Thursday, February 14, 2013

Kevin Youkilis "I Will Always Be A Red Sock"

Kevin Youkilis is not going to win over any Yankees fans with statements like that but when asked about his time in Boston by Mark Feinsand Kevin responded : 
“To negate all the years I played for the Boston Red Sox and all the tradition, you look at all the stuff I have piled up at my house, to say I’d just throw it out the window, that’s not true. I’ll always be a Red Sock. 

“Guys play on different teams and that’s a part of your history; that’s a part of your life and you can’t change that. It was great years in Boston. One bad half-year doesn’t take away from all the great years I had there and all the good things I’ve been able to do along the way and accomplish as a team, as an individual. It was great.”

I know that a lot of Yankees fans are not going to want to hear this but you have to respect the guy for his honesty and his loyalty to his old club. Let's just hope that he does not try to do too much and uses the Boston Red Sox as a chip on his shoulder and as motivation next season in pinstripes.

Michael Pineda Update

Michael Pineda's tenure in pinstripes did not go as planned after a horrid start to Spring Training that ended with a major shoulder surgery that ended his 2012 season. Throw a DUI in late August for good measure and you can understand why many fans have given up any hope on Michael Pineda. Pineda seems like he is taking his rehab very serious though as he showed up to camp 20 lbs lighter than usual. After throwing his first full mound bullpen session today Pineda looks to be on track to face live batting practice as soon as next month. The Yankees still put a June time table on his return to the big leagues but it seems like Pineda is doing everything he can both on and off the field to be the guy that he was supposed to be one long year ago for the Yankees. His mechanics and his motion in his delivery are exactly the same post surgery as they were before he had surgery so hopefully he can get back to being that guy he was in Seattle.

Yankees Spring Training Notes 2/14

Happy Valentines Day once again! The Yankees continued to have their pitchers and catchers work out down in Tampa and today all the talk seemed to be about the Yankees 5th starter competition. David Phelps was a sight for sore eyes last year especially when Freddy Garcia was getting bombed and Ivan Nova had a plus 7 ERA after the All Star Break. David Phelps is at a disadvantage though, according to Joe Girardi, because he has shown in the past that he can be successful out of the bullpen. Ivan Nova threw a 35 pitch bullpen session and told reporters that he does not plan on doing anything different this year to try and rebound from his horrible 2012 that he did not do last year. That is scary to think about and at the same time kind of reassuring that we will not have another AJ Burnett trying this pitch and scrapping it a month later scenario. Let's hope the fresh start and the clean slate can clear his mind and let him just go out there and pitch. David Phelps threw to live hitters today, about 30 pitches, and seems to be way ahead of schedule at this point in Spring Training. This seems like it will be a fierce competition all the way down the wire of Spring Training.

Michael Pineda full his first full mound bullpen session today since his major shoulder surgery that cost him the entire 2012 season and looks to have another one tomorrow. I know that Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi basically tell us not to get our hopes up and count on Pineda at all in 2013 but this news has got me kind of encouraged.

There was a Kevin Youkilis and an Eduardo Nunez sighting at Yankees camp today. Nothing major to report other than that but I felt like it was worth noting anyway. Joe Girardi does not think any positional players will be late to camp this year.

Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman had nothing but praises for newly acquired Shawn Kelley noting his swing and miss slider, ability to pitch late in ball games, and ability to go multiple innings. In typical General Manager fashion Brian Cashman was quick to point out that Kelley did have an option remaining so he could conceivably start the 2013 season down in AAA with Scranton. Either way I figure him and Cody Eppley are now in direct competition for one spot in the Yankees bullpen.

Adams WILL Be In Camp... Eventually

It turns out that an earlier report about David Adams missing Spring Training completely was incorrect.

Brian Cashman said that Adams will miss part of Spring Training due to a back injury, but that he will be in big league camp eventually this season. 

Spring Training Notes 2/14/13: Nova, Pineda, Phelps, Youkilis

Ivan Nova

Day three of Spring Training has come to a close, meaning it's time for another Spring Training report. Yesterday was all about Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. Today, our Spring Training notes travel further back in the rotation (and briefly at third base). Today, we take you into the competition for the fifth starter spot between Ivan Nova and David Phelps, who had a great rookie season with the Yankees last year.

We should start by discussing the battle for the 5th spot between Nova and Phelps.

Nova vs. Phelps: Who gets the fifth spot?

Ivan Nova doesn't know what went wrong last season after he posted  7.05 ERA after the All-Star Break. He does know that the fifth starter spot is his to lose to David Phelps.

"I was in competition when I had the season I had last year. Last year was a competition. This year's going to be a competition. For me, next year's going to be a competition. Like I told one of the guys, CC's got 100-something million. With that contract, I can sit down and it won't be a competition, but for me every year is a competition. I'm confident at the same time that I'm going to be there. I cannot sit here and let things happen. I've got to go and fight for it." Nova told the media earlier today. One other person agreed with Nova's words, Joe Girardi.

"He has to go out there and prove himself. That's the bottom line." Girardi said. "Because of what he went through the second half of the season, he has to earn a job. You'd like to think that every starter would go out and earn a job, but we know that's not realistic. I don't think we're going to look at CC's numbers real heavily, or (Hiroki) Kuroda's."

Coming into camp, it seemed that David Phelps had the disadvantage due to the fact that he was in a bullpen role last season? So does that mean Joe Girardi will judge Phelps on whether he's a bullpen piece or not?

"We're going to look at (Phelps) as a starter going into camp because that's what we project him as in the future. And we'll make adjustments if we have to."

So for those of you who plan on watching almost every Spring Training game (or if you have MLB.TV where you would technically only miss three games), then this is the year for you to watch who gets the fifth rotation spot.

Michael Pineda loses weight and could be ready by June

Michael Pineda went to Spring Training camp in better shape than he did last season, weighing in at 260 and ready to work towards returning to the Yankees in June. Brian Cashman answered questions about Pineda but mostly gave a prognosis on where Pineda was at this point.

"Mike's doing well so far." Cashman said. "He's completing his first week on a full mound, he's had no setbacks, he's worked very hard and it's a very serious surgery he's coming back from. No guarantees but so far we're optimistic."

If all goes well, Pineda could be back with the Yankees before the All-Star Break.

Youkilis comes to camp

Kevin Youkilis came to Yankees camp for a few minutes earlier today, but he did get his work in while at the minor league complex with some of the other players. Youkilis seemed excited to see teammate Juan Cedeno, who he knew since they were both in the Red Sox organization at one point. Youkilis got to Tampa at 6:30 this morning and went to work out at the minor league complex. Eduardo Nunez was also spotted in the Yankees clubhouse. Probably getting his work in.

A big reminder, tomorrow is the voluntary report date for the Yankees position players but we should expect more of them coming in the coming days. To Girardi's knowledge, none of them have visa or transportation issues. Also, someone might want to call Robinson Cano. Remember in 2010 when he showed up a day late to camp because he had the dates mixed up? Yeah...

MLB on FOX to air eight Yankees games this season


It's that time of the year again where MLB on FOX releases their dates and times for games they plan on airing during the 2013 season. As we all expected, the Yankees are there with eight games this season (the Red Sox have the most in the AL East with nine. Don't ask me why.) The Yankees are slated to take on the Red Sox five times during the "Game of the Week" which starts on April 6, 2013. The Yankees will open up MLB on FOX against the Tigers at Comerica Park. Here are the list and times for each game.

April 6, 2013

New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers
Air Time: 12:30pm
First Pitch: 1:00pm

June 1, 2013

Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees
Air Time: 7:00pm
First Pitch: 7:15pm

June 15, 2013

New York Yankees @ Los Angeles Angels
Air Time: 7:00pm
First Pitch: 7:15pm

June 29, 2013

New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles
Air Time: 7:00pm
First Pitch: 7:15pm

July 16, 2013

2013 MLB All-Star Game from Citi Field - Flushing, NY
Air Time: 7:30pm
First Pitch: 8:00pm

July 20, 2013

New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox
Air Time: 3:30pm
First Pitch: 4:00pm

August 17, 2013

New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox
Air Time: 3:30pm
First Pitch: 4:00pm

September 14, 2013

New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox
Air Time: 12:30pm
First Pitch: 1:00pm

Happy Valentine's Day From The Greedy Pinstripes

Happy Valentine's Day from everyone here at The Greedy Pinstripes. If you're one of the lucky ones to have someone to be with on Valentine's Day then I hope it is the best yet. If you are going to be alone just remember that nobody loved you enough to be with you the other 364 days either so this day should be no different, keep that head up kid! 

Morning Bits: Mariano and more...

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

-- Check out day two of Wallace Matthews State of the Binder.

-- Bryan Hoch writes about how Mo will decided on his future before opening day.

-- Mike Bauman of writes not to bet against Mo even though he is coming off of a torn ACL.

Meet A Prospect : Ichiro Suzuki

Ichiro Suzuki, or more commonly known as just Ichiro, was born on October 22nd, 1973 in Kasugai, Japan where he went to High School at Aikoudai Meiden High School in Nagoya, Japan. With a frame a little on the smaller side at 5'11" and 170 lbs Ichiro has made his mark by slap hitting and wreaking havoc on the base paths as he marches towards hitting 3000 hits in the Major Leagues after having 1,278 hits while playing in Japan. We have Ichiro for two more years as he marches towards 3K so we may as well get to know him, wouldn't you think?

Ichiro started his High School career in Nagoya Japan as a pitcher, not an outfielder, which would explain why he has such a strong and accurate arm. He still did hit the cover off the ball even in High School compiling a .505 batting average with 19 years in his High School career. That was not enough to be drafted until the final round of the Japanese Amateur Draft mainly because of his small frame in 1991. From 1992-1993 Ichiro spent his time in the Japanese League team Orix Bluewave's farm system and finally got his shot in 1994 at age 20 and responded by setting a Japanese League record 210 hits in the lead off spot becoming the first ever Japanese player to ever hit more then 200 hits in a season. He also hit .385 that season en route to his first of seven consecutive Japanese League batting titles while hitting 13 home runs and stealing 29 bags. Ichiro would win his first of three consecutive Pacific League MVP Awards that season as well. He followed up the rookie campaign in 1995 by leading his Bluewave team to their first pennant in twelve years hitting 25 home runs with 80 RBI's and stealing 49 bases. Ichiro was posted by his Bluewave team in 2000 even though he was still a year away from free agency and the Seattle Mariners won the rights to negotiate with him with a bid of $13 million. In November of that year Ichiro signed a three year contract worth $14 million ending a nine year career in the Japanese League that included 1,278 hits, a .353 career batting average, and seven Gold Glove awards.

Ichiro made his Major League debut in the states with the Mariners in 2001 but not without a little controversy as the Mariners issued him the #51 jersey which was previously worn by Randy Johnson. Ichiro made Mariners fans say "Randy Who?" when he hit a rookie record 242 hits in the season with a .350 batting average while stealing 56 bases. He also had two separate hitting streaks of 23 games and 25 games respectively in his rookie campaign. Ichiro also became the first rookie to ever lead all players in voting for the All Star Game and later added a Rookie of the Year award and a Most Valuable Player award. In 2002 Ichiro compiled 208 hits and followed that up in 2003 with 212 more hits becoming the first Mariners player to ever have consecutive seasons of 200 hits. Ichiro broke a 84 year old record held by George Sisler when he hit 262 hits in a season passing Sisler's 257 hit campaign. Ichiro followed up the 2005 campaign with his second worst season in his career only getting a meager 206 hits becoming the first player in Major League history to get 200 hits in each of his first five seasons in the majors.

2006 started off well with Ichiro as he got to represent his home country Japan in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in March. Ichiro's Japanese team would win the World Baseball Classic by beating Cuba 10-6 in the finals. Ichiro finished the WBC with twelve hits, one home run, seven runs, and four stolen bases. Ichiro would ride that momentum into the 2006 Major League season when he hit a Major League leading 224 hits pushing his career total to 1,354 hits in his six year career topping Wade Bogg's previous record for highest hit total in a six season span. Ichiro signed a five year extension in 2007 with the Mariners, his final year before free agency, worth a staggering $90 million with payments deferred through 2032(no that is not a typo). Ichiro collected 218 more hits in 2008 making that his eight consecutive season with at least 200 hits tying a 107 year old record set by Wee Willie Keeler. On July 29th Ichiro hit his 3000th hit with his Japanese League and Major League careers combined being the  youngest player to ever do it surpassing Ty Cobb.

2009 started off with the second World Baseball Classic and Ichiro was once again representing his homeland of Japan. Ichiro struggled a lot in this tournament but did deliver the game winning hit in the championship game against Korea in a 5-3 Japan win for their second World Baseball Classic title. A bleeding ulcer put him on the disabled listed for the first time in his career to start the 2009 season and in September of that season hit his 2000th Major League hit becoming the second fastest player to ever do it behind Al Simmons. He also hit his 9th consecutive 200 hit season when he ended up with 225 hits in 2009 while leading the Major Leagues in hits once again. Ichiro would finish the 2012 season with 214 hits making that the 10th consecutive season reaching that plateau, which has never been done in Major League history. Ichiro also won his 10th consecutive Gold Glove that season tying Ken Griffey Jr, Andruw Jones, and Al Kaline and only trailing Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente with twelve for the most Gold Gloves for an outfielder in Major League history. Ichiro broke a Mariners all time record in 2011 when he hit his 2,248th career hit passing long time DH Edgar Martinez for the team record. 2011 was not a great season for Ichiro as it was the first time in his career that he did not make the All Star team, hit for a .300 average, and did not get the 200 hit plateau. The decline of Ichiro begins.

Ichiro hit his 2500th career hit with the Mariners in 2012 but later requested a trade mid season and was traded to the New York Yankees. Ichiro responded by hitting safely in his first 12 games as a Yankee including his first at bat as a Yankee against his former Seattle Mariners team in his former home, Safeco Field. In 67 games for the Yankees Ichiro batted .322 with a .340 OBP with 28 runs scored, 27 RBI's and  5 home runs. The Yankees recently re-signed Ichiro to a two year deal for 2013 and 2014 worth $13 million and will be chasing 3000 hits in pinstripes through his age 41 season.