Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hall of Fame Profile: George Herman Ruth

From now until June 23rd (Yankees Old-Timer's Day), I will be releasing Hall of Fame profiles for the 21 Major League Baseball players that were inducted as New York Yankees.  The first of which was George Herman Ruth more commonly known as Babe Ruth.

Full Name: George Herman Ruth, Jr.

Born: February 6, 1885  Died: August 16, 1948

Nickname(s): The Babe, The Great Bambino, The Sultan of Swat

Hall of Fame Induction: 1936 (Inaugural HOF Class receiving 95.13% of vote by BBWAA)

Teams Played for: Boston Red Sox (1914-1919), New York Yankees (1920-1934), and Boston Braves (1935)

Retired Jersey: #3 by the New York Yankees

Career Statistics (courtesy of

Batting Average: .342 (10th all-time)
On-Base %: .474 (2nd all-time)
Slugging %: .690 (1st all-time)
OPS: 1.164 (1st all-time)
HR: 714 (3rd all-time)
RBI: 2220 (2nd all-time)
Runs: 2174 (4th all-time)
Hits: 2873 (42nd all-time)
2B: 505 (51st all-time)
BB: 2062 (3rd all-time)

WAR: 183.2 (1st all-time)
Strikeouts: 1330


Babe Ruth was a lefty who wore the #3 (after 1929) as he batted 3rd in the vaunted Murderer's Row for the New York Yankees in 1927 and was almost single-handedly responsible for the increased gate that led to Yankee Stadium being built, hence the name "The House that Ruth Built."  He changed the game of baseball in his day wowing crowds with his towering home runs and winning them over with his charisma.

On January 3rd, 1920, Babe Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees by the Boston Red Sox for $100,000, which would begin an extended period of time known as the "Curse of the Bambino" for the Sox as they won the Series in 1915, 1916, and 1918 and then didn't see World Series champagne again until 2004.  Prior to coming over from the Red Sox, Babe was known more for his pitching as he recorded 89 wins as a starter.  He didn't become an everyday player until 1918 in which he hit 11 home runs in 317 at-bats.  The 1919 season saw Ruth hit 29 home runs, breaking the record that had stood since 1884 of 27 by Ned Williamson of the Chicago White Stockings and more than doubling his career total of 20.

As a Yankee, Ruth flourished as a hitter with 659 home runs, 1959 runs, and 1978 runs batted in.  Along with Lou Gehrig, he was able to appear in 7 World Series winning 4 Championship Rings in 1923, 1927, 1928, and 1932.  His .349 batting average, .711 slugging percentage, and 1.195 OPS for the Yankees are unheard of numbers as he owns the career record for SLG and OPS to this day.  Numbers outside of the triple slash weren't used in his time but his career WAR (wins above replacement) of 183.2 ranks as first all-time and probably will remain so.  The first 2 seasons as a Yankee, he compiled 54 and 59 home runs, respectively, absolutely demolishing his previous record of 29.  His 139th career home run set a new MLB record for home runs occurring on July 18, 1921 and reportedly traveled 575 feet.  It is no surprise that long home runs became known as "Ruthian."

The Yankees moved from the Polo Grounds to the newly minted "House that Ruth Built" in 1923 in which he quickly hit the first home run there against the Boston Red Sox.  That year he batted .393 with 41 home runs en route to the New York Yankees first World Series title.  He batted .368 in that Series with 3 home runs and 8 runs scored.  After "down" years in 1924 and 1925 in which his weight became a subject of concern, perhaps due to his gregarious off-field antics, he returned to the Babe Ruth of '23 in 1926 obtaining a triple slash of .372 / 47 / 146, but ultimately losing the World Series in 7 games to St. Louis.  1927 marked the advent of the "Murderer's Row" in which Ruth and Gehrig's Yankees won a record 110 games and easily took the Series over the Pittsburgh Pirates in 4 games.  That season Ruth recorded his 60th home run on September 30th which was the Yankees next to last game of the year.  That single-season record stood until Roger Maris broke it in 1961.

Ruth would go on to win 2 more World Series as a Yankee and finished his career with 714 home runs, which would stand as a Major League record until Hank Aaron broke it in 1974.   Who knows how many more home runs Ruth would have hit had he started his career as a hitter instead of a pitcher and not been walked 2,062 times.  In 1935, after a few years of "diminishing stats" only hitting 34 and 22 home runs in 1933 and 1934, respectively, after a successful 1932 campaign, Ruth headed to the Boston Braves where he would retire later that year only hitting 6 out of the park but drawing fans to see Boston's National League franchise.  

A week after joining his 1927 teammates in honoring a dying legend on Lou Gehrig Day: July 4th, 1939, Ruth was inducted into the inaugural Hall of Fame class in Cooperstown, New York nearly 3 full years after being elected along with 4 other members.  In 1948, Babe Ruth would get his own day commemorating the 25th anniversary of the House that Ruth Built making his final appearance at Yankee Stadium after battling cancer.  The frail and weak Ruth made his way onto the field using a bat as a cane and addressed the crowd.  The Yankees retired his #3 that year to join the #4 of Gehrig.  Ruth to this day is known as one of the if not the best hitters of all-time and deservedly so.


4. Pictures sourced from and (Babe Ruth Day-copyright 1948 World Wide Photos)

Yankees Finalize Their Opening Day Roster

The 2013 baseball season officially starts tonight with the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers playing the first game of the season with the Yankees starting their season tomorrow at 1:00 pm at Yankees Stadium against the Boston Red Sox. We finally know, with the Clay Rapada designation, the final roster for the season. Here it is:


 CC Sabathia
 Hiroki Kuroda
 Andy Pettitte
 Ivan Nova
 David Phelps

 Mariano Rivera
 Dave Robertson
 Joba Chamberlain
 Boone Logan
 Shawn Kelley
 Cody Eppley
 Adam Warren

 Francisco Cervelli
 Chris Stewart

 Lyle Overbay
 Robinson Cano
 Kevin Youkilis
 Eduardo Nunez
 Jayson Nix
 Travis Hafner

 Brett Gardner
 Ichiro Suzuki
 Vernon Wells
 Ben Francisco
 Brennan Boesch

 Phil Hughes
 Derek Jeter
 Mark Teixeira
 Curtis Granderson

 Cesar Cabral
 Michael Pineda
 Alex Rodriguez

Yankees Designate Clay Rapada For Assignment

In yet another shocking turn of events in the Yankees bullpen and on their 40 man roster the Yankees have announced that they have designated left handed reliever Clay Rapada for assignment. This move was made to make room on the 40 man roster for Lyle Overbay. Rapada has been battling shoulder bursitis in his left throwing shoulder all spring but there is no way, in my opinion, he gets past a team like the Washington Nationals and clears waivers.

Off Day Notes: Rapada, Wells, Overbay, 25 Man Roster

It's the day before Opening Day and the Yankees are putting the finishing touches on their roster by once again cutting and adding players. Here are the moves the Yankees made today.

1. The Yankees have designated Clay Rapada for assignment to make a spot for Lyle Overbay on the 40-man roster. I knew the Yankees had to make a move to put Overbay on the roster, but I didn't see Rapada getting the boot, especially since the Yankees only have one lefty in the bullpen. This could be a way to get Rapada back into the minors like with the David Adams scenario or this is a goodbye to the side arming lefty. Still, I didn't see this coming. Rapada released a statement via tweets after his DFA:

2. Vernon Wells changed his number before tomorrow. 56 originally belonged to Tony Pena so Vernon Wells will now wear #12.

3. The Yankees have finally released their 25-man roster. Here's the roster for tomorrow:

52 CC Sabathia
18 Hiroki Kuroda
46 Andy Pettitte
47 Ivan Nova
41 David Phelps

42 Mariano Rivera
30 Dave Robertson
62 Joba Chamberlain
48 Boone Logan
27 Shawn Kelley
38 Cody Eppley
43 Adam Warren

29 Francisco Cervelli
19 Chris Stewart

55 Lyle Overbay
24 Robinson Cano
36 Kevin Youkilis
26 Eduardo Nunez
17 Jayson Nix
33 Travis Hafner

11 Brett Gardner
31 Ichiro Suzuki
12 Vernon Wells
45 Ben Francisco
22 Brennan Boesch

65 Phil Hughes
2 Derek Jeter
25 Mark Teixeira
14 Curtis Granderson

71 Cesar Cabral
35 Michael Pineda
13 Alex Rodriguez

Happy Easter From The Greedy Pinstripes

We just wanted to take a second to wish a Happy Easter to everyone out there that reads our blog. Thank you and we wish for you to have a good, happy, and safe Easter holiday. Enjoy!

Behind the music: The 2013 Yankees walk-up songs


When the baseball season starts, fans usually go to the ball park in order to take in nine innings of glorious baseball. As much as I enjoy going to the ball park to hear the crack of the bat, the fans cheering loudly and the food, I usually love going to the ball park in order to listen to the walk-up music of the Yankees. Music is one of my biggest passions, and to me the Yankees have done more than play great baseball over the years; they've also introduced me to new music and have filled up my iTunes with songs that I listen to on a consistent basis. Since Opening Day for the Yankees is tomorrow, I went on the Yankees website, found the list to some of the Yankees walk-up songs and took a listen to them, introducing myself to the different types of music that our players listen to.

1. Brennan BoeschBrennan Boesch didn't waste any time in choosing his songs for the 2013 season as he went and chose two songs for his walk-up music. The first song was "Sail" by Awolnation. When I first took  a listen to the song, I found it intimidating in a good way. It's not as intimidating as Evan Longoria's walk-up song (which is arguably one of the best walk-up songs in the Major Leagues), but it makes you think that something big is coming. The second song that Boesch chose was "We'll Be Fine" by Drake. This is one of those songs that has you nodding your head while Boesch comes to the plate. Boesch hasn't played a real game for the Yankees yet, but if I must applaud him on one thing, it's his good taste in music.

2. Brett GardnerI have to admit that before I started watching Gardner play baseball, I did not listen to country music; at all. But in 2011, Gardner had "Dirt Road Anthem" by Jason Aldean as one of his walk-up songs and ever since then, half my iTunes is consumed with country music. This year, Gardner went with "Hell On Wheels" by Brantely Gilbert which is another great country song. Now, let's hope that Gardner's 2013 season is as dynamite as his walk-up song choice.

3. Chris StewartChris Stewart is close to having one of the best walk-up songs on the Yankees if he only played the first twenty seconds of the song over the P.A. Stewart's song choice is "Forsaken" by Skillet and if there's one thing I must say, is that the guitar riffs were amazing. I wouldn't normally listen to music like this, but after today now I would. Now, all he has to do is play on a consistent basis so I could heart this song over and over at the ball park. I wouldn't mind paying money for that.

4. Curtis GrandersonWe all remember the famous video where Curtis Granderson was picking his at-bat music and then almost cried when he chose "Friday." Well, maybe all those hours of going through his laptop did the Grandy Man some good. His walk-up song (when he comes back) is none other than "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See (Instrumental)" by Busta Rhymes. Not too fond of the lyrics, but I do love the beat, so a smart move by Granderson in just using the instrumental.

5. David RobertsonWe all know that David Robertson is an Alabama boy. He was born in Tuscaloosa and he is constantly helping his hometown with High Socks For Hope. So it doesn't surprise me that his walk-up song is the awesome "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. It's actually a good thing I know about this now because I made a deadly mistake in asking my Twitter followers last season what D-Rob's walk-up song was. Let's just say they weren't too happy with me during the game when they found out I seriously didn't know. Well, I know now and it's an awesome song. I'm looking forward to the 8th inning where I could sit back and listen to the tune that introduces us to the Yankees favorite set-up man.

6. Derek JeterThe Captain won't be there on Opening Day for us to hear his walk-up music but he made sure that he chose a song. I'm not too fond of rap music but, "Otis" by Jay-Z and Kanye West was a decent choice by Jeter. It would be nice to hear it at Yankee Stadium when The Captain returns, but in the meantime I guess the closest we can hear this song is on Youtube (and on iTunes if you have it already).

7. Hiroki KurodaHiroki Kuroda has some great taste in music! Kuroda's walk-up music is "The Whip" by Locksley and when I heard it for the first time, I heard some influence of 'The Beatles' in the chorus of the song. It's nice that Kuroda was able to take us back to the good music--without actually taking us all the way back to the 1960's.

8. Ivan NovaAh, is there nothing better than listening to some awesome Spanish music at Yankee Stadium? That's what Ivan Nova introduced to the fans when he made his walk-up choice "Marta La Reina" by Antony Santos. This is one of those songs where you can't help but get up from your seat and start dancing. According to the Yankees website, I don't think it's available for purchase but they have the song on Youtube where you can hear it over and over and over. It's actually a great song to hear on a Sunday morning (with your headphones on).

9. Mariano RiveraMariano Rivera's song choice is as fitting as his role on the Yankees. When the Yankees have a lead and they go to the 9th inning, Mariano Rivera comes in the game and puts it to bed, dubbing him "The Sandman." Rivera's song choice is the best song choice by far on the Yankees with "Enter Sandman" by Metallica. The guitar riffs in the song are simply amazing and when Yankees fans hear it, they can't help but get excited, knowing that the greatest closer of all time is coming in to make the opposing team's offense go to sleep. Yankees fans better soak in all of "Enter Sandman" that they can this season, since Rivera plans on retiring at the end of the season. I know I'll soak up every moment.

10. Mark TeixeiraIf there's anyone that we can count on to take us back to when rap music was at it's best, it's Mark Teixeira. His song choice "It's Tricky" by Run D.M.C  is a great way to pay a homage to rap at it's finest. Of course, we expect nothing less of Teixeira since he has been famously known of using classics from the Twisted Sisters in the past. But Teixeira didn't stop there. His second song choice was "This Town" by O.A.R. which is one of my favorite songs. Teixeira hit a home run with his song choices and I can't wait until he gets back on the field so we can hear it blaring from the P.A speakers.

11. Phil HughesPhil Hughes's walk-up song is pretty vague. There's no artist next to his song choice "Tomorrowland" so I did a search on Youtube and it sounds more like Hughes is ready for summer in a club than ready to play baseball. If this is his song, I'm not too fond of the techno-beat, but I can see it getting fans excited.

12. Robinson CanoRobinson Cano simply outdid everyone when it came to choosing songs. He didn't choose two songs, he went the extra mile and chose three! His first song was "El Que No Aguante La Presion" by Secreto El Biberon which is a great song choice. It reminds me of summer like Hughes's song choice, but Cano's song reminds me more of running through fire hydrants that have water coming out of them than the club. Cano's second song choice was "Me Kitee" by Black Point. Again, it reminded me of  summer. Cano's last song was "Te Prendo" by Chimbala. As far as Spanish songs go, all three of Cano's song choices hit it out of the ball park. Simply great. If his goal was to get Yankees fans on their feet while he comes to bat, he succeeded.

13. Vernon WellsI'm not a fan of rap music, but if you choose a song with Dr. Dre and Eminem, then you are in my good graces for the entire season. And that's exactly what Vernon Wells did by choosing "Forgot About Dre" by Dr. Dre & Eminem. The beat is fantastic and this was when rap was still at it is greatest. It's great that someone chose a throwback song, and now I will await his arrival to the plate just to hear this awesome song.

The Yankees choosing their own walk-up music is a way for them to connect to their fans. It shows fans what kind of music their idols like and in their own way, they introduce you to music you may have never heard of before. The Yankees are always winners in the fans eyes, but they've become more than. They're role models with impeccable taste in music. So the next time you go to the ball park, open your ears when your favorite Yankee goes to the plate. You just might have a new favorite song that you'll want as soon as you get home.

Trenton Thunder Roster Finalized

With not many surprises here and an "All Prospect" kind of outfield the Yankees Double A affiliate the Trenton Thunder's roster has been finalized. Check it out!

C - J.R. Murphy
C - Kyle Higashioka

C - Tyson Blaser

1B - Kyle Roller
2B - Jose Pirela
SS - Walter Ibarra
3B/LF - Rob Segedin
INF - Kevin Mahoney
INF - Reegie Corona

OF - Tyler Austin
OF - Slade Heathcott
OF - Ramon Flores
OF - Neil Medchill
OF - Shane Brown

SP - Nik Turley
SP- Francisco Rondon
SP - Matt Tracy
SP - Caleb Cotham
SP - Zach Nuding

P - Jeremy Bleich
P - Aaron Dott
P - Shaeffer Hall
P - Tommy Kahnle
P - Kelvin Perez
P - Josh Romanski
P - Graham Stoneburner
P - Branden Pinder

P - Ryan Pope

2013 Predictions : Derek Jeter Potential Milestones

Derek Jeter has been on an all out assault on the all time hits list and 2013 looks to be no different then 2012 was. As long as Derek Jeter fully heals from this ankle injury that ended his season prematurely in 2012 and continues to defy age, logic, and mother nature I think we will see Derek Sanderson Jeter rewriting history more then a couple times this season. Let us take a closer look:

  • Derek Jeter is a mere 11 hits behind 9th place Eddie Collins on the all time hits list. Jeter is also a meager 15 hits behind Paul Molitor for 8th place on the all time list. Jeter is 115 hits behind Carl Yastrzemski for 7th place on the all time list for hits. Honus Wagner is only 116 hits in front of Jeter for 6th place all time on the hits list. Tris Speaker is only 210 hits ahead of Derek Jeter for 5th place on the all time list. All of these men are within striking distance of the captain in 2013. We do not use Cap Anson's 3435 hit total as a correct total because walks used to be counted as hits back in the early 1900's. 

  •  Derek Jeter is 17th on the all time list for hit by pitches with 163 in his career. I am not sure if this is really supposed to be a good thing or not but Derek stand 2 HBP's behind Kid Elberfield for 16th place and 4 HBP's behind Alex Rodriguez for  15th place. Hopefully this is one milestone that Derek does NOT reach.

  • Derek Jeter sits 40th on the all time list in games played with 2585 games played. I know this may be a tall task but if Jeter plays 150 games he will jump all the way to the 26th spot with 2735 games played passing notable players like Willie McCovey (39th), Lou Brock (35th), Paul Molitor (30th), and George Brett (27th). 

The Season Starts Tomorrow & There's Still Haters

The 2013 Yankees baseball season starts tomorrow, although we have a game tonight between the Rangers and the Astros that officially kick off the 2013 season, and apparently there are still haters hating on the Yankees. I found this video and while it was supposed to be comical, and while it does hit on a few valid points, it just goes to show you that we are still the most hated by non fans and most loved by true fans sports organization in the world in my very humble opinion. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

David Aardsma Is A Class Act

These are tweets sent from recently DFA'd Yankee David Aardsma. Now I could on a rant where I complain about why we bothered to sign the guy and let him get healthy and put all that time and effort and money into a player for someone else to reap the benefits but instead I will just say thank you to David personally because I know he is reading. Thank you for being a class act and a stand up guy and basically being everything that makes a regular player into a Yankee. You always took the time to talk with us on twitter and be a all around good guy. The Yankees are damn fools for letting you go and I wish you nothing but the best and for success in both your baseball career and your personal life.

Eppley & Warren Make Final Roster Spots

Even though Cody Eppley got bombed much of the spring, although in his defense he did get better as the spring went on, he was told that he made the team out of camp this year. Adam Warren was also told that he has made the team out of camp, although probably just until Phil Hughes can make his first scheduled start on April 6th or April 11th.

I cannot make a case for Eppley over David Aardsma because where David lacks in the ability to pitch multiple innings Cody Eppley lacks in the ability to get left handed hitting out. Eppley's "stamina" because a moot point when you have three or four lefties in a row in a lineup late in a game or in extra innings.

Travis Hafner Scratched W/ "General Stiffness"

Travis Hafner has been scratched from the Yankees final tune up before the regular season with the Army Black Knights with what is being described as "general stiffness" insert joke here. I am hoping that this is just being cautious and not yet another one biting the hypothetical dust. I am sure we won't get any new news until after the game so stay tuned.

Some notes to end the Spring: Hafner, Eppley, Warren, Boesch, Rodriguez, Gardner

Spring Training officially came to a close today after an exciting day with the Yankees playing (and winning) against Army. Here were some final notes from the Spring Training front on who got the last three roster spots for the Yankees.

1. Brennan Boesch made the team as the player on the bench but Boesch is the only player who doesn't really have a specific role. Girardi could DH him, start him in the outfield, pinch hit him. The possibilities for the Yankees and Boesch are endless.

2. Cody Eppley and Adam Warren both got the final two spots on the roster. The Yankees gave Eppley the benefit of the doubt after a bad Spring, but he looked sharp in his final outing, getting all four hitters he faced.

3. Travis Hafner was scratched from the lineup today due to some stiffness but it's nothing to worry about. The Yankees simply said Hafner didn't have enough time to loosen up. He should be fine for Monday's opener.

4. Alex Rodriguez is expected to be with the team on Monday for the Opening Day festivities.  Yankees however aren't sure if he'll address the media or not.

5. An interesting fact that I got from YES today. The only player that had actually faced Army (However, not the current 2013 team) was Brett Gardner. In 2005 he was apart of the NCAA with the College of Charleston and one of their opponents was Army.

6. One final note: the Yankees start the home opener on Monday, but there are only two players that are expected to start Opening Day that played last season: Brett Gardner and Robinson Cano. So we lost 7 of the guys to either the DL or to other teams.

Enjoy your night everyone and I will see you back here Monday morning where I will be blogging (and tweeting) about the home opener with the Yankees against the Red Sox!

Trenton Thunder Name Starting Rotation

The Trenton Thunder have named their starting rotation. Spoiler alert it will not, initially anyway, include Jose Ramirez after a stellar spring. He is dinged up a little and is expected to be held back and make sure everything is okay. Here is the rotation:

  1. Nik Turley
  2. Matt Tracy
  3. Zach Nuding
  4. Francisco Rondon
  5. Caleb Cotham

New York Yankees vs. Army Black Knight 3/30

In the Yankees final tune up before the real games start they will take on the Army Black Knights baseball team today at their baseball field in West Point, New York. The Yankees will send Adam Warren to the mound to take on the Black Knights. The game will be televised at 2:05 pm ET on YES.

2013 MLB First Year Player's Draft Order Set

With the signing of Kyle Lohse, the final player to reject a qualifying offer and the last player being linked to draft pick compensation, the 2013 draft order is now finally set. Obviously the competitive balance lottery picks that were added from the new collective bargaining agreement can be traded between now and the summer draft but I can't really see that affecting the Yankees unless they dump someone for a later pick.

The Yankees own three picks in the first 33 slots after losing Rafael Soriano and Nick Swisher to free agency. The Yankees kept their own pick at #26 and received the #32 pick for Nick Swisher and the #33 pick for Rafael Soriano's departure. The Yankees have four picks in the top 66 picks with their second rounder and have five picks in the top 103 picks.

The Yankees are looking at having around $7.3 million in cap space for this years draft including $1.5 million for each of their first three picks in the first 33 slots. The Yankees have the money now to take high end talent that may be a little farther away with the first three picks and take the safer picks that can fly through the system with the second round and beyond picks. We all saw how well the Yankees navigated the draft last year signing big talent for slot money or below and I expect nothing less this year from Brian Cashman and co.

2014 Predictions: The Roster

Burch has been predicting what will happen in MLB this season, whether that be with awards or in the standings. I thought about writing my own thoughts on those subjects, but I decided to go another direction when it comes to predictions. Now, a lot of things can and likely will happen before the end of the season, so this may all be for nothing. But who cares? It's fun playing fantasy GM.

For starters, I really don't see a big trade happening with the Yankees this season. And by "big" I mean bringing in Curtis Granderson's replacement. Justin Upton seemed like the guy to do that, as the Diamondbacks were clearly looking to move the guy, but that ship has sailed. Looking around the league at other outfielders, I don't see anybody that could be what the Yankees will need to replace Grandy. There just aren't any players of that magnitude that seem available, as they are already locked up due to being younger and/or on a good contract. Not that Granderson is on the same level as these guys, but the team could really use somebody behind Robinson Cano that scares people. I'm looking at players like Ryan Braun, Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Josh Hamilton, and Matt Holliday. Guys that can not only hit the ball out of the park, but also have a batting average of .290 or higher. You know, the type of hitter Alex Rodriguez was in 2009 and before.

"Have you seen this man?"

Pitching-wise the team seems to be set. In fact, by mid-season the team could be overflowing with starters. CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, David Phelps, and Michael Pineda could all be fighting for only five jobs. Even looking at 2014 the team could be just fine to use CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, a re-signed Phil Hughes (I think he will be back), Ivan Nova, and David Phelps. There's a chance, albeit a slight one, that Chien-Ming Wang becomes a good rotation option too. Sure, I can see the Yanks adding a veteran pitcher like  Kuroda or Pettitte, but it's the type of move that may be able to be put on the back-burner.

Going back to the hole that will be left by Curtis Granderson, I really want the Yankees to sign Shin-Soo Choo when he hits free agency. The Reds will likely be in the hunt the entire season, so I wouldn't count on them looking to trade Choo. I suppose Cincinnati may be interested in re-signing him, or possibly extending him before he becomes a free agent, but if a bidding war develops for the outfielder I can see the Reds backing off.

As for Shin-Soo's credentials, in eight MLB seasons his triple-slash is .289/.381/.465. Choo is not a stranger to hitting home runs either, as he's currently projected by ZiPS to hit 21 of them. He will be 31 in July, meaning the Yankees should be able to sign him to a contract which will allow them to miss his big decline years. In fact, the only stat I see going down throughout his next contract is his stolen base total.

I think it's highly probably that the team does something about third base. Alex Rodriguez is a huge health concern at this point, and I just don't see him being able to play the field 125+ games a season. And seeing as how he is set to be paid another $86 milion, for four more years, the Yankees have to figure out a way to keep him not just healthy but effective. And being the team's regular DH may be the only way. Let's keep in mind that ARod is not "done", though. Sure, he's unlikely to hit 30+ home runs a season, but seeing that he had a 19% Line Drive percentage last season, which is his career average, I think there's a good possibility that his last 4 seasons will not be a total waste at all. I can totally see him lowering his strikeout rate a bit, while lowering the number of infield fly balls, making him a bit of a threat once again.

"I'm glad somebody thinks I can still get it done, but what I want to know is this... What do you think about the suit? Sexy, isn't it?"

Eduardo Nunez, Jayson Nix, and Ronnier Mustelier are hardly good options to be the regular third baseman for the Yankees in 2014. Nunez and Nix are fine backups, but starters? No thanks. And I believe Mustelier's bat may play well in MLB, but if he breaks into the big leagues it will likely be as an outfielder instead of third baseman, as his defense is already suspect.

Although I don't expect Kevin Youkilis to return in 2014, it wouldn't surprise me if the Yankees brought him back should he have a good 2013 season. Kevin is only 34 years old as well. But there may be something better....

I'm going to say that the Yankees are in the market for a third baseman. Looking at the list of free agents, though, I don't see anything compelling. Wilson Betamit, Eric Chavez, Mark DeRosa, Mike Fontenot, Jerry Hairston Jr, Brandon Inge, Placido Polanco, Mark Reynolds, Juan Uribe, Michael Young... none of them stand out to me. This is an area where I see Cashman looking to make a deal.

Even though the Padres have said they are not looking at trading Chase Headley, I just don't believe it. Headley will make $8.575 million this season, making him the 2nd highest paid player on the Padres, and that salary is likely to go over $10 million in 2014. San Diego will also need to either re-sign or replace 1B Yonder Alonso, as well as starting pitchers Edinson Volquez and Jason Marquis. After finishing the 2012 season 18 games out of first place, I doubt they are thinking about contending again soon, so they would likely want to make moves for a few years down the road. Since I highly doubt they'd give Headley what he'll command as a free agent, they may want to move on now.

"Yeah, sorry Chase, there's nothing in here for you. Guess we'll just trade you to the Yankees."

And as for their future, Jedd Gyorko, the Padres #3 prospect according to Baseball America, is ready for MLB. Jedd is set to start at second base for San Diego this season, however I can see the team wanting to get 2B/3B Logan Forsythe some more playing time. To do that either Gyorko would have to move to 3B, where he played most of the time while in the minors, or Logan would have to play 3B. Forsythe isn't the greatest thing to have ever touched a baseball bat, but his OBP of .445 in AAA in 2011 and .419 in AAA last season, as well as improvements across the board at the MLB level between 2011 to 2012, makes me believe the Pads would like to get him more playing time.

Trade proposals by people on the internet are generally terrible, and mine is probably no different. But what if the Yankees packaged a couple young pitchers like Ivan Nova and Brett Marshall, who could fill the spots left by Edinson Volquez and Jason Marquis, as well as one of the Yankees' young outfielders like Slade Heathcott or Tyler Austin, for Headley? Perhaps Eduardo Nunez could be thrown into the deal. The Yankees seem to really want him to be the heir to Derek Jeter at short, but I just don't see it happening. Eduardo would certainly be an improvement over the Padres current shortstop... Everth Cabrera, who has hit .240/.321/.327 in over 1100 MLB plate appearances.

Anyway, as I said, a lot can happen between now and the end of the season, so this bit of fantasy GM may turn out to be moot. But wouldn't you feel really good about the team rolling out this lineup in 2014?

1. Brett Gardner - CF
2. Shin-Soo Choo - RF
3. Robinson Cano - 2B
4. Chase Headley - 3B
5. Mark Teixeira - 1B
6. Derek Jeter - SS
7. Alex Rodriguez - DH
8. Ichiro Suzuki - LF
9. Francisco Cervelli - C

Alex Rodriguez Rehab Starts

Alex Rodriguez posted on facebook, tagging the New York Yankees, that his rehab back from a second hip surgery in five seasons has begun. This cannot be bad news for Alex or the Yankees because love him or hate him he helps the team when he is right and he is healthy. 

Exhibition Game 2: Yankees vs. Army Lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Travis Hafner DH
Vernon Wells LF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Eduardo Nunez SS
Francisco Cervelli C

LHP Vidal Nuno

Scranton Railriders Roster Almost Complete

The Yankees AAA affiliate the Scranton Railriders roster is almost set with now 23 of their 25 man roster set in stone. I expect the final two spots to be filled by either Jose Pirela, Ronnier Mustelier, or Reggie Corona. If I had to guess I would think that the latter, Reggie Corona, would be left off the roster unless Ronnier starts the season on the DL. If David Aardsma clears waivers and heads down to AAA then that starts a whole new debate for another day. Let's look at the roster:


Vidal Nuno
Dellin Betances
Brett Marshall
Chien-Ming Wang
Jim Miller
Preston Claiborne
Juan Cedeno
Josh Spence
Sam Demel
Chase Whitley
Mark Montgomery
Chris Bootcheck


Austin Romine
Bobby Wilson


Dan Johnson
Gil Velazquez
David Adams
Corban Joseph
Luke Murton
Addison Maruszak


Melky Mesa
Thomas Neal
Zoilo Almonte

Opening Day Roster: Agree or Disagree?

1B - Lyle Overbay

How in the world did Lyle Overbay make the team over Juan Rivera? Juan Rivera had a wonderful spring while Lyle Overbay had a terrible spring. While I, in no way, expect Juan Rivera to come anywhere near hitting .300 in the season like he did in the spring but I do, in fact, expect Lyle Overbay to struggle to stay over the Mendoza line like he did this spring. It is not even a veteran over a prospect kind of thing because Rivera is 34 years old and has played multiple positions for multiple teams over the years including having success with the Yankees.

UTIL - Jayson Nix

Jayson Nix I agree with only because Eduardo Nunez is the short stop on Opening Day. Jayson proved he could handle the New York pressure last year and can play defense at multiple positions. I think Jayson is on the team for the long haul as I see Nunez being sent down once again when Derek Jeter finally returns and personally that makes me happy. For what he is, a utility infielder and a bench player, Jayson Nix is good at what he does and is a perfect fit in New York.

RP - Shawn Kelly

I know that you should not put much stock into spring numbers but Shawn Kelly is pushing towards a 6.00 ERA. If it was him making the team for a injured Clay Rapada that would be one thing but he is essentially replacing David Aardsma and that just really pisses me off, pardon my french. Aardsma is on a very team friendly $500K one year contract and seems to be healthy after coming back from Tommy John surgery. Also David was never known for his control and such so what he did this spring should not come as a surprise to anybody.

BN - Ben Francisco

I cannot really agree or disagree with this move because I am so indifferent. I like his ability to hit for power off the bench and play the corner outfield positions but I would have really liked to see Melky Mesa in this spot. Melky Mesa can play center field and has the speed that will keep the Yankees in the outfield and on the base paths that will keep the Yankees versatile. It is hard to complain about a 4th or 5th outfielder though especially in a platoon situation, no?

2013 Predictions : Alex Rodriguez Potential Milestones

2013 could be a real special season for a couple Yankees but none more then Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez. Maybe for just a few nights we can all forget about the 5 years and $114 million left on his contract with the Yankees through his age 42 season. Let us take a closer look at how many entries Alex Rodriguez may be making in the history books in 2013, even with his second hip surgery in the last five seasons. The point of this post may all be moot if he misses the entire 2013 season or never comes back at all but I am willing to be optimistic here so here goes:

  • Alex Rodriguez will enter 2013 with 647 home runs which is only 13 home runs away from tying Willie Mays for 4th on the all time list. Even with a semi healthy season Alex should have no problem passing Willie Mays in 2013. Even if he misses half of the season with the surgery he may still have a shot at it, see 2009. He enters 67 home runs away from Babe Ruth for 3rd all time just as an FYI.

  • Alex Rodriguez has quietly crept up on the 3000 hit plateau entering 2013 with 2901 hits, only 99 away from the milestone. Somewhere after the All Star break we will see Alex get his this historic hit. My prediction will be August 8th at home against the Detroit Tigers barring any kind of setbacks or additional injuries. 

  • Alex sits in 6th place all time in RBIs with 1950. That is 1 behind Stan Musial for the 5th spot, 45 behind Lou Gehrig for the 4th spot, and 46 behind Barry Bonds for 3rd all time. These are all within reach in 2013 barring a catastrophic injury. He still sits 263 RBIs behind Babe Ruth for 2nd all time.

  • Alex sits 10th all time on the runs scored list with 1898 runs scored in his career. He has averaged 100 runs scored over the past 5-6 seasons so if we make it an even 2000 runs scored after this season that would place him at 8th on the all time list. Stan Musial and Cap Anson would each take a step back on the list while Alex passes them. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Overbay Not The Only 1B Option

Dan Otero, who was recently released by the Yankees, was claimed by the Oakland Athletics. Their corresponding move was to release Daric Barton. At first I didn't think much of it, as he didn't seem to be an improvement over Lyle Overbay. But I looked a bit deeper and changed my mind.

While Overbay had an extraordinarily high Batting Average on Balls In Play .346, as well as an extraordinarily high Line Drive percentage of 28%, in 2012, he only hit .259/.331/.397 in 131 plate appearances. That tells me that he not only got very lucky last season, but his ceiling is as high as a turtle's knee.

However, the same can't be said for Daric Barton. Daric's BABIP the last couple of years was .275 and .260, while his his LD%s of 19% and 20% were right around his career norms. Daric may not hit double-digit home runs, but if he can repeat or come close to the .393 OBP he had in 2010 (he led the league with 110 walks, which definitely helped), and put up a batting average around the .273 he had in 2010, then he could make a good addition to the lineup.

Oh, and Barton also won a Fielding Bible award in 2010, so if defense is what the Yankees want to see out of 1B then Daric looks to be their guy.

Flurry Of Roster Moves Before The Season Starts

The Yankees have announced that they have sent outfielder Melky Mesa and pitcher Sam Demel to Triple A Scranton Wilkes-Barre.

The Yankees have reassigned Jim Miller, Preston Claiborne, Brandon Pinder, Juan Cedeno, Vidal Nuno, Josh Spence, Bobby Wilson, Dan Johnson, Jose Pirela, Gil Velazquez, and Thomas Neal to minor league camps.

The Yankees have officially added Ben Francisco and Jayson Nix to the 40 man roster so they both apparently have made the team.

Verlander and Posey Sign Extensions

Justin Verlander has agreed to a 5 year $140 million extension (which is added onto the 2 years and $40 million he had remaining on his former contract) with the Tigers, that will make him the highest paid pitcher in baseball. Buster Posey also agreed to an extension with the Giants, which will pay him $169 million over the next 9 years.

This is a clear sign of two things...

1. Free Agency is going to get worse and worse, as teams lock up elite players before they even have a chance to be snatched up by another team.

2. The Yankees should throw their old "we don't negotiate extensions" policy completely out the window. Not only have they already broken that policy in the past, but allowing somebody like Robinson Cano or Phil Hughes to reach free agency could make their price go through the roof. If they are two of the best on the market at their respective positions, then there will be plenty of teams with enough money to drive their price way up (*cough*Dodgers*cough*).

Bullpen Shaping Up

A couple of bits of news regarding the Yankees bullpen.

1. The Yankees have DFAd David Aardsma. I really don't understand this move, as Aardsma hasn't been bad in Spring Training. In 8 appearances, totally 7.2 innings, David had an ERA of 3.52 and WHIP of 1.043. I don't mean to say he was the next in line to save games after Mariano Rivera, but I would have liked to see what the guy could do with a little more work after coming back from Tommy John surgery.

2. Shawn Kelley has been told he'll make the team. In 8 innings pitched Shawn had an ERA of 5.63 and WHIP of 1.38.

I don't understand these two moves. I guess the team is trying to make room on the 40-man roster, but to keep Kelley in the 'pen before Aardsma stuns me a bit.

David Adams Re-Signs With Yankees

Some good news for those that were mad that the Yankees released David Adams.

Sweeny Murti has reported that the Yankees and Adams have agreed to a minor league contract, making it so David is set to be the starting third baseman for the Rail Riders this season. Here's to hoping he builds off of that batting line of .306/.385/.450 with AA Trenton last season.

Series Preview: Red Sox vs. Yankees | 4/1/13 - 4/4/13

Pitching Matchup:

Monday, 4/1/13, 1:05 p.m.

Yankees: CC Sabathia (2012: 15-6, 3.38 ERA)
Red Sox: Jon Lester (2012: 9-14, 4.82 ERA)

Tuesday, 4/2/13


Wednesday, 4/3/13, 7:05 p.m. 

Yankees: Hiroki Kuroda (2012: 16-11, 3.32 ERA)
Red Sox: Clay Buchholz (2012: 11-8, 4.56 ERA)

Thursday, 4/4/13, 7:05 p.m.

Yankees: Andy Pettitte (2012: 5-4, 2.87 ERA)
Red Sox: Ryan Dempster (2012: 12-8, 3.38 ERA)

The roster begins to shape up for the Yankees

The Opening Day 25-man roster has to be set by Sunday, but the Yankees got a head start and started making some cuts and additions. Here's what manager Joe Girardi and the Yankees did after the Yankees 4-2 win over the Nationals.

1. The Yankees optioned Melky Mesa to Triple-A Scranton along with newly acquired pitcher Sam Demel.

2. Lyle Overbay officially made the team today. Overbay's defense impressed Joe Girardi enough that he will be the 1B against right handed pitchers while Kevin Youkilis plays third base.

3. Ben Francisco and Jayson Nix also made the team as the 4th OF and a utility guy off the bench.

4. David Aardsma was designated for assignment by the Yankees today. The reason behind it was that Girardi felt the Yankees already felt that they had enough one inning pitchers. Didn't seem the need to carry another one.

5. Shawn Kelley made the team. Girardi liked his approach on the mound as well as the fact that he's a strikeout pitcher.

6. Vidal Nuno along with a handful of other players were reassigned to minor league camp. I guess winning the Dawson Award didn't mean much in the Yankees eyes.

7. Before the game today, Joe Girardi and Mark Teixeira were watching Brennan Boesch do first base drills while Teixeira was giving him pointers. It seems as if the Yankees plan on carrying Boesch as the emergency first baseman although the Yankees didn't officially announce that as of yet.

8. After the Yankees released David Adams, he became a free agent today and the Yankees re-signed him. Seemed like a lengthy process to get him off the 40-man roster and back into the organization.

Trenton Rotation Takes Shape

Just yesterday Josh Norris clued us in as to who will be taking the ball this year in Trenton. Some will come as no surprise, with lefties Nuk Turley and Matt Tracy getting the nod along with Zach Nuding. In an unexpected turn. Francisco Rondon, who had some eyes on him in spring training for his work out of the pen will be the third lefty with Caleb Cotham rounding out the rotation. The notable exception here is Jose Ramirez, who everybody talking, including Mariano Rivera. There’s been mention of an injury to Ramirez but I haven’t seen any specifics. In his second to last start in big league camp he was examined for what was believed to be a blister forming, and then proceeded to tank his following start. The blister theory would make sense. As we’ve seen this several times over the last few years, Nik Turley falling victim last year and missing time to a balky digit. Nardi Contreras, who is in charge of the international pitching scene pointed to the cold weather expected for the Trenton opener where they take on the Sea Dogs, Boston’s AA affiliate. Many of us can attest to the shoddy weather up here in the northeast, so keeping him away from the cold might not be a bad idea. Last year Manny Banuelos had difficulties acclimating, and he ended up with a pulled muscle. Whether or not you can directly attribute the injury to the temperatures could certainly be argued, but you can’t blame them for being cautious. We’ll take a quick look at the starting five that are breaking camp and on their way up north.

Nik Turley

With a solid year under his belt Turley could be looked at as the staff ace. He did miss a bit of time due to a nagging blister on his pitching hand, but the 50th rounder continued to impress on the mound. Nik spent the year in Tampa, with one lone start in Trenton to cap off the year. He tossed 112 innings for the Yanks, posting a 2.89 ERA and solid peripherals in a 9.3 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9. Turley gained a couple of ticks on both his curve and fastball last season, and maintained his changeup, which has some good fade and depth to it and like his fastball he can command it well. He also added a slider to his mix that flashes plus potential. For the last Yankee picked in the draft, you can’t expect much more.

Matt Tracy

Another lefty, Tracy made his move from the pen last year and threw 99 innings for the Tampa club. He finished the year with a 3.27 ERA and decent strikeout totals with a 7.2 K/9 but his control wavered a bit, walking 5.4 every 9. Nik will throw both a four and two seamer with above average command in the low to mid 90’s. His two seam doesn’t have enormous movement, but he does control it well. Tracy’s secondary stuff (changeup, curveball) still needs polish, but he’s not afraid to throw them in any count. Further work on them would put him in another tier, so look for him to focus on commanding them this year. Tracy is adept at pounding the lower half of the zone with all of his pitches and keeps the ball in the yard, so he’s got some potential to make his way to the big leagues.

Zach Nuding

Zach logged 85.2 innings in Tampa last year and will get his shot at AA Trenton. Nuding pitched to a 3.89 ERA and limited the walks to 2.7/9, but his strikeouts were a bit lacking, knocking out fewer than 7 batters every 9. He’s always had a big fastball, sitting low to mid 90’s but reaching 98 at times. It’s a heavy ball that batters have a hard time getting the barrel on, and he generally keeps it in the lower half of the zone. Zach’s second best pitch is his slider, which he’s been working on to get a bit more movement on. It’s not yet a swing and miss type pitch but it has potential. He backs that up with a changeup, which again needs work, and if he is to be a successful starter he’s going to need it.

Francisco Rondon

Rondon hasn’t started a game since 2009, but the crew likes him enough that they’re going to see what they can get out of him. With Rapada on the DL and Logan coming off of a season where he led the league in appearances you’d think they might push Rondon on to AAA to serve as a possible backup, but they do have Nuno in the fold and Cabral on the way back. Rondon spent time across three levels, pitching to a 3.93 ERA over 71 total innings. His strikeouts were outstanding, at 10.1/9, but he walks way too many, giving up 5.3 free passes every 9. He’s a fastball/slider guy, hitting the mid 90’s with his fastball that gets good glove side run to it but is also a bit harder to command. His power slider is also a plus pitch when he’s commanding it. His changeup has made some big strides lately, showing good depth and fade, and will play a big part in him succeeding as a starter.

Caleb Cotham

Cotham is more or less a place holder until the weather warms up and Ramirez is ready. He’ll head back to the pen upon Jose’s return so they can better manage his innings. Caleb’s fastball sits in the low 90’s, but can ramp it up to 95 at times. His command of the pitch took a step forward last year as he got in a full seasons worth of work. His secondary stuff hasn’t quite returned to form yet, as his slider velocity is there but the movement isn’t. Cotham also sports an average to above average changeup that sits around 80, and should help him get through the lineups until Ramirez returns.