Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New York Yankees Pitching Totem Pole Depth Chart

With the Opening Day roster all but finalized for the New York Yankees the team now has a much clearer picture of what they have heading into next Monday’s first game and what they have in the minors if things were to go wrong. The Yankees held a camp long competition for the fifth starter’s spot since Chris Capuano injured his oblique muscle and had so much depth in the bullpen that almost everyone got an extended look this spring. Today we will focus on those two positions, the pitching side of things, when we look at the totem pole and the depth charts the team has.

As far as starting pitching goes Capuano should be back no later than a month into the season bumping (presumably) Adam Warren back to the pen. Warren, just like Esmil Rogers, came to camp as starters this season after spending the 2014 season in the bullpen and could easily slot back into the rotation in that order followed by Chase Whitley, Scott Baker and Bryan Mitchell in that order. Luis Severino is always a dark horse as well for the rotation heading into the season while players like Jose A. Ramirez have also started in the minor leagues and could be called upon in an emergency situation.

For the bullpen it is looking more and more like Justin Wilson and Chasen Shreve will start the season in the Bronx leaving Jacob Lindgren at the door knocking heading into 2015. Following Lindgren is an impressive list of potential relief pitchers including Andrew Bailey, Tyler Webb, Nick Rumbelow, Nick Goody, James Pazos and Mark Montgomery bringing up the rear.

The Yankees have an incredible amount of underrated depth heading into the 2015 season which leads me to believe that even if the injury bug hits the team once again this season, the team will be just fine. 

Spring: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays 4/1

This afternoon the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays will continue their Grapefruit League schedules with a contest inside George M. Steinbrenner Field. The Yankees will send Chase Whitley to the mound to face off against the Rays starter Jordan Noberto. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Go Yankees!

Breaking News: Robert Refsnyder Traded to Washington

Breaking news coming out of Yankees spring training camp that New York has agreed to trade their top infield prospect Robert Refsnyder to the Washington Nationals. According to my sources* the Nationals are worried about the knee injury to Anthony Rendon enough to give up Bryce Harper in the deal before he gets too expensive. More will be added to the deal on the Yankees side I am hearing but the deal is not going to include Luis Severino or Aaron Judge. It will likely include Greg Bird. Stay tuned as this develops and remember where you heard it first.

* The April Fools Bear at Build a Bear Workshop is my source
** Let’s see how many people read the article and not the headline.

*** April Fools

Potential Alex Rodriguez Milestones in 2015

Alex Rodriguez despite missing the better part of the last two seasons is still within striking distance of more than a few milestones in 2015. We all have heard the dead horse being beaten about if and when Rodriguez hits his sixth home run of the season to tie Willie Mays on the all-time home run list because of the $6 million bonus the team reportedly plans on fighting but there are quite a few more that the soon to be 40 year old may reach this season.

Rodriguez is just 61 hits away from the historic 3000 hit plateau while also sitting 6th all-time in RBI with 1969 RBI. Alex is a mere 61 home runs away from tying Babe Ruth on the home run list and just 26 RBI behind the great Yankees legend Lou Gehrig in RBI. Rodriguez may also pass Barry Bonds (1996 RBI) on the RBI list to take sole possession of third place all-time. Rodriguez sits just 245 RBI behind Ruth for 2nd place all-time and with a healthy next three seasons could conceivably push for that record, although it looks less and less likely.

Alex also sits 10th all-time in runs scored with 1919 runs. Even with a diminished Yankees offense I believe Rodriguez could at least pass Derek Jeter (1923) and Stan Musial (1949) on the list with an outside chance of passing Cap Anson (1999) for 8th all-time with less than 100 runs scored.

TGP Daily Poll: Tanaka Has More Starts Than A Rod Home Runs

The 2015 season for the New York Yankees hinges on the right arm and elbow of ace Masahiro Tanaka. Good news for the Bronx Bombers, I predict that Tanaka will make more starts this season than home runs that Alex Rodriguez can hit.

Vote in our prediction poll on

The New York Yankees Give Tino Martinez a Job

The New York Yankees are very good about taking care of and honoring one of their own. They did so this offseason when they gave jobs to Eric Chavez and Hideki Matsui and now the team is offering a position to another former member of the team in Tino Martinez. Martinez, who was honored with a plaque inside Monument Park in 2014, is back with the club as a minor league instructor.

Martinez will be at the team’s minor league camp until it ends this weekend and is expected to continue the role throughout the 2015 season. Martinez was part of four World Series championship teams and five American League pennants from 1996-2001. Martinez was also the Miami Marlins hitting coach in 2013 until he resigned after an altercation with Marlins players.

Welcome back to the family.

Official Press Release for Minor League Player/Pitcher of the Year Awards

NY Yankees Name Former RiverDogs Infielder Rob Refsnyder & RHP Luis Severino Winners of the
2014 Kevin Lawn “Player of the Year” and
“Pitcher of the Year” Awards

CHARLESTON, SC -- The New York Yankees have announced that former Charleston RiverDogs infielder Rob Refsnyder and right-handed pitcher Luis Severino, another former RiverDog, were named winners of the 2014 Kevin Lawn Award as the Yankees’ minor league “Player of the Year” and “Pitcher of the Year,” respectively. The two players received their awards prior to the Yankees vs. Orioles game at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

The annual awards are dedicated to Kevin O’Brien Lawn—the son of longtime Yankees Vice President and Chief of Operations Jack Lawn—who passed away in 1999.

Refsnyder, 24, split the season with Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, combining to bat .318 (164-for-515) with 82R, 38 doubles, 6 triples, 14HR and 63RBI in 137 games. The 2012 fifth-round draft pick ranked third among all Yankees minor leaguers in batting average. Following the season, he was tabbed an Organization All-Star by and ranked as the Yankees’ seventh-best prospect by Baseball America.

Severino, 21, combined to go 6-5 with a 2.46 ERA (113.1IP, 31ER) in 24 starts with Single-A Charleston, Single-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. He allowed three earned runs or fewer in 23 of his 24 starts, posting a 1.96 ERA (110.0IP, 24ER) in those games. The right-hander led all Yankee minor leaguers in strikeouts (127) and competed for the World Team in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. Following the season, he was named an Organization All-Star by and was tabbed the Yankees’ best prospect by Baseball America.

Each player was presented with a trophy designed by C&C Awards, as well as a designer watch, courtesy of Betteridge Jewelers.
New York Yankees Kevin Lawn Award Winners

Player of the Year Pitcher of the Year

2014 *INF Rob Refsnyder (TRE/SWB) *RHP Luis Severino (CHA/TAM/TRE)

2013 *INF Greg Bird (CHA) *RHP Shane Greene (TAM/TRE)

2012 *OF Tyler Austin (GCL/CHA/TAM/TRE) *RHP Mark Montgomery (TAM/TRE)

2011 *C Austin Romine (TRE/SWB) *RHP D. J. Mitchell (SWB)

2010 *SS Eduardo Nunez (SWB) *RHP David Phelps (TRE/SWB)

2009 *C Austin Romine (TAM) *RHP Zach McAllister (TRE)

2008 *OF Brett Gardner (SWB) *LHP Phil Coke (TRE/SWB)

2007 *OF Austin Jackson (CHA/TAM/SWB) RHP Ian Kennedy (TAM/TRE/SWB)

2006 *1B Cody Ehlers (TAM) *RHP Phil Hughes (TRE)

2005 OF Kevin Thompson (COL/TRE) RHP Matt DeSalvo (TRE)

2004 1B Andy Phillips (COL/TRE) RHP Chien-Ming Wang (TRE/COL)

2003 C Dioner Navarro (TAM/TRE) RHP Jorge DePaula (COL)

2002 2B Andy Phillips (COL/NOR) *LHP Danny Borrell (NOR/TAM)

RHP Jorge DePaula (NOR)

2001 OF Juan Rivera (COL/NOR) LHP Brandon Claussen (NOR/TAM)

OF Marcus Thames (NOR)

2000 3B Scott Seabol (NOR) LHP Randy Keisler (COL)

1999 2B D’Angelo Jimenez (COL) LHP Ed Yarnall (COL)

1B Nick Johnson (NOR)

1998 1B Nick Johnson (TAM) RHP Ryan Bradley (TAM/NOR/COL)

1997 3B Mike Lowell (COL/NOR) LHP Eric Milton (NOR/TAM)

1996 OF Ricky Ledee (COL/NOR) RHP Jay Tessmer (TAM)

1995 SS Derek Jeter (COL) RHP Matt Drews (TAM)

1994 SS Derek Jeter (TAM/ALB/COL) LHP Andy Pettitte (COL/ALB)

1993 OF Billy Masse (COL) LHP Ryan Karp (ALB/PRW/GBO)

1992 1B J.T. Snow (COL) RHP Sam Militello (COL)

1991 C Kiki Hernandez (GBO/PW) RHP Ed Martel (ALB/COL)

SS Dave Silvestri (ALB) RHP Sam Militello (PW/ALB)

1990 OF Hensley Meulens (COL) RHP Dave Eiland (COL)

1989 1B Hal Morris (COL) LHP Steve Adkins (FTL/ALB)

1988 1B Kevin Maas (PRW/ALB) RHP Todd Malone (Sarasota)

1987 OF Darren Reed (COL) RHP Dana Ridenour (FTL)

1986 3B Chris Alvarez (FTL) RHP Logan Easley (ALB)

1985 OF Dan Pasqua (COL) RHP Brad Arnsberg (ALB)

1984 C/OF Scott Bradley (COL) LHP Jim Deshaies (COL)

1983 OF Brian Dayett (COL) RHP Jose Rijo (FTL/Nashville)

1982 OF Matt Winters (GBO/Nashville) RHP Bob Tewksbury (FTL)

1981 1B Don Mattingly (COL) LHP Pete Filson (FTL/Nashville)

1980 1B Steve Balboni (Nashville) RHP Gene Nelson (FTL)

 *Denotes former Charleston RiverDog 

This Day in New York Yankees History 4/1: No News is Good News

You know what they say, no news is good news. I don’t see how that is grammatically possible because how can nothing be something, you know? Anyway I digress, apparently nothing of note happened on this day in Yankees history so you get the day off from your "learnings."

Five more days until Opening Day including today Yankees family, we’re close. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Recap: Twins 3, Yankees 1

Masahiro Tanaka had a rough last outing of the spring, surrendering three earned runs in 4 1/3 innings as the Yankees dropped a pitcher's duel to the Twins, 3-1, Tuesday in Fort Myers.

Tanaka Struggles: Tanaka was cruising up until two outs in the bottom of the third, when he gave up a double to Eduardo Escobar and a single to Chris Herrmann to put the Twins on top. He then allowed two more runs in the fourth and fifth -- ending with an unfavorable final line of seven hits, one walk and one strikeout. 

Flores' Clutch Knock: Following a Chris Young single and a Rob Refsnyder walk, Ramon Flores lined a Tommy Milone fastball to center with two outs in the fourth -- scoring Young easily from second to even the game at one. It was Flores' eighth RBI of the month and sixth since last Tuesday -- accounting for the only time the Yankees reached third on the afternoon.

Martin's Nice Performance: It's been a tough preseason so far for Chris Martin, but at least in this one, the Yankees invitee pitched to his potential. He shutout the Twins for a full two innings after Tanaka's removal -- retiring each of the six batters he faced while striking out three.

Gardner Shows Promise: Brett Gardner went 1-for-2 with a walk in three plate appearances against Milone -- his walk being one of just two the lefty issued in the contest. As for his hit, it came on a seeing eye single in the Yankees' half of the third -- a slow grounder to right that just made it past a dive by the first baseman.

Rally Falls Short: Down 3-1 in the top of the ninth, the Yankees put two men on with two out for the .219-hitting Nick Noonan -- who proceeded to strike out swinging on a 3-2 offering to strand the tying runners. The punch-out wrapped up an 0-for-4 day at the dish for Noonan, and clinched a 26-pitch save for Twins right-hander Casey Fien. 

Next Up: The Yankees will send Chase Whitley to the hill Wednesday when they host the Rays at Steinbrenner Field -- a matchup set to air live on YES and on tape delay on MLB Network. Jordan Norberto is expected to get the nod for Tampa Bay when the action begins at 1:05 p.m. ET -- the last exhibition meeting the two clubs will have this year.

Domingo German Needs Tommy John Surgery

A photo posted by el negro de los guasiviri (@domingogerman75) on
When the New York Yankees acquired Nathan Eovaldi from the Miami Marlins for David Phelps and Martin Prado Domingo German was one of the lesser pieces thrown into the deal for the Yankees. What the Yankees may or may not have known was that German needed Tommy John surgery, according to his Instagram account anyway.

German is just 22 years old and pitched in one Grapefruit League this season before being shut down. The team has not confirmed anything as of yet but it's interesting to note that German jumped from 67.0 IP in 2013 all the way to 123.1 IP last season.

German seems done for the 2015 season so it's time for him to focus on his rehab and the 2016 season. Good luck German and we can't wait for the return.