Thursday, May 25, 2017

Gleyber Torres To MLB... eventually

Four days ago the Yankees promoted star prospect Gleyber Torres to AAA, becoming the youngest member of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders. But the fact that the Yankees top prospect (yeah, yeah... Clint Frazier is the top guy according to some) is not just one level away from the big leagues is not the most intriguing thing.

Between his time at AA Trenton and AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Torres has played eight games at third base, including his last four games. But before anyone get's excited that Gleyber will be in New York soon let me show you this quote from Brian Cashman...
"I’m not looking at Gleyber right now at the major league side"
I don't think we'll see Torres in MLB this season, but don't be surprised if the Yankees deal away Chase Headley at season's end, while eating some of his $13 million salary for 2018. 

With Didi Gregorius (current OPS+ of 122) and Starlin Castro (current OPS+ of 130) doing such a great job at shortstop and second base, not to mention being signed or under team control through the 2020 season (assuming the Yankees pick up Castro's team option for that season), a move to third base is extremely logicial for Gleyber Torres. Especially when you see that, over 2+ seasons, Chase Headley has been a below-average player for the Yanks.

I'm salivating at the idea that the 2018 Opening Day lineup could have Greg Bird at 1B, Starlin Castro at 2B, Didi Gregorius at SS, and Gleyber Torres at 3B. Not to mention that Aaron Judge could be joined by fellow young star Clint Frazier in the outfield. 

Rainy Day Blues...

Today's Yankees-Royals game has been postponed due to inclement weather.  The game has been re-scheduled for Monday, September 25th, which had been a planned off day upon returning from a road trip concluding in Toronto and before the start of a home stand versus the Tampa Bay Rays.  The start time for the game has not yet been announced.

The Yankees will now await the Oakland A's and better weather on Friday night.  An extra day of rest for Masahiro Tanaka can never be a bad thing.  

Stay dry!

Sevy and the Blazing Fast Goose Eggs...

Credit:  Kathy Willens/AP
Yankees 3, Royals 0...

Luis Severino continued the recent albeit short trend of stellar pitching performances by Yankee starters.  Masahiro Tanaka excluded, the rotation has pitched to win the last four games.  Severino was tremendous, pitching eight innings.  He was still clicking the radar gun at 99 mph in the 8th.  By completing eight, Severino was able to pass the baton to Dellin Betances for the one inning save without relying on any of the tired arms in the pen. 

Severino (3-2) was incredible in the scoreless outing with a season high 114 pitches.  He allowed only one extra base hit (a double by Brandon Moss in the 5th inning) and did not allow any runners past second base.  Sevy only allowed four hits and walked one while striking out seven.  He lowered his season ERA to 3.11.

Jason Hammel kept the Yankees in check most of the night but the Pinstripers didn't need much.  Didi Gregorius hit a solo homer in the third inning to give the Yanks an early 1-0 lead.  

Credit:  Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports
In the 6th inning, the Yankees picked up another run through great-base running effort by Gary Sanchez.  Sanchez singled to open the inning and then stole second.  Thanks to a throwing error by Royals catcher Salvador Perez, Sanchez alertly raced on to third.  Matt Holliday brought him home with a sac fly.

The Yankees picked up their final run when Gregorius led off the 7th inning with a double.  A ground out by Chris Carter moved Gregorius to third, which brought Brett Gardner to the plate.  With two strikes, Gardner was the beneficiary of a called ball on a pitch by Royals reliever Matt Strahm that seemingly landed well within the strike zone.  It should have been the third strike for the second out of the inning but with the next pitch, Gardner singled to center to drive in the run.

Betances struck out the side in the 9th inning to earn his fourth save of the season, lowering his season ERA to 0.57.  

The Yankees (27-17) moved 2 1/2 games up on the Baltimore Orioles.  Baltimore lost 4-3 to the Minnesota Twins and their fine rookie pitcher Jose Berrios.  The Boston Red Sox remained 3 1/2 games back with their 9-4 win over the Texas Rangers.

I want one of those guys...

Last night, Chris Sale of the Red Sox attempted to become the MLB pitcher in the Modern Era to record at least 10 strikeouts in nine straight games.  He failed but he is still the fifth pitcher since 1900 to reach 100 strikeouts in his first 10 starts.  It probably wasn't one of his better games, but Sale kept the game within reach for the Red Sox until their offense exploded for 7 runs in the 7th inning of their game against the Texas Rangers.  Sale finished the night with 7 1/3 innings, 6 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 1 walk and 6 strikeouts.  

Credit:  Christopher Evans
Sale has such a presence when he is on the mound.  I can't think of any potential trade targets that can match Sale as a frontline ace.  I remain hopeful that GM Brian Cashman will surprise me, but I think most of us know who the available trade suspects are.  

Gleyber Torres Watch (with a little Tyler Austin thrown in)...

It was another night at third base yesterday for Yankees top prospect Gleyber Torres as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders defeated the Columbus Clippers, 5-0. 

Watching the RailRiders this closely shows me one thing.  Clint Frazier is on fire.  He hit his eighth home run (and 28th RBI) in the first inning of the RailRiders' game against the Columbus Clippers on Wednesday.  He also had a two-run shot on Tuesday during Gleyber's first game at the AAA Level.  But enough about ridiculously hot outfielders and how the Yankees like to keep them down while parading the $153 Million Man in center field at Yankee Stadium on a nightly basis.  Note:  To Jacoby Ellsbury's defense, he was injured during last night's game against the Royals when he collided into the outfield wall after making a catch.  He suffered a neck sprain and a concussion, and has been placed on the 7-Day DL.  I wish him no ill will and hope that he returns to the health sooner than later.  It does kind of make me wish that the padding on the outfield walls was a little more player-friendly.  Rob Refsnyder has been recalled to the Bronx to replace Ellsbury.  On performance alone, Frazier would have been the best option, but Refsnyder is already on the 40-Man Roster which was the difference-maker.  

Credit:  Andy Grosh/
Torres was a wee bit cooler than Frazier.  With an 'O-fer' night (0-for-3), he wasn't really doing much with the bat but he did walk twice, stole a base, and avoided striking out.  All things considered, it was another game in the education and development of the Yankees premier prospect as he climbs the ladder for the eventual call to the Bronx.  

I thought Mike Ford did a good job for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the short time since his call-up.  In nine games, he hit 4 homers and 10 RBI's, batting .306/.432/.750.  But he was returned to AA-Trenton yesterday when Ji-Man Choi was activated from the 7-Day DL for the RailRiders.  

Credit:  Cheryl Pursell
Maybe I should have re-named this section the Minor League Report.

As promised, here's a little Tyler Austin...


The Yankees conclude their four-game set against the Kansas City Royals this afternoon at 1:05 pm Eastern.  The Royals have announced a change in starters for the game as Miguel Almonte, called up on Tuesday from the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Double-A), will replace Nathan Karns who was placed on the DL with forearm stiffness. He was 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA in 6 starts for the Naturals. For Almonte, the start at Yankee Stadium will be a treat.  "That was my favorite team growing up", Almonte said yesterday through an interpreter.  No worries, Miguel, they are our favorite team too.

Masahiro Tanaka takes the hill for the Yankees in an outing that will probably have me watching the game between my fingers.  I really hope that he has rediscovered the touch and can continue the streak of solid pitching performances.  Otherwise, the fans in the outfield bleachers should receive hazard duty pay.  

Have a great Thursday!  Why settle for two when you can take three??!!...

This Day In New York Yankees History 5/25: Mariano 1K

On this day in 2011 Mariano Rivera became the first pitcher to appear in 1,000 games for the same team. The 41 year old right handed pitcher compiled 572 saves and 75 wins during his 17 seasons in New York at the time.

Also on this day in 2002 former major league pitcher and former Yankee David Cone was hired as a part time television analyst by the YES Network. Cone'd deal included covering five games for the Class A Staten Island Yankees, he would be a radio announcer with WCBS for the June 14th game between the Yankees and the Mets, and would be a pregame and post game show announcer.

Finally on this day in 1922 Babe Ruth was called out at second base trying to stretch a single into a double and started a tirade. Babe Ruth threw dirt in an umpire's eyes and then went after a heckler in the stands. Ruth finished by standing on the roof of the dugout and calling the crowd yellow cowards. Ruth would receive a one game suspension, a $200 fine, and would lose his captaincy.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals 5/24

For the third time this week the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals will square off head-to-head inside Yankee Stadium. This will not be the last though as these two teams will face off once again tomorrow in the finale but before we get too ahead of ourselves let us get this one over with first. Tonight the Yankees will send the future in Luis Severino to the mound looking to keep his recent string of success going while the Kansas City Royals will counter with Jason Hammel. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along on the radio by tuning into WFAN.

Follow us on Twitter by giving @GreedyStripes a follow so we can go root for the home team together. Go Yankees!!

USA Today’s Weekly MLB Power Rankings

The New York Yankees are holding strong at the top of the American League East Division after another week of baseball being put in the record books and they are holding strong at the top of the USA Today’s Weekly MLB Power Rankings as well. For the third straight week the New York Yankees remained steady at the #3 position in all of Major League Baseball with only the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals ahead of them. Let’s check out the rest of the standings.

You have the Top 3 teams on the list and the fourth and fifth slot look relatively the same as last week with only the Dodgers and Orioles swapping spots finishing 4th and 5th respectively. The Cubs held steady at the 9th position overall while the Milwaukee Brewers crept into the Top 10. The Boston Red Sox dropped to 13th while the Tampa Bay Rays climbed to 14th after taking two-of-three from the Yankees over the weekend. Also keep an eye out on those Toronto Blue Jays who find themselves suddenly 21st overall. The rankings don’t suggest it but I still think they are much better than they have shown thus far this season.

The biggest rise of the week went to the Texas Rangers who rose five spots, a ten game winning streak has a way of doing that to a team, to the #11 position while the St. Louis Cardinals were the biggest fall this week dropping five spots back to the #12 position. These two teams have been all over the rankings this season both falling in the 20’s while both teams have also been in the Top 10 at points during the year.

Oh and let me state that I absolutely love the fact that the New York Mets are 20th. Okay, gloating done. Have a great day everyone and enjoy the game tonight. I always love watching Luis Severino pitch and I can remember back in 2015 heading down to Atlanta’s Turner Field and watching him pitch during his rookie campaign and being impressed as hell. Impress me again, please?

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals 5/24

For the third time this week the New York Yankees will travel home to Yankee Stadium to play host to Mike Moustakas and the Kansas City Royals. In this third game of the four game set the Yankees will send Luis Severino to the mound to square off with Jason Hammel. This should be a good one, as usual, so stay tuned.

Severino lasted just five innings last time out in a no-decision against the Tampa Bay Rays and that was due in large part to a rough first inning. Severino threw 30 of his 89 pitches in the first inning of that start. Severino pitched well overall allowing just one run on five hits with seven strikeouts in the contest so all-in-all it was a good start and a step forward for the young right-hander.

Hammel has been home run prone thus far this month which is never a good sign when you’re headed to Yankee Stadium to face this offense. Hammel has allowed five home runs combined in his last three starts and has given up 12 runs in 19 innings overall, again not a good sign for a pitcher that is about to face a high-powered offense like the Yankees.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB TV. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio by tuning into John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman’s broadcast on WFAN.

Enjoy the game Yankees family. Go Yankees!!

Win as a Team, Lose as a Team...

Credit:  Kathy Willens/AP
Royals 6, Yankees 2...

Jordan Montgomery showed why he is a Major League pitcher.  After a few outings that had led to speculation he could potentially be replaced in the rotation, Monty delivered his finest outing yet.  The bullpen couldn't hold it but you'll never find a complainer with Montgomery. "I trust those guys coming out of the bullpen.  I trust them all.  They're doing the best to execute pitches.  They've been so great throughout the year already.  Nobody is perfect.  Win as a team, lose as a team.", Montgomery said in his post-game comments.  

Credit:  Robert Sabo
Monty took a one-hitter into the seventh inning but gave up a solo home run to Lorenzo Cain.  After getting the second out of the inning, Montgomery was pulled for Adam Warren with the Yankees leading 2-1 and no one on, finishing with a two-hit effort.  At that point, the bullpen imploded to the tune of four hits and five runs, which allowed the Royals to walk away with the 6-2 victory.  After watching Montgomery's brilliant two-hitter, Warren (1-1) allowed two hits to the first two batters he faced, the second a homer by Jorge Bonifacio, while both Jonathan Holder and Chasen Shreve were greeted with solo shots from the first batters they faced in the eighth.  Bryan Mitchell pitched a three-up, three down ninth inning but by then, it was too little, too late as the Yankees were unable to rally.

It's disappointing to see such a great performance by Montgomery wasted but the overworked bullpen is a byproduct of the overall recent poor performances by the starting rotation.  It's hard to fault Warren and Company as it was inevitable they'd crack from overuse and it was really good to see the maturity of Montgomery as he refused to place any blame on his teammates.  You could say that manager Joe Girardi should have left Montgomery in the game, but he was at 98 pitches.  It was time for his tip of the cap as he walked off the mound.  

Credit:  Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Danny Duffy, the winning pitcher for the Royals, took notice.  After the game, Duffy said "He's out there, and he's beyond his years and it's fun to watch him compete."

The Yankees scored their only runs in the fourth and fifth innings with solo home runs from Aaron Hicks and Chris Carter, respectively.  The Yankees had a chance to close the gap in the eighth when Chase Headley came to bat with two outs and runners at the corners, but his liner to Eric Hosmer, who made a great play, thwarted the attempt.  

Prior to the game, the Yankees took a moment of silence for the victims of the horrific and senseless terror attack in Manchester, England, playing "God Save The Queen".  

Credit:  Kathy Willens/AP
The Yankees (26-17) maintained their 1 1/2 game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East despite the loss.  The Orioles fell 2-0 to Ervin Santana and the Minnesota Twins.  Santana pitched a complete game two-hitter.  The Boston Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers 11-6 to close to within 3 1/2 games.

Bird Update...

Greg Bird has resumed hitting off a tee as he begins his journey back from the bruised ankle injury.

I know, that pic couldn't possibly be Greg Bird.  He'd never wear his jeans that high up!

The current plan is for Bird to hit in an indoor cage today, rest tomorrow, and take outdoor batting practice on Friday and Saturday.  Sunday, he'd travel down to Florida to begin either extended spring training on Monday or start a rehab assignment with High-A Tampa.

It's possible that we could see Bird back with the Yankees late next week or weekend depending upon how things go.  Hopefully, there will be no setbacks and he'll be much stronger and healthier than we last saw him.

Gerrit Cole Update...

Yeah, that's probably true.

For the record, Cole did kind of stink it up in Pittsburgh's 5-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Monday.  He was almost Masahiro Tanaka-like in lasting only 4 2/3 innings.  The Braves teed off him, maybe using Bird's tee, for 10 hits and 5 runs.  I guess we can get that production from our own staff without giving up prospects off the MLB Top 100 list.  

But all things considered, and throwing in the AL East surcharge on ERA, I'd still take Cole.  I know that he spurned the Yankees when drafted a few years ago, but I have to say that for a chance to go to UCLA, I probably would have too.  

Gleyber Torres Update...

Tuesday night saw Gleyber Torres in the lineup for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at third base.  Rob Refsnyder was at second, and Tyler Wade at short.  Physically, Torres really isn't that much smaller than Headley.  He is an inch shorter at 6'1" and about 40 pounds lighter at 175 lbs.  I guess when I think of third basemen, I think of guys like Kris Bryant (6'5", 230 lbs) but Torres is taller than others such as Justin Turner or Pablo Sandoval.  Nolan Arenado sets the bar for third base from a performance standpoint and he's only 6'2", 215 lbs.  Torres will continue to pack muscle on his frame so he certainly has the physical attributes to excel at the position.  I guess selfishly I wanted to keep third base relatively open or flexible for the possible addition of Manny Machado but I am not going to complain if Torres grabs third for years of All-Star games and World Series Championship rings.  

Torres was 1-for-3 with a single in the RailRiders' 3-1 loss to the Columbus Clippers.  

Have a great Wednesday!  Time to get a new winning streak started!  It's a new day!

All Rise for Aaron Judge in the Judge’s Chambers

All Rise for the Judge! Court is now in session in The Judge’s Chambers here inside Yankee Stadium. On Monday night court opened up inside Yankee Stadium as three rows inside Yankee Stadium turned into The Judge’s Chambers. A total of 18 fans were seen wearing black judicial robes with the Yankees logo on the front and Judge’s number 99 on the back honoring the Yankees rookie right fielder.

This is not uncommon around the league for fans to turn entire sections of the ballpark into a dedicated section for a player. Remember Mannywood in left field inside Dodger Stadium? Remember the King’s Court for Felix Hernandez out in Seattle? Well it’s kind of like that although in those sections any fans can buy tickets and sit there while the Yankees will choose certain fans to sit there. Obviously wearing an Aaron Judge jersey or t-shirt or a judicial robe will get chosen along with their families which could be kind of interesting. Those chosen will be given Styrofoam gavels stamped with “All Rise!” on the side to tap against the bench. The robes stay in the section.

I can see this section being turned into a place for charity groups, birthday parties, Little League teams etc. can go and hang out and be honored while honoring the Judge.

What an honor for a kid who has been in the Major Leagues for just a few short months between last season and this season but if you pay attention to the Yankees and head out to the games you know why the Yankees are honoring him so soon. He interacts with the Yankees fans on Twitter and Instagram and he has played catch with fans in the stands on more than one occasion. You can always see him giving kids baseballs in the stands in-between innings and such and he just treats the game how you’re supposed to treat it in my opinion, like a game. This isn’t a job for Judge and that mindset is just part of what makes Judge truly special.

Congratulations to him and I look forward to seeing everyone in The Judge’s Chambers this season and beyond. If anyone sits in those seats and wants to be covered here on the blog with your pictures showcased on the blog then contact me on Twitter (@GreedyStripes) or by shooting me an email at thegreedypinstripes at gmail dot com.

So it Seems Life Will Get Busy Again Soon

Boys and girls life is about to get busy for me again so I wanted to take the time now to let you know what exactly was going on. My son, Evan, graduates from first grade this morning and after that I am off to the dealership AGAIN with my car. Thank goodness for warranties but dammit man, fix it right the first time. Anyway, I digress.

The first month of June I will be starting a new position at work. I have been training for this position a couple hours a day or a few hours a week for a while now in hopes of getting this position once a new production line enters our plant. It is office work so it’s not hard and I know I can do it but I just worry about how much time I will have for writing during that week I am doing the job. As you may or may not know I do most of my writing while at work because I could do, and have done, my job with my eyes closed and asleep. This new job though is very tedious and it is very important because one extra or one less numerical typographical error and I could shut us down for a month. Yeah, it’s serious.

I’m nervous but I am cautiously optimistic as well. I want something new and I am burned out in my current position but also that is a lot of pressure and stress. I’m just a worrier, I’ll get it and I’ll be great at it. I just have to prove it to myself first before I truly believe it.

So if I go quiet, and I will do my best not to of course, that is why. Have no fear though as I will be back. I always come back and we are always okay. No matter what. Have a great day everyone, especially you. Hey you. I’m about to give you 69 reasons to stick by my side.