Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Game Thread: White Sox @ Yankees 9/3

The New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox face off in the second of a three game set at Yankees Stadium tonight. A couple of aces are the pitching match up with Hiroki Kuroda going for the Yankees against Chris Sale for the White Sox and it can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV. Both starters are sporting an ERA under three points and are leading their respected pitching staffs.

Here is the Yankees lineup:

Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Vernon Wells RF
Mark Reynolds 1B
Eduardo Nunez SS
Chris Stewart C

Follow us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes. Get your Yankees tickets for this game and every Yankees game right here on The Greedy Pinstripes.

New York Yankees Wild Card Update

The Yankees are winning games but they still need a ton of help from the teams in front of them. The Tampa Bay Rays got swept by the Oakland Athletics over the weekend while we took two of three games from the Baltimore Orioles so that picked us up two games. We cannot take the foot off the gas now so let's floor this jalopy all the way to October!

MLB Releases Post Season Schedule

NL Wild Card GameTuesday, October 1TBSTBA
AL Wild Card GameWednesday, October 2TBSTBA
ALDS A, Game 1Friday, October 4TBS or MLBN***TBA
ALDS B, Game 1Friday, October 4TBS or MLBN***TBA
ALDS A, Game 2Saturday, October 5TBSTBA
ALDS B, Game 2Saturday, October 5TBSTBA
ALDS A, Game 3Monday, October 7TBS or MLBN***TBA
ALDS B, Game 3Monday, October 7TBS or MLBN***TBA
ALDS A, Game 4*Tuesday, October 8TBSTBA
ALDS B, Game 4*Tuesday, October 8TBSTBA
ALDS A, Game 5*Thursday, October 10TBSTBA
ALDS B, Game 5*Thursday, October 10TBSTBA
NLDS A, Game 1Thursday, October 3TBSTBA
NLDS B, Game 1Thursday, October 3TBSTBA
NLDS A, Game 2Friday, October 4TBS or MLBN***TBA
NLDS B, Game 2Friday, October 4TBS or MLBN***TBA
NLDS A, Game 3Sunday, October 6TBSTBA
NLDS B, Game 3Sunday, October 6TBSTBA
NLDS A, Game 4*Monday, October 7TBS or MLBN***TBA
NLDS B, Game 4*Monday, October 7TBS or MLBN***TBA
NLDS A, Game 5*Wednesday, October 9TBSTBA
NLDS B, Game 5*Wednesday, October 9TBSTBA
ALCS Game 1Saturday, October 12FOXTBA
ALCS Game 2Sunday, October 13FOXTBA
ALCS Game 3Tuesday, October 15FOXTBA
ALCS Game 4Wednesday, October 16FOXTBA
ALCS Game 5*Thursday, October 17FOXTBA
ALCS Game 6*Saturday, October 19FOXTBA
ALCS Game 7*Sunday, October 20FOXTBA
NLCS Game 1Friday, October 11TBSTBA
NLCS Game 2Saturday, October 12TBSTBA
NLCS Game 3Monday, October 14TBSTBA
NLCS Game 4Tuesday, October 15TBSTBA
NLCS Game 5*Wednesday, October 16TBSTBA
NLCS Game 6*Friday, October 18TBSTBA
NLCS Game 7*Saturday, October 19TBSTBA
World Series Game 1 (at AL)Wednesday, October 23FOXTBA
World Series Game 2 (at AL)Thursday, October 24FOXTBA
World Series Game 3 (at NL)Saturday, October 26FOXTBA
World Series Game 4 (at NL)Sunday, October 27FOXTBA
World Series Game 5* (at NL)Monday, October 28FOXTBA
World Series Game 6* (at AL)Wednesday, October 30FOXTBA
World Series Game 7* (at AL)Thursday, October 31FOXTBA
* if necessary
*** TBS will air three of the four Division Series games on Friday, October 4, and up to three games on Monday, October 7. MLB Network will air one Division Series game on both of those dates. TBS will air 18 of the 20 Division Series games.

Chicago White Sox @ New York Yankees 9/3

The New York Yankees will host the Chicago White Sox tonight in the second game of their three game set at Yankees Stadium tonight. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda and his 2.89 ERA to the mound to face off against Chris Sale and his 2.99 ERA for the White Sox. The game will be televised at 7:05 pm ET on the YES Network and MLB TV.

Kuroda Skipped Bullpen Session

As reported by Chad Jennings, Hiroki Kuroda skipped his last between-starts bullpen session.

Like Joe Girardi said, sometimes guys will do that. But this news is significant due to the fact that Hiro did the same thing last season, as a way to overcome some arm fatigue he was feeling. Kuroda actually changed his offseason routine in order to avoid fatigue, but this news... along with the fact that he's pitched poorly recently... suggest that Hiroki is tiring once again.

Updated 2014 Payroll Outlook

Money, money, money... MO-NEY!

About a month ago I wrote an article going over the Yankees' payroll for 2014, while making some guesses about the make-up of the roster. Well, I wanted to let you know that I made a mistake. While researching the article I read that Derek Jeter's player option for next year would be treated as a one year deal, instead of it being added to his current three-year contract.

Well, that was wrong. In reading the Collective Bargaining Agreement, I came across the following part...
Option years shall be included as a year of the contract if the option had been fully exercised at the time of the tender, signing or renewal.
Therefore I shouldn't have listed Jeter's possible 2014 salary as $9.5 million. But what should it have been?

That brings us to this part of the CBA...
A Player Option Year shall be considered a “Guaranteed Year”
Up to this point, Derek's contract has been looked at as a four-year deal... not a three-year deal. And his 2014 salary has been defined by his buyout of $3 million. But if he were to exercise that player option, his salary for 2014 would be $9.5 million. Keep in mind that while it was $8 million, DJ earned another $1.5 million thanks to his Silver Slugger Award in 2012.

Again, let's assume Jeter exercises his 2014 option. Then, broken down, his salary by year would be $15 million for 2011, $16 million for 2012, $17 million for 2013, and $9.5 million in 2014. For a total of $57.5 million over four years, for an Average Annual Value of $14.375 million.

Now for my updated guess at the 2014 roster, along with player salaries. I'll start with some notes about certain players.
  • Alex Rodriguez's appeal fails, and he is indeed suspended for the entire 2014 season. Meaning his salary is off of the books.
  • The Yankees re-sign Robinson Cano to a contract with an average annual value of $25 million.
  • Derek Jeter exercises his player option.
  • Curtis Granderson decides to take the qualifying offer, in order to improve his stock for another free agency run after next season.
  • Hiroki Kuroda agrees to one more year with the Yankees, but after a great season the team needs to raise his salary by $2 million.
  • Michael Pineda is 100% recovered and ready to join the starting rotation.
  • Three of the bullpen spots are taken by pre-arbitration players, who will make the league minimum.
Catcher - Austin Romine $500,000
First Base - Mark Teixeira $22.5 million
Second Base - Robinson Cano $25 million
Third Base -
Shortstop - Derek Jeter $14.375 million
Left Field - Curtis Granderson $15 million
Center Field - Brett Gardner $6 million (arbitration 3)
Right Field - Ichiro Suzuki $6.5 million
Designated Hitter - Alfonso Soriano $4 million *lower thanks to trade details

Bench - Jayson Nix $1.5 million (arbitration 1)
Bench - Francisco Cervelli $1.5 million (arbitration 1)
Bench - Vernon Wells $0 *lower thanks to trade details
Bench - Eduardo Nunez $600,000 (pre-arbitration)

Starting Pitcher - CC Sabathia $24.4 million
Starting Pitcher - Hiroki Kuroda $17 million
Starting Pitcher - Ivan Nova $2.5 million (arbitration 1)
Starting Pitcher - Michael Pineda $750,000 (arbitration 1)
Starting Pitcher - David Phelps $500,000 (pre-arbitration)

Closer - David Robertson $5 million (arbitration 3)
Relief Pitcher - Shawn Kelley $1.5 million (arbitration 2)
Relief Pitcher - Adam Warren $500,000 (pre-arbitration)
Relief Pitcher - Preston Claiborne $500,000 (pre-arbitration)
Relief Pitcher - ??? $500,000 (pre-arbitration)
Relief Pitcher - ??? $500,000 (pre-arbitration)
Relief Pitcher - ??? $500,000 (pre-arbitration)

But the payroll doesn't stop there, as we must look at the 40-man roster... not the 25-man roster. That leaves us with 15 more players, normally minor leaguers, that should cost around $5 million.

We also have to take into account the team's portion of the league's player bonuses, which will cost in the neighborhood of $12 million.

That gives us with a total of $168.125 million, leaving the team with $20.875 million to work with in order to find a third baseman. But keep in mind that the team doesn't want to spend all of that remaining money, as they want to give themselves some breathing room in case they need to add a player at some point during the season (like they did with Soriano this year). Not to mention the possible need for another starter, seeing as how Sabathia hasn't looked like a top-of-the-rotation starter at all.

Either way, it looks like the team may be able to reach their goal of getting under the Luxury Tax threshold, while also fielding a competitive team.

Minor League Deal Options For 2014: Ryan Madson

Ryan Madson has had a roller coaster of a career in the past couple seasons going from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. It started when the Philadelphia Phillies were prepared to offer Madson a big money long term contract to be their closer only to hand former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon a big money long term contract a few weeks later leaving Madson high and dry. Later is was revealed that Madson would need Tommy John surgery and would miss the entire 2012 season but not before signing a one year deal with the Cincinnati  Reds that he would never earn, not pitching a single pitch for the Reds. Madson would sign a one year deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim before the 2013 season and started the season on the disabled list still recovering from his Tommy John surgery. Madson was released on August 5th and seems unlikely to have a real impact in the majors this season making me think of him as a low risk high reward option for the 2014 season.

Madson will be entering his age 33 season in 2014 and two full seasons removed from his Tommy John surgery but with a value as low as you can get right now it may be time for the New York Yankees to pounce. It is no secret that the Yankees will lose both Mariano Rivera and Joba Chamberlain to free agency and possibly Boone Logan as well and it would not hurt for the Yanks to have some insurance waiting in AAA. After failing to come back at all, let alone healthy and effective, in 2012 I believe Madson is primed to accept a minor league deal this coming off season. With all the question marks concerning the Yankees bullpen after this season and the lack of a real veteran presence outside of David Robertson the Yankees may be an attractive landing spot for Madson. Madson will be fully healthy and can use the 2013 season to build value, prove that he is healthy, and have a real shot at winning the World Series. The Yankees get a veteran arm for cheap and possibly can offer him a qualifying offer after 2014 if all goes well. Sounds like a no brainer to me so Ryan where do you sign?

Romine and Murphy Working Themselves Into 2014 Plans

The New York Yankees catching situation has been a travesty for the majority of the season.

It started out wrong last winter when Brian Cashman wanted to match the measly two-year, $17 million offer Martin got from Pittsburgh, but ownership did not want to give out multi-year deals last offseason. Martin has had a solid season with the Pirates with a slash line of .240/.342/.398/.740 with 13 home runs and has been one of the catalysts for their great season.

The Yankees neglected to sign a real MLB caliber catcher and went into the season with Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart. Cervelli had a great month of April (probably HGH induced) before he got injured and has not seen the field since. Stewart took over as the everyday catcher with Austin Romine as the backup.

It has been clear all season that Stewart is not a starting caliber catcher. However, Romine got off to such a terrible start (.158/.179/.211/.390 in the first half) that Stewart was playing every day.

Now the tables have completely turned, as Romine has taken off, and Stewart has hit the wall. Stewart has been egregious in the second half of the season with a slash line of .169/.237.236/.473. Meanwhile, Romine has been absolutely stellar in the second half hitting .340/.418/.511/.929.

Joe Girardi has done an awesome job managing the Yankees this year, but one thing that he has dropped the ball on is not making Romine the everyday catcher earlier and he still hasn’t really done it. He probably does not entirely trust the young catcher, but at 24 years old and playing really well he should be getting the majority of the playing time. Stewart has 99 second half at-bats compared to Romine’s 56, which is really unacceptable.

It will be very interesting to see if Romine will be able to continue his hot hitting in September. If he does the Yankees will have a very interesting decision to make at catcher in the offseason.

If Alex Rodriguez’s suspension holds up, the Yankees would have more money to spend this offseason and a free agency run at Brian McCann makes sense. McCann has had a great season for the Braves with 133 wRC+, a .364 wOBA, a .843 OPS and 19 home runs in a pitchers home park and is still in his prime. However, if Romine and J.R. Murphy continue to develop then the Yankees may feel a lot better about their catching situation than they did before.

Murphy got his name in the Yankees record book yesterday by becoming the 52nd player used this year, which is the most ever for the Yankees. He did a nice job of working the count to 3-1 before hitting a rocket down the third base line for a single. It will be interesting to see how much playing time he gets down the stretch.

Murphy has had a great season in the minors that has gotten him to the Bronx for September. Between Double-A and Triple-A this season Murphy has a .269/.347/.426/.773 slash line with 12 home runs and 29 doubles. These are very good numbers for a 22 year old catcher. Murphy has also performed behind the dish with a 37% CS rate.

Murphy is not one of the more hyped prospects in the Yankees system, but a 22-year old catcher posting these kind of hitting numbers should be getting more attention. If the Yankees do sign McCann, or Romine continues to take off, Murphy could be trade bait, because the Yankees’ best prospect is also a catcher in Gary Sanchez. Either way, Murphy is working his way into the teams plans for next year as a cheap and talented catching option.

Obviously, the number one goal for the Yankees this September would be to finish off what would be one of their most miraculous comebacks ever to make the postseason. However, how Romine and Murphy perform down the stretch will have a big impact on the plans for next year, which is very important as well.

Bird’s Walk Off Lifts Charleston to Victory In Season Finale

RiverDogs close out the season in style, complete the year with a bang

CHARLESTON, SC – Greg Bird capped off one of the most remarkable seasons in Charleston RiverDogs history in dramatic fashion with a walk off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to send Charleston to a 1-0 win over the Rome Braves in the season finaleon Monday night in South Atlantic League action in front of 4,593 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.

With the victory, the RiverDogs finish the season with a 36-34 second half record and 75-63 overall. The Braves finish up at 37-33 in second half play and 73-66 overall with the victory.

Nothing happened offensively until the ninth inning when the Dogs finally were able to punch through.

Fu-Lin Kuo led off the frame with a walk. After a strikeout by Wes Wilson, Charleston just missed getting a walk off homer from Jake Cave as he flew out to the wall in centerfield for the second out of the inning.

Jose Rosario got hit by a pitch to move Kuo to second and set the stage for the memorable ending to a memorable season.

Greg Bird smacked a pitch back up the middle to score Kuo and win it for the Dogs just before the rains came.
It was a perfect ending to the year sown at The Joe.

Rookie Davis got the start and tossed five shutout innings for the Dogs. Derek Varnadore then came in and spun four no hit shutout frames to earn the win and finish the year at 2-7.

BALLPARK FUN: Fans were treated to the season’s final fireworks display over the Ashley River after the game! Also, the crowd of 4,593 brought the season average to an all-time Charleston baseball record of 4,292 for the year. The 283,274 total attendance for the season is the second largest number in Charleston history behind only the 284,718 that came through the gates in 2007. Thank you, fans.

Pondering Andy Pettitte's Future

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees2013 will rightfully be remembered as Mariano Rivera's final season. He announced his intent to "hang 'em up" at a press conference during spring training, and has not backed down from those statements. This truly is it for the greatest relief pitcher in baseball history.

So, as the calendar flips to September, all eyes will be on Mo as he and the Yankees try to will their way into the playoffs. It will take a big, and possibly historic run for the team to do so, but no matter how far the Yanks go, we are all experiencing the final weeks of Rivera's legendary career.

Two players who have been through it all with him are of course Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte. Aside from Andy's three-year stint with the Houston Astros, the trio have been together for their entire adult lives. Starting out as fresh-faced minor leaguers who became fan-favorite youngsters of the late-90's dynasty, the "Core Three" are now grizzled, battle-tested veterans in the twilight of their careers.

While Rivera has made it clear that his future in baseball extends no further than this fall, and Jeter seems intent on at least playing one more season, Andy Pettitte appears very uncertain if his days in pinstripes are numbered.

Or, if he wants them to be, that is.

Andy has had quite a frustrating 2013 season. Pettitte picked up right where he left off in 2012 by having a strong start in April until back issues forced him to go on the disabled list and miss two weeks. When he returned, he was not the same pitcher, allowing 38 runs in 68.1 innings in June and July. Many people believed he was done, some suggesting he should be removed from the rotation. He has since rebounded with four straight quality starts, but certainly cost the Yankees and himself a fair share of wins during the dog days of summer.

When he came out of retirement last year, it wasn't just because he got the "itch" to go back out and play. Pettitte has always been a competitor and his sole focus is winning. Had he not been effective in 2012, it's likely he wouldn't have come back. But, thanks to his injury-shortened season and glimpses of ace-like performances, Andy decided to give it another go this year.

Even though he has rebounded, he still isn't the same. He runs out of gas very quickly once he hits 85 pitches, and has gotten extremely lucky with players popping up or completely whiffing on easily hittable breaking pitches left up in the zone. Yet, (and though it has almost become a cliche) it is true that 85 quality pitches from Pettitte is better than what they've gotten out of Phil Hughes, CC Sabathia, and even Hiroki Kuroda as of late.

Still, Andy will turn 42 years old next June, and he is one awkward delivery away from another injury. He is that fragile. Does he really want to return next year, knowing he will be extremely limited as far as the leash he is given in each start? And, to ask the even bigger question - is it worth it? The Yankees are no where near World Series contention, even if they do make it to October or come into next season with a somewhat formidable team. And surely all that is on Pettitte's agenda at this point is winning it all. He has come back, he has pitched well for the most part, and certainly has assessed any regrets he had about retiring back in 2011.

That's why I just can't see any reason for Andy to want to pitch in 2014, and right now I don't think he will. He has a had a long, successful Major League career, and his comeback has been better than I think any of us expected. But at some point, every player eventually comes to the realization that it is time to walk away. Andy thought he had after the 2010 season, but I think this winter he truly will "hang 'em up" for good.

So, while we all relish each time Mariano Rivera jogs in from the bullpen to "Enter Sandman", we should also take pleasure in watching the final starts that ol' number 46 makes this season. Because like Mo, he is almost certainly in his final weeks with the New York Yankees.

Wild Card Watch: September 3, 2013

Good morning Yankees fans! I am back with another Wild Card Watch! Yesterday the Yankees were 3.5 games back and needed to gain some ground. Did they? Here's the results from last night along with the final scores of our Wild Card contending teams:


Wild Card Final Scores (WC Teams are in BOLD):

White Sox 1, Yankees 9: David Huff pitched 5.1 IP of one run ball, Derek Jeter drove in two runs and the Yankees scored a season high 8 runs in the 4th inning as they demolished the White Sox 9-1 to take game one of the three game set. Tonight's pitching match-up: Chris Sale (10-12, 2.99 ERA) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (11-10, 2.89 ERA)

Rays 2, Angels 11: Erick Aybar had a big night for the Angels, hitting a two-run homer and a two-run triple, Grant Green had his first MLB home run and Garret Richards navigated after a shaky start as the Angels hand the Rays their fifth straight loss with a 11-2 victory. Tonight's pitching match-up: Matt Moore (14-3, 3.41 ERA) vs. Jason Vargas (8-5, 3.54 ERA).

Orioles 7, Indians 2: Nate McLouth and Matt Weiters both hit two-run HR's and Bud Norris pitched seven innings of one run ball as the Orioles beat the Indians 7-2. Tonight's pitching match-up: Chris Tillman (15-4, 3.61 ERA) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (9-9, 3.95 ERA).

Rangers 2, Athletics 4: Coco Crisp hit the game deciding home run and Yoenis Cespedes HR'd as the A's win 4-2. The Rangers and Angels are now tied for first in the AL West (which is why the Rangers are in the Wild Card standings. Tonight's match-up: Martin Perez (8-3, 3.58 ERA) vs. Bartolo Colon (14-5, 2.94 ERA).

Royals 3, Mariners 1: Royals reliever Will Smith tossed 4.1 IP after starter Danny Duffy left the game in the fourth inning and the Royals got to King Felix, scoring three runs including a Mike Moustakas single as the Royals beat the Mariners 3-1. Tonight's pitching match-up: Erasmo Ramirez (5-1, 5.18 ERA) vs. Bruce Chen (6-2, 2.79 ERA).

Come back tomorrow for another Wild Card Update!

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/3

On this day in 1961 Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle become the first set of teammates to hit 50 home runs in the same season when Mickey Mantle belted his 50th of the season against the Detroit Tigers.

On this day in 2008 MLB Umpires tested out their new advanced replay system, which took two minutes and fifteen seconds, when Alex Rodriguez hit a ball off of a cat walk in Tropicana Field. Initially the ruling was a home run but when Rays catcher Dioner Navarro disputed the call the call was reviewed and then over turned. It figures the first every replay system use was on a play that included Alex.