Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Game Thread: Yankees @ Rangers 7/23

The Yankees and the Rangers will play again tonight on MLB Network, YES, and on MLB TV in the Ballpark in Arlington. Phil Hughes and Alexi Ogando will be the pitching match up and these two teams are ready to take the field. Phil Hughes is coming off of a ten strike out day but also allowed three home runs in a loss to the Twins so Phil Hughes mixed bag of results of a season continues. The Yankees will hope for "Good Hughes" tonight in Texas where he has traditionally pitched well. Go Yankees!

Here is the Yankees lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Lyle Overbay 1B
Vernon Wells DH
Eduardo Nunez SS
Brent Lillibridge 3B
Melky Mesa LF
Austin Romine C

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Alex Rodriguez Reportedly Facing Lifetime Ban

Alex Rodriguez could be facing a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball, say what? Jim Axelrod from CBS Evening News is the one who broke the news which should send shock waves in and around the Yankees community.

Alex is said to be looking at making a deal to lower the suspension but how much good can that do if he is facing a lifetime ban? The question also gets raised if whether Ryan Braun was facing a lifetime ban as well. Neither have had a legit positive test unless you count the one that was "tainted" by the "Fed Ex man" last season. How is the MLB Player's Union letting this happen is the question that I personally have.

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez Could Sign A Deal This Week

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is the latest right handed pitcher to defect from Cuba and make his way over to the majors and he may be ready to sign by the end of this week. The teams interested in Gonzalez's services are the Dodgers, Yankees, Cubs, Rangers, Red Sox, Phillies, Blue Jays, Braves, Twins and Marlins but Gonzalez has narrowed them down to an unnamed five teams. Gonzalez is said to be seeking a five year deal in the neighborhood of $50,000,000.

Reportedly the Dodgers are not said to be interested in Gonzalez since they have nearly $200,000,000 invested in Hyun Jin Ryu, Zach Greinke, Chad Billingsley, and Josh Beckett and that is even before they try and re-sign Clayton Kershaw. That leaves, if you believe the reports, nine teams interested but will the Yankees have the cash and the gall to make a signing like this happen? I doubt it personally but stay tuned!

Alberto Gonzalez Clears Waivers & Is Sent To AAA

Alberto Gonzalez was designated for assignment by the Yankees over the weekend and has since cleared waivers and accepted an outright to AAA Scranton. This is the second time this season that Alberto has cleared waivers by the Yankees after being DFA'd and sent to the minor leagues. You cannot really blame the Yankees here as he has only hit .176/.176/.206 this season in 34 plate appearances.

Chase Whitley Traded For Alfonso Soriano?

The Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees are reportedly close to a deal that would send the former Yankee Alfonso Soriano back to the Bronx for a mid level prospect. Speculation immediately started as to who the prospect will be, who the prospect shouldn't be, how much money the Yankees will take on, how this will affect Curtis Granderson and the 2014 payroll luxury tax thresh hold, etc and we may have a little more clarity now then we did early this morning.

The Cubs were said to be scouting Scranton Wilkes Barre RailRiders relief pitcher Chase Whiteley over the weekend and Donnie Collins reports that he has had five to six scouts ask him about Whitley in the last month alone. Could Chase Whitley and his 3.52 ERA and 38 1/3 innings pitched while striking out nearly nine guys per nine innings and walking right at three guys per nine innings be the guy that lands us Alfonso Soriano?

Whitley was drafted in the 15th round of the 2010 MLB First Year Players Draft out of the Troy University in Alabama after only being a pitcher for his Junior and Senior seasons. Whitley flew through the Yankees system and made it all the way to AAA Scranton by April of the 2012 season.

With so many guys in front of Chase Whitley not only this season but next season this would be almost like getting Alfonso Soriano for free. With guys like Dellin Betances, Mark Montgomery, Shawn Kelley, Preston Claiborne, David Robertson, Adam Warren, Dan Burawa, and Tommy Kahnle to name a few ahead of him on the depth chart I see him as nothing more than a roster fill in at this point. If we could land Soriano for Whitley and taking on some cash I would be jumping up and down and so should you.

New York Yankees Daily Injury Updates For 7/23

David Phelps is ready to start his rehab assignment tonight as he will pitch for the Trenton Thunder. Phelps was told by Yankees GM Brian Cashman that he would not automatically re-enter the rotation so him basically pitching for his rotation spot, again, starts tonight.

Austin Romine has been fighting a stiff neck that has kept him out of a couple games but is scheduled to start at catcher tonight so his neck is healed. Healed well enough to catch anyway.

Jayson Nix took six simulated game at bats yesterday and is expected to start his rehab assignment any day now.

Derek Jeter ran the bases, did some tee and toss, and took batting practice today. These are all firsts since going down with his quad injury. Jeter is eligible to come off of the DL on Saturday and is expected to be activated then.

Curtis Granderson took three simulated game at bats today and plans to take more tomorrow before being reevaluated by team doctors. If everything checks out then I can expect to see him take the next step in his rehab.

New York Yankees @ Texas Rangers 7/23

The New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers play game two of their four game series this week at Arlington Park in Texas. The Yankees and Rangers are both struggling the past month or so but the Rangers are fresh off of acquiring starter Matt Garza from the Chicago Cubs and have high spirits in that club house right now. The Yankees will send Phil Hughes to the mound and he will face off with Alexi Ogando for the Rangers. The game will be televised at 8:05 pm ET on YES, MLB Network, and MLB TV.

Game 100 - Rangers vs. Yankees

Regular Season Game 100
Texas Rangers (55-44) vs. New York Yankees (52-47)
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington - Arlington, Texas
TV/Radio: MY9/WCBS 880
8:05pm EST

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Lyle Overbay 1B
Vernon Wells DH
Eduardo Nunez SS
Brent Lillibridge 3B
Melky Mesa LF
Austin Romine C

Pitching: Phil Hughes, RHP


Ian Kinsler 2B
Jurickson Profar 3B
Nelson Cruz RF
Adrian Beltre DH
A.J. Pierzynski C
Elvis Andrus SS
Mitch Moreland 1B
Craig Gentry CF
Engel Beltre LF

Pitching: Alexi Ogando, RHP

Don't Look Now But Vernon Wells Is Awake Again

I think Vernon Wells is having the quietest productive month of baseball in the history of quiet and productive baseball. On June 22nd against the Tampa Bay Rays, shortly after being ousted as an every day player by Zoilo Almonte, Vernon Wells pinch hit and walked off with a double. Since then Vernon Wells has been batting over .300 although he has only two extra base hits in that span. While Vernon has been a huge part of the Yankees transitioning from the Bronx Bombers to the Bronx Singles's Vernon has still been a productive piece of the lineup. Vernon was not brought here to be a middle of the order type of hitter but has been forced to be with the rash of injuries the Yankees have endured this season. While I am not ready to crown Vernon Wells for what he has done he has been far from our biggest thing to worry about in this lineup and I will take anything like that at this point. Maybe Vernon can continue this barrage of hits for the rest of the season and add some power in there and we can get this ball rolling again into the win column.

Yankees Close To Deal For Alfonso Soriano

The punch less Yankees offense may get a little jolt today as we are reportedly close to a deal to acquire Cubs left fielder and former Yankee Alfonso Soriano. The Cubs will reportedly pay the bulk of Soriano's remaining salary for this season and next. The Yankees also expect to pay him all of his money this season and none next season much like they did with Vernon Wells. The Cubs are treating this as a salary dump and are only expected to receive a mid level prospect in return. Mid level prospect better not mean JR Murphy that is all I know but anyway it could happen any minute now so let me be the first to welcome Alfonso Soriano back to the Bronx.

Interview With 2013 36th Round Draft Pick Nestor Cortes

The Greedy Pinstripes presents our latest exclusive interview with Yankees 36th round draft pick from the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft Nestor Cortes. Nestor is a left handed pitcher coming out of high school in Miami and compares a whole lot to Gio Gonzalez in my opinion, which we found out why if you read below. I hope you guys enjoy this interview as much as I did while I was doing it. With that said here is the interview with the latest Yankees Nestor Cortes. Enjoy!

The Greedy Pinstripes: Describe your draft experience for us? Stressful? Who did you speak with in the Yankees organization? etc

Nestor Cortes: My draft experience was quite a good one. I was speaking to the area scout down in Miami , great man. Basically on the phone during draft

TGP: In honor of Ian Clarkin we have to ask who your favorite team was growing up?

NC: My favorite team growing up was the Florida marlins. Home town team. Always believed in them. And they're rookie players

TGP: Do you think your size will make it harder for you as a pitcher in the majors?

NC: My size won't be an issue. It's not about size it's about heart, desire, and competitiveness

TGP: Did you play any other positions coming up? 

NC: Growing up I was a center fielder. Once I got to high school I became a right fielder, starting my junior year I became a pitcher

TGP: What has been your biggest inspiration in baseball??

NC: The skill it takes to be a baseball player not everyone can play baseball. It's an art.

TGP: What is your best asset you think you bring to the table?

NC: I'm a competitor I like to be under pressure and get that final strike or final out.

TGP: What do you think you will specifically work on this year? 

NC: Being in control of the game, pound the strike zone, and make good pitches.

TGP: Where did you learn to throw that absolutely nasty change up?

NC:  As a kid never knew how to throw a change up but always heard that hardest pitch to hit was a change up. So I did some research, asked my Coach about and started throwing but didn't perfect till my senior year where I can throw it 3-2 with no issue. It's my favorite pitch

TGP: Where will you be starting your Yankees career? 

NC: I'm in the gcl league now in tampa

TGP: What position do you think you will play when you start down in the Yankees system?

NC:  I'm pretty sure I'll be a reliever cause of the amount of innings I had in high school

TGP: As a player how do you feel about the new draft rules and the slot recommendations for salary?

NC: I mean it really doesn't affect who you are as a player. I think the money doesn't determine the player you are. A 40th rounder is no Different than a 1st rounder. It's the type of player and heart you have to play this game

TGP: Be honest, were you disappointed to go in the 36th round ??

NC: I wasn't disappointed at all. Everybody wants to be a 1st rounder but if you think about there is only about 1200 kids that are drafted I was one of them. We are talking about the whole world here. I'm very happy I got the opportunity

TGP: Do you have any regrets in your baseball life? 

NC:  I have no regrets i say everything happens in the order and the way it needs to happen.

TGP: What current major league player would you compare yourself and style of play to?

NC:  I compare myself to Gio Gonzalez (and so do I)

TGP: Do you consider yourself to be a strike out pitcher or a finesse pitcher? 

NC: (no answer given)

TGP: Most famous person in your cell phone?

NC: Gio Gonzalez he is a great person who gives me advice.

TGP: Any embarrassing songs in your iPod?

NC: Yes it's called a thousand years the theme song to twilight

I want to thank Nestor Cortes for taking the time to do this interview for us on twitter and being a Greedy Pinstripes follower. I love this guy's attitude and what I read about his work ethic and love having him on the team. Good luck to you Nestor in everything you do inside and outside of this game and thank you again for this opportunity to speak with you and talk baseball. You can follow Nestor on twitter by following @Cortes_1210 and you can follow us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes.

Charleston Riverdogs Game Recap For 7/22

RiverDogs Blast Their Way Past Hickory 8-4
Three homers drive in all eight Charleston runs; ‘Dogs win their fifth straight

HICKORY, NC – The Charleston RiverDogs bashed three big homers to top the Hickory Crawdads 8-4 on Monday night in South Atlantic League play at L.P. Frans Stadium in Hickory. The win is Charleston’s fifth consecutive victory.

The RiverDogs remain in second place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division standings at 17-11, and improve to 56-40 overall with the win. The Crawdads, who have now lost five straight, drop to 16-14 in the second half and 55-45 overall.

Before the game, Hickory was forced to scratch their starting pitcher RHP CJ Edwards from the lineup because he was traded to the Chicago Cubs organization as part of a deal that brought Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers. Righty reliever Ryan Bores was forced into making the spot start for the Crawdads.

It didn’t take long for Charleston to get on the board against Bores as Angelo Gumbs smashed his fourth homer of the year, a three-run shot, over the left field wall in the top of the first inning to make it 3-0 RiverDogs.
Hickory responded right away with a two-run homer of their own by Nick Vickerson, his seventh of the season, in the bottom of the first to cut the Charleston lead to 3-2.

After shaky first innings, both starters settled in very nicely and went on to each not allow a run innings two through four.

Earlier in the day, RiverDogs first baseman Greg Bird was named SAL Player of the Week for game played July 15-21. Bird made sure to immediately put his name in the running for this week’s award with another dominant performance at the plate.

In the top of the fifth, he launched his 15th home run of the season over the right field wall and brought in Jake Cave to put Charleston on top 5-2. Bird finished the game 3-5, just a triple shy of the cycle
The very next inning, Cave went opposite field for his second homer of the year to score three and push the RiverDogs lead to 8-2. Cave finished 2-5 with a double, homer, 2 runs scored, and three RBI.

All eight runs for Charleston scored via the homer, and they also all crossed the plate with two outs in their respective innings. That was all the scoring for the RiverDogs, but it was more than enough.

Daniel Camarena started for Charleston, and yet again was solid. He got through six innings, allowed just four hits, two runs, and struck out a season high eight batters. Camarena picked up the win to go to 3-4 on the year.
Hickory scratched across single runs in the seventh and in the ninth, but never got within four runs.

Derek Varnadore threw two innings of relief for Charleston and allowed one unearned run on one hit and struck out two. Tyler Webb pitched the ninth with one run allowed on two hits.

Given the circumstances of the day, Ryan Bores’ effort on the mound for the Crawdads was admirable. He was one out away from getting through five innings and only allowing three runs. But, he ended up allowing five runs on seven hits and three strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work. He picked up the loss to fall to 2-2.

Lefty Sam Stafford relieved Bores and gave up three hits, three runs, and struck out three in 2.1 innings of work. Tyler Smith got the final six outs for the Crawdads and did not allow a run on just one hit.

The RiverDogs will go for the sweep in the finale of this four game series with first pitch scheduled for 7pm on Tuesday at L.P. Frans Stadium in Hickory. Charleston will send RHP Cesar Vargas (3-3, 3.09 ERA) to the mound and Hickory will counter with LHP Luis Parra (5-3, 1.78 ERA). You can listen to the game live locally on 

ESPN 910 AM or online at www.riverdogs.com.
Box Score:   http://atmilb.com/160LSKb

Being posted with permission from the Charleston Riverdogs organization. The original article can be seen HERE

Trenton Thunder Expect 8,000,000th Fan Today

Press Release - July 22, 2013
(Trenton, NJ) – The Trenton Thunder, the Double-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees, expect the eight millionth fan in franchise history to pass through the turnstiles tomorrow, July 23, as the team hosts the Altoona Curve in a doubleheader starting at 6:05pm. 
The first of two seven inning games of tomorrow's doubleheader starts at 6:05pm with gates opening for all fans at 5:05pm.  The game features a 20th Season Banner Giveaway (1st 1,800 fans ages 6 and over) presented by TD Bank as well as Kids Eat Free (All children 12 & under will receive vouchers for a free hot dog, popcorn and soda) and Dollar Hot Dogs for everyone thanks to Black Bear Franks.  Monday's game was postponed due to rain resulting in the doubleheader.  Tuesday tickets are good for both games, while Monday tickets may be exchanged for tickets to another game this season, except August 9, based on availability. 
The Thunder’s eight millionth fan will receive a prize package that includes:

- A luxury suite with food for 20 people for a future 2013 game
a collection of baseballs autographed by Major League All-Stars Lance Berkman, Mark Teixeira, Michael Pineda, David Eckstein, David Cone, Bob Boone, and Paul Blair, NJ Governor Chris Christie, Philadelphia Phillies #1 prospect Jesse Biddle, former Thunder/current Yankees stars Joba Chamberlain and David Phelps as well as former Trenton and MLB Manager Ken Macha   

- a replica jersey and hat

- the opportunity to throw a ceremonial pitch
- brunch for two at the Cock n Bull restaurant at Peddler’s Village

- a $75 gift certificate for the Yankee Doodle Tap Room at the Nassau Inn in Princeton

On May 9, 1994 Brian Edmonson delivered the first pitch thrown at home in franchise history.  Two years later the Thunder’s one millionth fan passed through the turnstiles. The two millionth fan, Charlie Brown of Trenton, NJ, entered the gates in 1998. The three millionth fan was eight-year old Grace Conway of Yardley, PA during the 2001 season.  Kevin Burch of Flemington, NJ was Trenton’s four millionth fan during the 2003 season.  In September 2005, Eileen Conville of Cinnaminson, NJ became the five millionth fan. Fan number six-million, Shawn Caple of Franklinville, NJ attended on on June 11, 2008.  Angie Bernstein of Mercerville, NJ became the seven millionth fan on August 31, 2010.  

 Standing Room tickets are available for Tuesday's game by calling 609-394-3300 or online at trentonthunder.com.

Being posted with permission from the Trenton Thunder organization. The original article can be seen HERE

This Day In New York Yankees History 7/23

On this day in 1925 Lou Gehrig hit his first career grand slam in an 11-7 victory over the Washington Senators. Joe would go on to hit 22 more grand slams in his career and still holds the major league record for the most grand salami's in a career.