Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Yanks hit lowpoint of season after back-breaking loss

[caption id="attachment_16410" align="aligncenter" width="594"]Joe made some questionable moves last night Joe made some questionable moves last night[/caption]

The Yankees season-killing road trip came to a merciful end last night in Chicago as the lowly White Sox finished off their 3-game sweep with a 6-5 win highlighted by 2 come from behind rallies in the 9th and 12th innings, when down to their final out both times.  The loss leaves them 6.5 games out of the 2nd Wild Card with 4 teams in front of them including KC and Cleveland as the Yanks dropped to 57-56.  At just 1 game over .500, it is their lowest point since April 14th when they were 6-5.

This game was especially frustrating because in some ways there were a lot of bright spots but the team floundered opportunities and Girardi made some puzzling decisions.  The offense has been brutal all year and coming into the game had gone 7 straight games without scoring more than 3 runs.  So when they erupted for 4 runs in the first 4 innings, things looked great with a 4-0 lead.  For the game they scored 5 runs on 3 HRs, 11 Hits and 8 Walks....a veritable offensive explosion for this team.  Eduardo Nunez had his best game of the season with his first HR, a Double to deep left-center, a line drive single to right, 2 Walks and a Stolen Base.  Now that he's healthy and Jeter is shelved again, Nunez has a chance to show if he's good enough to be in the team's future plans at SS and games like last night's showcase the potential he has.  Still just 26, his defense is vastly improved this year but he has to show some offensive consistency now.

Another bright spot was the rebound of CC Sabathia.  Everyone knows how bad CC has been lately with the team losing all of his last 4 starts while he's allowed 22 Earned Runs in 19.2 IP  The big Ace finally pitched like one for the first 6 innings and despite giving up 2 runs in the 7th, left the game after 7.1 with a 4-3 lead - so all told, a positive outing for CC.  Hopefully it is something he can build upon although he had just 1 strikeout and the Sox hitters seemed to have good swings at his once dominating Changeup.  Many commentators have suggested that CC isn't getting enough of a difference between his FB and Change as there's only been a 5-6 MPH difference in velocity his last few starts.  There may be something to this......CC has always thrown a harder Change - more like a BP Fastball but over the last few yrs the difference from his FB has gotten less and less. In his early years with CLE there was a 8-10 MPH difference and in his first year in NY it was a 7.7 MPH difference.  Last yr it diminished to 6.3 and has been about the same this year.  As CC loses more velocity on his FB, a wider gap between his FB and Change would be advisable rather than the smaller gap we've seen.  There is little deception in the pitch right now and with batters not having to respect his diminished FB, it's a recipe for danger.  Hopefully CC cn make the necessary adjustment.

Say it Ain't So Joe

I've often scratched my head at some of Joe Girardi's in-game decisions over the years but by-in-large, he's done a solid job this year keeping the team in the race as long as it was with their pathetic lineup.  But last night, I constantly found myself disagreeing with Joe's strategy and decision-making.  Here are the 2 things that got me yelling at the TV set:

1) Clinging to a 4-3 lead, the Yanks had 1st and 2nd with 0 Outs in the top of the 8th inning and Lyle Overbay At Bat vs LHP David Purcey.  We all know Overbay has been anemic vs LHP hitting .202/.245/.309, 46 RC+.  This was a CLEAR bunting situation and Girardi had several options on who he wanted to bunt.  He could have left Overbay in who hasn't had a Sac Bunt in 2 years. He could have used RH hitters Nix, Adams or Chris Stewart or lefty hitter Ichiro.  Those 4 are perhaps the teams best bunters.  If for some reason, Joe didn't want to bunt then he should have used any of the aforementioned 4 players to Pinch Hit.  Any of those options would be better than what he elected to do, which was let Overbay swing away.  What followed was a weak grounder to 3rd for a tailor-made 5-5-3 Double Play and end of rally.  Brutal managing!

2) Going into the bottom of the 11th, with short-relievers Preston Claiborne, Shawn Kelley & Boone Logan all still available, Girardi elected to go with long-man Adam Warren. A questionable decision in my eyes with his trio of short relievers all available, why go to Warren there.  It worked out in the beginning as Warren threw a scoreless 11th and Cano led of the 12th with a HR to give the Yanks a 1-run lead.  At that point, I figured Joe would surely go to Claiborne or Kelley to close the game.  After all, Claiborne has allowed just 1 run in his last 10.1 IP and has a sterling 2.13 ERA on the season.  Instead, Warren pitched the 12th and after getting 2 outs, allowed 3 straight hits to win it for CHI including a 2-out triple to DeAza. With 2 on and 2 out, perhaps Logan could have been used against the lefty DeAza. Oh well.

There were a lot of other frustrating parts of the game....all of the missed opportunities to add on to the lead and the poor baserunning by Nix who was used as a pinch runner in the 11th for Romine.  With no outs and Gardner up, Joe finalyy called for a hit-and-run.  Gardner popped uo to very shallow RF and since the 2B Beckham was near the bag for the steal, he couldn't get back to make the catch.  However, Nix was caught in no-man's land and was sprinting back towards first when the ball landed.  he reversed direction when he saw Beckham fall down and the ball drop, but Nix fell flat on his face (literally) and couldn't get up in time to run to 2nd base and was forced out.  Instead of 2 on and no outs for Ichiro, ARod and Cano, the rally was stunted.  Just  frustrating loss to  sum up a frustrating season.

Game Thread: Yankees @ White Sox 8/7

The Yankees and the White Sox will finish their three game set up at US Cellular Field tonight on YES and MLB TV. CC Sabathia and Hector Santiago is the pitching match up in what is shaping up to be the classic trap game. The Yankees are off tomorrow before heading home for a weekend set with the Detroit Tigers so a win would be nice tonight in Chicago. CC Sabathia has been lit up for the better part of a month now and looks to bounce back against Santiago who is coming off a great start against the Tiger last time out.

Here  is the Yankees lineup
Brett Gardner CF
Alfonso Soriano LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells DH
Curtis Granderson RF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Lyle Overbay 1B
Austin Romine C

Follow us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes. Go Yankees!!

Alex Rodriguez Officially Appeals Biogenesis Suspension

Alex Rodriguez has filed all the appropriate paperwork and has officially appealed his suspension that was set to go into effect tomorrow. This was obviously a surprise to nobody who has been paying attention and not under a rock these past few weeks but it is news worthy nonetheless. Rodriguez will now take his fight against the 211 game suspension to an arbitrator which may take somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-30 days/games or as late as November or December according to some reports.

New York Yankees @ Chicago White Sox 8/7

The New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox finish up their three game set at US Cellular Field tonight. The Yankees will send the highest paid 5th starter in the world CC Sabathia to the mound to face off with Hector Santiago for the White Sox. The game will be televised at 8:10 pm ET on YES and MLB TV.

Keeping An Eye On Austin Romine

For a while now I've said that the Yankees should go after Brian McCann this offseason.

Brian's hitting .280/.363/.523 this season with 16 home runs, and he hit .270/.351/.466 with 24 home runs in 2011. I'm giving him a break on his poor 2012 season, as he battled a number of injuries that season, and ended up needing shoulder surgery by the end of it. That surgery ended up costing him the first 45 games of this season, but since that time he's been the best hitter on the first-place Braves.

Not that there aren't any concerns surrounding McCann. Of course, there's the injury history. Is he completely healed form his shoulder woes? He also missed games due to thigh, knee, and trunk problems in 2012 too.

McCann's line-drive percentage is at a career high 24%, as is his home run percentage of 5.9%, compared to career marks of 19% and 4.1%. So his numbers are likely a bit higher than what can be expected over the next few years.

So what is another alternative to signing Brian McCann?

"What about me?"

Although Romine's season triple-slash of .215/.247/.323 immediately makes people take a stronger look at free agents like Brian McCann, you might be surprised to see what Austin's done lately.

In his last 28 plate appearances, Austin is batting .440/.500/.720 with four doubles and a home run. Besides an apparent change to his approach at the plate, Romine's defense is fairly good as well. His caught stealing percentage is at 30%, which is a bit above the MLB average of 26%.

Speaking of that caught stealing percentage, the way he threw out Alejandro De Aza in the first inning last night was incredible impressive. It wasn't an easy pitch to handle when it comes to trying to throw out a base stealer, the throw was hard, and the throw was right on the money.

By the way, Romine's hitting .286/.318/.476 with runners in scoring position this year. Compare that to the team's batting line of .250/.332/.368 and you'll see why those numbers shouldn't be dismissed. Honestly, if you should dismiss his batting line in this case, it's because of the small sample size (24 plate appearances). But I digress!

I'm going to be watching Austin Romine carefully from here on out, while advocating his use in most games. Because if he can turn into the everyday player many thought he could as a prospect, then the team could be in really good shape financially in order to build a strong team for 2014.

Game 113 Lineup: Yankees @ White Sox

Yankees try to salvage the final game of this three game set, so they bring in CC Sabathia who has been struggling of late. Here's your starting lineup!

Brett Gardner CF
Alfonso Soriano LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells DH
Curtis Granderson RF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Lyle Overbay 1B
Austin Romine C

LHP CC Sabathia

Romine Improving

When Austin Romine first came up to the Yankees after Francisco Cervelli's injury it was thought that he would split time with Chris Stewart and be given an opportunity to supplant him.

However, Romine did absolutely nothing to warrant playing time, and Stewart ended up taking the full time job. At the end of June, Romine's slash line was .145/.159/.194/.352. Now the tide has turned, and Romine should be getting more playing time than Stewart. Stewart just seems to have completely worn down, as he hit .148 with a .416 OPS in July.

Meanwhile, over his last 28 plate appearances, Romine's is hitting .416 with 4 doubles and a home run. His approach has looked great and Romine is hitting a lot of balls back up the middle where they came from. Very few of his hits have been cheap, so he is making some hard contact. He has looked very good behind the plate as well, as he has thrown out 30% of runners trying to steal this season.

Obviously, this is a small sample size, but with the fact that the Yankees chances of making the playoffs are slim to none, and Stewart is terrible, the Yankees should see what Romine can do as the starting catcher over the last two months.


All that's really left for this season is to evaluate for next season, and the starting catchers spot is wide open. It would be ideal if the Yankees signed Brian McCann in the offseason, but if that does not happen Romine could be considered a cheap option if he does well through the end of the season. The Yankees need to see what they have in him.

Romine's career minor league slash line of .280/.334/.414/.748 indicate that he probably does not have a good enough bat to be considered a good starting catcher. However, at this point the Yankees really have nothing to lose and stranger things have happened.

With Joe Girardi giving Romine a second consecutive start tonight he might agree that it is time to give Romine a shot for the rest of the season. If that is the case, he will definitely be a player to watch to see if his success is just a flash in the pan or if it's sustainable.

It Is Time To Sell: Hiroki Kuroda

I want to start off by saying that, before this article and the ones that are likely to follow this start a war on Twitter, I understand this may be all a dream. I do fully understand the waiver trade deadline and understand there is a great possibility that Hiroki Kuroda and others would likely be claimed rather quickly and would not clear waivers. I get it, I do, but I also would have thought that Adrian Gonzalez would have been claimed last season with or without that monster contract. Maybe it is wishful thinking that guys like Kuroda would clear waivers but even if he didn't we could still trade him to the team that claimed him albeit losing some advantages and leverage at the negotiating table but at this point what choice do we have?

Hiroki Kuroda will be a free agent after this season and does not seem willing to sign with anybody after this season not named the Yankees, the Dodgers, or his former team in Japan so he would be a true rental player. Kuroda would be eligible to play on the post season roster of any team he is acquired by as long as he is acquired by September 1st so I decided to look at playoff teams, whether contending or pretending, as the only possible suitors for Kuroda.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are selling off pitchers, see Ian Kennedy, the St. Louis Cardinals are content standing pat and relying on their farm system, eff the Texas Rangers, and it would be extremely painful to see us trade Kuroda within our division. That leaves one contender and possible suitor for Kuroda in a perfect world and that is the Cleveland Indians. Kuroda could give them an ace to go with Justin Masterson and may be just what they need to get them over the hump we call the Detroit Tigers (or just Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera because they are a set of pretty big guys). I do not claim to be an expert on the Cleveland Indians system but they have had a nice run of developing players lately, perfect example being an Asrubal Cabrera or a Carlos Santana for instance, and should have a nice two or three players we could acquire.

Again I realize this is probably just a pipe dream but at this point so is the chances that the New York Yankees will make the playoffs this season so don't judge me. Get it done Cash, or something, hell get anything done. Anything would be an improvement at this point. 

Yankees Won't Accept Losing

Daniel Barbarisi reported that the Yankees held a closed-door meeting on Monday, in which they basically said they will not accept losing.

Although things don't look good for the Yankees, and fans such as myself are coming to terms with the strong possibility that the team misses the playoffs for only the second time over the past 19 years, I'm really happy that the Yanks are not about to lay down and take it.

While he wasn't the only one that spoke at the meeting, Derek Jeter once again showed everybody why he's the Captain, and why his mere presence around the team is worth so much (Joe Girardi and Robinson Cano
also spoke).
"This meeting yesterday, it was to make sure that we're all together, working toward that goal, and not getting off track and saying, '[losing] is going to be how it is,'" one veteran player said. "If we start thinking bad thoughts, we're not going to be successful. I think we kind of got a little bit of that, where we started feeling sorry for ourselves, and we can't do that, because then it doesn't work."
Even though there are few people who are happy to see Alex Rodriguez, his presence in the lineup is a good thing. Even if he's not the MVP-caliber player he was years ago, he'd actually have to try and be as bad as Yankee third basemen have been this year (they've hit .216/.272/.288 this season).

Curtis Granderson should also provide the team with a little extra something. His batting average since returning isn't great by any means (.231), but he's getting on base at a good clip (.412), and one of his three hits is a home run. So it shouldn't be a surprise at all if he betters Vernon Wells batting line so far in 2013 (.240/.285/.365).

Then we have the addition of Alfonso Soriano. Since he became a Yankee a little under two weeks ago, Al hasn't done a whole lot (.211/.231/.316 with one home run), but he is a threat to send one out of the park (he has 18 home runs this season). That power hitter was something this team sorely lacked before.

Even though I'm not expecting much from now until the end of the regular season, the team is set to do so damage. So I'm glad they aren't going to just lay down and accept losing.

Like how Michigan accepts losing to Ohio State.

Hiroki Kuroda Appreciation Thread

Hiroki Kuroda has been the ace of the Yankees staff since joining the bombers before the 2012 season. I have to say I was leading the "skeptical because he is coming from Japan" and "also skeptical because he is coming from the NL West" bandwagons and Hiroki has done nothing but prove me wrong ever since. Hiroki has continued to get better with the switch of leagues and is seemingly getting better with age. Hiroki has not had the ace title or even position in the starting lineup but he has undeniably been the Yankees best starter not only in 2012 but this season as well. I am truly going to miss Hiroki Kuroda whenever it is he decided to hang it up or return to Japan because pitchers like him do not come along often, especially in a big market like New York. Thank you for putting us on your back Hiroki and trying to lead us to the promised land and the ultimate goal every season, a World Series Championship. Thank you Hiroki!

Francisco Cervelli Will Not Need Surgery On Elbow

Not that it matters much at this point anyway but Francisco Cervelli saw Dr. James Andrews about his nagging elbow injury that he had a stress reaction in and will not need surgery. His season is over anyway with his 50 game suspension due to Biogenesis but at least he doesn't need surgery, there is always that.

RiverDogs Blinded by the Light

RiverDogs Blinded by the Light
Savannah squeaks by with a 1-0 win

SAVANNAH, GA – A pop fly lost in the lights led to a double and the only run of the game as the Savannah Sand Gnats eked out a 1-0 win on Tuesday night over the Charleston RiverDogs at Historic Grayson Stadium in South Atlantic League play.

With their seventh straight loss, the RiverDogs fall to 22-23 in the second half and 61-52 overall. Savannah improves to 23-18 in the second half and 65-45 overall with the win. Charleston has yet to score a run in this series.

Pitching dominated the game and it was scoreless all the way until the bottom of the sixth inning. After facing just one over the minimum in five scoreless frames, righty Brett Gerritse got the leadoff man in the sixth Albert Cordero to hit a lazy fly ball to center. Charleston centerfielder Jake Cave lost the ball in the lights and it landed for a double, just Savannah’s third hit of the night.

A sacrifice bunt moved the runner to third base, and then with the infield drawn in, Jorge Rivero was able to push the ball past a diving attempt by third baseman Ty Afenir and score Cordero to make it 1-0 Sand Gnats. That was the only run they would need.

The RiverDogs had a golden opportunity to score first in the second inning, but they could not cash it in. After a single and an error put runners at first and third bases with only one out, Reymond Nunez grounded into an inning ending double play and stranded the man at third base. Charleston never got closer despite out hitting the Sand Gnats 6-4.

Gabriel Ynoa threw 6.2 shutout innings for Savannah and allowed only three hits plus collected five strikeouts en route to his league leading 13th win of the year. He’s now 13-4 this season. Tim Peterson and Hunter Carnavale combined to toss 1.1 scoreless innings to bridge the gap to the ninth when Beck Wheeler shut down the Dogs and collected his 14th save of the year.

Gerritse got tagged with the very tough luck loss to fall to 8-6. He gave up just one run on four hits, no walks, and six strikeouts. Derek Varnadore threw two perfect innings of relief for the RiverDogs.

Offensively, Ericson Leonora had another multi-hit game for Charleston going 2-4. Wes Wilson, Ty Afenir, Jake Cave, and Cito Culver each chipped in with singles as well.

The finale of this three game series in Savannah is Wednesday night at 7:05. It will be a battle of the Camarena’s with LHP Daniel Camarena (3-6, 4.56 ERA) on the mound for Charleston and RHP Marcos Camarena (5-1, 1.85 ERA) tossing the first pitch for Savannah. Fans can listen to the game live locally on ESPN Radio AM910 or online at


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

Erie’s Two-Out Rally In Ninth Stuns Thunder, 3-2

(Erie, PA) – Trailing by a run and down to a final strike in the ninth, Erie recorded back-to-back singles to plate the tying and then winning runs as the SeaWovles dropped the Trenton Thunder, 3-2, in heartbreaking fashion Tuesday night at Jerry Uht Park. 

Gary Sanchez had the final out in his glove on Jamie Johnson’s single to left when Ramon Flores made a perfect throw to the plate, but the catcher had the ball dislodged by Erie’s Marcus Lemon for an error that allowed the tying run to score.  The next batter Eugenio Suarez singled home Johnson, as that time Flores’ throw from left sailed over Sanchez’s head. 
The Thunder (59-56) dropped the opener of the three-game series but still maintained a three-game lead for the Eastern Division Wild Card spot over third-place Portland, which lost to Richmond 8-2 on Tuesday.
Trenton led 2-1 entering the bottom of the ninth, and Danny Burawa (4-3) sandwiched a walk in between a strikeout and a groundout to leave Lemon at first base with two outs in the frame.  The next batter was Johnson, who fell behind 0-2, but then took two out of the strike zone including a wild pitch that advanced Lemon to second.
That set the stage for Johnson’s single to left on a 2-2 pitch, with Sanchez’s subsequent missed-catch error plating Lemon and allowing Johnson to move to second.  Suarez then singled on a 2-0 pitch to win the game and give Trenton its first loss all season after leading through six innings (47-1).
The Thunder scored two runs in the sixth against Erie starter Ramon Garcia.  After Flores led off with a single, Slade Heathcott tripled to center to tie the score at 1.  The next batter was Sanchez, who doubled to center on a 3-0 pitch to give Trenton the lead.
Nik Turley (5.0 innings pitched, one run), David Herndon (2.0 innings, no runs) and Diego Moreno (1.0 inning pitched, no runs) held the lead for the Thunder until Erie’s two-out rally in the ninth.
Game two of the series is slated for a 7:05 pm first pitch on Wednesday night. Thunder left-hander Jeremy Bleich (1-1, 2.72) will pitch against former Trenton right-hander Kelvin Perez (1-0, 3.32). Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 6:50 pm.


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

Spikes blast past Staten Island Yankees

Spikes blast past Yankees

By Courtney Nunes

Staten Island, NY – August 6th – After allowing four home runs to the State College Spikes, the Staten Island Yankees were defeated 7-3 at home on Tuesday night.

Yankees’ starter Conner Kendrick retired the first seven batters in order before giving up a home run to catcher Luke Voit in the third, giving State College a 1-0 advantage.

Staten Island took the lead in the fifth. Kale Sumner led off the frame with a walk before Jose Rosario and Isaias Tejeda both singled. Sumner was plated by Tejeda; and then Jacob Booden replaced Jimmy Reed on the mound. Derek Toadvine then reached on a fielding error by first baseman David Washington. Rosario and Tejeda both scored on the play.

In the top of the seventh, Luis Perez reached on a fielding error by shortstop Jose Rosario before Washington walked. Then, Carson Kelly hit a first-pitch fastball over the centerfield wall to make it 4-3.

Sam Agnew-Wieland came into the game in the eighth and surrendered a leadoff home run to Steven Ramos to extend the Spikes lead. Three batters later Washington hit a two-run shot to make it 7-3.

Dillon McNamara suffered his second blown save and third loss after tossing 2.0 innings and allowing three runs – two earned. He walked three and struckout one. Booden picked up his third win for State College. He hurled 2.0 scoreless innings of relief, giving up just one hit.

Toadvine and Rosario both had multi-hit games. Toadvine went 2-for-5 with two singles, while Rosario went 2-for-4 and scored a run.

The Yankees will take on the State College Spikes again tomorrow at 7:00PM. RHP Rookie Davis (2-2, 2.48 ERA) will toe the mound for the Yankees, while RHP Andrew Pierce (0-2, 3.28 ERA) is expected to get the ball for the Spikes. Tickets are on sale now by calling 718-720-9265, visiting the box office at Richmond County Bank Ballpark or  

Being posted with permission from the Staten Island Yankees. The original post can be seen HERE

RiverDogs 2013 Ring of Honor Candidates Announced

RiverDogs 2013 Ring of Honor Candidates Announced
Four names on the ballot for fans to choose from for prestigious group

CHARLESTON, SC - Throughout the years, there have been literally hundreds upon hundreds of baseball players call Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park “home.” Charleston fans have had the opportunity to cheer on future Major League All-Stars, World Series Champions and even an American League MVP in Josh Hamilton.
Each and every season, Charleston fans get to vote on the player they think most represents that year’s team. In the past, names like Aubrey Huff, Josh Hamilton, Delmon Young, and BJ Upton have been inducted into this very select group of players.

This year, another worthy RiverDog star will be lucky enough to join the prestigious club.

The nominees for the 2013 RiverDogs Ring of Honor are (in alphabetical order):

·         1B Greg Bird
·         RHP Rafael De Paula
·         LHP Dietrich Enns
·         C Peter O’Brien

Each one of these young men has made an indelible mark not only on this season’s Charleston roster, but also on the history of the organization and the legacy of baseball in the Holy City.

De Paula, Enns, and O’Brien were named First Half All-Stars for the South Atlantic League’s Southern Division. All three were also rewarded with a promotion to High-A Tampa immediately following the completion of the first half.

Bird continued his solid first half with an otherworldly second half which saw him turn in some of the best single-game and weeklong performances in RiverDogs history.

“Our Ring of Honor is something that we as an organization and our fans look forward to every season,” said RiverDogs General Manager Dave Echols. “It is also something that the players who are elected should take a great amount of pride in. This year we are excited to induct another bright young star that played right here at Riley Park. All four are very worthy candidates.”

Each of the four players is certainly worthy of induction into the RiverDogs Ring of Honor. Which one of the four is elected is entirely up to you, the fans. Voting is currently being conducted on Voting ends September 2. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/7

On this day in 1983 the Yankees honored Bobby Murcer on Bobby Murcer Day at Yankees Stadium. Murcer played 13 seasons for the Yankees before becoming a long time broadcaster for the team.

On this day in 2009 the Yankees and the Red Sox went into the bottom of the 15th inning at Yankees Stadium with the score tied 0-0. Alex Rodriguez hit a walk off two run home run in the bottom of the 15th to win the game for the Yankees 2-0.