss, Joe Girardi. Espada, currently bench coach for the Houston Astros, is emerging as one of the favorites for the job in Anaheim which was vacated when long-time Angels manager Mike Scioscia stepped down. Angels GM Billy Eppler knows Espada well from their time together in New York. Espada may be living the ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’ dream, but his run of consecutive championship series will end if he becomes skipper of the Halos.  

I wonder if there are any Yankee fans that are actually pulling for the Red Sox over the Astros? None that I am aware of, but I am sure there are a few fair weather fans out there.

Let’s hurry up and fast-forward through the World Series so that we can get the Hot Stove League started. I am ready for the off-season planning to begin.  Nothing better than getting Hal Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman and other key executives together in one room to map out strategy for 2019. We can speculate. They can decide. But one thing’s for sure, we are united in our desire for a World Series championship next year.

As always, Go Yankees!