Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Rod Doesn't Feel Wanted By The Yankees

In the latest episode of The Bronx Is Burning season two Alex Rodriguez, according to "a source" naturally, thinks the Yankees are purposely delaying his rehab assignment to recoup insurance money on the sluggers $28 million salary for 2013. Alex feels like, again from this unnamed source, the Yankees do not want him to ever come back according to a story published by Wallace Matthews so they can use the insurance they have on his contract to get back 80% of the salary. Is this the big conspiracy that the Yankees are slow walking A Rod hoping that he cannot return medically or even gets suspended by Bud Selig due to Biogenesis? Only time will tell, if it ever does, but when it does be sure to check here for the latest updates and episodes in this drama.

Game Thread: Rangers @ Yankees 6/26

The Yankees played the "too many damn home runs" card last night in a walk off victory and look to keep the momentum going tonight with Andy Pettitte on the mound. Andy has been inconsistent to say the least this season so we have no idea what to expect from Andy so it should be interesting to watch it unfold tonight on ESPN and YES.

Here is the Yankees lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Travis Hafner DH
Lyle Overbay 1B
Zoilo Almonte LF
Jayson Nix 3B
Chris Stewart C
Alberto Gonzalez SS

Follow us on Twitter @GreedyStripes all season long to stay up to date with us and the New York Yankees!

Rafael DePaula To Play In Futures Game

Rafael DePaula has taken the states by storm since coming over, finally, and making his debut in 2013. DePaula has been rewarded with an opportunity to represent the New York Yankees in this years Futures Game on July 14th. DePaula is 14-4 this season with a 2.13 ERA while striking out 187 batters in 131 innings pitched across three levels of the Yankees farm system. Obviously DePaula will represent the World Team against Team USA. This is the 15th consecutive Sirius XM Futures Game and will be televised at 2:00 pm ET on, ESPN2, and will broadcast live on Sirius XM.

Tyler Austin hopes to join DePaula in Citi Field for the Futures Game as he has been placed on the ballot of the final five competing for the fans vote for the final spot. Head over to HERE to cast your vote for Tyler. Voting ends at midnight this Sunday so hurry and vote now to send Tyler to the game an injury kept him out of last season.

Mark Teixeira's Season Officially Over W/ Wrist Surgery

Mark Teixeira and Yankees team doctors have officially announced that Mark Teixeira's 2013 season is over. Mark will have wrist surgery on that torn wrist sheath and will miss four to five months plus rehab before being able to resume baseball activities. Best case scenario would have Mark Teixeira back to 100% in six months but that would put him in the December time range which ends any chance of a return in 2013. Luckily for the Yankees, for lack of a better word, they have insurance on Mark Teixeira's contract and mixed with the World Baseball Classic paying for his time on the DL prior to the Yankees activating him have roughly 80% of his contract paid for this season. Just as an FYI Teixeira makes $22,500,000 this season so 80% of that would roughly be $18,000,000 covered. It is a shame that Teix lost the 2013 season but the 33 year old should be back healthy for 2014 and that is what he, and us the fans, have to hold on to right now. Get well soon Mark!

Yankees Willing To Add Payroll At Trade Dealine

The New York Yankees already have an all time high payroll of roughly $230,000,000 this season and are willing to add even more at the trade deadline in order to compete. The Yankees have roughly $100,000,000 sitting on the disabled list alone and with them basically paying Vernon Wells for this season and next season all in 2013 you can see where that number seems a little bloated. I am glad to hear that the Yankees are willing to add payroll and even made a statement about the trade deadline without bringing up the 2014 luxury tax threshold goal and austerity budget. If the Yankees could not add payroll this July then we would be stuck seeing this same punch-less lineup for basically the rest of the season and that is enough to depress a guy.

Texas Rangers @ New York Yankees 6/26

The Yankees host the Texas Rangers once again tonight at Yankees Stadium in game two of their three game set this week. The Yankees will send Dr Jeckyl and Mr. Andy Pettitte to the mound to face off with Justin Grimm for the Rangers. The game will be televised at 7:05 pm ET on YES, ESPN, and MLB TV.

Doctors Recommend Surgery For Teixeira

It's not official, but very well could be soon.

Four doctors, including team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad, have recommended surgery for Mark Teixeira and the torn tendon sheath in his right wrist. Said surgery would pretty much end Tex's 2013 season.

Jose Bautista suffered the exact same injury last year, and also tried and failed to return without surgery. Bautista had surgery on September 4th and was ready for Spring Training, therefore Teixeira should be more than ready by the team Spring Training comes around in 2014.

EDIT: It's official.

Another Trade Target

Yesterday I wrote an article that talked about what the Yankees might be looking for in a trade. I started that off by pointing out that while the team has been connected to pitchers like Ricky Nolasco, it's run scoring that the team should be looking out for. So I talked a bit about Michael Morse being a trade target. Well, today I'm going to take a look at somebody else that caught my attention.

Michael Cuddyer

The Rockies are certainly still in the race for the NL West, as they are currently 3 games in back of Arizona. But that doesn't mean they wouldn't be willing to move their third best hitter (Troy Tulowitski and Carlos Gonzalez are the only Rockies with a higher OPS+ this season). For two reasons...

1. By the time the trade deadline comes around, Cuddyer will be owed a little under $5 million, and another $10.5 million for next season. For a team with a payroll just under $74 million, that's no insignificant amount. Especially when you consider that they already have $39.629 million locked up in only four players next year (Tulowitski at $16 million, Gonzalez at $10.929 million, Fowler at $7.85 million, and Chacin at $4.85 million). So this is a team that would definitely be interested in freeing up some money.

2. The Rockies have already called up outfielder Corey Dickerson from AAA. Dickerson was hitting .386/.429/.646 with 9 home runs for Colorado Springs before getting called up last Friday. And he's already making quite the impression, as he's had 3 hits in his first 7 MLB at bats... all doubles. He's not Jose Molina on the base paths either, as he had 6 stolen bases in AAA this season, and stole 43 in 368 minor league games. Going back to the payroll thing, Colorado has to be keen on having a starter that makes the league minimum.

I don't expect Michael to continue hitting to a 151 wRC+, as he's been aided by a very high batting average on balls in play (BABIP) of .382 and career-high line drive percentage of 22%. That doesn't mean we should expect him to fall off the face of the Earth, a la Vernon Wells after April, either. Cuddyer has hit .274/.343/.460 in his career, while averaging about 17 home runs a season between 2010 and 2012.

And for those of you that may be thinking Mike's been padding his numbers thanks to hitting in Colorado, you'll be interested to know that he hit 66 home runs with Minnesota between 2009 and 2011. So "thin air" is not the only thing we can attribute to his power.


Cuddyer certainly fits in the team position-wise. He's spent the majority of the time in right field the past couple of years, while also having seen time at first base. And although it's been a couple of years since he's played over there, Michael does have over 1300 MLB innings at third base.

When it comes to trading for anybody, it all comes down to price. The salary relief will be nice for the Rockies, so I don't think the price would be a top 10 prospect like JR Murphy. Speaking of catchers, Colorado may be interested in acquiring one since they don't have any big catching prospects in the minors, and youngster Wilin Rosario hasn't exactly been a "beast" in MLB (97 wRC+ this season).

The Rockies would also likely be interested in acquiring a young/cost-controlled second baseman. Josh Rutledge had some hype surrounding him coming into the 2013 season, but he's only been able to manage a triple-slash of .228/.290/.344 this season. And after 500 plate appearances in MLB, Josh's OPS+ of 81 might give Colorado pause in handing him a starting spot next season. So what about David Adams? David's numbers aren't exactly "great", but the MLB experience he's had is a plus, and a batting line of .296/.380/.450 in the minors shows that he's better than what we've seen in the big leagues so far.

Just in case anybody doubts Cuddyer could play third base, which is something to think about since we're talking about trading away our current starter there, keep in mind that Jayson Nix has already played there for over 200 innings this season. And even though Nix is hardly a masher at the plate, he's done better than Adams this season.

So let's add Michael Cuddyer to the list of viable trade targets. Shall we?

Mariano Rivera Drafted By The Harlem Globetrotters?

In an interesting news story if I have ever seen one the Harlem Globetrotters have drafted none other than the Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. For the seventh consecutive season the Globetrotters have drafted players around sports for honorary membership on the team and Mo is the latest to be drafted. I just hope that non one is Harlem is getting their hopes up because Mariano is not going anywhere, not this season anyway.

Game 77 Lineup: Rangers vs. Yankees

It's Game 2 of this three game set with Andy Pettitte facing Justin Grimm! Should be a good match-up. Here is the lineup for the Yankees.

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Travis Hafner DH
Lyle Overbay 1B
Zoilo Almonte LF
Jayson Nix 3B
Chris Stewart C
Alberto Gonzalez SS

Andy Pettitte LHP

Some Notes:

-- Well, we have some bad news on the Mark Teixeira front. According to the Yankees, the team doctors said that the tendon sheath in his wrist hadn't completely healed and they've recommended surgery for Tex. It now appears 2013 is out of the question for the Yankees first baseman.

-- Eduardo Nunez will play in a rehab game today with the Tampa Yankees.

-- Rafael De Paula will represent the New York Yankees in the Futures Game on July 14th. Should be a great game to see the future stars of baseball.

Cashman to A-Rod: "Shut The F--- Up". The Reaction?

It’s an odd day in Yankees Universe when the GM of the team tells one of it’s most expensive players to ‘shut the f--- up”. To be honest when I first saw Cashman’s statement, I thought that it had to have been a joke. I mean, the GM is supposed to be professional, especially with an organization with as much class and dignity as the New York Yankees. When I realized that Cashman wasn’t joking and that it was real, my thoughts went from ‘this is a practical joke’ to…

 “Holy moly, Brian Cashman finally snapped.”

Let’s back track to how it all started. Alex Rodriguez decided to infiltrate the Twitter world and create a Twitter account. He then started posting on his progress, but only nine tweets in, that was when he landed in hot water with Brian Cashman. A-Rod’s tweet read this:

The tweet seems rather harmless, correct? Well, we can just say that Brian Cashman wasn’t as thrilled to find out that A-Rod was ready to do rehab games from A-Rod’s mouth (or tweet). On Monday during the off day, Cashman said that A-Rod would start rehab games on July 1st, but according to A-Rod he was ready to go right away. When the media asked Brian Cashman about it last night, this was Cashman’s response to ESPN New York:

"You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something, [we will]," Cashman told ESPN New York. "Alex should just shut the f--- up. That's it. I'm going to call Alex now."

The comment sent Yankees fans and the Yankees media into a frenzy, causing them to choose sides on who was right in the debacle. Some fans took Brian Cashman’s side because they’re probably just as fed up with A-Rod as Brian Cashman is. Remember, Cashman didn’t want to give A-Rod that gigantic contract, but the Steinbrenner brothers did. Hence, why A-Rod is here.

The media tried to stake out for Cashman, hoping to ask him some questions. However, he left early during yesterday’s game. Sometime after the news broke, Cashman couldn’t get through A-Rod by phone so he did the next best thing, he sent him an email. A-Rod didn’t respond right away though, but there was a statement this morning from him. Here was what A-Rod had to say.

“I will continue to work hard until my efforts get me back in pinstripes and help my team win, the tweet was pure excitement about Dr. Kelly’s prognosis."

I’m going to be frank here: I don’t like A-Rod at all. I appreciate that he got us a World Series Championship in 2009 but aside from that, I’m not a fan of his attitude, his demeanor, or the fact that he knows that the Yankees can’t get rid of him so he’ll do everything under the sun to irk the organization. However, Brian Cashman stooping down to A-Rod’s level and reprimanding him in public was uncalled for. If  ‘The Boss’ was alive, Brian Cashman would have delivered an apology less than an hour after making those comments, because that’s just something you don’t do if you are a part of the Yankees organization. A-Rod’s not the perfect Yankees and most fans want him gone, but in my eyes, this one time, A-Rod did nothing wrong. A-Rod was simply excited that he would be able to participate in rehab games again. And it was better to hear it from A-Rod than to hear it from Cashman, who was going to give us the runaround in the first place.

A game last night that had four homers, three from Yankees that we’d least expect a HR from was quickly overshadowed by A-Rod & Cashman’s feud. Whether Brian Cashman likes it or not, A-Rod is here to stay. He’s here to make his money and he refuses to retire until he gets every penny promised in that contract. Either Cashman could suck it up, or he could leave because A-Rod isn’t going anywhere.  

Almonte and Ichiro Improving Outfield

The Yankees outfield has been a mess for most of the season. Outside of Brett Gardner and a hot start from Vernon Wells, they have gotten little production from their outfielders. However, recently, Zoilo Almonte and Ichiro Suzuki have been very productive, and if they can keep on playing well the outfield situation will look a lot better.

Ichiro’s walk-off home run last night was not his only contribution of late. Ichiro has hit .299/.341/.390/.731 with a 101 wRC+ and .323 wOBA in the month of June. Overall, he only has a .289 wOBA, 78 wRC+ and .6667 OPS, which are very poor numbers. However, the Yankees would be ecstatic if he could keep those numbers from June up for the rest of the season. Ichiro has also made a lot of sparkling plays in the field of late.

In only 18 at-bats, Almonte has hit .438, with a home run and 4 RBI. He has provided a spark to the team like few players have for the Yankees so far this season. Obviously, the sample size is extremely small, but Almonte has shown he has some skills to work with. It has not only been his skills, but his approach at the plate that has been impressive, as Almonte has not looked over matched by MLB pitching so far. Almonte hit .297/.369/.421/.789 in Triple-A before he got called up.

Almonte is not considered to be one of the Yankees’ best prospects, but then again neither were Gardner or Robinson Cano, so you just never know. The Yankees are in desperate need of a young breakout player, so they will give Almonte every opportunity to do that. They could really use young and cheap players not only for this season, but next year when they try to get under $189 million in payroll.

If Almonte and Ichiro can keep up their hot streaks, the Yankees might look more at infield help at the trade deadline. That is not to say that if a good deal for an outfielder comes along the Yankees shouldn't jump on it because they need bats at any position they can get them. However, the infield seems to be in worse shape than the outfield at this point.

David Adams and Jayson Nix may just be the left side of the infield combo in all of MLB at this point. After a hot start to his Yankees career, Adams looks absolutely lost at the plate right now. He has hit .105/.171/.105/.276 in the month of June, which is pretty much as bad as a player can possible be at the plate. Despite the love Joe Girardi has given Nix at times he is not a MLB caliber starting shortstop. His .280 wOBA, 71 wRC+, and .066 ISO are just not good enough.

The Yankees are also getting horrible production out of first base and catcher. Despite the perception of how good he has been this year, Lyle Overbay really is not very good. Yes, he has had some key hits and has been better than expected, but that is still not saying much. Overbay’s .232 avg, .289 OBP, 90 wRC+ and .1 WAR are just not very impressive.

Like their left side of the infield combination, the Yankees’ catching combination is also in the running for the worst combo in MLB. Chris Stewart is nothing more than a backup catcher and Austin Romine is nothing more than a Triple-A catcher right now. This is the bed the Yankees made when they refused to pony up money for Russell Martin or A.J. Pierzynski. Hopefully, Francisco Cervelli is on his way back soon.

Despite all of this, the Yankees are still only one game behind the Red Sox in the loss column in the AL East. They still have great pitching and with some offensive reinforcements coming back and some potential trades the Yankees can still win the division.

With a little more than a month to go until the trade deadline a lot of the potential trade targets are still just speculation. However, with Ichiro and Almonte playing well and Curtis Granderson returning the Yankees may need infielders more than outfielders. Ideally, the Yankees could trade for a versatile players like Chase Headley, Mike Morse, or Corey Hart who could play both. The trade deadline season is just beginning and it will be a very interesting time for the Yankees.

Yanks & ACC Announce Six Year Deal For Pinstripe Bowl

The New York Yankees and the ACC have announce a six year pact for the yearly Pinstripe Bowl played at Yankees Stadium every year. The New Era Pinstripe Bowl is played in December every season and will include an ACC team for the next six seasons at least and will play a team from the Big Ten conference.

This partnership started way back in the early 1980's when Jenny Steinbrenner, daughter of George Steinbrenner, was attending the University of North Carolina for her college years. George brought the Yankees down to UNC to play an exhibition game three of the four years Jenny was enrolled there. The UNC athletic director, John Swofford, is now the commissioner of the ACC and has not forgotten the generosity given to them from George.

This is hopefully the beginning of a great partnership and the attendance and hype over the New Era Pinstripe Bowl will continue to grow.

Happy Birthday Derek Jeter

A very happy birthday goes out to the Yankees short stop Derek Jeter, maybe you have heard of him? Enjoy the day Jete and get back healthy soon!

Now re read this post using your best Bob Shepard voice. 

Michael Pineda Strong In Latest Rehab Start

Michael Pineda made his latest rehab assignment start down in Trenton for the Trenton Thunder tram last night and looked strong doing so. Pineda pitched six scoreless innings allowing two singles and two walks and striking out four batters swinging. Pineda through 77 pitches and was seen hitting 92-95 MPH on the radar gun according to Mike Ashmore. Pineda technically has 13 more days left on his 30 day rehab assignment that ends on July 8th so he will probably throw two more starts and a simulated game or something like that before being activated or optioned to the minors.

Morning Bits

Good morning everyone!

The Yankees beat the Rangers last night 4-3 on a walkoff homer by Ichiro Suzuki off of Texas reliever Tanner Scheppers with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

All four of the runs scored by the Yankees were the result of solo homers.  Travis Hafner, Jayson Nix, and Brett Gardner were the other Yankees besides Suzuki to go deep, all of them homering off of Rangers ace Yu Darvish.

Hiroki Kuroda was a little shaky, allowing two home runs, but pitched well enough to keep the Yankees in the game.

Tonight's game begins at 7:05 ET PM and Andy Pettitte(5-5, 4.20 ERA) will face Justin Grimm(6-5, 5.57 ERA).  The game will be broadcast on YES and ESPN2.

Now on today's news links:

Patrick Rishe of Forbes has this great article on Cashman's disappointment with A-Rod.

Ben Shpigel of the New York Times says the Yankees desire to trim payroll won't interfere with this season's spending needs.

Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger says Michael Pineda could be a difference maker for the Yankees.

Have a great day everyone!!!

This Day In New York Yankees History 6/26

On this day in 1939 the New York Yankees play their first game in their franchises history as they lose to the Philadelphia A's 3-2.

On this day in 1961 Yogi Berra collected his 2000th hit of his career against the California Angels in an 8-6 victory.

On this day in 1995 Mariano Rivera threw a five inning no hitter in the minor leagues before coming back to pitch for the Yankees. Mariano was started out as a starter but never flourished there and was thankfully moved to the closer role.

On this day in 2012 DeWayne Wise went into the stands at Yankees Stadium and "caught" a fly ball off of Jack Hannahans bat in the 7th inning. Relays would show that Wise did not catch the ball, not even close, but the play stood and the Yankees got a free out.