Monday, September 30, 2013

New York Yankees Farm System Update

With the recent report that GM Brian Cashman and the Yankees brass will begin to look at why the New York Yankees farm system has been less than stellar lately I found this as the perfect time to get a general prospects update. This is just weeks after Hal Steinbrenner called a board meeting asking the same questions on why the Yankees have not produced impact players, the farm system is lacking in depth, etc. This sounds like bad news for the scouting director Damon Oppenheimer, Vice President of Baseball Operations Mark Newman, and maybe even a Nardi Contreras after the Killer B's debacle.

Here is the latest news and musings from around the Yankees farm:

Mark Montgomery, the Yankees best relief pitching prospect by far, has started throwing off of a mound recently after a couple bouts with shoulder fatigue and other various shoulder related issues. Snap Dragon Monty continued his missing bats ways with an 11.03 K/9 ration in 40 IP's for the Scranton Wilkes Barre Railriders. Seems to me like he would be a good winter league candidate to build back his arm strength and stamina while getting the shoulder healthy.

Dellin Betances has asked the Yankees for permission to pitch in Winter Ball in the Dominican Republic this year to remain sharp and work on mechanics in preparation for his make or break 2014 season. Dellin is out of options so he will either be in the Yankees bullpen next season or on another team because, right now, there is no way he is clearing waivers to get off the 40 man roster.

Eduardo Nunez is also planning on playing Winter Ball this year as well to work on his defense and gain some more at bats. Nunez was hit harder than any Yankee not named Derek Jeter this year, in my opinion, so he could use the work to continue his development. The problem is do you work him at short stop, third base, or somewhere else? Personally he is my starting third basemen on Opening Day if Alex Rodriguez's suspension is held up but that is just me.

Gosuke Katoh has a tear in a finger ligament in his hand during the Instructional League down in Tampa. He has seen a specialist in New York and is expected to sit out at least four weeks to let the finger heal. Katoh will head to the Instructional League in the Dominican Republic assuming his finger is healed in time.

2012 first round pick in the MLB First Year Player's Draft Ty Hensley has started a throwing program since a hip surgery that made him miss the entire 2013 season. Hensley has finished with physical therapy but is not quite ready to start throwing off a mound yet.

Slade Heathcott, Tommy Kahnle, and Chase Whitley lead a pretty signifcant group of Yankees players that will need to be protected from the Rule 5 draft or be left unprotected for the draft. Protection for the Rule 5 draft requires the Yankees adding these players to the 40 man roster. Heathcott seems like the obvious choice to be added to the 40 man roster especially after the Yankees let go of Melky Mesa late in the season. Whitley is a AAA right handed reliever that the Yankees have a dime a dozen of so he may get left unprotected and ultimately end up elsewhere after a strong 2013 season.

Omar Luis is considered to be a top ten sleeper pick this year in the Rookie Gulf Coast League and is a prospect to watch in 2014. Luis is a right handed pitcher that can already touch 95 MPH comfortably with swing and miss stuff with a slider and a change up to go with his heater. Luis finished the season with a 12.2 K/9 ratio although he did walk a few too many batters for comfort.

New York Yankees Secure 18th Pick In 2014 Draft

The New York Yankees finished their 2013 campaign with a 85-77 record which will secure them the 18th pick in next June's MLB First Year Player's Draft for the 2014 season. It is worth noting that the Baltimore Orioles finished with an identical record but the tie break goes to whichever team had the worst record the previous season, which was Baltimore, so they will get the 17th pick in the 2014 draft. The first ten picks go, in order, to the Houston Astros, Miami Marlins, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins, Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, Colorado Rockies, Toronto Blue Jays, and the New York Mets.

Slot recommended money for the 18th overall pick was $2,109,900 in 2013 and with that number expected to increase for the 2014 season the Yankees could land a legitimate stud in that spot. The Yankees have not picked this high since the 2005 season when they selected CJ Henry with a compensation pick, who was included in the Bobby Abreu trade if you remember, with the 17th pick overall.

The Yankees could obviously lose that pick if they signed a Matt Garza, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Ervin Santana, or any other player that will presumably be offered a qualifying offer so that will have to come into the thought process. We can also gain some picks like we did last season if we offer qualifying offers to and lose the likes of Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes (lol), etc.

There are no power rankings, well let me rephrase no good rankings, for the 2014 draft so this is just some information to keep in your back pocket this winter and for next June.

Boone Logan Will Have Elbow Surgery Thursday

Boone Logan has been pitching with bone spurs in his left throwing elbow and will get the surgery to fix those spurs this Thursday before officially becoming a free agent for the first time in his career. Boone is expected to be ready for Spring Training for 2014 and does not think the surgery will affect his free agent market whatsoever. I disagree with Boone, especially after CC Sabathia has elbow surgery to clean up a few things and struggled for whatever reason all season long, but I like his confidence so we will leave it at that.

Logan will be entering his age 30 season in 2014 and is coming off of a year in which he pitched to a 3.23 ERA in 39 innings with a 3.81 FIP. Logan was considered to be a LOOGY coming into the season holding same side hitters to a .215/.274/.377 with a 40% strike out rate.

We have not heard whether the Yankees would be interested in bringing back Boone for what would probably be a three or four year deal or would rather roll the dice on a Oliver Perez, Eric O'Flaherty, Matt Thornton, etc so this will be filed under the "wait and see" category.

Announcement Regarding Commenting On The Site

The Greedy Pinstripes and myself  just wanted to take the time to let everyone know what was going on with our comments on the blog. The short and sweet of it is that ever since our merger with Yankees Fans Unite we have seen comments on the blog go way up over 1000% and not just from YFU guys but from others as well. The problem with that is when you bring more attention and such to a certain part of the blog you also bring the spammers and the bots and all that which generally just disrupt things. Luckily I wrote some code that has been catching most of the spam so you guys do not have to see it but it is very tedious to have to go in and clear all that stuff out daily, weekly, whatever so we have decided to disable anonymous posting for now. I know we have a few anonymous posters that we hope will not be pushed away because they have to sign up with a name, I know it can be a hassle sometimes, but we think this is best for everyone on the site, whether commenting or just reading. We appreciate every one of our readers and our fans commenting on the blog and we hope that this does not cause too much hassle for everyone and hope that everyone who is using an anonymous tag will decide to sign up and join the discussions. We have a great thing going on the blog and we have turned our attentions to attracting more comments to make it more enjoyable for everyone and all of us at the staff believe that this is the next step in bettering the blog. Please join us, if you haven’t already, in the comments section after each post or in our forum located at the top of the blog in the menu bar. Thank you again to everybody for their understanding, patience, and everything that they do to make this site what it is today.

We Can Improve & Get Under The Luxury Tax In 2014

The New York Yankees can absolutely improve their team and take a legit shot at getting under the 2014 luxury tax threshold that could give us a reset on the penalties we pay to other teams. It will not be easy mind you and we will have to rely on some of our homegrown guys that did not exactly install much confidence in us this season but it can be done. The free agent market is one of the lighter ones in recent history with guys like Jose Dariel Abreu and Brian McCann towards the top of the offensive free agent rankings and Matt Garza and Masahiro Tanaka leading the charge for the pitchers. Let's take a look at what the Yankees would look like if I were running the show, trying to improve on 2013, and get under the 2014 luxury tax threshold.

C: Brian McCann
1B: Mark Teixeira
2B: Robinson Cano
SS: Derek Jeter
3B: Eduardo Nunez
LF: Alfonso Soriano
CF: Brett Gardner
RF: Zoilo Almonte
DH: Jose Dariel Abreu

BN: Francisco Cervelli
BN: Brendan Ryan
BN: Jayson Nix
BN: Ichiro Suzuki
BN: David Adams

While we are making a serious run at the $189,000,000 luxury tax thresh hold some guys had to be cut off the roster that I have been originally clamoring for. The Yankees will not see a Michael Young on the team because he is aging, declining, and probably too expensive for us. Mark Reynolds did well as a Yankee under Kevin Long's watch but I think we should ultimately cut ties while we are ahead. I originally wanted him to play at third base and first base when Mark Texeira needed a day off but David Adams could do that in a pinch as well and comes about $7-$8 million cheaper. Also I am pretty impressed by what Eduardo Nunez did the last month or so of the season both at the plate and on the field at third base. I think if we stick Nunez at third and third only he can get comfortable and be the plus defender that he was in the minor leagues. Chris Stewart has to go as we have four catchers on the 40 man roster and he should be the lowest on the totem pole. The fact that Austin Romine and JR Murphy both have options remaining either has them being sent down or in a potential trade as both have some potential trade value. Vernon Wells costs us nothing against the luxury tax so he could easily be cut, released, or traded while we give Zoilo's switch hitting bat a shot in right field. The Yankees have some serious infield depth with the likes of Brendan Ryan, Jayson Nix, and David Adams all being able to play in multiple positions each including every infield spot but catcher.

SP: CC Sabathia
SP: Matt Garza/Masahiro Tanaka/ Hiroki Kuroda/ Free Agent
SP: Ivan Nova
SP: Michael Pineda
SP: Adam Warren

CL: David Robertson
RP: Dellin Betances
RP: Shawn Kelley
RP: Preston Claiborne
RP: Cesar Cabral
RP: David Phelps

Obviously I do not expect the Yankees to go into the season with Ivan Nova as their number two starter with two guys coming off of an injury and someone who has never been a starter in the majors full time but this is what we have now. I think Adam Warren has pretty much solidified, barring an injury or disastrous Spring Training, at least a 5th starter spot next season after a strong 2013 season in the bullpen and as a spot starter. If we sign a veteran starter or two then obviously Vidal Nuno would be the first to go down to the pen or the minor leagues. After that it would get interesting because I think the Yankees almost have to send Pineda out at this point and get something for him.That pretty much looks like the bullpen that we will send out there. If Nuno, Warren, or a veteran middle reliever get signed them David Huff would get designated for assignment followed by a tough David Phelps decision.

This team would probably be just as good as the 2013 team and a whole lot cheaper. Now I know we missed the playoffs this season for the first time since 2008 and we want to get better, not stand pat, but think about it if we can lose Mariano Rivera, Phil Hughes, Andy Pettitte, Travis Hafner, Kevin Youkilis, Alex Rodriguez, and Hiroki Kuroda and still be just as good by building from within I cannot think of anymore that we can ask for. Especially considering that we would have plenty of trade chips for the July 31st trade deadline. This is going to be the most interesting off season that we have ever seen as Yankees fans and it may be a slow and boring one for us but as long as we take care of our own, namely Robinson Cano, and fill in big offensive upgrades where we can, namely Jose Dariel Abreu and Brian McCann, we should be just fine if not better in 2014 while still getting under the 2014 luxury tax threshold.

Looking Back At My 2013 Standings Predictions

2013 Predictions : The Playoffs Teams

The 2013 season is right around the corner and this time Major League Baseball is going to do the playoffs and it's scheduling the right way. No more hanging by a thread because of a rain delay, a potential tie breaker, etc this time around. Here are the teams that I expect to win their respected divisions and the wild cards while fight their way to a World Series trophy.

American League East Champion
New York Yankees

American League Central Champion
Cleveland Indians

American League West Champion
Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim

Wild Card #1 Winner
Tampa Bay Rays

Wild Card #2 Winner
Detroit Tigers

National League East Champion
Washington Nationals

National League Central Champion
Pittsburgh Pirates

National League West Champion
Los Angeles Dodgers

Wild Card #1 Winner
Philadelphia Phillies

Wild Card #2 Winner
Atlanta Braves

Here is a reluctant thumbs up for me on my preseason predictions on the divisions. The Yankees, Angels, and Indians did not win their divisions but the Indians did make the playoffs in a wild card. The Tigers won the division and the Tampa Bay Rays won the wild card so I predicted three of the five playoff teams in the American League. 

The Nationals and Pirates did not win their divisions but the Pirates did win one of the wild card spots. The Dodgers won the NL West division and the Atlanta Braves did win their division, not the wild card, so I predicted three of the five playoff spots in the National League as well. 

Six out of 10 ain't bad?

Alex Rodriguez Steroid Suspension Appeal Hearings

The talk of the day will not be all the teams heading into post season baseball but will, in my opinion, be the hearings that begin today for Alex Rodriguez regarding his steroid suspension. As we all know and have had crammed down our throats all season long A Rod is facing up to a 211 game suspension for his ties to the Miami based clinic Biogenesis, subsequent steroid use, and various other allegations. The meetings and such would have been pushed back had the Yankees made the playoffs but they did not so the Yankees off season really begins today as they will soon know how much of A Rod's salary will be off the books, if any, in 2014.

Are Joe Girardi's Days As Yankees Manager Over?

There's speculation that Joe Girardi, whose contract as the Yankees manager was over with as of last night, may not return to the team. But that doesn't necessarily mean he'll manage the Chicago Cubs, who Girardi played for for seven seasons. Oh, and Joe is also from the Chicago area.

Could he stay or could he go?

The Cubs currently have Dale Sveum under contract to manage the team through next season. Don't expect that to be a big problem for Theo Epstein, though. Especially when you consider the fact that the Cubs, under Sveum, have gone 127-197 the past two seasons (.392 Winning Percentage), while finishing 5th in the National League Central division both times (thanks to the Astros still being in the NL Central in 2012, the Cubs only finished in last place in 2013).

Not only has Sveum not been getting the job done for the Cubbies, but it's worth pointing out that while one of Girardi's strong points is his use of the bullpen, the National League Chicago club finished 29th out of 30 MLB clubs in terms of relievers WAR (Baseball Reference).

Joe's response to questions concerning his management future was this..
"It comes down to family. They are first. Whatever is best for the group of us, not one individual, not me or just my wife, or just one of my children, whatever is best for us as a group, that’s what we’ll decide to do. And that’s something I put some thought into, and I’m going to have to think about a lot over the next few days, obviously."
For those that think Girardi may just follow the money, Joe also pointed out that dollars won't factor into the decision. So, yet again, the financial might of the Yankees could fail them.

Then again, if that financial might doesn't keep Joe around, some fans would be quite happy about that.

The Off Season Begins For The New York Yankees

Thew New York Yankees 2013 season is now officially over and the off season begins and boy is it shaping up to be an interesting one. It all begins with the qualifying offers and whether our free agents Curtis Granderson, Phil Hughes, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Robinson Cano, Travis Hafner, etc will or will not be offered one. We also need to know who will be calling the shot on the Yankees bench for 2014 as Joe Girardi is set to be a free agent as well. Then you have the whole Alex Rodriguez and the Bronx is Burning II saga surrounding his steroid suspension and appeal that is sure to soak up most of the head lines this off season. All that on top of the Yankees trying to get under the $189 million thresh hold to avoid luxury tax penalties while filling a ton of holes on the field. It is definitely shaping up to be one of the most interesting winters for the Yankees in my lifetime and I am cautiously optimistic while shaking in my boots.

The Yankees never take a day off, even in the off season, and us here at The Greedy Pinstripes vow to not take a day off either. We have tons of stuff planned for you guys reading pleasure and hope you continue to stop by daily to see all our hard work. Go Yankees!!!

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/30

On this day in 1927 Babe Ruth would break his own record for home runs in a single season when he hit his 60th of the season off of Senators starter Tom Zachary. In a side note Hall of Famer Walter Johnson would make his final appearance of his major league career when he pinch hit in this game.

On this day in 1962 Mickey mantle belted his 30th home run of the season off of the White Sox's Ray Herbet. This would be the Mick's eight consecutive season of hitting at least 30 home runs in a season. This was amazing considering Mantle missed a month of the season with a leg injury.

On this day in 1966 Roger Maris blasted a two run home run in his final at bat as a member of the New York Yankees. Maris would be traded to the St. Louis Cardinals after the season for utility man Charley Smith.

On this day in 1973 the Yankees played, and lost, their final game played at the old Yankees Stadium before George Steinbrenner had the field renovated. The 50 year old Cathedral of Baseball would take two years to renovate while the Yankees played their home games at Shea Stadium.

On this day in 2004 the Yankees won their 100th game, something they have done in three straight seasons, and their seventh consecutive American League Eastern Division championship. The Yankees join only the Braves from 1997-1999, the Orioles from 1969-1971, and the A's from 1929-1931 as the fourth team to win 100 games in three straight seasons.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

85-77; Yankees rally in extras for season-ending sweep of Astros

Brett Marshall, Dellin Betances, Preston Claiborne, David Phelps, Matt Daly, and David Robertson combined to shut out the Astros for nine consecutive innings this afternoon as the Yankees won today's season finale in fourteen innings, 5-1. Now this one, one of course, didn't matter, but it was still really fun to watch. Today was a pitcher's duel, and one that I found very entertaining.

The Yankees final four runs this season all came in that last inning, when Mark Reynolds cleared the wall for a solo homer, Eduardo Nunez doubled home two runs, and J.R. Murphy singled home an additional, insurance run. Readers, this season was fun. I enjoyed being this site's post game writer and can't wait for the Yankees to come back in late February/early March 2014. But until then, we gotta focus on offseason stuff. So let's turn the page of the TGP book and get going on some trade rumors. 

Andy Pettitte Finishes His Yankees Career On Top

Andy Pettitte's baseball and New York Yankees career is officially over after last nights start so now seems like a better time than any to look back at Andy's 18 year career. The great thing about Andy after coming out of retirement for the 2012 season is he went out his way and went out on top. Not on top the way he probably wanted, which would result in a World Series championship, but he went out still pitching at the top of his game. This is it for Andy at age 41 as he is  not coming out of retirement this time so let me be the first to say thank you for everything you have done both on and off the field, in a Yankees uniform or not, because you are a class act and will always be a New York Yankee.

Here is the official stat line for Andy Pettitte's career:

  • 256-153 record in his career
  • 19-11 record in the post season which those 19 wins are the most of all time in playoff history
  • 3.85 ERA career
  • 521 starts
  • 3316 career IP
  • 2448 career K's
  • Career 1.351 WHIP
  • 1.305 WHIP in the playoffs
  • Three All Star appearances
  • 2001 ALCS MVP
  • Only pitcher to ever clinch all three series in the post season when he was on the mound when the Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the ALCS, and the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2009 World Series.
  • Got MVP votes in 1996 and 2005
  • Got Cy Young votes five times in his career
  • Never had a losing record for his entire career

Andy will retire with the most wins, innings pitched, strike outs, earned runs allowed, batters faced, errors committed as a pitcher, hits allowed, and games started among active pitchers. Andy will also retire as the oldest pitcher in the major leagues and a borderline Hall of Fame candidate.

Andy finished his career where it all started in a New York Yankees uniform. He may finish as the greatest Yankees starting pitcher of all time as a part of eight World Series teams, seven with the Yankees and one with Houston, including five World Series rings. Andy went out the way Andy wanted to go out and that is all that you can ask for. Goodbye Andy!

Game Thread: Yankees @ Astros 9/29

The marathon is over, the sprint is over, and after this afternoon the season is over for both the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros. It all comes down to this as the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros play in game 162 of the 2013 season with neither team headed to October baseball. This also marks the end of both Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera's storied careers. The pitching match up is David Huff for the Yankees and Erik Bedard for the Astros and the game can be seen at 2:10 pm ET on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Here is the final Yankees lineup of the season:

Eduardo Nunez 3B
J.R. Murphy C
Curtis Granderson CF
Vernon Wells LF
Mark Reynolds 1B
Travis Hafner DH
David Adams 2B
Brendan Ryan SS
Zoilo Almonte RF

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Houston Astros Suck Meme

Win A Gazebo On A Pole From The Greedy Pinstripes

I know that this is not New York Yankees related but this is an off day so we tend to be a little more relaxed on the site during off days and today is no exception. I was contacted by a fan of TGP and us on twitter, @GreedyStripes, giving us a very unique opportunity. They are giving away a gazebo on a pole for free which is retailed at $1,295.00 and all you have to do is go to THIS SITE and upload a picture of you and/or your family at a gazebo. Gazebos can be found at parks, schools, etc so it is easier then you would think to find one. Also they give you the opportunity to enter for a free $50 gift card for by sharing the giveaway on Facebook which is pretty cool. Go check out the link,SEEN HERE, and upload those pictures before the winner is drawn on September 30th, TOMORROW. Good luck!

New York Yankees @ Houston Astros 9/29

This is it Game 162 the marathon of the 2013 major league baseball season comes to an end this afternoon as the New York Yankees face off with the Houston Astros in Minute Maid Park. This will be the final game for everyone in 2013 playing on the field today and the final games of Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera's careers. The Astros will send out Erik Bedard to the mound to face off with David Huff for the Yankees. The game will be televised at 2:10 pm ET on the YES Network and MLB TV. One last time, Go Yankees!

Cashman: Yankees Want To Bring Back Rothschild

Brian Cashman confirmed this morning that the New York Yankees hope to bring back the Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild who is a free agent after this season. The 59 year old Rothschild signed a three year deal back in 2010 to replace Dave Eiland and has seen the Yankees pitch to a 3.97 ERA with a 3.92 FIP in his three seasons as pitching coach which ranks about in the middle of the pack as far as across the league goes. You would think it would be a lot better having the likes of Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, and CC Sabathia on the team but you have to remember they also had AJ Burnett in 2010 so that probably did not help much.

Speculation is that Rothschild is a Girardi loyalists so if manager Joe Girardi comes back then so will Larry and Brian Cashman has said that he wants both of them back. We will finish this with a quote from Cashman during this interview.

"I think he is an excellent pitching coach," meaning Rothschild obviously, "I would like to have him back, I would like to have Joe back. I wouldn't think that Larry would want to work with just any manager, so first and foremost we have to deal with that."

Watch Andy Pettitte's Final Start In 4 Minutes

Jose Dariel Abreu and Masahiro Tanaka: Yay or nay?

Being posted as a part of Syndicated Sunday from Bronx Baseball Daily. Check out Greg Corcoran's work HERE. 

The Yankees have really shied away from big-time international free agents in recent years, and almost certainly have regretted it. They have seen the likes of Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig, Yu Darvish, Aroldis Chapman, and more sign with other clubs and have immediate success.
The Yankees have not made a big move on the international free agent market since the great Kei Igawa. It’s time they take a risk and make a marquee signing. Obviously they should wait for the right player, and they shouldn’t overspend. The questions then become whether or not Jose Dariel Abreu and Masahiro Tanaka are those players, and whether or not they will have to overspend to get them.
Let’s delve into Abreu first. At 6-foot-3, 250-pounds, Abreu has been called anything from “the best Cuban hitter including Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig” to “he’ll be lucky if he reaches his ceiling, which is Kendrys Morales.” He is a right handed hitter who has significant power, and uses all fields. He has a double toe-tap and has average bat speed. He has a knack for barreling the ball. The biggest knock on him is that he won’t be able to hit the inside fastball. Scouts say he struggles with the 90-92 mph fastball inside. Others laud his ability to make adjustments, so it’s possible he could improve upon that if needed. Remember, they have always said the same thing about Jeter.
His defense is considered a liability. He is slow on the base paths, and while he can play a decent first base, he is not quick and may struggle defensively in the majors. Yoenis Cespedes was quoted saying “If he had just a tad more speed, he would be a complete player” in reference to Abreu.
This past season, Abreu hit .344/.479/.604/1.083 in the Cuban league “serie nacional” with 17 doubles and 19 homeruns in 83 games. This was actually his worst season in three years. In 2011/2012 He hit .394/.543/.835/1.378 with 37 home runs, 103 RBI, a 43/80 K/BB ratio in 92 games. He lead he league in batting average, OBP, slugging, and OPS.
It’s important to realize that these stats came in an inferior league to the MLB, and there is no way this type of success would translate to similar success here. If you extrapolate his homerun total from 2011, he would hit 63 homeruns over a 160 game schedule. Something tells me that’s not going to happen. That said, the worst comparison I’ve heard about Abreu is that he is similar to Kendrys Morales. At the right price, a Kendrys Morales type would be great for the Yankees, as they showed this year they could use the offense.
Changing gears, Masahiro Tanaka is the prized pitcher on the international free agent market. He is 6-foot-2, and 205-pounds. He will be 24 to start next season. Scouts project him as a number two starter who should step immediately into a rotation. He throws a low-90′s fastball which can reach the mid-90′s. His fastball is straight, however, which means it could be very hittable in the major leagues. To keep hitters honest he also throws a splitter, which might be able to keep batters off his straight four-seamer. His splitter is nasty with late action. He also has a slider, which is his favorite secondary pitch, and is deadly. He can throw a curve ball, but there’s not much information out there on that pitch.
Statistically, Tanaka is the best pitcher in Japan. He threw 181 innings last year and struck out 155. He had just 27 walks and his WHIP was just 0.934. He has thrown more than 150 innings every year since the age of 18, so durability is not an issue, although arm mileage is. Last but not least, he is the owner of a 25 games winning streak. Wins are a terrible stat to evaluate performance, but it’s still impressive. The level of dominance one must show to reach 25 straight wins is astounding, and his 1.24 ERA during that time shows he earned it, and this wasn’t just a statistical, lucky fluke.
Bringing this all back into focus, the Yankees have a lot of holes to fill this offseason. Whether or not they need to pursue these two players depends on who else they bring in from free agency and any trades Cashman might have up his sleeve. Both are solid options. For the Yankees in particular, Abreu would seem to be less useful than Tanaka. Abreu plays first base, something the Yankees already have in Teixeira. He’s also not particularly good at first base, so Teixeira will play the majority of the innings there even if Abreu were signed. His value is going to be higher to a team who needs a first baseman, and thus they will probably be willing to pay more for him than the Yankees. In order to get him, the Yankees will have to overpay, which is not something I would recommend doing.
Tanaka, on the other hand, does fill a glaring need for the Yankees. As it stands today, Ivan Nova is the number two pitcher for he 2014 season, and the number 3-5 spots are up for grabs. The Yankees straight up need pitching. They unquestionably need a reliable second starter. It sounds like Tanaka will be able to step in and be that guy immediately. In a thin pitching market, there’s really no reason for the Yankees not to pursue this guy. His posting fee also will not count against the luxury task (if the changes in the new posting system don’t turn all of this upside down), which may allow the Yankees hover below the $189 million threshold. The downside is that we have no idea how his skills will translate to the MLB, as is the case with any international free agent. It’s going to end up being a lot of money for an unproven commodity.
At some point the Yankees must get back into the premium international free agent game. It is getting harder and harder to acquire young talent, and there are less and less players making it to free agency. They cannot acquire talent as easily as other teams in the draft because they are always drafting near the end of the pack. They are now handicapped in acquiring international talent with the spending restrictions on young IFA’s which are worse for the better teams in the league. The only thing that’s left is older IFA’s in their mid 20′s. This is the only place where the Yankees can flex their financial muscle effectively as long as their scouting is good. It’s time they take some action.

Pettitte brilliant in career finale win over Astros

Tonight, Andy Pettitte ended his career the best possible way he could've: with a complete game for the Yankees against the only other team he's ever played for, the Houston Astros. In his nine innings of work, the future hall of Famer gave up just 5 hits and a run while striking out 5, leading the Bombers to a 2-1 victory. The win improved the final seasonal record he'll ever have to the .500 mark of 11-11, helping him avoid what would've been the first losing season of his career. This game was simply incredible to watch. One day, me and everybody else who watched this will definitely tell their grand kids about the great way Andy Petitte ended his career. I am very glad I got to see him play baseball.

In the year 2008, when the Yankees were in my hometown of Kansas City, I saw Andy throw a complete game exactly like this one: a full nine innings and one run. So far, that has been my second best memory of Yankees baseball to seeing A-Rod's 600th homer in 2010. But it was still one I'll treasure. Thank you so much Andy for making each of our lives' a little bit better, for giving us good nights to bad days, and for giving us a thrill of joy when you announced your unretirement last spring training. In my life, you have been my favorite Yankees pitcher. From everybody here at TGP, I say good luck to you in the rest of your life and make sure your son Josh one day makes it to the field in the Bronx. That would definitely be something.  

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/29

On this day in 1934 Babe Ruth hit his 659th and final home run in a New York Yankees uniform. The Bambino had 49 home runs for the Red Sox before being sold off to the Yankees. Ruth will add six home runs for the Braves before calling it a career.

On this day in 1961 Whitey Ford got the win to improve his record to 25-4 on the season. Whitey also threw 283 innings this season and did not allow a single stolen base off of him.

On this day in 1987 the Yankees captain Don Mattingly set a new major league record for hitting his sixth grand slam of the season. Somehow these six grand slams would be the only six he would hit in his entire 14 year career.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mariano Rivera Will Not Play This Weekend

Mariano Rivera has been pitching with a sore arm and has said that he will not play this weekend in Houston as the Yankees travel to play the Astros. Mariano will not be pitching and will not be playing center field this season, his finale in Yankees Stadium on Thursday is the last time we will see Mariano Rivera on a mound. I think it is fitting that Mariano's career ends the way it did, good bye Mo. Just as a side note if his arm is sore and he is pitching the way he has I cannot imagine how good it would be if he were 100%. Goodbye Mo!

Game Thread: Yankees @ Astros 9/28

Tonight in Game 161 we will see the end of Andy Pettitte after 18 years of pitching for both the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees. Conveniently Pettitte will make his final start in Houston against the Astros after making his last start in Yankees Stadium on Mariano Rivera day. Paul Clemens will be on the mound for the Astros to face off with the retiring Pettitte. Pettitte had a perfect game into the sixth inning in his last start and looks to build on that confidence in his final start of his career.

Here is the Yankees lineup:

Curtis Granderson CF
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Zoilo Almonte RF
Ichiro Suzuki DH
Brendan Ryan SS
Chris Stewart C

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Houston Astros Meme

New York Yankees @ Houston Astros 9/28

The New York Yankees and the Houston Astros play game 161 of this long, long season tonight at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. The Yankees will send Andy Pettitte to the mound to make his final start of his career, a career that saw Andy pitch 15 seasons in a New York Yankees uniform and three seasons in a Houston Astros uniform. The Astros will send Paul Clemens, no relation to fellow Yankees and Astros teammate Roger Clemens, to face off with the crafty left. The game will be televised at 7:10 pm ET on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Gary Sanchez Ranks In Minor League Ball Top 75 List

It is that time of the year now where all the after season prospect rankings start coming out and Minor League Ball has started the season with their annual Top 75 prospects list. The only New York Yankees player to get on the list was Gary Sanchez from the Trenton Thunder who finished ranked at #42. Sanchez was previously ranked at #36 in the mid season rankings and was ranked #46 in the preseason rankings so Sanchez has bounced around a bit this season on the list. Sanchez is widely considered to be the second best catching prospect in all of baseball behind Travis D'Arnaud who was ranked at #24 on the list due to his improving defense.

Minor League Ball also released an "Honorable Mentions" list where Yankees prospects Rafael DePaula, Greg Bird, and Mason Williams were mentioned. DePaula was ranked at #48 in the mid season rankings but struggled a little bit after being bumped up to Tampa from the Riverdogs thus explaining his fall off of the list.

Jose Dariel Abreu Officially A Free Agent

Jose Dariel Abreu, the latest Cuban slugger to defect from his country, is now cleared to play in the major leagues and sign as a free agent. Obviously no one will sign him until after the World Series is over, I am assuming, so he would not count against this years finances and potential luxury tax penalties. Abreu is 26 years old so his contract would be your regular run of the mill free agent signing and would not impact your teams international free agent spending pool.

Abreu is considered to be a real power threat with 30 home run potential with a strong and fluid motion with his swing. Abreu is also a intelligent hitter with enough bat speed to get by. Abreu will not be more than a .260-.275 type hitter and will have his fair share of strike outs but the home runs may outweigh where he lacks in discipline. Abreu is more of a DH type and a first basemen in a pinch type of guy, think Kendrys Morales or David Ortiz, and the market is think for DH and first base type guys so the timing could not be better for Abreu and worse for the Yankees.

A lot of people are saying that Abreu does not much make much sense for the Yankees but I disagree I think he may be just what the Yankees need. The Yankees got exposed this season due to the fact that they had zero right handed pop in the lineup before the arrivals of Alfonso Soriano and Alex Rodriguez and Abreu could make this lineup scary again when everyone is healthy. It is not like the Yankees have not recently fallen in love with DH only kinds of guys, Raul Ibanez and Travis Hafner come to mind, so why not sign a young kid with fresh legs and a live bat to do this?

Maybe I am in the minority here but I want to see the 6'2" 258 lb first basemen that put up .382/.525/.735 triple slash in Cuba this year and had a .394/.542/837 last season in pinstripes for 2014.  

Dodgers Will Not Pursue Robinson Cano

"I Want A Barrel Full Of Money THIS Big"

First reported by Mark Feinsand on twitter is the fact that the Los Angeles Dodgers, the West Coast Yankees as I like to call them, will not be in on the Robinson Cano sweepstakes this winter. The Dodgers say they are not even seem interested in Cano, which we all know is a bold faced lie, and would rather spend that money on extending Clayton Kershaw to presumably the richest contract in MLB history for a pitcher. 

Cano will be entering his age 31 season next year after requesting a 10 year deal worth $305,000,000 from the New York Yankees recently. Honestly I think Cano just out priced himself for everyone not named the Yankees with that announcement but who knows. The Yankees offered a fair market value contract of seven years and $161,000,000 that was ultimately turned down by Cano.

The teams besides the Yankees that could be interested in Cano's services  in my opinion are the Los Angeles Dodgers, no matter what they say, the Detroit Tigers, The Washington Nationals, the New York Mets, the Seattle Mariners, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Miami Marlins, and the San Diego Padres in that order. The Tigers scare the crap out of me thing winter with big money contracts like Victor Martinez and Justin Verlander coming off the books soon. 

Hiroki Kuroda Undecided About 2014, May Retire

It is no surprise here but Hiroki Kuroda is still undecided about his 2014 plans and has opened the door for a possible retirement. Kuroda has always said that he wanted to return to Japan to pitch for at least one final season before he retired but now that sounds that may not happen. Next season we know that Kuroda will either pitch with the Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers, his Japanese League team, or retire from Major League Baseball.

If Kuroda is skipped from tomorrow's season finale, as it is looking like he will be, Kuroda finished with a stellar 3.31 ERA in 201.1 innings for the Yankees this season although he tired out once the calendar changed to August. The Yankees are expected to hand out a $14,000,000 ish qualifying offer to Kuroda after this season to protect themselves if he did go back to the Dodgers by getting draft pick compensation back for him. If he retires or heads back to Japan than obviously we would get nothing and if he accepted we could see one more season of Kuroda in pinstripes as he enters his age 39 season.

Yankees May Play Exhibition Game In Panama

The New York Yankees are considering playing a exhibition game this coming spring with the Panama Baseball team, the home town of Mariano Rivera. This game would obviously be to honor their retiring closer, the greatest closer of all time. The talks between the Yankees, Major League Baseball, the MLB PA, and the Panamanian Government are underway to try and get this off the ground and make it happen.

No news on when it would happen, whether it be after the season or closer to spring training, and whether Mo would be available to pitch or not but it is still a cool idea no matter what. I hope the Yankees and MLB can get this one done to give one last honor to the last to wear #42.

Alex Rodriguez Will Probably Sit Out Houston Series

Alex Rodriguez's legs are not anywhere near 100% and with the New York Yankees eliminated from post season play Alex will more than likely sit out for the remainder of the season. Alex came back off of a second hip surgery and gave the Yankees an instant jolt of offense but his 37 year old legs may finally be done this season. With his steroid suspension and appeal looming on Monday he needs all the rest, both physical and mental, that he can get at this point.

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/28

On this day in 1923 the New York Yankees routed the Boston Red Sox in a 24-4 victory at Yankees Stadium. The Yankees smashed out 30 hits in the game setting a new American League record for most hits by a team in a single game.

On this day in 1947 the Yankees hosted the first Old Timer's Day game at Yankees Stadium. Larry MacPhail is the one we can all thank for the continuing tradition in Yankees history. This was thought of to honor the ailing slugger Babe Ruth.

On this day in 1955 we saw a step ahead in the Civil Rights movement as Elston Howard of the Yankees became the first black hitter to hit a World Series home run off a black pitcher when he hit one in the second inning off of Dodgers Don Newcombe.

On this day in 2005 Alex Rodriguez broke Joe DiMaggio's single season home run record as a right hander for the New York Yankees when he smashed his 47th home run of the season.

On this day in 2008 Mike Mussina becomes the oldest pitcher to ever win 20 games for the first time when he got his 20th victory at age 39. Moose would beat the Red Sox 6-2 on this day to clinch the 20th win in Fenway Park.

42 Farewells For Mariano Rivera

Peter Kramer on Lohud last week asked for us all to share our favorite Mariano Rivera moment so they could produce a "42 Farewells" piece honoring Mariano Rivera and it is finally up. I encourage everyone to head over there and check it out, especially if your eyes are finally dry from Thursday night. You can CLICK HERE to head over to Lohud and read 42 Farewells .