Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Game Thread: Yankees @ Dodgers 7/31

The Yankees and the Dodgers finish their season series tonight on YES and MLB TV at 10:00 pm in Dodgers Stadium. The pitching match up is Hiroki Kuroda facing off with the Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. Hiroki Kuroda has been easily the best and most consistent Yankees pitcher this season and faces off with the best and most consistent pitcher for the Dodgers in Kershaw. Go Yankees!!

Here is the Yankees lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Vernon Wells RF
Brent Lillibridge 1B
Jayson Nix 3B
Chris Stewart C
Hiroki Kuroda RHP

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New York Yankees @ Los Angeles Dodgers 7/31

Today is a big day for the New York Yankees as it is the last day for non waiver trading and it is also the last time that we will have to play the Los Angeles Dodgers and former Yankees star Don Mattingly. The Yankees will send former Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face off with the Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. The game will be televised at 10:05 pm ET on YES and MLB TV.

Alex Rodriguez To Be Banned For Life By MLB

Bob Nightengale from USA Today reports that Major League Baseball is prepared to ban Alex Rodriguez for life either tomorrow or Friday. The suspensions are obviously coming from the Biogenesis fall out  and any suspension that comes from it is expected to be appealed by Alex and his attorney David Cornwell. According to the Biogenesis documentation and evidence against Alex he used steroids from 2010-2012 and has lied to MLB officials about it. Alex has never been punished, nor has he had a failed test, in that time but with this evidence mixed in with him interfering with the investigation may end his baseball playing career. Stay tuned here for the latest in this soap opera.

Curtis Granderson Rehab Assignment Update

Curtis Granderson played an afternoon rehab game with the Trenton Thunder today and ended the day 1-3 with two walks, a single, and his obligatory strike out. Grandy played the entire game as the Thunder's DH in what could be one f his final games down in the minors. Granderson is still expected to come back Friday when the Yankees play the San Diego Padres.

The Yankees Trade Deadline Summed Up In A Gif

Sad But True...

Francisco Cervelli To See Dr. James Andrews Monday

Francisco Cervelli has had a lingering pain in his right throwing elbow, originally diagnosed as a stress reaction, and will see Dr. James Andrews on Monday August 5th. This is not a great sign as it usually means Tommy John surgery for a player that sees Dr. Andrews so we should all be holding our collective breathe. Cervelli is also still feeling pain in the broken finger which is not a good sign when rest and rehab is not taking well. I do not think we are going to see Cervelli this season, with or without the Biogenesis suspension.

The Yankees Do Nothing At The Trading Deadline

The Yankees let the 4:00 pm ET trading deadline come and go without making a single move and I cannot say I am more disappointed. I really do not have words for this situation and this team right now which is really rare for me so bare with me while I write this.

Michael Young announced that he would be willing to waive his no trade clause to play for the New York Yankees and the Yankees and Brian Cashman did not get it done.

The Orioles are ahead of us and they got better by acquiring Francisco Rodriguez for their bullpen and Bud Norris for their starting rotation. The Boston Red Sox acquired Jake Peavy to bolster their starting rotation and their bullpen. The Tampa Bay Rays acquired Jesse Crain for lord knows what, no really the player is still yet to be named and depends on Crain's performance, and the Yankees acquired Alfonso Soriano. The same Alfonso Soriano that the ownership pushed the deal for and not Brian Cashman. If it were up to Brian Cashman we would not have acquired anyone and that does not sit well with me.

I am literally at a loss for words right now. I know that we can still make trades through the waiver wire but that does not make me feel any better today. Speechless, truly speechless.

Defensive Miscues Cost Thunder in 5-3 Loss

Press Release - July 31, 2013
Defensive Miscues Cost Thunder in 5-3 Loss

TRENTON, NJ – Curtis Granderson was in the lineup for a second consecutive game, but defensive miscues unraveled an otherwise well-pitched game in Trenton’s 5-3 loss to the Harrisburg Senators Wednesday afternoon.

Four of the five runs that the Senators notched in their win were unearned as three errors proved costly for the Thunder. The first run of the game scored on a throwing error by Casey Stevenson with two outs on a grounder to third base in the 3rd inning. An inning later, Harrisburg scored again with a runner on second base and two outs. Ricky Hague struck out for Harrisburg on a ball in the dirt that got away momentarily from the catcher Farnham. The throw by Farnham got away from the first baseman Kyle Roller and allowed Hague- who was off on the pitch in the dirt- to score without a play to the plate.

After having a bases-loaded walk produce a run in the top of the 7thinning, Harrisburg plated two more on a fielding error on the next batter that glanced off Stevenson’s glove and into left field. It was 5-1 at the time, and though Trenton added a pair of runs in the bottom of the 7th to trim the deficit to 5-3, that would be as close as Trenton would get the rest of the way.

Nik Turley collected the loss despite not allowing an earned run. He exited after six full innings with the Thunder trailing 2-1. The lefty allowed two unearned runs on three hits and three walks while striking out six. While his record on the season drops to 8-6, his ERA drops from 4.23 to 3.99.

Granderson finished 1-for-3 with a pair of walks and a single. He also scored Trenton’s second run of the game when he came home on Slade Heathcott’s opposite field double with two outs in the 7thinning. He played the entire game as the Designated Hitter and was 2-for-6 with two walks in two games with the Thunder..

The Thunder and Senators battle in the rubber game of the three-game series Thursday night at ARM & HAMMER Park. The ballgame begins at 7:05 p.m. and features LHP Jeremy Bleich (1-1, 2.92) for the Thunder facing Harrisburg Senators LHP Robbie Ray (2-1, 3.81). Limited tickets still available at or by calling the Thunder Ticket Office at (609)394-3300. Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and streaming online begins at 6:45 p.m.


Being posted with permission from the Trenton Thunder Organization. The original post can be seen HERE

Charleston Floats Past Crawdads

Charleston Floats Past Crawdads
RiverDogs pitching shuts out Hickory

CHARLESTON, SC – Charleston RiverDogs starting pitcher Vicente Campos tossed five shutout innings and scattered just four hits to pick up his first win since mid-May in Charleston's 2-0 victory over Hickory on Wednesday afternoon at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in front of 4,435 fans.

With the win, the RiverDogs improve to 22-15 in the second half and 61-44 overall and remain in second place behind the Lexington Legends. With the loss, Hickory falls to 21-18 in the second half and 60-49 overall.
Campos (2-2) needed just 67 pitches, 52 of which were strikes. He struck out two batters and scattered four hits during his five shutout frames to lower his ERA to 3.27.

Eric Wooten relieved Campos to start the sixth and pitched the final four innings to earn his first save of the year. Wooten allowed just three hits and struck out two.

Offensively for Charleston, they struck for a run in the second inning and added an insurance run in the eighth. Daniel Aldrich singled in Ericson Leonora in the bottom of the second on a slow roller on the infield to second base. Aldrich finished his night 2-for-4 with an RBI.

The second and final run came across in the eighth when Jake Cave scored on a fielding error by Hickory third basemen Ryan Rua.

Cito Culver also broke out of his mini-slump with a perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate.

Hickory starter Frank Lopez (2-6) took the loss going five innings with just one run allowed on eight hits with three strikeouts and one walk.

Hickory first basemen Jorge Alfaro led the Crawdads offense going 3-for-4 at the plate with two singles and a double. Alfaro had three of Hickory’s seven hits on the afternoon.
BALLPARK FUN: It was a wet day at The Joe as the RiverDogs hosted their annual Splash Day! Children's summer camps from around the Lowcountry filled the seats with water balloons and water guns for a splash filled fun day at the ballpark.
COMING UP: The RiverDogs now hit the road for nine games in seven days against the Augusta GreenJackets and the Savannah Sand Gnats. Thursday the RiverDogs and GreenJackets will play a doubleheader starting at 5:35pm with the second game to follow at Lake Olmstead Stadium in Augusta, GA. The starting pitchers for game one have yet to be announced for either squad. Fans can listen to the game live locally on ESPN Radio 910AM or online at

Being posted with permission from the Charleston Riverdogs organization. The original post can be seen HERE.

Game 107 Lineup: Yankees @ Dodgers

Here's the final game of the 2 game set with our ace (and former Dodger) Hiroki Kuroda on the mound. Here is the lineup!

Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Vernon Wells RF
Brent Lillibridge 1B
Jayson Nix 3B
Chris Stewart C
Hiroki Kuroda P

Phil Rizzuto Hall Of Fame Induction Speech

In honor of last weekends Hall of Fame weekend around Major League Baseball I want to take this opportunity to share what is probably, in my very biased opinion, the best induction speech ever made by a Hall of Fame member. Watch the entire Phil Rizzuto induction speech here as we wait on the Yankees game tonight, enjoy!

Alex Rodriguez Suspension Could Be Key Next Year

While thinking about what the team could look like next season, and keeping in mind the team's desire to get payroll under the Luxury Tax threshold, I decided to crunch some numbers.

This is a bit dirty, but it should give you a good idea of what we're looking at.

The Yankees already have seven players under contract through the 2014 season. Those players are Alex Rodriguez, Vernon Wells, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Derek Jeter, Alfonso Soriano, and Ichiro Suzuki.

The team is looking at having seven players that will be arbitration eligible. I'm keeping Brent Lillibridge off of this list, for the simple reason that I don't see a place for him on the team. That gives us Brett Gardner, Jayson Nix, Francisco Cervelli, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, David Robertson, Shawn Kelley.

As for players that I can see making the team, who are not yet eligible for arbitration, I have four guys... Eduardo Nunez, David Phelps, Adam Warren, and Preston Claiborne. 

Three of the remaining spots on the team are in the bullpen, all of which could be taken by players making the league minimum next season. Those guys could be Vidal Nuno, Brett Marshall, and Manny Banuelos.

That leaves us with four more spots to fill. Those spots being second base, left fielder, starting pitcher, and catcher. Initially, my thought was the Yankees would fill those spots with Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Hiroki Kuroda, and newcomer Brian McCann.

The very thought of being a Yankee makes me celebrate.

Just a couple of notes about those four free agents...
  • Robinson Cano will likely get a contract worth around $25 million a season.
  • Curtis Granderson could very well take a qualifying offer, so that he can play a year to get his stock back up for another run at a nice contract after the 2014 season.
  • Hiroki Kuroda could very well leave MLB, but after the season he's having a can see the Yankees offering him another couple of million to return (he's making $15 million in 2013).
  • As for bringing in McCann, I would really like to see that happen. His left-handed power bat would be great at Yankee Stadium. And it's not like his other numbers aren't pretty darn good too.
So here's the active roster we'd be looking at for 2014...

C - Brian McCann $14m
1B - Mark Teixeira $22.5m
2B - Robinson Cano $25m
3B - Alex Rodriguez $27.5m
SS - Derek Jeter $14m (AAV after exercising option for 2014)
LF - Curtis Granderson $15m (qualifying offer)
CF - Brett Gardner $6m (arbitration estimate)
RF - Ichiro Suzuki $6.5m
DH - Alfonso Soriano $17m

BE - Jayson Nix $1.5m (arbitration estimate)
BE - Francisco Cervelli $1.5m (arbitration estimate)
BE - Vernon Wells $18m
BE - Eduardo Nunez $.6m 

SP1 - CC Sabathia $24.4m
SP2 - Hiroki Kuroda $17m
SP3 - Michael Pineda $.75m (arbitration estimate)
SP4 - Ivan Nova $2.5m (arbitration estimate)
SP5 - David Phelps $.5m

CL - David Robertson $5m (arbitration estimate)
RP - Shawn Kelley $1.5m (arbitration estimate)
RP - Adam Warren $.5m 
RP - Preston Claiborne $.5m
RP - Vidal Nuno $.5m
RP - Brett Marshall $.5m
RP - Manny Banuelos $.5m

Before tallying up those numbers we have to remember that the Yankees will be receiving money for Vernon Wells and Alfonso Soriano, The Blue Jays and Angels will be pitching in $22.243 million for Wells, while the Cubs will pitch in $14 million for Soriano.

That brings the Yankees total team payroll to $187.007 million.

But don't jump up and down in celebration quite yet. That number may be under the $189 million Luxury Tax threshold, but you have to give yourself room for things like pickups during the season, incentives reached, milestones reached (see ARod's contract), and even things like the team paying for hotels for players. So a cushion is really needed. 

That "cushion" is where Alex Rodriguez steps in. If Rodriguez were to be suspended for all of 2014, that would mean you could take his $27.5 million off of the board, and use that to get another third baseman. And another third baseman, such as Michael Young, could cost around half of what Alex would make. And that, there, would be the team's cushion.

"Does anybody want me around?"

Francisco Cervelli & Fernando Martinez To Be Suspended

Lost in all the Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez speculation and suspensions are Yankees players Francisco Cervelli and Fernando Martinez and their links to Bogenesis.  Obviously Martinez was signed to provide depth in AAA with what seems like the entire AAA team up with the Yankees at some point in this season but the Cervelli suspension could really hurt us this season. It is no secret that we have struggled offensively behind the dish this season and it is also no secret that Cervelli was hitting the cover off the ball before his broken right hand. With no obvious upgrades out there on the free agent wire, the waiver wire, or the trade deadline wire this could be a huge blow for the Yankees. The Yankees have been trying to rehab Cervelli and get him back to "save" this offense behind the dish but this suspension may totally derail his 2013 season. The Yankees may have serious problems behind the plate if Cervelli gets a full 50 game suspension because Austin Romine and Chris Stewart is not a competent catching duo on a playoff team in my opinion let alone a World Series contender.

Baseball Cards Don Mattingly

Here is part two of the Don Mattingly baseball card special here on The Greedy Pinstripes. Enjoy!

Biogenesis Suspensions Won't Come Before Thursday

In what I consider to be a very dirty move by Major League Baseball the suspensions for those players linked to Biogenesis will not be announced until Thursday. Thursday, tomorrow, is the day after the trade deadline so I am perplexed by the timing and am also disappointed in Bud Selig and his gang. 

Most players are expected to take the plea deals for lesser suspensions except for Alex Rodriguez of course who plans on fighting the suspension. Bad timing for the MLB reps to announce this as I am sure they have already come to their decisions as of yesterday. I can understand not wanting to take the attention away from the trading deadline but that is why you release the names an suspensions earlier in the week, not tomorrow. 

Now the Yankees have to search for an A Rod replacement for this season and next and are not even 100% sure he will be suspended at all. Bad timing Bud and I am disappointed in you and the game right now.

Offseason decisions coming back to haunt Yanks as deadline looms


Well, it’s finally here. It’s July 31st, otherwise known as the non-waiver trading deadline, and in a matter of hours the Yankees will have either added another bat, or decided  to ride out the remainder of the season with the guys they have.

Coming off a stinging loss by way of a walk-off single by Dodgers’ second baseman Mark Ellis, the team now stands at 55-51. Slowly sinking closer to the mediocre .500 mark, the Yanks have now fully embodied the club we all expected them to be when the season opened - a power-less, atrocious offense coupled with good, but not great pitching.

Sitting 8.5 games out of first place in the A.L. East and somehow just 3.5 games out of the Wild Card race, the Yanks are by no means “done”. Brian Cashman Ownership brought back Alfonso Soriano, Jeter has returned, and Curtis Granderson is finishing up his rehab assignment, so the lineup will certainly be given a boost by having those guys back.

Meanwhile on the pitching front, (aside from CC and when Hughes starts at the Stadium) things have been improving. Pettitte is finding his groove again, Nova is pitching even better than in his breakout 2011 season, and Kuroda continues to be a dark horse in the A.L. Cy Young race. The bullpen continues to impress with the likes of Shawn Kelley, Boone Logan, D-Rob, and of course Mo, so there is nothing to really be concerned about there.

This is stating the obvious, but for the first time in years, the lineup is the overwhelming achilles heel to this season. Even with Sabathia’s treacherous season and Hughes’ long-ball woes, this current pitching staff coupled with any Yankees lineup from the past decade would easily win 90+ games.

But that’s the thing - this isn’t any Yankees lineup from the past decade. It’s 2013’s.

There’s no Sheffield, no Bernie, no Giambi, no Abreu, no Matsui, no Posada, no Swisher, no Teixeira, no A-Rod...must I keep going? Even with Sori, Jeet, and Grandy, they would need a Giancarlo Stanton-caliber bat added to the mix to really make them a threatening team. With the way Tampa Bay, Baltimore, and Boston are all playing, even if there are signs of improvement from the players currently on the roster, I can’t imagine it being enough in the end.

As mentioned, the Yankees are either going to make a move, or they won’t. Stanton is not on the block, nor does the team have the caliber of prospects needed to make a deal even if he was. The best hitter that could be on the move is Hunter Pence, followed by Michael Young, Nate Schierholtz, and [depending on Schierholtz] David DeJesus. Pence is adamant about staying with San Francisco, Young prefers Boston than the Bronx, and the Yankees have too many outfielders to realistically take on a Schierholtz or DeJesus.

Like I said, even if any of those guys were to be fitted for pinstripes in the next few hours, it wouldn’t make much of a difference when comparing this “Bombers” lineup to that of the Orioles, Red Sox, or even the Rays. Power is not the tell-all, be-all factor of a team, but all three clubs have, and can out-slug the Yanks, even in their own bandbox known as the new Yankee Stadium.

It would be great to see the team rally around Mariano Rivera’s final season and go out and make a valiant playoff push, but I just don’t see it happening. At it’s worse the pitching has been steadily above-average, but at it’s best the lineup is nothing close to deserving of a spot in October.

Maybe I’m being harsh, and perhaps this club as constructed could have been better in another season with less competition. But the fact remains that the Yankees picked the worst year possible to let so many core guys (Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, and Raul Ibanez) leave via free agency, and just hope that the oldest team in baseball would have one last magical run in them.

Clearly they don’t, and no matter what happens by 4 o’clock PM today, the Yanks should begin making plans to go golfing come this fall. It's unfortunate, but we can't act like we didn't see this coming.

Alberto Callaspo Comes Off The Board

Just a quick blurb here but Alberto Callaspo was linked to the New York Yankees yesterday but came off the board in the early morning hours as the Oakland Athletics snatched him up. So much for that not that I am overly disappointed. I just hope that we do SOMETHING today as everyone around us seems to be getting better especially the Boston Red Sox with their acquisition of Jake Peavy. Stop reading the blog and get to work Cash!

Granderson & Phelps Nights Are Done In Trenton

David Phelps and Curtis Granderson both played for the Trenton Thunder in their latest stop for their respected rehab assignments and here are the results. Phelps started the game and finished the night with a pitching line of 4 IP with three hits, two walks, six strike outs, and a home run allowed. Granderson went 1-3 with a triple and a walk in what could be his final series before returning to the Bronx on Friday to face off with the San Diego Padres.

Trenton Thunder Game Recap For 7/30

Press Release - July 30, 2013
Granderson and Phelps Rehab in 11-3 Win

TRENTON, NJ – Curtis Granderson and David Phelps made a dual MLB rehab appearance for Trenton in the Thunder’s 11-3 win over the Harrisburg Senators Tuesday night.
Granderson finished 1-for-3 with a triple and a walk in four plate appearances and didn’t have a chance to make a play in the field in seven full innings of work. Phelps meanwhile started the game and tossed four innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts for the no-decision.

Granderson turned on a pitch and ripped a fastball to rightfield leading-off the 5th inning. It was a ball that Harrisburg right fielder Destin Hood dove for and came up several feet short of catching. The ball got past him to the wall, and Granderson would scamper around the bases with a feet-first slide with the triple.  
Offensively, Trenton was paced by Kyle Roller’s 5-RBI night and Jose Pirela’s two hits in his return from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Roller belted his 13th home run of the season that carried deep into the Trenton night, and carried down the Delaware River to pad Trenton’s already-large lead in the 8th inning. The homer made an 8-3 game into the 11-3 final that 6,378 fans enjoyed.

Earlier in the ballgame, Roller dug-in with the bases loaded and Trenton leading 4-1 in the 7th inning. His single through the hole in the right side off lefty Pat McCoy plated a pair of runners and allowed breathing room for the Thunder pitchers the rest of the way. Trenton’s five-run 7th inning turned a 3-1 lead into an 8-1 cushion.
Pirela had two hits in a 2-for-4 performance after playing five games with the RailRiders. His single in the 1st inning spotted Trenton a 1-0 lead, and he would proceed to score a pair of runs and steal a pair of bags the rest of the ballgame. Pirela was one of five Thunder batters to finish the game with a pair of hits in Trenton’s 13-hit outburst.

Shane Greene finished the game in relief of Phelps by allowing two runs in five innings with five strikeouts and five hits allowed. The two runs he allowed came in the top of the 8th inning on Jimmy VanOstrand’s two-run double after Trenton had already staked him to an 8-1 lead. The win moves Greene’s record to 4-3 with a 3.09 ERA this season in Trenton.

The Thunder and Senators battle in the second of three games in Wednesday’s matinee at ARM & HAMMER Park. Wednesday’s ballgame begins at 12:05 p.m. and features LHP Nik Turley (8-5, 4.23) for the Thunder facing the Harrisburg Senators RHP A.J. Cole (1-0, 1.29). Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and streaming online begins at 11:45 a.m.

Being posted with permission from the Trenton Thunder organization. The original post can be seen HERE

Charleston Riverdogs Game Recap For 7/30

Rutckyj Rips Through Hickory
Charleston pitching allows just two hits against the high powered Crawdads offense

CHARLESTON, SC – Charleston RiverDogs starter Evan Rutckyj baffled the Hickory Crawdads hitters by twirling seven innings of one hit ball with eight strikeouts to lead Charleston to a 3-1 victory over Hickory on Tuesday evening at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in front of 3,046 fans.

With the win, the RiverDogs improve to 21-15 in the second half and 60-44 overall and remain in second place behind the Lexington Legends. With the loss, Hickory falls to 21-17 in the second half and 60-48 overall.

Rutckyj (9-6) needed just 94 pitches to get through seven innings. With the win, Rutckyj now has the team lead with nine victories. He only allowed four baserunners all night, one was a hit, two walks and he also hit a batter.
Reliever Tyler Webb finished things off for Rutckyj pitching the eighth and ninth innings while allowing just a run on a hit and two walks to pick up his second save of the year.

Rutckyj received an offensive backing early. Charleston scored twice in the first inning led by Jake Cave and Reymond Nunez.

Charleston scored once more in the fifth thanks to Jake Cave. Cave was hit by a pitch, got all the way to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error by catcher Jorge Alfaro.

Cave finished his night 2-for-3 with two singles, a hit by pitch and two runs scored. Reymond Nunez was the only other RiverDog to record multiple hits finishing 2-for-3 with two singles, a hit by pitch and an RBI.

Hickory’s lone offensive strike came in the ninth when they briefly got to reliever Tyler Webb. Nomar Mazara had a two out RBI triple for the Crawdads scoring Jorge Alfaro who walked earlier in the inning. Jordan Akins was the only other Crawdad to record a hit all night for Hickory and that came in the top of the sixth inning.

Hickory starter Connor Sadzeck (9-4) took the loss going six innings while allowing three runs, two earned on five hits with five strikeouts and four walks.
BALLPARK FUN: It was Shag Night at Riley Park featuring a pre-game performance from the Beach Music and Shag Preservation Society and DJ Andy Todd.
COMING UP: The finale of this four game set against the Crawdads is set for 12:05pm with the annual Splash Day taking place Wednesday at The Joe. Charleston sends RHP Vicente Campos (1-2, 3.50 ERA) to the mound while Hickory counters with LHP Frank Lopez (2-5, 6.94 ERA). Fans can listen to the game live locally on ESPN Radio 910AM or online at

Being posted with permission from the Charleston Riverdogs organization. The original post can be seen HERE.

Yankees offense again don't show up; team loses to Dodgers 3-2

Despite a very nice effort from the entire pitching staff, the Yankees offense again decided that they had better things to do tonight as they fell to the Dodgers, 3-2. This game was definitely the kinda game where you knew it would only be tied until LA scored. They simply are the better team in this series. But I'm sad to say that that's not saying much. 

Tonight's Yankees starter, Andy Pettitte, took a no-decision after giving up 2 earned runs in a nice 7 innings of work. Bombers first basemen Lyle Overbay drove in the team's only two runs of the game, with a solo homer in the second and an RBI Groundout in the fourth. But besides those two lines, this one was very forgettable. So let's forget it. 

RailRiders: Brett Marshall is turning it around in a major way

MOOSIC — I have been one of Brett Marshall’s staunchest critics throughout 2013.

I mean, after trudging through the first three months of the season carrying a 3-6 record alongside a 5.00 ERA, who wouldn’t have felt doomed every time he stepped to the mound?

But in late June, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders’ right-handed starter told reporters he was working on a new throwing motion.

Personally, I haven’t picked up on any differences, but whatever he tweaked seems to have made a huge difference.

Since talking about changing his physical stance on the mound, Marshall has turned over a new leaf, registering three wins and a 2.88 ERA in his past eight starts.

After putting forward one of the — excuse me if I’m living in the moment too much — best pitching performances in recent franchise history, in which he tallied eight innings pitched, allowing just one run and five hits, he was quite mum.

"I feel like I didn't have much today," Marshall said. "I felt like I was kind of lucky."

According to Donnie Collins, Marshall said he didn't have command of his fastball and his changeup was so inconsistent that he rarely threw it.

So, Brett, that's what it takes?

Then just try to be lucky for every start, especially with the RailRiders within five games of the wild card.

"Marshall doesn't have a sexy profile as a pitching prospect, sitting in the 89-91 range and touching 93 at times," said Baseball Prospect Nation in their latest evaluation of Marshall. "His long-term profile sits in the number four or five starter realm and he could be ready to fulfill that role in 2014."

Marshall has already has his first shot in the bigs, relieving Phil Hughes after a disastrous start in mid-May against the Mariners. Marshall wasn't terrible, but was still outmatched and not ready for the major leagues, tallying 5.2 innings pitched, allowing five runs.

However, I like to think Baseball Prospect Nation struck the nail on its head with Marshall because I see exactly what they're saying ... metaphorically and physically.

He usually sits in the 90-mph zone on his fastball with decent secondary pitches, but control is everything. If he controls his pitches, he is indeed a four or five starter in MLB.

But hey, he did say felt "kind of lucky" for his best performance of 2013. Maybe luck could be his ticket to The Show.

This Day In New York Yankees History 7/31

On this day in 1996 the Yankees traded Ruben Sierra to the Detroit Tigers for first basemen Cecil Fielder. This is the first trade in major league history where two players with more than 220 home runs were traded in a single deal.

On this day in 2004 the Yankees traded Jose Contreras to the Chicago White Sox for Esteban Loaiza just one minute before the trading deadline passed.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Game Thread: Yankees @ Dodgers 7/30

The Yankees and the Dodgers kick off a quick two game set at Dodgers Stadium tonight on YES and on MLB TV.  Andy Pettitte and Zack Greinke is the pitching match up and it is happening now. Andy Pettitte has continued to have that one bad inning and struggle for the Yankees and looks to bounce back and turn it around. Zack Greinke has continued to pitch well this season and has a 5-1 record with a 2.56 ERA at home this season. This is going to be a tough series so go Yankees!

Here is the Yankees lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Jayson Nix 3B
Chris Stewart C
Andy Pettitte LHP

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Fading Away and Trading Away

Confession: I tweeted last night that I would have an article today--I never break my promises, but I always procrastinate horribly.

Fading away. Well, Yankees, you're getting your Christmas present: no A-Rod. Here's my short and sweet opinion on the whole thing: A-Rod's always been the big scapegoat and the black sheep of baseball from the beginning, when there are way worse offenders. Baseball, you mean to tell me that you'll suspend Ryan Braun, who out-and-out LIED through his teeth to everyone's faces and pumped his chest, only for the rest of the year, while the WORST A-Rod gets is a suspension through 2014? A-Rod's never failed a drug test, and even admitted to doing steroids in 2009. He hasn't pumped his chest or mocked baseball's higher-ups. Do I think he's done steroids since '09? Probably. But don't forget, in this country you're innocent until proven guilty. But the Yankees got what they wanted, so now the money's freed up for...

Trading away. It's 8:38 p.m. on July 30th as I write this. There are 18 hours before the end of the trading deadline (4 p.m. tomorrow.) The Yankees are lacking in two vital positions: catcher and third base. It looks like the Phillies will clutch Michael Young with their talons until kingdom come, so I'll focus on the catcher.

Braves fans, bear with me. National League ballparks are usually deeper than American League ballparks. Therefore, an AL pitcher who has a soft spot for home-runs would probably pitch a little better in NL parks. Yes, I'm talking about Phil Hughes. Did anyone see him Sunday against Tampa, against a ROOKIE? BUT, that same pitcher would probably not give up as many home runs in Atlanta, as well as the pitchers' parks the Mets, Marlins, Phillies and Nationals have in that division. They're not the same bandboxes in the AL East. Throw Hughes and some prospects or cash and you got yourself one Brian McCann!

Brian McCann is hitting .284, and is a free agent this winter. He's 29, a 7-time All-Star (including this year when he was hurt) and in the prime of his career. A player like that commands a lot of money, even if he's a Georgia native. The Yankees need a catcher with power, the Braves need a pitcher without Tim Hudson now. Think about it; let's make it happen (hopefully!)

'Till Next Time!

Neil Dwyer @neildwyer1993

New York Yankees @ Los Angeles Dodgers 7/30

The New York Yankees will travel to Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers in Dodgers Stadium in a quick two game set. The Dodgers are one of the hottest teams in the National League right now and the Yankees offensive woes have continued so this could be a tough second reunion with Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly. The Yankees will send Andy Pettitte to the mound to face off with Zach Greinke for the Dodgers. The game will be televised at 10:00 pm ET on YES, MLB Network, and MLB TV.

Yankees Interested In Angels Alberto Callaspo

The Yankees and the Angels have discussed trading the Angels third basemen Alberto Callaspo before Wednesday's 4:00 pm ET trade deadline passes. Callaspo is in his age 30 season and is hitting .253/.323/.348 with five home runs. Callaspo is a switch hitter which the Yankees seem to covet and is fairly cheap making only $4,100,000 in 2013 (we would only pay the prorated amount obviously) and a guaranteed $4,875,000 in 2014 before hitting free agency for the first time. With Alex Rodriguez possibly out for at least this season and next Callaspo could be a decent fill in player at third for the Yanks.

John Sterling's Home Run Call For Alfonso Soriano

Did anyone notice the home run call that John Sterling had for Alfonso Soriano? It may be the worst one that he ever had actually.... "Sori, RIGHT number?" Maybe it's just me but I don't get it. I get that "Sori" is supposed to signify "sorry" but still, I don't get it and I don't think I want to get it. Sterling is slipping with the home run names but that is probably because he is out practice.

Michael Young Will Only Approve Trade Back To Texas

Well so much for that, huh?

Michael Young has announced today the he would only waive his no trade clause in a deal that sent him back to the Texas Rangers. With prospect Cody Asche being called up to man third base a deal for Young seemed imminent until this announcement was made late this afternoon. I cannot see Michael Young getting traded now but maybe this is all posturing.

Charleston Riverdogs Game Recap For 7/29

Crawdads Sweep Twin Bill From Charleston
RiverDogs drop two falling late in both contests Monday evening

CHARLESTON, SC – The Hickory Crawdads knocked off the RiverDogs 3-1 in game one and came back to defeat the ‘Dogs by a 5-4 final in game two in front of 2,811 at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park in South Atlantic League action.

With the losses, the RiverDogs drop to 20-15 in the second half and 59-44 overall. Charleston sits two games behind the Lexington Legends for first place in the Southern Division. With the victories, the Crawdads improve to 21-16 in the second half and 60-47 overall.

Game one was scoreless until the third inning when both offenses awoke. Hickory got things started with run in the top of the third inning. Lewis Brinson drew a walk and advanced to second on a fielder's choice and an error by shortstop Cito Culver in the very next at-bat. Two batters later Brinson scored on a sacrifice fly by Hirotoshi Onaka.

Charleston struck for a run of their own in the bottom of the fourth but stranded a golden opportunity ending the inning with the bases loaded.

Hickory took it from there scoring two runs in the sixth to secure the game one victory.
Cody Ege (2-0) took the win in relief of starter Luis Parra. Ege went three innings and struckout six on two hits.
Derek Varnadore (0-3) took the loss in game one in relief of starter Luis Severino. Varnadore lasted 2.1 innings and allowed two runs on three hits.

In game two, Ryan Rua got the scoring started with a solo blast, his league leading 29th of the season.
Charleston struck back with two runs of their own on a Wes Wilson single that scored Daniel Aldrich and Angelo Gumbs. The ‘Dogs scored two more runs in the sixth and went to the top of the seventh with a three run lead.
In the top of the seventh, the Hickory bats got to RiverDogs closer Ben Paullus and scored four times to come out victorious 5-4.

Ben Paullus (6-3) took the loss in relief of starter Cesar Vargas as he allowed two runs in his one inning of work.
Jose Valdespina (3-1) picked up the win for the Crawdads in game two. Jose Monegro picked up his second save in the comeback win for Hickory.

BALLPARK FUN: Charleston fans got to see a game that started on Monday night and ended just shy of 1:00 AM Tuesday morning.

COMING UP:Game three of this four game set is Tuesday evening back at The Joe with first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm. Charleston will send LHP Evan Rutckyj (8-6, 4.67 ERA) to the mound as Hickory counters with RHP Connor Sadzeck (9-3, 2.51 ERA). Tickets for Tuesday’s game may be purchased by 
visiting or by calling (843) 577-3647You can listen to each and every game live locally on ESPN 910 AM or online at

Being posted with permission from the Charleston Riverdogs organization. The original post can be seen HERE

Yankees Targets At the Trade Deadline

The Yankees already made one improvement by trading for Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs.

Soriano got the game winning hit and went 4-5 on Sunday. He and Derek Jeter provided some great energy to the team. However, with the Yankees starting pitching struggling and the offense still not very good, the Yankees will need more upgrades than just Soriano.

The Yankees should get another upgrade when Curtis Granderson comes off the DL, which will be a big help. If the Yankees can trade for another bat that would be make four new additions counting Jeter, Soriano and Granderson. The Yankees could actually have a decent offense if that happens.

The player who the Yankees have been most connected to has been Phillies 3rd baseman Michael Young. I am not exactly enamored with him for a few reasons. One, is that his defense is so bad that it almost scratches out his offensive production. Young's .2 WAR and -15.2 UZR at third base indicates that.

Another, is that Young will probably cost some significant prospects with a lot of teams interested in him, and I do not want to give up big prospects for rentals this year since the Yankees chances at a championship this year are not great.

Young is having a solid offensive year with a slash line of .277/.342/.402/.743 with a 106 wRC+. That is certainly a huge step up from the atrocious numbers that the Yankees have gotten out of third base this year. However, if the cost is a top 10 prospect I probably don't think Young is worth it.

The guy I would be targeting is Seattle 1B/OF Mike Morse. Morse was just activated from the DL with a quad injury and has a slash line of .250/.308.417/.725 on the season with a 111 wRC+. Seattle has been said not to be sellers, but Morse is expendable with Raul Ibanez, Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales already on the roster.

I wanted the Yankees to trade for Morse this offseason when Washington put him on the block and he might come cheaper than Michael Young right now after his DL stint. Morse is versatile, hits lefties, and provides power from the right side that the Yankees need desperately.

Morse would be an upgrade over Lyle Overbay at first and can play in right field when necessary. Morse had a career year in 2010 when he hit .303, with 31 home runs, 95 RBI and a .910 OPS. In 2011, he played in only 102 games, but was solid with 18 home runs and a .791 OPS.

Morse is a lefty masher with a slash line of .303/.358/.515/.873 against lefties for his career. Also, he fits Yankee Stadium very well, as 30.1% of his career hits have gone to right field. He has a .280 ISO power on those hits, so Morse would love the short porch.

Morse is the perfect fit for the Yankees right now. Imagine this lineup:

1. Gardner CF
2. Jeter SS
3. Cano 2B
4. Soriano DH
5. Granderson LF
6. Morse 1B
7. Ichiro RF
8. Nunez/Lillibridge 3B
9. Stewart/Romine C

That is not bad 1-7. It would be even better if Alex Rodriguez does end up playing. I think Morse and not Michael Young is who the Yankees should be targeting leading up to Wednesday's trade deadline.

Jeter Gives the Yankees a Desperate Spark

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

There are some things in sports that you just cannot explain. I usually try to back up any opinion I have with facts, stats and reasons. I very much try to stay away from overblown narratives and clich├ęs. However, Derek Jeter is just a different case. There are intangibles that he brings to the table that just cannot be quantified in numbers and he proved it again on Sunday.

“He’s a movie, is what he is,” Joe Girardi told John Harper of the New York Daily News. “When you think about his 3,000th hit, how he did that, and what he did today:
“We hadn't hit a home run since the All-Star break, we hadn't hit a right-handed home run in months. For him to come out and do that in his first AB… he’s a movie.”

Girardi captured the moment perfectly in that quote. We have seen this many times from Jeter before, as his list of dramatic moments runs very deep. His 2000 World Series MVP vs. the Mets, his amazing backhanded flip to nail Jeremy Giambi at the plate in the 2001 ALDS, his dramatic game-winning home run of Byung-Hyun Kim in Game 4 of the 2001 World Series, his amazing dive into the stands in 2004 against Boston and his 3,000th hit being a home run against David Price top the list. Sunday’s first inning home run against Matt Moore can now be added to that impressive list.

The Yankees have been desperate for any kind of spark all season. This season has been as listless as any season in recent memory. There has been no buzz around Yankee Stadium or the Yankees all season.

Jeter changed all of that Sunday. In front of a packed house to honor another great Yankee Hideki Matsui, he hit the first pitch he saw over the right field fence with his patented Jeterian swing. It was more than just a first inning solo home run. It was the first time all season that I felt like I was watching the Yankees again. Even when the Yankees were doing well with a bunch of no-name players it still didn't feel right. Something was missing.

After Jeter broke his ankle in the playoffs vs. Detroit, re-aggravated that injury in spring training, and hurt his quad in just his first game back, obviously one had to wonder whether we would see these moments again from Jeter. Of course, this is not the first time Jeter has been counted out in his career, and he has always had an answer.

Jeter and Alfonso Soriano could have sparked a season altering win on Sunday. If the Yankees miraculously make the playoffs this year everybody will be looking back on Sunday as the turning point. Unfortunately, it was just one game, and the Yankees still have many issues.

Obviously, the horrid Yankees offense has been a problem all year. The Yankees will be counting on Jeter, Soriano, Curtis Granderson and maybe another trade deadline acquisition to change that. If those potential four new additions can stay in the lineup and be productive the Yankees might actually have a decent offense. However, the starting pitching that was always supposed to be a given is not that anymore.

CC Sabathia is stuck in the worst stretch in his career, as he had a 5.11 ERA in June and a 6.60 ERA in July. If that doesn't change the Yankees aren’t going anywhere. Phil Hughes cannot pitch at Yankees Stadium (6.02 home ERA). Also, Andy Pettitte has started to show his age this year. So, that leaves Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova as the only two reliable starters right now. That isn't enough with this offense.

There is no reason that the Yankees should make the playoffs this year. If Jeter can lead the charge and take this team to the postseason it would be one of the greatest accomplishments of his illustrious career. The odds are stacked against him, but that is just the way Jeter likes it. With Jeter back in the fold, a movie that started out as bleak as the 2013 Yankees season now has a glimmer of hope for a happy ending.

Baseball Cards Don Mattingly

Don Mattingly and the Los Angeles Dodgers are playing the New York Yankees over the next couple days so I wanted to take this opportunity to share some Don Mattingly cards out of my personal collection for your enjoyment... so enjoy!

New York Yankees @ Los Angeles Dodgers Preview

For only the third time since Interleague play was introduced in 1997 will the New York Yankees travel to Los Angeles to play the Los Angeles Dodgers in Dodgers Stadium, the previous two times being in 2004 and 2010. This will be a quick two game series jam packed with great pitching match-ups which will be reflected if you go to the ticket office and try and purchase a ticket for this series. This is the most expensive series in Los Angeles over the past three seasons with tickets up 123% for Dodgers home game tickets and an 18% increase for the Yankees road tickets, which are already a pretty big draw wherever they go to begin with.

 The Yankees will have their captain Derek Jeter back in the lineup for this series and there is an outside shot of having Alex Rodriguez back as well for Tuesday. The Yankees are coming off of being shut out for the 9th time this season, their most since 1997, and can use any kind of offensive boost they can get. The Dodgers are using the off day on Monday to shuffle their rotation and push by original game one starter Ricky Nolasco to Thursday to take on the Chicago Cubs. The Dodgers are easily the hottest team in the National League the past month or so after taking over the NL West lead with this recent run of victories. These two teams seem to be going in opposite directions right now but with the recent addition of Alfonso Soriano for the Yankees and with the trade deadline looming this series has the potential to make or break these two teams seasons.

The game one match-up will be Zach Greinke taking the bump for the home team and being opposed by the  struggling Yankees veteran Andy Pettitte. Greinke is 8-3 with a 3.49 ERA in 16 starts this season including a 5-1 record with a 2.56 ERA in eight home starts this season. Andy Pettitte has been more like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Pettitte this season with a 7-8 record with a 4.39 ERA including more than a few starts with one bad inning mixed in with five or six other masterful innings. With an average ticket price of $150, although you can get in for as low as $32, it seems like the fans are expecting a pitchers duel in this game. Andy Pettitte is a big game pitcher and with the Yankees falling farther and farther out of the race and with the Dodgers streaking to the top of the NL West in the last month this may be the game that turns Andy Pettitte's season around.

In game two the pitching match-up will be Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers and former Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda for the Yankees. Clayton Kershaw is 10-6 with a major league leading 1.96 ERA in 22 starts this season. Hiroki Kuroda spent his first four seasons in the majors with the Dodgers before leaving the West coast to pitch for the New York Yankees and has become the Yankees ace ever since his arrival. Kuroda has put up a 10-6 record this season with a 2.51 ERA and should have more since he was on the mound for both of Yankees closer Mariano Rivera's blown saves in 2013.With an average ticket price of $141, although you can get in for as little as $29, fans may realize that this has the potential to be one of those games where one run may be enough for your team to win.

The Dodgers are 25-13 in games started by both Kershaw and Greinke this season so this looks to be a tough series for the Yankees to win when they need the wins the most. The Dodgers got hot when Zach Greinke and Hanley Ramirez got healthy and off of the disabled list and proceeded to storm to the top of the NL West all the way from fourth place in the division. Fourth place is currently where the Yankees are sitting, although 3.5 games behind in the Wild Card race, and are looking to have a similar run at the AL East crown. This should be a fun series for Dodgers and Yankees fans, baseball history loving fans, and the casual baseball fans alike. Tune in starting at 10:00 pm ET and 7:00 pm local time so you don't miss a single pitch in what should be a fun series.

This Day In New York Yankees History 7/30

On this day in 1990 George Steinbrenner agrees to step down from every day operations of the Yankees and agrees to go on the permanent ineligible list. George would be reinstated in 1993 but for three long years George Steinbrenner was not involved with his beloved New York Yankees.

On this day in 2006 the Yankees sent CJ Henry and three other minor league players for Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle from the Philadelphia Phillies.

On this day in 2008 the Yankees acquired Ivan Pudge Rodriguez from the Detroit Tigers for relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Alex Rodriguez Suspension & The 2014 Payroll

With reports coming down that Major League Baseball expects to hand out all suspensions that have to do with Biogenesis it got me thinking about the 2014 season. I know a lot of people are thinking of the ramifications to the 2013 season if we are without Alex Rodriguez and Francisco Cervelli but I am always thinking ahead and this is no different. If Alex Rodriguez gets suspended for the 2013 and 2014 seasons this week as expected the Yankees will have right around $25,000,000 to spend this off season to improve the team. How should the Yankees spend this money if the suspension does in fact come down and we are out from under the A Rod contract, at least temporarily, you ask? I am glad you asked...

Brian McCann will probably be a top five free agent this coming off season and fills a ton of needs for the New York Yankees. The Yankees have an anemic offensive attack coming out of the catcher position this season and have severely lacked in the power department overall in 2013. Brian McCann and that sweet left handed swing  knocking balls out to the short porch in right field would solve both of those issues in one player in 2014. McCann does not give up all that much defensively or in the run game either so the only downfall to acquiring McCann would be that the Atlanta Braves, his current team, are surely to offer him a qualifying offer.

McCann entering his age 30 season would get a 4 year deal worth $64,000,000 (AAV $16,000,000)

Mark Reynolds may not be the most ideal pick up for the New York Yankees to replace Alex Rodriguez at third base next season but he may very well be the best option. Mark is a right handed power bat that can play third base and also fill in at first base giving Mark Teixeira some time off. Also I would think that Reynolds would be willing to sign a one year deal or two year deal tops after somewhat of a down season in Cleveland in 2012. Also Reynolds would be entering his age 30 season so it is not exactly like he is out of his prime or over the hill either.

I would give Mark Reynolds a one year deal with a mutual option for 2015 and a base salary of $8,000,000.

David Aardsma was released this past season because of his inability to go multiple innings and I really think that was a huge mistake for the New York Yankees. With us losing Mariano Rivera and possibly Joba Chamberlain and Boone Logan I can see a guy like Aardsma with closing experience and veteran leadership welcomed back to the Bronx. We can build from within all we want to but you still need a "Plan B" to go to just in case and that plan should be a fully healthy and recovered David Aardsma. Aardsma will surely sign a one year deal which makes him extra attractive for the New York Yankees.

Aardsma gets a one year deal worth $1,000,000 and gets his second shot at the pinstripes. 

That is exactly the $25,000,000 that Alex is set to make in 2014 spent in three players that could help our team win next season. We rebuild the pen, get a replacement for Alex, and improve our biggest holes all in one fell swoop. With these moves, in my very humble but bias opinion, we get younger, more versatile, and overall much better and all because Alex Rodriguez skipped the classes while in school that said "Say No To Drugs," Thanks Alex!