Friday, May 31, 2013

Yankees & Blue Jays Will Play Double Header 8/20

The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays were rained out on May 19th and the game has finally been rescheduled as the part of a double header on August 20th. The first game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and the second game will begin at 7:05 pm ET both obviously at Yankees Stadium. This is the first game of what was originally a three game series but the good news is the Yankees will not lose their off day on August 19th so there is always that.

Game Thread BOS @ NYY 5/31

There are two streaks that Yankee fans hope end tonight.

To start, CC Sabathia is looking to avoid a third straight poor start. In his last two starts against the Orioles and Rays, CC has given up 11 runs and 10 hits in 13.1 innings. The good news is that he's walked only one batter over those last two starts.

Meanwhile, the Yankees as a team are hoping to end what is currently a 5-game skid. The problem has really been the offense, as they have only scored 10 runs over those 5 losses. Hopefully the addition of Teixeira and Youkilis, who both hit lefties well (Lester is starting for Boston), will help turn things around.

The game is being shown on MLB Network and YES, starting at 7:05. Here's the lineup...

1. Brett Gardner CF
2. Kevin Youkilis DH
3. Robinson Cano 2B
4. Mark Teixeira 1B
5. Vernon Wells LF
6. Jayson Nix SS
7. David Adams 3B
8. Ichiro Suzuki RF
9. Chris Stewart C

Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees 5/31

It's really sad to say but the Yankees are glad to not be playing the Mets anymore. It is also really sad to say that CC Sabathia is on the mound tonight for the Yankees and I do not feel confident in a victory like I once did, especially against the Boston Red Sox ace Jon Lester. The first place Red Sox and the second place New York Yankees will face off tonight on YES and on MLB TV at 7:05 pm ET.  Join us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes to chat with us during the game.

Tex & Youk Return, Nuno & Nova Sent To AAA

After officially activating Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis from the DL today, the Yankees sent Vidal Nuno and Ivan Nova to AAA. The moves opened up 25-man roster spots for Tex and Youk, while nothing needed to be done as far as the 40-man roster thanks to there already being two open spots there.

It's not surprising at all that Nuno was sent down, seeing as how Andy Pettitte is slated to return to the rotation on Monday, and Nuno wouldn't be available out of the bullpen for a few days. I am a bit surprised that Nova was sent down, though. Not because I thought he deserved to stay with the team, just that the Yankees tend to go with players that have more MLB experience.

I'm sure Nuno will get another start some time this season, as another injury to the rotation is bound to occur. As for Nova, due to his ineffectiveness as a starter, and his stuff not translating well to the bullpen (relievers are looked at to miss bats much more often than Nova does), I'm not sure we'll see him again in the Majors this season. Or that could be wishful thinking... who knows?

Speaking of Pettitte, when he returns on Monday, I expect the team to get rid of a bat. In that case I'm guessing David Adams gets sent back to the minors, as his bat has cooled off and the team will need others to stick around due to positional eligibility. Not that I want that, as evidenced by my article yesterday saying he could be the starting third baseman against left-handed starters. But going without a backup shortstop, assuming it would be Reid Brignac that would otherwise get the boot, would not be ideal.

MLB Will Not Institute An International Draft For 2014

The Yankees have done well with international free agents in the past.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, Major League Baseball will not be implementing an international draft for the 2014 season.

Although Passan says an international draft is "considered something of a certainty", it's no sure thing to happen at all. Some detractors fear that such a draft would dry up the pipeline of international talent, as has been the case since Puerto Rican players were made part of the Rule 4 Draft (aka The First-Year Player draft). However, proponents for such an international draft argue that the current system has rampant identity fraud and PED usage among teenagers. A draft would have better background checking and PED testing.

This news bodes well for the Yankees, who have been able to use their financial power in order to sign such players as Jesus Montero, Hideki Matsui, and Orlando Hernandez. Other international free agents, that have signed to other MLB clubs recently, are Yoenis Cespedes, Aroldis Chapman, and Yu Darvish.

It seems to me that the Yankees should start being more active on the international front, as they clearly have been at a disadvantage when it comes to the First-Year Player draft.

Bring Back Curtis Granderson For The 2014 Season?

Curtis Granderson is in the final year of his deal with the New York Yankees before the will be 33 year old hits free agency this off season. Granderson had exactly one at bat in Spring Training before getting hit by a pitch and suffering a broken forearm missing the first 38 games of 2013. Granderson would not come back with all guns blazing and would struggle to get his timing back while learning two new outfield positions. Granderson would play eight games for the Yankees before taking another pitch off his left pinky and fracturing it and finding himself on the DL for at least the next six weeks. Granderson's stat line currently looks like this:

1 HR 1 RBI 
6 K's 
7 H's in 28 AB's
Yankees win/loss 4-4

While this is obviously not how the future free agent wanted to spend his contract year is this, for lack of a better word, a good thing for the Yankees? Currently the Yankees outfield for 2014 will showcase Ichiro Suzuki in right field, Brett Gardner in center field, and Vernon Wells in left field. Is there any way that the Yankees could, or would want to, bring back the Grandy Man for 2014? Let's be honest even if Curtis Granderson goes off for the second half of the season his stock has to be at the lowest point it is ever going to be. Would a one year "rebound" type contract worth around $10 million work out for the Yankees and Curtis Granderson? I think that type of contract would really work for the Yankees because it gives the Yankees some flexibility with his new found versatility in the outfield while giving guys like Slade Heathcott, Rob Refsnyder (yes I know he is pretty far away), Tyler Austin, etc an extra year of seasoning. This contract would also give Curtis a clean slate and another chance to cash in big in free agency while having another legitimate shot at a World Series ring.

I think this is, again for the lack of a better word, a blessing in disguise for the Yankees. They had a huge problem on their hands trying to find enough at bats for all four of their outfielders and this has been somewhat solved with the Granderson injury. I don't want Granderson hurt, I am not happy Granderson is hurt, and I want Granderson healthy and on the field for the pinstripes this season and beyond so let's say that before people get up in arms about this post. All I am saying is if the Yankees want to make a real run at the $189 million luxury tax threshold, compete in 2014, AND keep Curtis Granderson this may be the best thing the Yankees could have hoped for. He's hurt and there is nothing we can do about it now so let's call a spade and spade here. I really think the Yankees have a real shot at retaining Curtis on a one year deal for 2014 and that makes me one happy Yankees fan. 40 home run power supersedes 180 K's in my book in a balanced Yankees lineup.

Game 54 Lineup: Red Sox vs. Yankees

Brand new series, so it's a clean slate. But here are some familiar faces to help the Yanks in their quest to beat the Red Sox. Here's the lineup.

Brett Gardner CF
Kevin Youkilis DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Vernon Wells LF
Jayson Nix SS
David Adams 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Chris Stewart C

CC Sabathia P


-- The Yankees have officially sent down Vidal Nuno and Ivan Nova to Triple-AAA Scranton to make room for Teixeira and Youkilis on the roster.

My Predictions For The Upcoming Roster Crunch

The Yankees have some serious decisions to make in the next week regarding the upcoming roster crunch that they will be faced with. The Yankees expect both Kevin Youkilis and Mark Teixeira to return from the disabled list tonight to face the Boston Red Sox and expect Andy Pettitte to come back next week to face the Cleveland Indians. What will the Yankees do to make room on the 25 man roster for these additions?

Kevin Youkilis will be our starting third baseman, like it or not, so what will the Yankees do with David Adams? I think, well let's be honest I hope, that David has done more than enough to warrant staying with the team. He has played some stellar third base and has proven that he is not overwhelmed at the plate in the major leagues. Reid Brignac, on the other hand, has looked lost for a long time at the dish. Reid's biggest contribution to the Yankees is his ability to play the short stop position, something that David Adams cannot do, and plays it defensively pretty well. David Adams though is a third baseman that used to be a second baseman and has taken some grounders at first base. I think the Yankees will designate Reid Brignac for assignment and allow David Adams to be the Eric Chavez type bench player until or unless Alex Rodriguez gets back. Jayson Nix could always be that guy to play short stop so we would not be losing much there if anything. Having a right handed compliment that can play first base in a pinch I think really sets him above Reid in this situation and that is the reason Reid will be DFA'd and unfortunately removed from the Yankees Wives & Girlfriends section.

Verdict: Designate Reid Brignac for Assignment

Speaking of first base and Mark Teixeira I think the Yankees have the toughest decision to make right here. Lyle Overbay has been great, although he has come back down to earth overall lately, in the field and at the dish. Lyle has been clutch and clutch can be and has hit right handed pitching quite well. The Yankees have mentioned the possibility of trying him out in right field but that just gives us yet another left handed outfielder option and that is the last thing we need. Most want to keep Lyle for the insurance for Mark Teixeira and his wrist but as I stated in the previous paragraph David Adams has taken reps at first base in the minor leagues and could do it in a pinch. Not to mention if we designated Lyle for assignment we would be able to trade him and at least get SOMETHING for him. Whether this happens or not is one thing because I really think that Brian Cashman likes Lyle and will not get rid of him but if I were running the Yankees this is what I would do.

Verdict: Designate Lyle Overbay for Assignment

Andy Pettitte will be back next week to make his next regular start against the Cleveland Indians and the Yankees currently are carrying 13 pitchers so a decision has to be made. I think it is obvious that Vidal Nuno will go down to AAA even though he has more than earned a spot on the roster. I could MAYBE see the Yankees sending down Preston Claiborne and keeping Nuno to have that second lefty that they seem to covet so much but I think that is a stretch at best. Nuno is going down and Andy will slide into his old rotation spot. The Yankees will obviously need to make another move soon to drop down to 12 pitchers and get that extra bench guy but I will save that for another thread.

Verdict: Send Down Vidal Nuno

Yankees Wang Or Wang-less Today?

The Yankees signed former Yankee Chien Ming Wang to a minor league deal this off season with a multitude of opt out dates written into the contract. One of those dates is today, 5/30, so Wang has a decision to make today. Will Wang opt out and become a free agent or will he remain with the Yankees?

My personal opinion on the matter is I cannot see Wang leaving the Yankees just yet. Teams are not quite ready to commit or sell off this early in the season and I find it hard to see Wang getting a major league deal just yet. If this was the end of June and not the end of May and the pretenders and the contenders were more clear than I could totally see Wang opting out but not yet. Although he has pitched well enough to get a shot and has been passed over by the Vidal Nuno's, Adam Warren's, and David Phelps of the world so who knows. Personally I think it is just a bit premature for Wang... yeah I wen't there... to leave the team. He has pitched well but as a minor leaguer you have to pitch well enough to MAKE the Yankees bring you up and he just has not done that this season.

We will re-visit this next month so stay tuned for the latest Wang updates.

This Day In Yankees History 5/31

On this day in 1938 Lou Gehrig played in his 2000th consecutive game for the Yankees. The Yankees would beat the Red Sox 12-5 on this day behind an RBI by Mr. Gehrig.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Andy Pettitte To Come Off DL Monday

The Yankees and Joe Girardi have announced that they will bring Andy Pettitte off the disabled list on Monday so he can start the opener against the Cleveland Indians. David Phelps will be pushed back to start the day game on Tuesday against the Indians. Andy has been on the DL with his second back issue of the season, which is never a good sign in your age 40 season,  so hopefully he is back to 100% this time around.

Game Thread NYM @ NYY 5/30

While the Mets send their young pitcher to the mound, in 27 year-old Dillon Gee, Yankees youngster Vidal Nuno will start for the Bombers. The Yankees have only been able to muster 13 runs in their last 5 games, including 4 runs that came when they were already down 8-0 last night. Dillon has an ERA of 6.34 coming into tonight, and on top of being a right-hander, this seems as good a time as any for the Yankee bats to wake up.

You can tune into either YES or MLB Network to watch this one, which starts at 7:05 EST.

Here is the Yankees lineup...

1. Brett Gardner CF
2. Robinson Cano 2B
3. Vernon Wells LF
4. Travis Hafner DH
5. Lyle Overbay 1B
6. Brennan Boesch RF
7. David Adams 3B
8. Reid Brignac SS
9. Austin Romine C

New York Mets @ New York Yankees 5/30

The Yankees will trot out 25 year-old Vidal Nuno tonight, in hopes that he can stop the bleeding. The Bombers have already lost the 2013 Subway Series, but a 5th straight loss (no matter who it's to) would be awful going into their series with the Red Sox this weekend.

The Mets will send Dillon Gee to the hill. Gee carries an ERA of 6.34 coming into this game, which should lead to good things for a poor Yankee offense.

For you locals, the game tonight will start at 7:05 EST on YES. People like myself, who live outside of the Yankees market, can watch the game on MLB Network.

Kevin Youkilis vs. David Adams

When it comes to the question of what position the Yankees should put Kevin Youkilis at upon his return, it's pretty clear. With Mark Teixeira at 1B (more on Tex and 1B here), Youk's only position is 3B. Kevin has played 134 innings in left field, but that was back in 2006. Since that time he only has 22.2 innings in the outfield (8.2 innings in RF in 2008).

"I do this at the hot corner, buddy!"

Most Yankee fans have come to really like David Adams. David's move to the Majors hasn't seemed a tough one at all, as many have commented on the fact that he doesn't seem overwhelmed in the least. So what can be done? Well, one idea in order to get Adams at bats is to use Youkilis as the designated hitter some times, opening up 3B for David. That makes sense since Travis Hafner is not that good against lefties, whereas Youkilis has hit them well. While Hafner has been getting on base at a good clip against left-handed pitching (.382 OBP), and hitting for some power (.502 SLG), his problem in that area is that he doesn't "hit" left-handers much at all (.222 batting average). Then there's Youk, who has hit .293/.413/.502 against LHP in his career, including .275/.386/.492 last season. So it looks as though Kevin should be the DH against lefites, while Hafner sits, thus giving Adams the start at third.

Before we pencil Adams into that spot, though, I have to ask... is he so good that the team should really try to get him more at bats in MLB?

So far this season David Adams has hit .265/.280/.449 (.314 wOBA). Mind you, 50 plate appearances is hardly a large sample size, but never-the-less those numbers don't scream "rookie of the year" either. Here are a few other statistics that I like to look at...

Line Driver Percentage - 15% That's not horrible, but a little low (the league average is 21%)
Batting Average on Balls in Play - .289 Although saying a player is lucky or unlucky based on his BABIP alone is not right to do, that number doesn't make me look deeper to see if Adams has simply run into bad luck.
Home Run Percentage - 4% (1.6% in minors) Looking at the number in the minors, I don't think Adams is going to keep up that 4%.
Walk Percentage - 0% (10.3% in minors) This is awful. Adams has yet to take a walk, and has actually only seen 6 three ball counts out of 50 plate appearances (Brennan Boesch, who has also had 50 PA, has seen 9 such counts).
Strikeout Percentage - 18% (16% in minors) That number is pretty good, as the league average SO% is 20%. Seeing that lower minor league strikeout rate, I think there's a chance he could keep this up.

To sum things up here, along with not taking any walks, Adams' only real issue is that he hasn't hit right-handed pitchers (.194/.216/.389). David is crushing lefties to the tune of .462/.462/.616, but the problem with that is the Yankees have only faced lefties in 33% of their total plate appearances.

"Are we facing a lefty today?"

On the other side of the coin, Kevin Youkilis is hitting .266/.347/.422 (.336 wOBA) so far in 2013. Over the last three years, Youk has hit .264/.372/.472, which tells me the Youkilis we've seen when healthy this season is pretty close to what we can expect from here on out. But what about his other numbers?

Line Driver Percentage - 20% (21% career) Youkilis has not only hit more balls hard this year, but throughout his career. And what we've seen so far in 2013 is normal.
Batting Average on Balls in Play - .341 (.322 career). Perhaps Youk has been a little lucky this season, but not enough to suggest a big regression.
Home Run Percentage - 2.8% (3.4% career) Kevin is actually hitting fewer home runs than normal. Now, I don't mean to imply that it's by a lot, but by year's end I think he'll hit more bombs than Adams would for sure.
Walk Percentage - 5.6% (12.2% career) Need I remind you of Youk's nickname? You know, the "Greek God of Walks"? Not only will Youkilis reach base more often thanks to bases on balls than David, but it's not by just a few.
Strikeout Percentage - 25% (18.6% career) It's not hard to see Youkilis' strikeout rate come down a bit. I don't see it getting down to the 18% that Adams currently sits at, but in the end those two will be fairly close.

In all, Kevin Youkilis is clearly the better hitter, and should absolutely not lose at bats to David Adams. But due to those lefty/righty splits, I can see Adams in every lineup against lefty starters. Not only that, but he could be a good bat off the bench in case Girardi needs someone to face a lefty reliever. My real qualm with the idea of Adams only playing part time is in regards to his development. Is starting around 25% of games, and getting another pinch-hit at bat here or there worth it? Some people feel that a player's development isn't necessarily stunted due to not playing every day, meaning that they can learn quite a bit just by observing games. Talking with MLB veterans and coaches, and seeing MLB pitchers up close, is certainly a big help. And allow me to ask another question... What's more valuable? 600 AAA plate appearances, or 300 MLB plate appearances?

Those 300 MLB plate appearances I just mentioned is not a number I grabbed out of thin air. You see, David Adams already has 163 PA this season. As a regular vs. lefty starters, Adams will get around 110 more plate appearances, based on 110 more games and around 25% of them against lefty starters. And at that point he could still get a few more plate appearances as a pinch-hitter, for around 300 total. And that's assuming Youkilis and Hafner don't miss any more time this season, which in and of itself is quite a stretch.

"Mr. Hafner, and Mr. Youkilis, have put my kids through college... both undergraduate and graduate!"

So while I'm okay with David Adams being sent to the minors to play everyday, I would be perfectly happy if these were the regular lineups for the Yankees until Granderson, Jeter, and Cervelli return...

vs. RHP
C- Stewart/Romine
SS-Nix (Nunez can get back in there when he returns)

vs. LHP
C- Stewart/Romine
SS-Nix (again... Nunez can get back in there when he returns)

By the way, going these ways not only strengthens the Yankees' lineups, but also strengthens their bench due to Overbay and Adams being there in games started by a righty, while Overbay and Hafner will be there in games started by a lefty.

"That's great, but we still have 5 more games in NL parks, meaning no DHs then." - Girardi
"Dammit, Joe, quit your bitchin'." - Cashman

Remembering The 2000 World Series - Game 5

The 2000 World Series featured the New York Yankees and the New York Mets facing off in the World Series for the first time in their history. This was the first Subway Series since 1956 when the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees faced off. Let's take the time to remember Game 5 of the 2000 World Series.

In a rematch of the Game 1 pitchers duel Andy Pettitte took the mound for the Yankees and faced off against the Mets ace Al Leiter. Bernie Williams would get the scoring going with a solo home run in the top of the 2nd inning giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead. The Mets would respond by getting two unearned runs across the board in the bottom of the 2nd and would keep that lead until the 6th inning when Derek Jeter hit a game tying home run. Heading into the 9th inning the game was tied a 2-2 each when Luis Sojo hit an RBI single off of Al Leiter to give the Yankees the lead and an errant throw that ended up in the Yankees dugout allowed a 4th run to score giving the Yankees a 4-2 lead going to the bottom of the 9th. Mike Piazza would come up in the 9th as the tying run in the 9th and hit a deep fly ball to center field that would find Bernie Williams glove and that would get the Yankees their third consecutive World Series victory. Mike Stanton would get the victory and Al Leiter would take the loss while Mariano Rivera notched his second save of the World Series in the clinching game.

This would be the Yankees 26th World Series victory overall and fourth in five years cementing the dynasty.

Game 53 Lineup: Mets vs. Yankees

I'm desperate for a Yankees win here. Come on. If we can take at least this game, I'd be satisfied. Here's the lineup.

Brett Gardner CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells LF
Travis Hafner DH
Lyle Overbay 1B
Brennan Boesch RF
David Adams 3B
Reid Brignac SS
Austin Romine C

LHP Vidal Nuno

This Day In Yankees History 5/30

On this day in 2001 Boston Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez claims that someone should wake up the Yankees legend Babe Ruth so he could bean him with a pitch in response to a question about the Curse of the Bambino. The Red Sox would not beat the Yankees again this season... what curse right?

On this day in 2007 Alex Rodriguez ran behind the Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Howie Clark and yelled that he had the play made causing the ball to drop. This was widely considered a bush league play and angered many around the league.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Game Thread NYM @ NYY 5/29

The Yankees have lost three games in a row for the first time all season, the last team to do so in the majors, and look to stop the skid tonight at home against the cross town rival New York Mets. The Yankees will send David Phelps to the mound to test out that right forearm after taking a line drive off the bat off of it last start. The Yankees will send six lefties in a row and seven of the nine batters tonight to the plate which is either going to make us or break us in the later innings so stay tuned for that on YES and on MLB TV.

Here is the Yankees lineup

1. Gardner CF
2. Cano 2B
3. Hafner DH
4. Overbay 1B
5. Boesch RF
6. Suzuki LF
7. Nix 3B
8. Brignac SS
9. Stewart C

Follow us on Twitter @GreedyStripes to chat during the game and keep track of the Yankees all season long.

Yankees Daily Injury Updates

Andy Pettitte is expected to return to the New York Yankees rotation next week when his turn comes up in Cleveland according to GM Brian Cashman.

Curtis Granderson has surgery on his left pinky yesterday even though originally he was not set to. This is not expected to hurt his four to six week return timetable. If anything this may be the best option for Granderson and the Yankees in the end.

Both Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis went 0-2 with a walk each in their rehab games with the Trenton Thunder. Both players expect to be back with the Yankees when they play the first place Boston Red Sox this Friday.

Derek Jeter is on the field playing catch. Not much of an update but it's Derek Jeter and that's all you need to know.

New York Mets @ New York Yankees 5/29

The Subway Series shifts to Yankees Stadium tonight as the Yankees and the Mets play their third game in this four game Subway Series. The Yankees will send David Phelps to the mound to test out that forearm that took a line drive off the bat in his last start. The Mets will send Jeremy Hefner to the mound looking for his first victory of the season. The game will be televised at 7:05 pm ET on YES and MLB TV.

Mark Teixeira vs. Lyle Overbay

When Mark Teixeira returns, he will surely be the primary first baseman. Mark hasn't played at third base since his rookie season back in 2003, and hasn't play in the outfield since 2004. One might believe that a Gold Glove first baseman would be just fine playing at third or the outfield, but one look at his Fangraphs page tells me that that's not true, seeing as how his UZR/150 was -18.9 and -33.2 at those respective positions.

He's coming back, and bringing ugly faces like this with him.

Meanwhile, Lyle Overbay has not played anywhere except for first base in his 12+ MLB seasons. There was some talk about Overbay trying to play some right field, but Brian Cashman clarified things by saying it simply wasn't something the team would reject without giving it a thought. Furthermore, Lyle himself laughed at the notion, but went on to say "I’ll do whatever. If they want me to catch, I’ll catch."

And if there's anymore doubt about whether or not Mark Teixeira will be the Yankees' regular first baseman, then there's the words of Brian Cashman... "Mark is our first baseman."

When it comes to facing lefties Teixeira's return is very welcome. So far this season Overbay is doing little to nothing against same-sided pitchers, posting a batting line of .157/.200/.275 against them this season. If you want to blame the small sample size (55 plate appearances) that's fine, but allow me to point at his career line vs. LHP of .253/.302/.390.

On the other hand, Mark Teixeira hit lefties to the tune of .269/.333/.531 last season, and .301/.389/.541 throughout his MLB career.

The problem arises when the Yankees face a right-hander, which happens a lot more often. So far this season Overbay his hitting .289/.333/.545 against righties, which is better across the board than the .239/.331/.438 Teixeira put up in 2012 against them. But can that amount of production continue? I'm not so sure.

"Yes, Joe Blanton, you're a right-hander, but nobody is afraid of facing you."

While it's true that Lyle hit .265/.339/.412 against right-handers last season, he did put up a poor triple-slash vs. RHP of .231/.314/.364 two seasons ago. His strikeout rate is lower this season than it's been over the previous three years (18.5% vs. 21.5%), while his line-drive rate is also a bit out of whack (20% between 2010 and 2012, and 22% this season). So there's a chance that Yankees fans should just be happy with what Overbay has done up to this point, and not expect that it would have continued for the rest of the season. 

The main reason a lot of Yankees fans want Lyle Overbay to continue to get at bats has to do with his "clutchiness". Lyle does have an OPS of 1.122 in late and close situations according to Baseball Reference. They would have a fine point if it wasn't for the fact that Tex's OPS in late and close situations last season was 1.398. And let's keep in mind that those "clutch" situations have only arisen in 27 of Overbay's 184 plate apperances, or 15% of the time. 

So the fact of the matter is this... Mark Teixeira should be the regular starting first baseman upon his return.

That doesn't mean I believe Overbay should simply be let go. If he can be dealt for help at catcher, shortstop, or right field, then Cashman and Co. should definitely pull the trigger. But Lyle's bat could be a nice weapon off the bench should Girardi need to make a late-inning move. And let's not forget that Mark DeRosa's career was never the same after injuring a wrist tendon sheath, although his injury was apparently worse than Teixiera's. Jose Bautista did have a similar injury to Mark's last season, and after trying to return in August without having surgery he ended up going under the knife the next month. So Overbay sticking around would be nice insurance should Teixeira suffer a setback.

One final thing, and that has to do with Lyle Overbay possibly seeing regular at bats as the team's designated hitter... It's not going to happen. Travis Hafner, who was told not to bring anything to camp but batting gloves, has hit .258/.378/.508 this season, with no discernible righty-lefty split (152 wRC+ vs. LHP, and 134 wRC+ vs. RHP). 

"Yeah, you want me."

Remembering The 2000 World Series - Game 4

The 2000 World Series featured the New York Yankees and the New York Mets facing off in the World Series for the first time in their history. This was the first Subway Series since 1956 when the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees faced off. Let's take the time to remember Game 4 of the 2000 World Series.

The New York Yankees sent Denny Neagle to the mound to face off with the Mets Bobby Jones in Game 4 of the Subway World Series. Derek Jeter led off the game and blasted a home run over the left field fence giving the Yankees a lead that they would never relinquish in this game. This would extend Derek Jeter's World Series hitting streak to 13 games and would be only the 16th lead off home run in World Series history. The Yankees would win the game 3-2 to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the Subway World Series. Jeff Nelson would take the victory and  Bobby Jones would take the loss with Mariano Rivera notching the save for the pinstripers.

Game 52 Lineup: Mets vs. Yankees

Oh how good it feels to play a game with American League rules. Here is your lineup as the Yankees attempt to break a three game losing streak  in their home ballpark. 

Lineup vs. Mets:

Brett Gardner CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Travis Hafner DH
Lyle Overbay 1B
Brennan Boesch RF
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Jayson Nix 3B
Reid Brignac SS
Chris Stewart C

David Phelps RHP

Mariano Rivera And His History With The Mets

Mariano Rivera and the Yankees will be traveling to Citi Field for two of the four games in this years latest edition of the Subway Series but this one will be special for Mo. Mo is retiring at the end of the season and we all know that the Mets will honor Mo Tuesday night but there is more to the Mets and Mariano Rivera's history.

In the 2000 World Series Mariano Rivera was on the mound throwing his cutter when Mets catcher Mike Piazza hit a long fly ball to Bernie Williams for the final out of the World Series. This would be Mariano's second save of that World Series and his fourth ring in five seasons.

Mariano Rivera notched his 500th career save in 2009 at Citi Field against the New York Mets. Mariano Rivera's only career RBI, to date anyway, came against Francisco Rodriguez of the Mets in the same game. Granted it was a bases loaded walk but I think Mariano will take it anyway that he can get it.

Mariano Rivera now has four more games to do something special against the New York Mets. Will he do it? Tune in to the Subway Series and find out. Buy your Yankees tickets here and see below for these great deals that you can take advantage of right here on The Greedy Pinstripes.

  • With a combined average price of $116, this is the cheapest Subway Series over the last four years. Down 6% from 2012, 3% from 2011, and 41% from 2010.
  • This years top priced Subway Series game is Game 2 at Citi Field with an average of $140. The least expensive is the final game at Yankee Stadium with an average of $109
  • The least expensive secondary-market ticket the series is $28 w/ fees for the final game at in the Bronx.

  • The least expensive ticket directly from a team is $22 before fees at Yankees Stadium, for both games.

  • The most expensive Subway Series game over the last four season was July 2, 2011 at Citi Field with a $255 avg price.
  • The least expensive  Subway Series game over the last four years was May 22, 2011 at Yankee Stadium with a $99 avg price. 

  • The premium over the regular season average for New York Mets tickets for this year's series is +67% compared to a +140% premium last season. 
  • The premium over regular season average for New York Yankees tickets for this year's series is +9%, compared to a +20% premium last season. 

Teixeira and Youkilis Desperately Needed

Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis began their rehab assigment in Double A Trenton this morning and it could not come at a better time for the Yankees. When the Yankees were playing great baseball behind great pitching and newcomers like Vernon Wells, Travis Hafner, and Lyle Overbay getting the job done, many Yankees fans were saying how they did not want veterans like Mark Texiera, Kevin Youkilis, Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez to come back.  That was an insane notion then and it is proving true right now.

The Yankees are now 6-7 in their last 13 games and have scored four or fewer runs in nine of those 13 games, including less than two runs in five of those games. The Yankees have averaged a pitiful 3.7 runs per game in May. You can only ask your starters to pitch great under those circumstances for so long and expect your bullpen to hold every one run lead you give them. Obviously, over the last two games David Robertson and Mariano Rivera each blew a game, but those losses were on the offense for only scoring a combined two runs in those games.

The middle of the order for the Yankees struggling has been the main reason for their terrible offensive output in May. Robinson Cano is only hitting .247/.311/.464/.775 in May and the Yankees need him to carry them like he did in April. Cano is hitting .328/.403/.672/1.075 with 11 home runs in Yankee wins and .235/.261/.341/.603 with two home runs in Yankee losses. That tells you all you need to know. Cano has not gotten much support in May either, as Vernon Wells (.229/.260/.375/.635 in May) and Travis Hafner (.190/.309/.328/.636 in May) have cooled off considerably. When you combine those players not playing well with the black holes the Yankees have at catcher, shortstop and right field, you are not going to score many runs.

It  is obvious that Teixeira and Youkilis are needed. However, as Mike Axisa of River Ave Blues points out, they are coming back at postions where the Yankees have gotten good production. Lyle Overbay and David Adams have held up very well at first and third base. Texiera and Youkilis will be upgrades over them, but their real issues are at shortstop, catcher, and the outfield.

However, they will not be getting reinforcements at those positions anytime soon. Curtis Granderson will be inactive for at least four weeks and will probably take about two more weeks to rehab. Derek Jeter is nowhere near returning and Francisco Cervelli just got the pins out of his hand and has not started to rehab yet. The Yankees made their own bed at these positions in the offseason, as they willing let Russell Martin and Nick Swisher go and did not adequately replace them. Also, they did nothing to upgrade at utility infielder when they knew Jeter was an injury question mark.

The Yankees have a tough roster conundrum with Teixeira and Youkilis coming back. The Yankees are short on outfielders and it will be hard to carry Overbay and Hafner, since between them both they can only play one position. Ivan Nova will probably be the pitcher out of the bullpen sent to Triple A, but who goes with him is the question. The options are to send Brennan Boesch or Adams to Triple A or DFA Overbay. Sending Adams down would be the easy call, since you can always bring him back up, but he would be the best option as a DH against righties at the moment. Boesch is easily the worst player out of the three, but if you send him down than Jayson Nix is your fourth outfielder. You can probably get by like that for a little while, but long term having Nix as your fourth outfielder will not work. That is why Overbay may not be on this team for much longer.

This is not meant to discredit Overbay at all, as he has filled in better than anybody could have hoped for, but people need to pump the brakes on him a little bit. He is only hitting .251/.295/.468/.763, which is not great for a first baseman. Teixeira at his worst does much better than that. Overbay has been a great clutch player for the Yankees this season, but you cannot rely on that to continue. Good “clutch” hitting is more statistical randomness than anything sustainable because it is not really a skill.

For people who say Teixeira isn’t clutch he hit .390/.466/.932/1.398 in late and close games last year, .289/.360./.578/938 in high leverage situations and .285/.370/.646/1.016 in innings 7-9, so that is just a narrative and a fallacy that he doesn’t get any big hits. Unfortunately, if Teixeira starts out slow he will hear about it, but that is just silliness, as Overbay is nowhere near the player Teixeira is and there is a reason he was released by Boston three days before the end of spring training. Once Teixeira proves he is healthy there is not really room for Overbay on the team anymore. Obviously, that is not fair to him, but unfortunately it’s the business and the reality of the situation.  Overbay would be a great option to pinch hit late in games for the catcher, shortstop or Ichiro, but again can you really afford to have Nix as your fourth outfielder for six weeks?

I am really excited to get Teixeira and Youkilis back. It has been frustrating watching bad hitters take bad at bats lately. Unfortunately, like I said before you will still have three terrible hitters batting seventh, eighth and ninth but at least the middle of the order will be more intimidating.  People telling themselves that the Yankees are better off without the veterans hopefullt have seen over the last few weeks why they are dead wrong. What do you guys think should happen when Teixeira and Youkilis come back? What would your roster moves be?

This Day In Yankees History 5/19

On this day in 1997 the Yankees completed a trade with the San Diego Padres to send Hideki Irabu to the Yankees and Homer Bush and a prospect to San Diego. The Padres purchased Irabu but he claimed that he would only pitch for the Yankees so the trade was pushed and I think most fans, George Steinbrenner, and all of Japan wish the trade never happened. Irabu was a huge disappointment in New York and was even called a fat toad by owner George Steinbrenner.

On this day in 2000 infielder Randy Velarde completed an unassisted triple play, only the tenth one in Major League history.  The only problem was he was playing for the Oakland Athletics at that time and not the Yankees anymore but Yankees Shane Spencer hit the line drive that started it all.

On this day in 2002 Roger Clemens becomes only the 3rd pitcher in major league history to strike out 10 or more batters in 100 different games joining Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Subway Series Game Thread NYY @ NYM 5/28

Update; Rain Delay

The Yankees are looking to silence some overzealous Mets fans after a win last night and putting a halt to the Matt Harvey hype tonight when the Subway Series plays its final game in Citi Field this season. Matt Harvey will take his undefeated record to the mound looking to shut down Hiroku Kuroda and the Yankees. This is the second undefeated pitcher the Yankees have faced in a weeks time after facing Matt Moore and his 8-0 on Sunday. Let's remind New York who the king of baseball in New York has been since 1991 and stop this Matt Harvey hype.

Here is the Yankees lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells LF
Lyle Overbay 1B
David Adams 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Reid Brignac SS
Chris Stewart C

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Youkilis & Teixeira Could Both Return On Friday

Mark Teixeira has missed the entire season to date with a wrist shear tendon injury and Kevin Youkilis has missed more than a month with a back injury but both could be back this Friday according to manager Joe Girardi. Both Mark and Youk will head to Trenton and start a rehab assignment tomorrow and could be back as early as Friday but neither are expected to stay in the minors long if the assignments go past Friday.

Michael Pineda Shut Down In Extended Spring Game

Michael Pineda was taken out of today's extended spring training game and has been shut down due to a cracked finger nail. Thank goodness it was not an arm issue or a shoulder issue and something simple like a cracked fingernail. This only delays Michael's 30 day rehab window just a little more.

Francisco Rondon Outrighted To AA Trenton

Francisco Rondon was designated for assignment last week when the Yankees claimed David Huff off of waivers from the Cleveland Indians. Rondon has struggled this season big time both in the bullpen and in the starting rotation for the Trenton Thunder. That is the main reason that Rondon has cleared waivers and will remain with the Trenton Thunder and is now off of the 40 man roster. So basically we got David Huff for nothing even with his DFA today.

Chamberlain Back, Huff Out

Joba Chamberlain, as he predicted yesterday, has been activated today. In a corresponding move to free up a spot on the roster, David Huff has been designated for assignment.

This marks the third time this season that Huff has been DFAd. It happened a few days ago, when Cleveland did so, allowing the Yankees to claim him. That was actually the second time this season the Indians had DFAd Huff, as they did the same thing back in March.

Although Chamberlain hasn't been a shut-down reliever, posting an ERA of 4.02 over the previous three seasons, his higher strikeout rate and lower walkrate than Huff will surely be welcomed back.

New York Yankees @ New York Mets 5/28

The Yankees and the Mets will play Game 2 of the Subway Series and it will be the last game at Citi Field for the season barring an unlikely 2000 World Series rematch. The Mets are set to honor Mariano Rivera before the game in the latest stop on his farewell tour. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face off with undefeated Matt Harvey. Kuroda took a line drive off the leg last start and was only able to go three innings so he should be fresh tonight against the Mets. The game will be televised at 7:05 pm ET on MY9, ESPN and MLB TV.

Did yesterday's game have a rivalry within a rivalry?

New York Yankees v New York Mets

The Subway Series didn't get off to a great start for the Yankees, but what happened in yesterday's game still left me with a smile on my face; even after the game was long over.

When you think of the Subway Series going into last night, you would think Robinson Cano vs. David Wright as the rivalry within the rivalry, them being the gigantic catalysts in bringing their team out in front during the games and leading their teams to victory. However, yesterday's game had two players that you last expected to attempt to lead their teams to victory: Brett Gardner vs. Daniel Murphy. Gardner won the battle for his team, but Murphy won the war that night. Let's rewind to last night, shall we?

Gardner commits Grand Larceny (on a HR): Daniel Murphy was entirely sure that he hit a HR to deep left-center. He was sure he had enough to give his team the lead--until Brett Gardner ran all the way to the track and robbed Murphy of a 2-run HR. Murphy's reaction to Gardner's catch was priceless: he took his helmet off his head and threw it to the ground, causing Yankees fans like myself to emit laughter, even through the commercial break. Even after the loss, I still had a smile on my face. Yes, I was ecstatic about the Gardner catch--but Murphy's reaction is what kept me in a good mood.

Tickets to Citi-Field? $50
Subway Sandwiches? $9
Daniel Murphy's reaction to Brett Gardner's catch? Priceless. Everything's better when you're a Yankees fan.

Murphy extracts revenge (and wins the game for the Mets): In the 8th inning is where it got grim for the Yankees. David Robertson was one out away from getting out of the inning tied...until Daniel Murphy lined a front of Brett Gardner. Daniel Murphy's reaction? He flipped the bat to the ground as if he hit a HR, walked to first base, then pumped his fist. Yeah, Mets fans may have liked that...but I didn't. Let's just say that my reaction to Murphy getting the game winning single mirrored his reaction innings earlier (I took my Yankees cap off and threw it to the ground). Don't worry--the hat has recovered from collecting dust from hitting the floor.

Even if it was just for yesterday, the fact that Brett Gardner and Daniel Murphy were looking for ways to one-up another was exciting to watch. We all know that Daniel Murphy was ecstatic for winning the game for the Mets. Brett Gardner had trouble being upset about the loss--especially after the catch he made during the game. And frankly, I don't blame him one bit.