Sunday, June 24, 2018

I Thought the Yankees Owned Tampa...

Photo Credit: Getty Images (Julio Aguilar)
Tampa’s Best Resident treated rudely by the St Pete Rays…

The last couple of days have not been fun.

I was afraid after the Yankees finished off the sweep of the surging Seattle Mariners, the Yankees might struggle against a losing team. I know, every team goes through mini-slumps and it is inevitable the Yankees will lose from time to time as difficult as it may be for Yankees fans. They’ll eventually lose around sixty games (give or take) by the time the season is finished so Loss #24 on June 23rd is not the end of the World. Winning 116 games in the regular season does not guarantee anything. Just ask the Mariners. The goal is to win the division, not to see if the Yankees can top the 114 victories by the 1998 Yankees.

I think the toughest part of Friday night’s 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays was the inability of the Yankees to score runs off the Rays rotation by bullpen. Trailing 2-0 in the 7th inning, Aaron Judge delivered a run-scoring single off one-time brief Yankee Chaz Roe and had the Yankees set up in scoring position with Brett Gardner at second and Judge at first and only one out. But both Giancarlo Stanton and Didi Gregorious both grounded out to end the Yankees best chance to tie the game. Otherwise, it was a very quiet night.

On the same night as the Yankees were floundering in St Petersburg, the Boston Red Sox overcame deficits of 0-5 and 5-10 to defeat the Seattle Mariners by a score of 14-10. The Yankees couldn’t squeeze out one more run while the Red Sox had no problem erasing not one but two five-run deficits.  

Yesterday’s loss might have been easier to take for no other reason than the Red Sox finally lost. The Mariners snapped their five-game losing skid with a 7-2 victory over Boston and nine-game winner Edwin Rodriguez.  

There were not very many positives with Saturday’s game as the Rays bullpen held the Yankees scoreless on four hits en route to the 4-0 win over the Yanks. Sonny Gray gave up three runs in the first two innings to put the Yankees in a hole and the last hitter he faced in the bottom of the 7th, rookie Willy Adames, took him yard. Credit Gray for the stretch of hitters when he retired 15 Rays in a row, but ultimately it was just another loss for the disappointing Gray (5-5, 4.93 ERA).  

Photo Credit: Getty Images

I do not understand Wilmer Font’s mastery of the Yankees. Font lost jobs earlier this year with the Los Angeles Dodgers (11.32 ERA) and Oakland A’s (14.85 ERA) but against the Yankees, Font is 1-0 and has limited the team to only 2 runs over 11 1/3 innings with 9 strikeouts. The Yankees have almost single-handedly revived Font’s career.

The most painful at-bat for me yesterday was Giancarlo Stanton’s strikeout (against Rays reliever and Friday night’s “opener” Ryne Stanek) to end the top of the 6th inning, leaving Aaron Judge stranded at third. Leaving runners in scoring position has plagued the Yankees in both losses and the last couple of weeks. Friday night, they were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and they left nine men on base. Yesterday, they were 1-for-8 (Didi Gregorius advanced Judge from second to third prior to Stanton’s swinging strikeout) but couldn’t get anyone home.

The Yankees offense really hasn’t done anything since the two-homer outburst in the first inning of the series finale with the Mariners last Thursday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images (Julio Aguilar)

The Yankees (50-24) hold a slim one-game lead over the Red Sox (51-27) in the AL East. After helping the Rays climb closer to .500, the Yankees have a tough week ahead. When today’s game is over, they’ll hop on a plane bound for Philadelphia to play a three-game set against the Phillies. The Phillies currently have a better record than the Washington Nationals and sit just a game and a half behind the surprising Atlanta Braves in the NL East. There’s no doubt they’ll be ready to play when the Yankees come to town. The Phillies are riding a three-game winning streak entering play today. After a much-needed day off on Thursday, the Yankees return home to face the Boston Red Sox for three games next weekend. The Braves follow the Red Sox so the Yankees have clearly missed an opportunity to beat up on a losing team before another difficult stretch. Time to get the team’s offense going. Today is better than tomorrow. I’ve really missed Michael Kay’s “See ya!” calls.  

I was going to rip on Chasen Shreve but the Yankees did it for me. Shreve relieved Sonny Gray yesterday after the homer by Willy Adames and he had the Rays set up for more runs with a couple of walks and a hit to load the bases. Fortunately he struck out Wilson Ramos to leave the bases full, but it appears this may have been his final Yankees appearance. The Yankees designated Shreve for assignment today, recalling Tommy Kahnle from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. As a lefty who has experienced some success at the MLB level, I doubt Shreve clears waivers so thus endeth his Yankees career. The Yankees need another lefty for the pen but I am not sad to see Shreve go. He was the bullpen’s weakest link.  

Welcome back, Tommy Kahnle!  The Philadelphia Eagles fan was 1-1 with 3.12 ERA in eight games for the RailRiders. He struck out 15 batters in 14 innings and yielded only 3 walks. I am glad to have Kahnle back even if his 7th inning role has been supplanted by Jonathan Holder.  He gives Aaron Boone a few choices before he pulls the Dellin Betances-Aroldis Chapman card late in games.

I cannot talk about the RailRiders without mentioning Brandon Drury. Drury’s two-run homer  yesterday was the difference-maker in the RailRiders’ 4-2 win over the Rochester Red Wings.  Drury continues to be an on-base machine even if he was only 1-for-4 in the game. For a big league club that’s struggling to advance base runners, Drury could help. At this point, I’d be ready to eat the balance of Neil Walker’s contract to open a spot for Drury. Walker has done a fine job supporting first base, but the athletic Drury can be equally as effective (if not more so).  

Very nice job on Saturday by Yankees pitching prospect Garrett Whitlock for the Tampa Tarpons (High-A). Whitlock, 22, picked up the win over the Jupiter Hammerheads with a three-hit shutout. He beat former Yankees prospect Jorge Guzman (the hard-thrower who went to Miami in the Giancarlo Stanton trade), striking out eleven Hammerheads over seven innings while only walking one. Whitlock was drafted in the 18th round of the 2017 MLB Draft. He is currently rated as the 26th best Yankees prospect by He is exceeding expectations (5-3, 1.41 ERA  in combined A ball, with 81 strikeouts and only 15 walks in 70 innings) and should advance his stature within one of baseball’s best farm systems with his breakout season. Whitlock has only given up one homer this year (only the second of his minor league career) and none for the Tarpons. I suspect that we’ll be hearing more and more about Whitlock in the coming months.

Photo Credit: Mark LoMoglio

Hard to believe that the calendar will soon turn to July. Trade talks should be heating up in the coming weeks. That should spark some good Bryan Van Dusen posts. It will be a fun month, made even better if the Yankees can put some distance between themselves and the Red Sox. 

Never a better day to start winning than today. Go Yankees!

Update:  Sounds like the DFA of Chasen Shreve was fake news or just my wishful thinking. Bummer.  I am ready for the guy to go and for Tommy Kahnle to rejoin the Yanks.  

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays 6/23

And just like that it is game time here in the Bronx between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays. In the middle game of the three-game set this weekend down in Tampa St. Pete the Yankees will send Sonny Gray out to the mound for another road start while the Rays will counter with Wilmer Font. The game will be played at 4:10 pm ET inside Tropicana Field and can be seen on Fox Sports One. You can also follow along with the game on MLB TV, with the MLB At-Bat app and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Follow us on Twitter, @GreedyStripes, and “Like” us on Facebook, The Greedy Pinstripes, to keep up with us and the Yankees all season long. Enjoy the game, Sonny Gray on the road is awesome Sonny Gray, and go Yankees!!

Meet a Prospect: Keegan Curtis

With their 22nd round pick, 667th overall, in the 2018 MLB First Year Players Draft the New York Yankees selected Keegan Curtis, a right-handed pitcher out of the University of Louisiana Monroe. Another round and another college experienced right-handed arm to add to the fold, let’s meet him. This is Meet a Prospect: The Keegan Curtis Edition.

Curtis stands 6’0” and weighs in at 175 lbs. and was drafted as a college senior with a .600 winning percentage in 20 games played at ULM. Curtis allowed just 11 runs all season long including two home runs which was good for a 2.88 ERA and seven saves as a closer. Curtis struggled as a starting pitcher in his previous three collegiate seasons before breaking out in 2018 while pitching out of the bullpen.

Curtis could be fast-tracked through the Yankees system as a relief pitcher, although it wouldn’t surprise me to see the team try and pitch him as a starter a la Chance Adams, Jonathan Holder and others.

Keegan has already agreed to a contract with the organization so let us not only welcome him to the team, but to the Yankees family as well. You can follow Keegan on Twitter by following @Curtis_Keegan06.

Predicting the 2018 MLB Trade Deadline: Yankees Prospects

The New York Yankees have one of the best farm systems in all of Major League Baseball, which is a huge reason why the team has been so successful at the Major League level not only in 2018, but in 2017 as well. Rookies have burst onto the scene like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar and others, but the scariest part of the whole ordeal is for other teams is that there is another wave of Baby Bombers even behind this core of players. Some of these players may be trade bait at the July 31st trade deadline and some may not, let’s decipher which prospects should be untouchable during this hot stove season and which the Yankees and Brian Cashman should explore trades with to bolster their potential World Series run.

The list of untouchables prospects should be obvious to any Yankees fan that follows their farm system. Torres and Andujar will not be moved, not for Jacob deGrom, not for Noah Syndergaard, and not for Madison Bumgarner. Not for anyone. Those are the obvious players, but if I were Brian Cashman I would also add RHP Albert Abreu, LHP Justus Sheffield and OF Clint Frazier to that list. I know many have clamored for Frazier to be traded for starting pitching but with the impending free agency of Brett Gardner and another prospect we will touch on later, Estevan Florial, so far away I would not feel comfortable moving Frazier unless the deal was just too good to pass up.

Florial is now the team’s top prospect with the promotion of Torres from prospects status, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t move him in the right deal. Would I trade Florial for a rental player? Absolutely not, no, but with no spot open in the foreseeable future in the outfield would I trade him for a young stud like Jacob deGrom? As much as it pains me to say, especially since I would have to watch Florial potentially flourish with that other New York team, I have to say that I would. I would include him in a deal for Noah Syndergaard also, but I may balk at the idea of acquiring Steven Matz using the team’s top and best prospect.

Thairo Estrada is another talented Yankees prospect that just has too many good, young options in front of him to really have a place to play here in New York at the Major League level. Estrada, currently in Triple-A Scranton, is 22-years old and has experience at second base (blocked by Torres), shortstop (blocked by Didi Gregorius) and third base (blocked by Andujar and Brandon Drury), and is ranked as the Yankees 8th best prospect according to If a deal for a starter became available, I have to say I would feel very comfortable in moving him from a position of strength to fill a need.

If I will trade Florial because of no immediate openings in the Yankees outfield you have to think it would make sense to also trade Billy McKinney in the right deal, no? McKinney is Major League ready now and is simply in Triple-A due to the talent logjam that the Yankees are experiencing right now here in the Bronx. If the Yankees could acquire the missing piece they need for a deep October run, maybe a starting pitcher for example, and it came at the expense of McKinney, I would totally be okay with that.

Tyler Wade is a lot like Thairo Estrada in a way. He is young and versatile, but he is sitting in Triple-A because the Yankees simply have too many good options and not enough positions to play them all at. Wade has struggled in both his looks at the Major League level, but he could provide serviceable production to another MLB team, especially a National League team, due to his defensive versatility.

Pinstriped Prospects

The final prospect that I would be okay with moving is RHP Chance Adams. I know I have been beating the drum for Adams for what feels like forever now, and don’t get me wrong I am still high on the guy, but lately I have been accused of being loyal to a fault with the young right-hander. Adams has struggled with his command and control at the Triple-A level after tearing up the lower levels of the minor league system. At the time of this writing Adams had posted a 2-2 record with a 4.96 ERA in Triple-A which has left many scouts to wonder if he could handle pitching on such a huge stage like New York and Yankee Stadium. It has to show you something when Jonathan Loaisiga is making starts in the Bronx right now and not Adams, the team has lost their confidence in him and a trade may be what is best for not only the team, but for Adams as well.

I want to say that making such a post like this is hard for me. As a self-proclaimed “prospect humper” I want to personally hold onto all of the Yankees prospects. That mentality has gotten the Yankees into the situation they are in now, and don’t get me wrong it is a great position to be in, where they have too many great players and not enough positions to play them all in. The Yankees farm system is deep, and they can sustain trading away one or two big pieces for the missing piece to their World Series puzzle in 2018. With the farm system restocked once again with a nice draft and the international free agent signing period opening up in less than two weeks New York should strike while the iron is hot. I am not saying to make a deal just for the sake of making a deal, but I am saying if there is a piece out there that’s available and fits Brian Cashman’s idea of a fair price, I am saying to make the deal and figure out the rest later.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays 6/23

image credit: Pinstriped Prospects

Good morning Yankees family. Today the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays will prepare for the second of a three-game weekend set that will pit Sonny Gray for the Yankees and Wilmer Font for the Rays on the mound head-to-head. Sonny Gray at home scares me, but with the game in Tampa Bay I feel like maybe I can afford to be cautiously optimistic. Maybe. Let’s get to it here inside Tropicana Field down in Tampa Bay.

Gray will look to pick up back-to-back victories for the first time in his year-long Yankees tenure tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays. In his last start Gray was sharp on the road against the Washington Nationals pitching 5.0 innings while allowing just two runs on six hits in a victory.

Font will make his fourth start tonight including his second consecutive start against the New York Yankees. The Rays are stretching out Font which means he will likely be able to go around five innings or so before the move to the bullpen is made after pitching 4.2 innings last time out in New York.

The game will be played at 4:10 pm ET inside Tropicana Field and can be seen on Fox Sports One. You can also follow along with the game on MLB TV, with the MLB At-Bat app and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Enjoy the game, boy I feel the sudden urge for fish for dinner tonight and go Yankees!!

Hello… Gleyber Says No to Potential HR Derby Invite

Good morning Yankees family and welcome to the weekend, officially. It’s Saturday, and I hope you all have a great weekend planned ahead. Speaking of planning, no one has asked him yet but Gleyber Torres knows what he would say if the league were to ask him to participate in the Home Run Derby here in 2018. No!

Torres told the New York Post on Wednesday that he would pass if asked to do the Home Run Derby because “I’m not a home run hitter, I’m a contact hitter.” Well you could have fooled me, Gleyber, but I agree with your decision nonetheless. Torres has 14 home runs in his first 50 games of his MLB career.

FYI Aaron Judge has also stated that he will not be back to defend his crown, also a wise decision by a Yankees star if you ask me.

And a special good morning to the most beautiful woman on this planet, the woman that I go to bed with every night and the woman that I wake up to every single morning. I love you Kari.

This Day in New York Yankees History 6/23: Cleveland ROCKED!

On this day in 1996 the Yankees showed how much of a "never count us out" team they really were when they behind early only to come back with nine runs in the sixth inning. The Yankees would win the game 11-9 at Jacobs Field over the Cleveland Indians and it would complete the first time the Yankees would sweep the Indians in Cleveland in a four game series since 1964.

Also on this day in 1950 the Detroit Tigers and the New York Yankees combined for 11 home runs in a nine inning game, a major league record for the most in a single game. Hoot Evers hit the historic home run as a walk off home to give the Tigers a very dramatic 10-9 victory over New York.

Finally on this day in 1915 the Philadelphia Athletics pitcher Bruno Hass made his major league debut against the New York Yankees at the very historic Shibe Park. The good news was the 24 year old southpaw, known as Boon, tossed a complete game in the contest and in the start established a post-1900 major league record. The bad news was the record was for issuing 16 walks during the nine inning game in a 15-7 loss to the Yankees.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays 6/22

And just like that it is game time here inside Tropicana Field between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays. In the first game of this three-game weekend set the Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound to face off with Ryne Stanek for the Rays. The game will be played at 7:10 pm ET inside Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 and Fox Sports Sun. You can also follow along with the game on MLB TV, with the MLB At-Bat app and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast on WFAN with the legendary duo of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Follow us on Twitter, @GreedyStripes, and “Like” us on Facebook, The Greedy Pinstripes, to keep up with us and the team all season long. Enjoy the game, don’t look now but Giancarlo is hot, and go Yankees!!

Meet a Prospect: Mitchell Robinson

With their 21st round pick, 637th overall, in the 2018 MLB First Year Players Draft the New York Yankees selected Mitchell Robinson, a third baseman out of the University of British Columbia. Robinson was previously drafted four years ago out of High School by the Miami Marlins in the 22nd round, but ultimately decided to head to college where he was a four-year senior. Let’s meet him. This is Meet a Prospect: The Mitchell Robinson Edition.

Robinson is a large guy down at third base standing 6’3” and weighing in at 200 lbs. Robinson is right-handed both in batting and throwing and he uses his big frame to generate a ton of power while at the dish. As a senior, Robinson posted an impressive .361 average with eight home runs and 54 RBI while taking more walks, 28, than he struck out, 27, all of the 2018 season.

Robinson has the potential to be a versatile player for the Yankees in their minor league system after playing third base, catcher and first base while at the University of British Columbia, with Florida International and at Central Arizona University. Robinson’s defensive versatility and polished college bat may see him fly through the Yankees system in a couple of years.

Mitchell has already signed with the club since the draft so let’s welcome him not only to the Yankees organization, but to the Yankees family as well. You can follow Mitchell Robinson on Twitter by following @mitchrobinson44.

Predicting the 2018 Trade Deadline: Joakim Soria

The Chicago White Sox are not going anywhere here in 2018 and when teams are struggling in the midst of a rebuild they tend to sign veteran players only to trade them at a later time. It happens all the time, and it will likely happen again this summer when the White Sox trade away closer Joakim Soria to a contending team in need of bullpen help. The Milwaukee Brewers will need bullpen help if they want to stave off the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals making them a perfect match for a trade and for Soria’s services.

Milwaukee lost their closer Corey Knebel for a month due to an injury and while he has been solid since his return he is still sporting an ERA north of 4.00 this season. Having an inconsistent closer may win you some games in what many determined as a weak National League Central division here in 2018, but that will not win you many games in the postseason. Soria would give the Brewers the edge they need to not only reach the postseason, but to possibly advanced past the first round of the playoffs if they were to win their division.

Soria would come relatively cheap given that the White Sox are rebuilding in terms of prospects and will likely be atop the Brewers radar here in about a month. It is a foregone conclusion that Soria will be traded, and at this point it is also as close to 100% as you can get that the Brewers will look for bullpen help at the end of the game. Whether that search leads them to Soria, or another veteran closer, remains to be seen, but my money is on Soria pitching for Milwaukee before the end of the 2018 season and adding to his miniscule 2.0 innings pitched in the postseason throughout the 34-year old’s career.