Thursday, February 28, 2013

Yankees Hire Former Prospect Drew Henson As Coach

The Yankees have hired former "can't miss" prospect Drew Henson to be the hitting coach and instructor for the Gulf Coast Yankees in the Gulf Coast League. The Yankees drafted Drew Henson out of High School in 1998 and played baseball for the Yankees and football for the Michigan Wolverines from 1998-2000. He quit football after the 2000 season to pursue baseball full time with the Yanks. Let's just hope that he is a better hitting coach then he was a quarterback or third basemen.

New York Yankees Spring Training Notes 2/28

Mariano Rivera threw a simulated game today which included 18 pitches. Rivera also did some fielding drills and did some running and the knee came through just fine. CC Sabathia also faced lived hitters today and made Ronnier Mustelier look silly on a few pitches. No word on when either of them will be in a Spring Training game but it is expected in the next two weeks.

The Yankees played a couple split squad games against the Toronto Blue Jays at home and against the Houston Astros on the road today and dropped them both.

Ichiro and Brett Gardner both seem locked in after getting hits again today against the Toronto Blue Jays. Chris Stewart was ejected from the game today after a bang bang play at first base where he was safe and called out, which is probably not going to help his cause to be the every day starting catcher. David Phelps final pitching line was 3 IP 2 H 1K 1 BB in the loss.

Melky Mesa made his case once again to replace the injured Curtis Granderson today against the Houston Astros while going 2-3 with 3 RBI's. Francisco Cervelli helped his cause to win the Yankees starting catcher job today when he threw out two would be base stealers. He wen't 0-3 at the plate but the Yankees don't seem to mind, especially in February. Brett Marshall's final pitching line in the loss was 3 IP 1 H 3 K's 0 BB's.

Yankees Have Made A "Significant Offer" To Cano

The Yankees seem to be willing to suspend their unwritten rule about negotiating with a player before they hit free agency because they have reportedly offered soon to be free agent Robinson Cano a "significant offer" to keep in him pinstripes for the rest of his playing career. Brian Cashman would not say when the offer was made or any of the details of the offer but did confirm that an offer was made so now the ball is in Robby and Scott Boras's court. Hopefully, however unlikely, the Yankees can keep the offer below 8 years annually so we do not run into another Alex Rodriguez type of situation.

Meet A Prospect : Shawn Kelley

Shawn Andrew Kelley was born on April 26th, 1984 in Louisville, Kentucky where he went to high school at Ballard High School in Louisville. Shawn spent his college years at Austin Peay State University in Clarkesville, Tennessee and now calls the new Yankees Stadium his home. With a 6'2" 220 lb frame coming out of college the Seattle Mariners drafted him in the 13th round of the 2007 MLB First Year Players Draft.

Shawn would make his professional debut for the Mariners A- affiliate before finishing the season in A ball for the Wisconsin affiliate. His 2007 pitching line would be 2-1 with a 2.40 ERA in 12 games and 15 IP while compiling 18 K's and a 1.467 WHIP. 2008 would see Kelley splitting time between three affiliates all the way from A ball to AA before the end of the season. Kelley would have a combined pitching line of 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA in 59 games in 62.1 IP while compiling 68 K's and a 1.139 WHIP. 2009 would see Kelley  pitch in the Arizona Fall League and for the AAA Tacoma affiliate before his call up to the majors after only three innings pitched in the minors that season. Shawn would see time in the minors in parts of 2010, 2011, and 2012 but was considered a major leaguer for the most part since 2009.

Shawn made his major league debut on  April 10th 2009 in a 5-4 Mariners win over the Oakland Athletics. Shawn pitched a full inning and struck out two batters and allowed one hit in his debut. All told in 2009 Shawn got into 41 games and pitched 46 innings while pitching to a 4.50 ERA with 41 K's, only 9 BB's allowed, and a 1.174 WHIP. Kelley would spent parts of the next three seasons with the big league Mariners club posting a career, to this point, pitching line of 10-9 with a 3.52 ERA with a career 1.250 WHIP. Kelley has a 0.8 career WAR as well as a reliever which is not a terrible number considering the few number of innings he has pitched in the majors.

Shawn was traded to the New York Yankees just a few weeks back for Yankees outfield prospect Abraham Almonte. Shawn will come to Yankees camp trying to win a spot in the Yankees bullpen and is more then likely in a direct competition with Cody Eppley. Both players have a minor league option left and Kelley is under team control until after the 2015 season so the competition should be a fun one to watch this spring.

Yanks drop both split squad games vs. Blue Jays, Astros

Ir seems to me that things aren't turning out the way the Yankees planned during Spring Training. However, we have to remember a couple of things before we get crazy about the standings (which we shouldn't be doing).

1. The Yankees Major League starting pitchers haven't even been in a game so far.

2. The Yankees hitters have only went about 5-6 innings before getting taken out.

3. It's Spring Training. Almost everyone's rusty.

However, it would be nice to see the Yankees win a game or two. Let's break down the good (and bad) that came out of each game. That seems like an easier way to recap the split-squad games.

Blue Jays vs. Yankees

Gardner & Ichiro are locked in: If the season started today, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki wouldn't mind. At all. Both of them as of right now are easily the best hitters on the team, with both of their batting averages over .500. Gardner went 1-for-3 today, now successfully hitting in four-straight games. Ichiro also had a 1-for-3 day, extending his hitting streak. It's nice to know that out of the gate the two speedsters are ready for the 2013 season. Now if everyone else behind them can catch up, that would be great.

Clay Rapada is unstoppable (and undefeated): Clay Rapada had the quickest 1-2-3 inning, that if you went to the kitchen to get a glass of water and come back, the inning would be over due to his sheer brilliance on the mound. There's also an interesting fact that YES gave about Rapada: He's been in 148 games and his overall record is 8-0 in the Majors. That means that Clay Rapada has never lost a game in his Major League career. Never. Ever. Just judging by today's game, I would already have a nice roster spot for Mr. Rapada. He looked in mid-season form.

Chris Stewart ejected: Chris Stewart only had one at-bat. And that one-at bat would be the last at-bat that he would have on the day. He hit into a bang-bang play at first base. YES instant replay showed Stewart's foot touched the bag before the ball went into the first baseman's glove. However, Marty Foster called him out. Stewart said something and then was ejected from the game, making him the first ejection of the Spring. Just so you know, Spring Training ejections don't happen very often, so that must mean Marty Foster in in mid-season form.

David Phelps pitches strong: David Phelps had another strong outing, going 3 innings, giving up 2 hits, 1 walk and 1 strikeout. Phelps' future with the Yankees could be either one of two things at this point: he could either be in the rotation, taking the 5th spot from Ivan Nova, or he could be in the bullpen, helping out in later innings. I don't see him going back to the minor leagues, at all.

Yankees vs. Astros:

Melky Mesa has great game: The young CF looks to be in the front running of who could take Curtis Granderson's job for the next 4-6 weeks after the big day he had at the plate. The young CF went 2-for-3 with 3 RBI's on the day. I wonder what John Sterling's HR call would be for the young OF if he ever had a chance to play on the big league club--and if he homered.

Nunez helmet won't stay on: Another day, another chance to see Eduardo Nunez's helmet fall off his head. Just as I had hoped that Nunez would be able to keep the helmet on while running down the first baseline, it came off when he hit a lead-off single in the first inning. Maybe someone should add a chin strap or get him a helmet like Francisco Cervelli's. That way it can't come off.

Cervelli's strong day behind the plate: Speaking of the young catcher, Cervelli had a great day behind the plate, throwing out two runners who were attempting to steal. Offensively, he went 0-for-3. Maybe it didn't help that Chris Stewart was ejected because judging by what happened today, it looks like Cervelli took the lead in the catching competition.

Marshall has a good start: Another Brett on the Yankees ball-club had a great day as well, and his name is Brett Marshall. Through three innings, he struck out three and only allowed one hit. Now that is some impressive numbers from the young starter, who is one of the few players actually impressing this Spring Training.


-- The Phillies will take the drive from Clearwater to Tampa in order to play the Yankees at GMS Field tomorrow. Robinson Cano is expected to be in the lineup tomorrow and Saturday before leaving on Sunday for the World Baseball Classic. The game will be at 1:05 p.m. on the YES Network.

Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees 2/28

The Yankees second game of their split squad double header will see them taking on the newly reloaded Toronto Blue Jays. The Yankees will look to end a four game losing streak in Spring Training today against either this Toronto team or the Houston Astros team. The game will be televised on YES and on MLB Network, although MLB Network will be delayed, at 1:05 pm ET.

New York Yankees @ Houston Astros 2/28

The Yankees will look to stop a four game losing skid today as they play two split squad games today. The first game will have the Yankees taking on the newest member of the American League the Houston Astros. The game will be televised on MLB Network but it will be delayed. The game will start at 1:05 pm ET.

Spring Training 2/28/13 Lineup(s)

Lineup vs. Blue Jays:

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Travis Hafner DH
Juan Rivera LF
Chris Stewart C
Dan Johnson 3B
Jose Pirela 2B
Gil Velasquez SS

David Phelps RHP

Lineup vs. Astros:

Eduardo Nunez SS
Jayson Nix 2B
Zolio Almonte RF
Matt Diaz LF
Melky Mesa CF
Francisco Cervelli C
Corban Joseph 3B
Luke Murton 1B
J.R Murphy DH

Brett Marshall RHP

Morning Bits: PED's, Players Union, Cano

mug3Good morning all.  One day closer to Friday.   Let's get going with the links....

-- From The Star Ledger first baseman Mark Teixeira wants tougher testing for PED's.

-- Erik Boland of Newsday writes that the union is not concerned if the Yankees cut payroll.

-- Wallace Matthews takes a look at Robbie Cano and how he rarely misses a game.

Meet A Prospect : Travis Hafner

Travis Lee Hafner, or more commonly known as Pronk, was born on June 3rd, 1977 in Jamestown, North Dakota where he attended Sykeston High School in Sykeston North Dakota. Pronk would spend his college career at the Cowley County Community College in Arkansas City, Kansas. Travis Hafner's High School did not have a baseball program for Pronk to wreak havoc on but Travis did find time to be valedictorian of his high school class which included 12 graduating Seniors. Standing large with a 6'3" and 240 lb frame, they call that country strong by the way, from the left side the plate he was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 31st round of the 1996 MLB First Year Players Draft. The nickname Pronk was given to him by former teammate Bill Selby because he referred to Travis as "The Project" and at other times as "the Donkey" because of the way he looked running the bases and Pronk just kind of stuck. Let's meet the all time career home run hitter for a MLB player born in North Dakota.

Travis would not make his professional debut until the 1997 season with the Gulf Coast Rangers team but was limited to only 55 games. He would spend both the 1998 and 1999 seasons with the Savannah affiliate of the Texas Rangers in A ball where he tore the cover off the ball putting up a combined 44 home runs for the Savannah team in two seasons. Travis would spend a year in each of the Rangers A+, AA, and AAA affiliates the next three seasons of 2000, 2001, and 2002 before being called up to the majors on August 6th of the 2002 season. All told in six seasons in the Texas Rangers minor league system Pronk would hit 112 home runs, drive in 479 RBI's, and averaged a triple slash of .298/.403/.514 with a staggering .917 OPS. Travis would hit his first career Major League home run on August 22nd but that was not all because he made a day of it. Not only did Travis hit the home run but he also had two doubles and a single in five at bats and would have had a cycle had he not been thrown out at third base on one of the doubles.

Travis Hafner would be traded to the Cleveland Indians in the off season before the 2003 season along with Aaron Myette for catcher Einar Diaz and right handed pitcher Ryan Drese. Travis would be an instant hit in Cleveland while playing 91 games in his first season for them splitting time between first base and designated hitter. He would finish the season with a .254/.327/.485 triple slash with 14 home runs and 40 RBI's while hitting for the cycle on August 14th of that year against the Minnesota Twins. That would be the first cycle for the tribe since 1978 when Andre Thornton did it for the Indians. Hafner would spend the next nine seasons with the Cleveland Indians and enjoyed his fair share of ups and downs. In the next three seasons Hanfer would garner MVP votes finishing 24th in 2004, 5th in 2005, and 8th in 2006. In 10 seasons as a Cleveland Indian Travis would put up a triple slash of .278/.382/.509 with an OPS of .890 while hitting 200 home runs and driving in 688 RBI's. Travis had a 22.7 WAR in his time in Cleveland and even spent time on the 2007 Indians team that eventually lost to the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox in that year's ALCS after defeating the Yankees in four games in the ALDS, see Joba Chamberlain and the midges. Hafner also hit a single season record tying six grand slams in one season tying former Yankee and curent Los Angeles Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly's record. He also set the Indians single season record for most home runs and RBI's in a season by a DH hitting 39 homers and driving in 110 RBI's passing Andre Thornton's 1982 totals.

The problem that Travis Hafner has been facing since the 2008 season is being able to stay healthy and stay on the field to be productive. Hafner missed most of the 2008 season, only appearing in 57 games, due to various injuries and multiple disabled list trips. 2009 seemed like much of the same although Hafner was able to get into 94 games that season. 2010 saw more injuries and more trips to the DL as Hafner was only able to appear in 118 games that season due to nagging injuries. Hafner would be held under 100 games again in 2011 only playing in 94 games due to injuries. Hafner would become only the 12th player in Cleveland Indians history to start 10 different Opening Day's for the team in 2012 and would only play in 65 other games that season as injuries once again limited Hafner on the field. The Indians had seen enough and declined his option making him a free agent this off season.

January 31st of 2012 Travis Hafner agreed in principal to a one year deal with the New York Yankees worth $2 million plus an additional $2 million is easily achieved incentives. Pronk will be the Yankees primary designated hitter and that left handed swing is just made for the new Yankees Stadium so if he can stay healthy expect huge results from Hafner in 2013. In November of 2006 Travis married Amy Beekman and the couple now have two sons, Blake Lee and Trip John, and Amy and Travis have been added to the Wives and Girlfriends section of the site so go check that out and Travis playing for the Yankees all season long. Go Pronk!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Phil Hughes May Not Be Ready For Start Of Season

Joe Girardi acknowledged that Yankees starter Phil Hughes may not be ready to start the regular season after a back injury covering first base in Spring Training. When we first heard about this we were all told how minor this seemed and how the fact that it was in his upper back and not his lower back was a good sign and now we get this news. Phil Hughes has been working out in a pool and will continue to do so until the doctors give him the green light to start throwing the baseball again. Hughes needs to be stretched out to roughly 75 pitches before he could be deemed "ready" to start the regular season and that is projected to take him about four spring starts. Joe Girardi does not expect Hughes to start a game for at least a couple more weeks so time is definitely ticking away. The Yankees have the luxury to give Hughes the time he needs with both Ivan Nova and David Phelps currently healthy and ready to start but you never like to start the season without one of your guys.

New York Yankees Spring Training Notes 2/27

The Yankees took an ugly 10-7 loss today where Nik Turley got hit hard. Nik allowed five runs while surrendering three hits,throwing two wild pitches, and only getting one Orioles batter out before being removed. Not his brightest moment but he will improve I am sure. The Yankees have lost four straight Spring Training games and drop their record to 1-4.

The Yankees announced their next three starting pitchers for Grapefruit League play and they will all be Major League starting pitchers. David Phelps will make his second spring start tomorrow but I am unsure which split squad game that will be against. Hiroki Kuroda will make his first spring appearance on Saturday against the Phillies at George Steinbrenner Field. Ivan Nova will make his spring debut on Sunday against the Detroit Tigers in another split squad game.

Kevin Youkilis was told that he will not play again tomorrow in either of the Yankees split squad games. Kevin says he feels healthy enough to play but the Yankees are going with the better safe then sorry route with him after his oblique was sore this week.

Nick Goody is a Greedy Pinstripes follower on twitter and has nothing but good and optimistic news to talk about his sprained ankle. He thanks all of his followers for their prayers and told me directly that all of our prayers were being answered. It is great news that he is healing and is expected to be back on the field soon.

'Gardy's Party' continues but Yanks fall 10-7 vs. Orioles

We're five games into Spring Training, and after winning the first game, the Yankees lost four in a row, including today's debacle in which the Yankees have five errors on the day. Now, we're going to recap this game like one gigantic sandwich (thank you Family Guy for the idea). We're going to start off with something good, say what the Yankees did wrong and end with something good.

Something Good:

Brett GardnerIt's only been five games of Spring Training but Brett Gardner looked in top shape. As a matter of fact, he's one of the best hitters in Spring Training up to this point. Gardner went 1-for-2 with a walk, but the hit he had was a big one at the time. The Yankees were down 7-1 in the second. The bases were loaded, there were two out and Gardner came to the plate. Yankees fans were expecting a RISP fail, but Gardner delivered a three-run triple, giving the Yankees some life, and closing the gap at that point in the game. I don't know what Gardner did differently during the offseason, but he better keep it up.

Something bad:

Robinson CanoRobbie Cano has looked absolutely, positively lost. After hitting a HR in his first game of the Spring, Cano seems to be swinging at almost anything. Cano was 0-for-3, bringing his average down to .167. Now, we all know that Spring Training means nothing, but Robbie looked just as lost during the playoffs last season. So technically since October 3 of last season, he's looked lost. We're not going to worry just yet, but this is beginning to look frightening.

Yanks had five errors: Yes, this game was absolutely horrendous with the five errors in the game today. Now, we know it's a Spring Training game, but that was just really, really bad. Let's hope we never see something like that again. And I can almost bet you, this game won't be a Yankees Classic.

Nik TurleyNik Turley might of had nerves, which might of explained how he let eight of the nine batters in the lineup step to the plate in the first inning, allowing five runs before recording the first out of the game--who happened to be the eighth batter in the lineup. The Yankees had seen enough, took Turley out of the game and called in Cody Eppley who did a decent job, although he allowed two runs the inning after.

Something good:

Mark MontgomeryThe pitcher who could possibly be dubbed the "next David Robertson" certainly impressed after pitching a scoreless inning for the team. His breaking ball was pretty nasty and although he gave up a walk (he's human), he was able to easily get out of the walk. It was simply, magical.


The Yankees play a Split Squad tomorrow, where most of the starters will stay at GMS Field and a handful of players will go on a road-trip  The Yankees play both the Toronto Blue Jays and the Houston Astros and both games will be televised  The Yankees/Blue Jays game will be on YES Network and the Houston Astros/Yankees game will be on Astro's television. Both games will be at 1:o5 p.m.

Baltimore Orioles Vs New York Yankees 2/27

The New York Yankees will look to end a three game Spring Training losing streak today when they take on the Baltimore Orioles in a split squad Grapefruit League game. The Yankees will send left hander Nik Turley to the mound to start against the Fighting Schowalters. The game will be televised at 1:05 pm ET on YES and will also be on MLB Network, although it will be delayed.

Veterans Need to Step Up Without Granderson


With Curtis Granderson out for the next 10 weeks, everybody has been wondering who will replace him. There are a wide range of candidates from veterans Juan Rivera and Matt Diaz to younger players like Ronnie Mustelier, Zolio Almonte, Melky Mesa and Thomas Neal. No matter who fills in for Granderson, they will not replace his power or productivity. They just need whoever the replacement is to be a serviceable player for about a month until Granderson gets back. The key to surviving without Granderson is more about the other players in the lineup stepping up, rather than who Granderson’s replacement will be or what that replacement does.

Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki, Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner have to be healthy and productive until Granderson returns around the beginning of May. You could throw Derek Jeter in there as well, but you don’t really know what to expect in April from him coming off his broken ankle.

Cano and Texeira have the ability to carry the Yankees when they are hot. If either one of them have a red hot April, the Yankees should not miss Granderson too much. Both players are playing for their respective countries in the WBC, so maybe that will help them get off to a fast start, as they will be having at-bats in a competitive situation early. This could particularly help Teixeira, as he has been a notoriously slow starter in April throughout his career.

Cano and Teixeira were keys for the Yankees season to begin with because of the losses of Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez. Now the pressure on them is ratcheted even more in April without Granderson. Cano just needs to repeat his season from last season, but Teixeira needs to improve on his,

The Yankees need Teixeira to get back to the elite version of himself, rather than the very good, but not elite player he has been since 2009. His batting average will probably never be around .300 again, but an average around .275 with his power and RBI production would be great. His walk % was a career low 10.3% last season, which is something Teixeira should also improve on. They need his OPS back around .900 and his wOBA back around .400. Those numbers are more important than the batting average.

While Cano or Teixeira getting hot in April could help carry the Yankees without Granderson, Hafner and Youkilis could help a great deal in a short period of time. They will never have the same production as Cano or Teixeira over the full season, but the point here is that they only need a few people to get hot for a month without Granderson. Hafner and Youkilis have those capabilities.

First of all, Hafner and Youkilis must be on the field, as those two have combined to take an astonishing nine trips to the DL over the last three seasons between the two of them. Youkilis already was scratched from yesterday’s game due to a sore oblique, although it does not appear to be serious.

When healthy, Hafner had four outstanding seasons for Cleveland from 2004-2007, but since then the highest number of games he has played in a season is 118. Hafner still has solid power and the short porch in right field should be very inviting for him. He could easily get on a power surge in April to help offset some of Granderson’s lost power.

Youkilis does not have the power that Hafner does, but he can certainly get hot and be a key player for the Yankees without Granderson. He had two warning track fly balls and a line out to third in Sunday’s spring training game, so it appears he might be seeing the ball well early. Youkilis made some swing changes with Kevin Long over the winter, so it will be interesting to see how they impact him early in the season. Youkilis already has the responsibility of replacing Alex Rodriguez, but he has to be apart of the puzzle that replaces Granderson in April as well. Youkilis had a terrible year for him last season, but he is not far removed from solid production in 2011 (.258/.373/.459/.833) and elite production in 2010 (.307/.411/.564/.975), so hopefully he can get back to something close to either of those years again.

Gardner and Ichiro will have to step up in April for the Yankees to field a competitive outfield. It’s obviously extremely early, but Gardner and Ichiro are hitting .667 in their two Spring Training games. Their speed will be counted on more than ever, as will their defense to help prevent runs because the Yankees will not score as many. They can create runs via stolen bases and hit-and-runs, which the Yankees will need to do without Granderson. As the probable leadoff hitter vs. righties, Gardner will also have to keep his OBP at a very good rate.

The Yankees have a small margin for error this season, so they will have to keep afloat without Granderson. Brian Cashman has shown patience in these situations in the past, so he is unlikely to go out and overpay somebody to replace Granderson for a month.  Granderson leads MLB in home runs the last two years, so nobody they replace him with will be capable of putting up his numbers. They will need the established players on their team to step up their performances in April to compensate for the loss of Granderson.

Dellin Betances Will Start In AAA As Starter In 2013

Brian Cashman has confirmed that Yankees prospect Dellin Betances will start the 2013 season in the starting rotation for the AAA affiliate Scranton Rail Riders team. Dellin will join Adam Warren, Brett Marshall, Vidal Nuno, and Shaeffer Hall in the rotation for the Scranton team. Dellin will be entering his age 24 season and will be looking to bounce back after a horrible 2012 season where his ERA was well over six in both AA and AAA and had a FIP pushing six in both affiliates as well. This will use up Dellin's final minor league option so this year is a make or break year for Dellin in pinstripes because he would have to pass through waivers to go to the minors starting in 2014.

Spring Training 2/27/13 Lineup

Brett Gardner LF
Jayson Nix SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Juan Rivera DH
Dan Johnson 1B
Zoilo Almonte RF
Slade Heathcott CF
Chris Stewart C
Corban Joseph 3B

LHP Nik Turley

Start Time: 1:05 p.m.
T.V.: YES Network

Morning Bits: Joba want's to be a starter, Nunez to stay at SS, No Damon return and more....

mug3Good morning all let's get right to the links....

-- David Waldstein of The New York Times writes that the Yankees don't plan on moving Nunez nor bringing back Damon.

-- Let's see how much this will be talked about this week.   Wallace Matthews writes that Joba want's to start.   He feels he has the pitches to be a starter.

-- Hal Bodley of writes that it's a season of uncertainty for the New York Yankees this year.

Since J.R. Murphy had that homerun yesterday I went with a video of him this morning.   This is from last year from the YES NETWORK.  ENJOY.

Meet A Prospect : Eduardo Nunez

Eduardo Michelle Mendez Nunez was born on June 15th, 1987 in Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic and spent his High School years at the American Military Academy in San Juan, Puerto Rico. With a 6'0" 185 lb frame you can see why the New York Yankees signed Eduardo as an amateur free agent back in 2004. He was known as the heir apparent to Derek Jeter at one point, granted that was 357 errors ago, so the the potential is there especially with the bat. Eduardo is not eligible to be a free agent until after the 2018 season so barring a trade the Yankees and their fans should get to see plenty of Eduardo before his time is up in pinstripes.

When Nunez signed in 2004 the Yankees introduced him to his childhood idol, Derek Jeter, and told him that he would be the eventual replacement for the Yankees captain. The Yankees brass showed extreme confidence in Eduardo from the start and it showed in that press conference. Eduardo would not make his professional debut until the 2005 season with the Staten Island Yankees while putting up a triple slash of .313/.365/.427 and his bugaboo consisted of 28 errors. Eduardo would split time between Charleston and Tampa in 2006 putting up a combined .214/.261/.308 with 37 errors in the field. Eduardo would split the 2007 season with the same two teams improving both his triple slash to .251/.305/.306 and dropping his error total to 33 in the field. 2008 would see Eduardo spend the entire season in Tampa putting up a triple slash of .271/.305/.383 and lowering his errors to a then career low 19 errors. Eduardo would spend the 2009 season with the Trenton Thunder putting up a career high .322/.349/..433 but the fielding side got the better of him once again while he committed 33 more errors in the field. Eduardo would make it all the way to Scranton in AAA in the 2010 season putting up a triple slash of .289/.340/.381 with only 14 errors in the field across three infield positions.

Eduardo Nunez would be called up in August of that 2010 season replacing Lance Berkman while he was placed on the 15 day disabled list. On August 19th he would make his major league debut replacing Derek Jeter in the seventh inning fouling out in his only plate appearance. Two days later on August 21st he would get his first major league hit as he hit a go ahead RBI single and a week later he would hit his first major league home run and steal his first base against the Chicago Whitesox. All told in 30 games for the Yankees Nunez hit .280 with one home run, seven RBI's, and scored 12 runs. Nunez would not see the minor leagues in 2011 as he won the teams utility infielder job out of Spring Training while occasionally filling in for injured stars like Nick Swisher, Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez. In 112 games Nunez hit a .265/.313/.385 with a team leading 20 errors

Nunez would start the 2012 season with the Yankees as well straight out of Spring Training and started at a blistering pace with a .294 average but also had four errors in only 58 chances in the field. After making two errors in a single game against the Tampa Bay Rays the Yankees decided to send Nunez down to work on being a short stop only rather than being a utility infielder. Nunez spent time with three different minor league affiliates in 2012 including the Gulf Coast Yankees, the Tampa Yankees, and the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees while rehabbing a broken thumb injury. In 41 minor league games in 2012 he only committed five errors and they were all at short stop for the Scranton team. Nunez was called back up to the Yankees big league club when rosters expanded on September 1st and played occasionally until the playoffs. Nunez was added to the American League Divisional roster but left off the Championship rosters but replaced Derek Jeter after he fractured his ankle against the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS. Although the Yankees would be swept out of the playoffs Eduardo Nunez had a shining star kind of moment when he hit his first career post season home run off Justin Verlander.

Eduardo once again looks to come out of camp with the Yankees on the big league roster, hopefully with his mental blocks in the field behind him. As a short stop and second basemen only the Yankees roster looks a lot less flexible than it normally does but I think Nunez has the ability to hit for a high average and hit for power in the middle of that infield so whatever it takes to get his head on right. I look forward to seeing that million dollar smile more in the 2013 season.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Two Prospects In Dominican League Top Prospects List

Two New York Yankees prospects have been included in Ben Badler of Baseball America's top prospects list from the Dominican Summer League. Rafael DePaula, who seems like he has been in the Yankees system forever because he should have been in the system a long time ago, made the list to the surprise of nobody after making a strong professional debut as a starting pitcher last season. He is expected to move through the Yankees system rather quickly and will definitely be stateside in 2013. Yankees SS Abiatal Avelino is also on the list after signing for $300K back in 2011. Avelino is also expected to come state side in 2013 with the Charleston Riverdogs so watch out for both of these guys.

Manny Ramirez Has Verbal Agreement W/ Taiwanese Team

First I will say that I fully realize that Manny Ramirez is not a Yankees player, never has been, and never will be a New York Yankees player. I will give the readers a little bit of a back story behind The Greedy Pinstripes, where the name came from, and how it relates to Manny Ramirez. In the off season before the 2009 season where the Yankees signed CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Mark Teixeira, and traded for Nick Swisher I playfully lobbied for the Yankees to sign Manny Ramirez. I can remember the Yankees need for right handed power, for a left fielder, for clutch hitting, and basically every other good thing that came along with Manny Ramirez. The fact that it would be a slap in the face to the Boston Red Sox did not hurt either but that is for another day's discussion. I started saying "Get Greedy, Get Manny" after every post on this forum that I used to be a member of and it caught fire in the forum so before I knew it I had a bit of a following behind me. What started out as a joke turned into a Yankees fan alliance of sorts and the "Get Greedy" mentality and such never seemed to die down so when we decided to start our own Yankees fan blog we knew we had to incorporate the "greedy" aspect into it and The Greedy Pinstripes were born.

I said all that to say this...

Manny Ramirez has a verbal agreement to play baseball in 2013 for a Taiwanese team, the EDA Rhinos of the Chinese Independent League, although the deal will not be official until March 7th of this year. Ramirez has until that date to find a major league team to sign with but reportedly his agents called every American League team that needed a power right handed bat and nobody showed any significant interest in Manny. With a career .312/.411/.585 triple slash with 555 home runs you figured it would not be difficult for Manny to find a home with a team as a DH but I guess that is where three failed steroid/performance enhancing drug tests come into play. 

Scranton Rail Riders New Mascot Competition

The Scranton Rail Riders have released the two finalists to see which mascot will join Champ at Scranton home games this season. The mascots will be named in a Name The Mascot contest with elementary school students from around the Scranton area picking the winning name.

CC Sabathia & Family Does The Harlem Shake

The Harlem Shake, for some unforeseen reason( maybe I am finally starting to get old), is the newest craze on the internet and has even made its way to the major leagues. Yankees starter CC Sabathia and family made their own Harlem Shake video and shared it with us via Youtube. Check it out!

We Will Not Be Seeing A Johnny Damon Reunion

Johnny Damon threw his name into the hat as a potential replacement for Curtis Granderson after he fractured his forearm and will miss the next 10 weeks. Damon even said that he was willing to accept the league minimum salary and would knowingly sign until Granderson came back from injury and then move on if that is what the Yankees wanted, which I do not know if you can put that kind of language into a contract but for the league minimum I guess the Yankees could eat the salary anyway happily. Brian Cashman has already all but shot down the idea of a Damon reunion in reports since the injury though. Damon is kind of expecting to be overlooked once again since the Yankees chose to sign Nick Johnson instead of him for the 2010 season and chose to sign Raul Ibanez in 2012 instead of him.

Joba Chamberlain As A Starter? Here We Go Again..

We all remember the fiasco with the "Joba Rules" and the innings and pitch limits set on Joba Chamberlain when the Yankees experimented with him as a starting pitcher not too long ago and we may have to hear about it just a little more. In a post game interview Joba was asked what his ultimate aspiration would be as a Major Leaguer and his answer was to be a starting pitcher. His 2008 shoulder injury ultimately sealed the deal with Joba as a starter but he still believes that he can do it. I want to make it clear that he never requested being put in the rotation or said he thinks he should be a starter he just answered a question honestly and will probably catch flak for it.

Joba said in the interview "do you think you have the capability to start? Yes." Joba went on to say "Do I have four pitched that I can throw for a strike? Yes. Do I have two plus pitches in the bullpen that I can throw at any time? Yes. I feel like I'm good enough to do both. I've proven that I can do both." No worries Yankees fans though Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi quickly shot down the idea of Joba as a starter this season so maybe we won't have to hear about this all season long.

Kevin Youkilis Scratched With Sore Oblique

Kevin Youkilis has been scratched from today's Spring Training game with a sore left oblique. He will be shut down for a few days while he rests it. Here we go again with the year of the injury.

New York Yankees @ Philadelphia Phillies 2/26

The New York Yankees continue their Grapefruit League schedule today while playing the Philadelphia Phillies this afternoon in their fourth Spring Training game of the young season. The Yankees will send young pitcher Jose A. Ramirez to the mound as he was recently added to the 40 man roster this season. The game will be televised at 1:00 pm ET on MLB Network.

Teixeira, Ichiro, Murphy provide offense as Yanks fall to Phillies 4-3

Spring Training is Spring Training so the Yankees losing three in a row shouldn't be that alarming, especially since the Yankees placed all their minor leaguers in during the 6th inning. However, if you're a fan, you'd like to see more than one win come from the Yankees so the Yankees are going to have to try and go back to the drawing board to figure out what they have to do to win tomorrow. But instead of talking about how the Yankees lost, let's take a look at some positives from today's game.

Mark TeixeiraTeixeira provided the Yankees with an early lead in the ball game, hitting an RBI double that scored Ichiro Suzuki. Teixeira was 1-for-3 on the day, but we'll take the RBI.

Ichiro SuzukiIt looks as if Ichiro and Brett Gardner are having their own little competition. After Gardner had a three-hit day yesterday, Ichiro answered back with a three-hit day of his own. He also showed hustle and was a thrill to watch as he ran around the bases. Typical Ichiro.

David RobertsonDavid Robertson made his Spring debut today and proved that he still had it, pitching a scoreless inning although he gave up a walk. I would say Robertson is in mid-season form if he can have constant 1-2-3 innings.

Joba ChamberlainJoba Chamberlain (along with his unpopular mustache) made his Spring debut as well, also working a scoreless inning although he gave up the first hit for the Phillies to Ryan Howard. Still, it was a good outing. He also made sure to ruffle some feathers when he said that he believes he could be a starter again.

J.R Murphy: J.R Murphy came into the game during the 7th inning, but he made a lasting impression during the end of the game when he hit a towering 2-run HR to give the Yankees at the time a 3-1 lead. He then doubled in the 9th while the Yankees were trailing 4-3 yet he just missed his second HR of the game.


Eduardo NunezNunez went 0-for-3 today, I know--but at first he gave some fans a warm and hearty laugh when his helmet fell off after showing some hustle to first base. The warm and hearty laughter soon turned into annoyance after his helmet fell off another two times, making us wonder if Nunez might want to consider getting a new helmet size.


-- Tomorrow the Yankees will play the Baltimore Orioles at GMS Field at 1:05 p.m. only on YES Network.

Spring Training 2/26/13 Lineup

Eduardo Nunez SS
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Travis Hafner DH
Matt Diaz LF
Melky Mesa CF
Bobby Wilson C
Addison Maruszak 3B

RHP Jose Ramirez

Start Time: 1:05 p.m
T.V: MLB.TV (Philadelphia Phillies T.V) 



Morning Bits: Granderson, Damon, Granderson's replacement

mug3Good morning all let's get right to the links....

-- Tyler Kepner of The New York Times with Granderson out the Yankees are going to be short on the long ball.

-- Damon has made his pitch to the Yankees writes Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY.

-- Bryan Hoch of reports that the replacement for Granderson will likely be in house.

Meet A Prospect : Austin Romine

Austin Allen Romine was born on November 22nd, 1988 in Lake Forest, California where he went to high school at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, CA. With a 6'0 220 lb frame behind the plate you can see why the New York Yankees drafted Austin in the second round of the 2007 MLB First Year Players Draft out of High School. With Major League blood running through his veins, his father Kevin Romine played for the Boston Red Sox for six seasons and his brother Kevin Romine is currently playing for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Austin has a bright future ahead of him and is on the cusp of making the Major Leagues with the big league club Yankees.

Austin would make his professional debut in the 2007 season with the Gulf Coast Yankees putting up a triple slash of .500/.667/1.000 in one game. Austin would not be long for the GCL as he would start the 2008 season with the Charleston Riverdogs putting up a triple slash of .300/.344/.437 while hitting 10 home runs and knocking in 49 RBIs. Heading into the 2009 season Austin was named the 4th best prospect in the entire Yankees system while spending his time with the Tampa Yankees putting up a triple slash of .276/.322/.441 while hitting 13 home runs and knocking in 72 RBIs. Austin would be named the Florida State League Player of the Year in this 2009 season. Austin started the 2010 season in Trenton with the Thunder while putting up a triple slash of.268/.324/.402 while hitting 10 home runs and knocking in 69 RBIs while being named the Yankees second best prospect only behind fellow battery mate Jesus Montero. Austin would be a participant in the All-Star Futures game as well in 2010. Austin would split time in 2011 between Trenton and the AAA Scranton team putting up a combined triple slash of .279/.343/.368 while hitting 6 home runs and knocking in 48 RBIs. Austin would see a back injury keep him from only playing in a combined 31 games between the Gulf Coast Yankees, the Tampa Yankees, and the Scranton Yankees putting up a combined triple slash of .243/.333/.408 but proved down the stretch he was healthy.

Austin was a September call up in the 2011 season and appeared in nine games while getting 20 plate appearances. He would only hit for a .158 batting average, .200 on base percentage, and a .158 slugging percentage with one walk, five strike outs, and only three singles to show for his time in the show. Austin was invited to Spring Training in 2012 and was looking to challenge the likes of Francisco Cervelli for the back up catcher job before a back injury would severely set back his production. Austin has a lot of catching up to do, no pun intended, in his development but took a great step towards proving his health when he attended this years Arizona Fall League. Austin will start the season in AAA with the Scranton Rail Riders but look for him to be up at some point this season behind the plate in the Bronx.

ETA : Late 2013 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Two Yankees Make Baseball Prospectus Top 101 List

Two  very familiar New York Yankees faces have cracked Baseball Prospectus' Top 101 prospects list in Gary Sanchez and Mason Williams. Gary Sanchez ranked in at BP's list at #47 and Mason Williams ranked in at #51. I find it shocking that Slade Heathcott or Tyler Austin did not make the list as they made every other list that was released this month but what can you do.

New York Yankees Spring Training Notes 2/25

Johnny Damon has told the Yankees that he is interested in filling their newly acquired left field hole but the Yankees do not seem interested whatsoever. Johnny last played on the Yankees during the 2009 World Series run.

Both Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi have shot down the idea of putting Eduardo Nunez in left field to replace the injured Curtis Granderson. So much for that idea and forcing his bat into the lineup.

Mariano Rivera faced hitters for the second time since his ACL surgery last season and everything looked crisp and went well. CC Sabathia also faced hitters this morning and even threw sliders and came away feeling good.

New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles 2/25

The Yankees continue their Grapefruit League schedule this Spring Training with an afternoon game at the AL East rival Baltimore Orioles squad. The Yankees will send young soft tossing lefty and recent 40 man addition Vidal Nuno to the mound to face off against the Fighting Showalters. The game will be televised at 1:00 pm ET on MLB Network although it will be on a delay.

Gardner gets work in while Yanks fall to Orioles 5-1

The travel roster for today's Yankees/Orioles game seemed a bit off. Only one locked in Opening Day starter made the trip while the rest of the travel roster included non-roster invitees, minor leaguers and players off the 40-man roster. The Orioles played a lot of their regulars, overpowering the young minor leaguers while the Yankees dropped their second straight Spring Training game 5-1 in Sarasota.

There wasn't much offense for the Yankees but today's game seemed more about getting work in for  Brett Gardner. The Yankees had seven hits. Gardner had three of them. Jayson Nix, who is expected to make the team in a bench role had two hits. Not a lot of offense for the Yankees today but one of the hits that Brett Gardner did cause a bit of concern.

While Yankees fans and staff enjoy Gardner's grittiness, Gardner dove into first base to confirm a lead-off infield single. The single was good. The issue? Gardner dove into first base one day after Curtis Granderson broke his forearm. Gardner quickly erased his small error, perfecting a bunt single and hitting a line drive into left center field.

The lone run for the Yankees came in the 9th inning after young Corban Joseph prolonged the inning with a single, then stealing second which was a risky move since there were two outs in the inning.

What's Next:

-- The Yankees will play the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, tomorrow at 1:05pm. Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Ichiro Suzuki, Kevin Youkilis, Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson are expected to make the 20 minute bus trip. The game will air on MLB.TV and I was also told it would air on MLB Network.

Cervelli Out Of Options

"Like magnets, I have no idea how minor league options work."

Contrary to earlier reports, Brian Cashman has told Jack Curry that Francisco Cervelli does not have an option remaining. So that pretty much confirms that Cervie will either be the starting or backup catcher for the Yankees when the regular season opens.

With Curtis Granderson missing about a month of the regular season, due to the broken arm he suffered yesterday, I'm a bit more concerned about Cervelli's lack of hitting (career .271/.339/.353). It would be different if the Yankees had an adequate replacement for Grandy's power, but they really don't. Perhaps a kid like Zoilo Almonte will step up huge, but I'm not holding my breath.

On that note, I'm not for trading for Alfonso Soriano. If the Yankees find a trade for a strong/young outfielder, who can make it so losing Granderson after this season is no big deal, then great. But Soriano is definitely not that guy.