Friday, May 31, 2013

Yankees & Blue Jays Will Play Double Header 8/20

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

Game Thread BOS @ NYY 5/31

There are two streaks that Yankee fans hope end tonight.

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

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

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

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

Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees 5/31

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

Tex & Youk Return, Nuno & Nova Sent To AAA

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

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

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

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

MLB Will Not Institute An International Draft For 2014

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

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

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

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

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

Bring Back Curtis Granderson For The 2014 Season?

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

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

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

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

Game 54 Lineup: Red Sox vs. Yankees

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

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

CC Sabathia P


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

My Predictions For The Upcoming Roster Crunch

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

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

Verdict: Designate Reid Brignac for Assignment

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

Verdict: Designate Lyle Overbay for Assignment

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

Verdict: Send Down Vidal Nuno

Yankees Wang Or Wang-less Today?

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

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

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

This Day In Yankees History 5/31

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