Thursday, July 25, 2013

Curtis Granderson & Jayson Nix Go Hit-Less In Rehab

Both Jayson Nix and Curtis Granderson started their rehab assignments with the Tampa Yankees tonight and it was not one to remember for either. The results are not important as much as coming through it healthy and that they both did. Both men went 0-2 with a walk in their returns to the diamond. In a surprise to no one Curtis Granderson struck out as well tonight.  Granderson played five innings in left field and Nix played five innings at third base. Granderson is still probably a week or two away at best but Nix could be back by Monday if all goes well.

A Look At The Lineup With Alfonso Soriano In It

I am officially excited about having Alfonso Soriano on the team just in time for a big time series with the Tampa Bay Rays. We are chasing the Rays in the AL East and definitely need a power jolt to chase down the three teams in front of us and this lineup looks a lot better with Soriano in it. Let's take a look at the lineup that I predict we will see tomorrow night at the stadium.

1. Gardner CF
2. Ichiro RF
3. Cano 2B
4. Soriano LF
5. Overbay 1B
6. Wells DH
7. Nunez SS
8. Adams 3B
9. Stewart C

Trenton Thunder Game Recap For 7/25

(Binghamton, NY) – Nik Turley and two relievers combined on a one-hit shutout and Reegie Corona drilled a two-run home run to lead the Trenton Thunder past the Binghamton Mets, 2-0, Thursday night at NYSEG Stadium in the opener of a five-game series.
The Thunder (53-51) kept the first-place Mets (64-39) off the scoreboard despite issuing a combined seven walks and three hit batsmen.  Binghamton stranded 11 men on base. 
Turley (8-5) tossed a team season-high 114 pitches in six innings of work and allowed only one hit, a Wilfredo Tovar third-inning single. The All-Star lefty won for the first time in July despite giving out five walks and gathering eight strikeouts. 
Former MLB reliever David Herndon, who joined the Thunder just before the game, made his Trenton debut in the seventh and tossed 1.2 innings and recorded three punchouts.  Closer Tommy Kahnle picked up the final four outs for his 12th save in 13 opportunities.
Mets starter Darin Gorski (3-1) pitched brilliantly in a losing effort, going the distance on only 95 pitches of which 70 were strikes.  He allowed just four total baserunners: three hits and one walk.
After Gorski retired 17 of the first 18 men he faced. Ramon Flores singled on an 0-2 pitch with two out in the sixth.  That brought up Corona, who lined his fourth homer of the season into left field.
Games two and three of the series will be played in a doubleheader Friday, with two seven-inning games slated to begin at 5:35pm. Thunder left-hander Jeremy Bleich (1-1, 2.90) will pitch game one against Mets right-hander Erik Goeddel (9-3, 3.90). Mikey O’Brien (5-5, 3.84) will start the nightcap against Binghamton’s Greg Peavey (NR).  Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 5:20 pm.

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

Alfonso Soriano Trade Is Imminent With The Yankees


9:19 pm : The Yankees and the Cubs have agreed upon the pitcher(s) that will go to the Cubs in return for Soriano. Early speculation says that Chase Whitley and/or Joel De La Cruz will go to Chicago to complete the deal

10:04 pm : The deal is agreed upon but the deal is not likely to happen tonight. Since so much money is changing hands this needs to be approved by Commissioner Bud Selig first. This deal is expected to be approved sometime tomorrow before the game with the Tampa Bay Rays. 

The deal that was "close" three days ago is now considered to be imminent as Alfonso Soriano has been scratched once again from the Chicago Cubs lineup tonight. Cubs manager Dale Svuem has even went as far as to confirm that the deal is all but done and could happen any second now. The reported, well I guess the better word would be speculated but it is actually reported everywhere so we will go with that, deal is a lower level pitching prospect going to Chicago along with us picking up some of the cash that is owed for this season. The Cubs are expected to pick up 100% of Soriano's $18,000,000 owed to him for the 2014 season.

The New York Yankees have an open 40 man roster spot so the Yankees would only have to make a 25 man roster spot. As much as I would like to see Travis Hafner off this team in the worst way, especially with not having the DH pretty much all of next week, but it seems likely that either Thomas Neal or Melky Mesa will go down to Scranton.

David Herndon Promoted To Trenton Thunder

The Trenton Thunder, Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, announced Thursday that right-handed reliever David Herndon has been promoted to the team from Class A-Advanced Tampa.  The former Major League hurler joined the team in Binghamton before Thursday night's contest.

Herndon, 27, was claimed off waivers by the Yankees last offseason after spending the previous three seasons as a reliever for the Philadelphia Phillies.  He made 97 career appearances with Philadelphia and went 2-8 with one save and a 3.85 ERA.  

Herndon underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012.  He has made 10 appearances with the GCL Yankees and Tampa combined and gone 1-2 with a 5.17 ERA.


Being posted with permission from the Trenton Thunder organization. 

ZIPS Predicts The Next Robinson Cano Contract

Mike Axisa has an interesting article up over at River Avenue Blues using the ZIPS system to predict the next contract for Robinson Cano. I won't spoil too much and ask you to please give Mike a click on the link to check out his work because it is top notch like it always is. For the lazy though I will say that ZIPS says Cano will be worth an eight year deal worth $181,000,000. Mike speculates that Cano will at least want $190,000,000 to exceed Derek Jeter's monster contract that he signed what seems like forever ago but it is all purely speculation at this point. At least ZIPS didn't say $200,000,00 plus is all I care about because there is no way even Robinson Cano could ever be worth that.

Alex Rodriguez Injury Update & Releases Statement

Alex Rodriguez has issued a statement in response to the absolute circus that is tarveling with him every where he goes these days. As we know the Yankees stopped Alex's rehab assignment after he was diagnosed with a grade 1 strain of his quad muscle. Alex then, without notifying the team which is a violation of the new collective bargaining agreement, went and got a second opinion from a doctor who says there was no injury. Then later on in the day Dr. Michael Goss released a statement that he did not actually see or examine A Rod and just merely looked at Alex's MRI. The Yankees did another MRI today and team doctors once again confirmed that there was a grade 1 strain in the quad muscle. Confused yet?

Well after all this the Yankees announced that they planned to reprimand Alex for the violation of the new CBA by getting the second opinion without notifying the team first. No punishment has been announced yet but I am sure at this point it wont be more than some money which will make Alex just laugh probably. Alex released a statement today regarding this fiasco to the press stating that he is ready and willing to come back to the Yankees. Check it out and see if you hate Alex and his cocky attitude anymore after this if it is even possible.

"I think the Yanks and I crossed signals. I don't want any more mix ups. I'm excited and ready to play and help this team win a championship. I feel great and I'm ready and want to be in the lineup Friday night. Enough doctors, let's play."

Derek Jeter Injury Updates & Status For Saturday

Derek Jeter ran the bases today and took some fielding drills while trying to get back this weekend for the Tampa Rays series. Jeter states that he still feels no pain and is ready to go but Joe Girardi doesn't seem sold yet. I do not know what the hell is wrong with Girardi but if Jeter says he is ready to go then you put him in there so what is he waiting for?

If Jeter does not come back this weekend the next five games for the Yankees are in National League cities which means we will not have a designated hitter. Jeter is likely to be eased into the lineup splitting time between the field and the DH spot so he may be another week away if he isn't ready this weekend.

Kuroda leads Yankees to series split in Texas

Thanks to seven scoreless innings from Hiroki Kuroda in which the Rangers only managed six hits, the Yankees were able to sneak past the Rangers today, 2-0, to earn a split in the four game series. In those seven innings, Kuroda walked one and struck out three as he took the win, his tenth of the season. 

As always, the Yankees offense struggled today, but were able to win due to their pitching. In the top of the sixth inning, with a man on third and one out, Brent Lillibridge gave the Bombers the lead with an RBI Double to left field. After that, they'd score again in the eighth on an Eduardo Nunez groundout and that'd be it for the day. With the win, the Yankees are now 54-48 on the year, 3 games behind the Orioles for the second and final wild card spot.

(UPDATE) Yankees close to re-acquiring Alfonso Soriano

Thursday, 8:00pm: According to Cubs manager Dale Sveum, the deal is "99%" complete, as Soriano has been scratched from the lineup and is saying his goodbyes. Reports say Chicago will pick up $25 million of Sori's remaining $36 million on his contract. In exchange, the Yankees are rumored to be sending prospects Joel De La Cruz and Chase Whitley to the Windy City.

Tuesday, 12:00pm: Word broke late last night via the New York Post's George King that the Yankees were close to trading for their former rookie sensation and current Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano. They would apparently surrender no more than a mid-level prospect, and Chicago would cover most of Soriano's remaining contract (2 years, $36 million) that expires next season.

However, there are conflicting reports on the potential deal. Just read what Cubs GM Jed Hoyer had to say on MLB Network Radio earlier today:

Even if a deal is reached, Soriano has 10/5 rights and can veto a trade to any team. But, it's been reported several times in the past few years that if a return to New York was on the table, Soriano would gladly accept. The 37-year old is currently batting .256 with 17 home runs, 51 RBI, and a .471 slugging percentage, a right-handed power bat which the Yankees have lacked all season.

Soriano was the Yankees' starting second baseman from 2001-2003, but was dealt to the Texas Rangers in February of 2004 for - yep, you guessed it - Alex Rodriguez. As A-Rod faces another injury and a possible suspension, Alfonso Soriano coming back now would be irony at its finest.

We will update you as more news comes in.

Game Thread: Yankees @ Rangers 7/25

The Yankees and the Rangers have their getaway game this afternoon as they finish their four game set today at the Ballpark in Arlington. Hiroki Kuroda and Derek Holland is the pitching match up and is can be seen on YES, MLB Network, and MLB TV. Hiroki Kuroda is coming off of yet another gem last time out as he beat the Boston Red Sox and Holland lost his first decision in six starts last time out with a loss to the Baltimore Orioles. Holland has four straight starts with at least eight innings pitched so hopefully the Yankees can make him work and get him out early and into that Rangers bullpen. Go Yankees!

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Is Alex Rodriguez Worth It?

"Not only am I innocent, but I am also a real boy."

First of all, I'm sure that the Yankees have done some shady things. Maybe not in regards to Alex Rodriguez, but at some point somebody with the team has done something that just wasn't right. But in the Court of Popular Opinion, it's nearly impossible to side with Alex Rodriguez. Allow me to lay out a few reasons why I have a hard time siding with the man called "ARod"...

-In a 2007 interview with Katie Couric, Alex flatly denied ever having used performance enhancing drugs. It turns out that he had tested postive for two anabolic steroids, testosterone, and Primobolan during his 2003 season with the Texas Rangers. The testing was suppose to be kept anonymous, however results were leaked. Either way, Rodriguez was caught in a lie, and only avoided punishment due to the fact that MLB did not have a rule against PED usage until the spring of 2006.

-While the stuff regarding the 2003 test was going, Gene Orza of the MLB Player's Association was accused by three MLB players of tipping Rodriguez off about an upcoming drug test in September of 2004. I don't believe that Orza would have tipped off ARod about the test just because he was a nice guy, who was looking out for Alex.

-Alex mentioned that his cousin, Yuri Socart, was with him in the Dominican Republic when he'd purchased an over-the-counter drug referred to as "boli" or "bollee". While it is unclear what "Boli" is, many experts believe it is the slang name for Primobolan... a steroid. A few days later, after a preseason game, that same cousin was seen driving away from the ballpark with Alex. After this, Yankee officials informed Rodriguez that Sucart was not permitted at any team gatherings. It boggles my mind still that ARod had to be told this by the team. Common sense, anyone?

-At the end of the 2007 season, Rodriguez's opt-out clause in his original 10-year contract came up. Alex received a lot of criticism not only for failing to meet with Yankee management before opting out, but for the timing of the announcement that he was opting out... during the 8th inning of Game Four of the World Series. Even MLB's Chief Operating Officer, Bob DuPuy, called that an attempt by Scott Boras (ARod's agent) to "try and put his selfish interests and that of one individual player above the overall good of the game."

-While recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his knee to repair a torn meniscus, ARod was facing allegations that he'd participated in illegal poker games. It was said that one of those games turned violent, and that cocaine use was involved. Rodriguez denied taking part in those games, however one MLB executive said that "you get the feeling that Alex says what hethinks he needs to say to get by, and then goes out and does what he wants."

-On Februaray 28th of 2010, the New York Times reported that ARod received treatment from Canadian sports doctor Anthony Galea the year before. At the time, Galea was under investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Buffalo Field Office for distributing HGH to athletes. Galea said that he'd only prescribed anti-inflammatories to Rodriguez, but very few believe that to be true.

-ARod was scheduled to take part in a rehab game with single-A Tampa on Friday July 12th, however he never showed up. Earlier that day Alex was to meet with MLB offiicials regarding the Biogenesis allegations, but he had plenty of time to get to the ballpark to play that night. The game was eventually postponed due to rain, however the fact remains that Alex meant to skip out on a rehab game, which did not sit well with Yankee officials.

Finally we come to what should be a long suspension, which could actually become a lifetime ban from the game. Rodriguez is now accusing the Yankees of making up his quad strain in order to keep him off of the field. It's no surprise that the only evidence Rodriguez has of this wrong-doing by the Yankees is the word of a doctor with a history of wrong-doing himself, who didn't see ARod in person anyway. All Dr. Gross had was a phone conversation with Alex, who said he wasn't injured, and the MRI. I don't know about you, but I've never heard of a doctor making any sort of diagnosis without a physical exam of some sort.

Like so many other Yankee fans, I've had it with ARod. Even if you told me he could return to the team by this weekend, and play the remainder of the season like an MVP-caliber player, I wouldn't want him. Above all else there is the team, and Alex has a long track record of putting himself before them. The exact opposite of players such as Derek Jeter. Perhaps there's another team willing to put up with that crap, but the Yankees should not be one of them.

New York Yankees @ Texas Rangers 7/25

The New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers finish up their four game set down in Arlington today at the Ballpark in Arlington. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face off with Derek Holland. The game will be televised at 2:05 pm ET on YES, MLB Network, and MLB TV.

What Would Soriano Bring to the Yankees?

Various reports over the last couple of days have indicated that the Yankees and Cubs have been engaged in talks about outfielder Alfonso Soriano. The latest report from Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago said that Soriano is willing to waive his no trade clause if he is dealt to the Yankees. The Cubs will reportedly pickup a huge chunk of the $36 million remaining on Soriano’s deal over the next two years and are only seeking a mid-level prospect. So, picking up Soriano does not appear like it will cost a ton, and he would instantly be the best right handed hitter on the Yankees.

Soriano has hit .254, with 17 home runs, 51 RBI, a .754 OPS and 100 wRC+. Those are not earth shattering numbers, but would represent a clear upgrade over what the Yankees are throwing out there. He would likely play a lot of DH and Travis Hafner’s roster spot could be in jeopardy in Soriano comes on board.

Yankees right-handed hitters had an absolutely egregious .589 OPS going into Tuesday's game in Texas. Against, lefties that OPS falls to .564. Soriano has hit lefties very well this season with a .273/.310/.496/.806. The Yankees have not had a home run from a right-handed batter since Jayson Nix on June 25th. That is 331 at-bats. These awful numbers are why Soriano would represent such an upgrade.

Soriano has had a hot July with eight home runs and a .927 OPS. Going back to where he started his career with the Yankees could rejuvenate him for the stretch run of the season. His biggest problem is that he does not walk much at all, as his .287 OBP this season suggests. If he got fewer pitches to hit with little protection in this Yankees lineup than he might expand his strike zone and swing at poor pitches.

With the Yankees’ pursuit of Soriano it is clear that the Yankees consider themselves buyers. With them being only 3.5 games out of the second wild card spot that comes as no surprise. Selling could be considered an option with the current state of the Yankees, but unfortunately it is not something they will do unless they are hopelessly out of the race.

Soriano alone will certainly not be enough to make the Yankees a championship contending team. However, if they can add Soriano, another solid bat in the trade market, and Curtis Granderson that would be three good bats to go along with Robinson Cano and Brett Gardner. Anything that the Yankees get out of Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez would have to be considered a bonus, but it is realistic to expect the offense to improve a good deal if they can add Soriano, Granderson and another bat.

While the deal is fine for this year, next year the Yankees would have Ichiro Suzuki, Vernon Wells, Gardner and Soriano under contract. It would be better of the Yankees had more flexibility to improve their outfield. However, they could always just pay Wells off and cut him next year and use Soriano mostly at DH, so they could add another outfielder if they did those things.

Adding Soriano does not present much risk for the Yankees at all. However, if Soriano is the only player they add it will not matter much. They will need to acquire another quality bat to go with him and then maybe the Yankees would have a chance to be playing playoff baseball in October this season.

Game 102 Lineup: Yankees @ Rangers

Here we are! It's the series finale! Here is your starting lineup!

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

The Riverdogs Serve Beer Shakes At The Stadium

Publication Lists RiverDogs’ Beer Shakes
as Best New Menu Item for 2013

Venues Today Magazine, Like Many Others, Is A Fan of the New Beer Shakes

CHARLESTON, SC – Venues Today Magazine, a popular trade publication for the world of sporting and entertainment arenas, has joined the many that believe the Charleston RiverDogs’ new Beer Shakes are simply sensational.

They liked it so much that they’ve listed the unique beverage as their “Best New Menu Item” for 2013 and have honored the shakes with their “Silver Spoon Award.”

“Our panel of judges voted, and Beer Shakes at Joseph R. Riley, Jr. Park were chosen as ‘Best New Menu Item’ for 2013,” saidVenues Today staff writer Jessica Boudevin.  “I guess when you put two of people's favorite things together, it's bound to be a winner!”

Beer Shakes, which made their debut in April, are available in three distinct flavors – Palmetto Espresso Porter Chocolate (from a local brewery), Guinness Caramel and Sweetwater 420 Strawberry.
Boudevin stated that she is working on an article about the Beer Shakes for an upcoming issue and will interview John Schumacher, the food guru for the RiverDogs and their ownership group, The Goldklang Group.  Boudevin plans to expand on when the idea was first conceptualized, how Palmetto Brewery is involved and why RiverDogs fans have embraced the Beer Shakes.

“We’ve been very pleased with the positive response our fans have had for our Beer Shakes,” said Schumacher. “We are ecstatic that we’ve sold more than 3,000 Beer Shakes through the first half of the season.
“We also decided to team with Advintage, a local distributor who specializes in Micro Breweries, to create Monthly Beer Shake specials,” Schumacher added.  “In July we are running a Banana Nut Bread Beer Shake and for August, we are using Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout and Rum Raisin Ice Cream to create a Oatmeal-Raisin Cookie Beer Shake.

“As the owner of the local craft brewery, working with our local hometown team has been fun and promoted both our brands in the local, regional and national media,” said Larry Lipov of Palmetto Brewery.

Venues Today is a leading international trade publication that covers the business side of entertainment and sports, particularly as it relates to venues.  It is published in Huntington Beach, Calif.


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

This Day In New York Yankees History 7/25

On this day in 1955 Joe DiMaggio was elected into the MLB Baseball Hall of Fame after spending 13 seasons with the New York Yankees. It took DiMaggio four times being on the ballot before being elected for some odd reason.