Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Game Thread NYM @ NYY 5/29

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

Here is the Yankees lineup

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

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

Yankees Daily Injury Updates

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

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

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

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

New York Mets @ New York Yankees 5/29

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

Mark Teixeira vs. Lyle Overbay

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Yeah, you want me."

Remembering The 2000 World Series - Game 4

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

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

Game 52 Lineup: Mets vs. Yankees

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

Lineup vs. Mets:

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

David Phelps RHP

Mariano Rivera And His History With The Mets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teixeira and Youkilis Desperately Needed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Day In Yankees History 5/19

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

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

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