Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Soriano, Reynolds lead Yankees to comeback win over Orioles

After Ivan Nova gave up 4 earned runs in his six innings of work tonight, the Yankees were down 4-1. At that point, my frustration was at an all time high. Up to that point the offense had done nothing and hope seemed to he lost. But then the sixth inning happened, and from then on the Yankees, led by Alfonso Soriano and Mark Reynolds, were in control. 

In that crucial sixth inning, Soriano and Reynolds each hit solo homers to bring the score to 4-3. The Yankees were still losing, but now I was watching. Eventually, in the eighth inning, the Yankees would take the lead after an RBI Single by Cano, a two-run homer from Soriano, and an RBI Double from Reynolds made the final score 7-5. Tonight, we really saw how much heart this team has. Now all they have to do is win tomorrow's rubber game and they'll be on the right path. 

Game Thread: Yankees @ Orioles 9/10

The New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles play game two of this three game set in Baltimore as these two teams continue to fight it out for the last wild card and post season slot in the American League. The pitching match up is Ivan Nova for the Yankees and Miguel Gonzalez for the Orioles and it can be seen at 7:05 pm ET on MY9, MLB Network, and MLB TV. Nova did not exactly follow up his first complete game shut out the way he would like but today is a new day in a new city in a new series so here’s to hoping he can return to his dominant form tonight in Camden Yards and Oriole Park.

Here is the Yankees lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Curtis Granderson DH
Mark Reynolds 1B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Chris Stewart C

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

Boone Logan MRI Being Sent To Dr. James Andrews

The Yankees have announced that they are sending the MRI on Boone Logan's left throwing elbow area to Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion. Obviously there is more than just inflammation if the Yanks are sending it to Dr. Andrews but they are not showing their cards just yet. With the signing of Mike Zagurski today to go with Cesar Cabral I think there may be a little more to this then they are letting on but we will just have to wait and see. Boone is set to be a free agent after this season so this is a major second opinion for both the Yankees and the future free agent.

Are the Yankees too old?

The average age of the 2013 Yankees roster is the highest in the major leagues (31.9 years old) and has been put forward more than a few times this year to explain the Yankees struggles.

There are a few factors for why the Yankees average is so high:

Signing veteran players of other teams
Committing to long term contracts historically (A-Rod)
Players wanting to play for the Yankees and potentially retire as a Yankee

You can look at it two ways: a) Older players have more experience, may be more mature and could be more grounded or b) Older players are more injury prone, may be looking to wind down in their last season or two to avoid serious injury that will affect them later in life or in some cases may have lost their passion for the game.

I am not saying that any of the Yankees (or players for other teams) are winding down or not playing with passion but it’s a human trait and not always a conscious thing. Think about it, when you’re about to go on holiday, you’ve got one or two days left at work, do you start to coast along a bit? I would say that more people do than don’t (even if they won’t admit to it).

The more worrying factor is that older players are more prone to injury. This year we have seen Jeter, A-Rod, Pettitte and Youkilis all end up on the DL. In Jeter’s case, there have obviously been numerous trips there of varying lengths. These guys may not be the oldest on the team but they are some of the oldest, especially A-Rod who is 37 and Pettitte who is 41! The older guys on the team have been playing hard for careers that in the most part have lasted 15-20 years! Baseball is a physical sport. Not in the sense of football but when a team plays 162 games with the starters playing potentially 150-155 of these each season, stress is put on different parts of the body and nobody is invincible, therefore at some point, something has to give.

Nowadays, pitchers see having Tommy John as essential to furthering their career, it is almost a rite of passage and whilst, in the majority of cases, this does help in some way, surgery is usually employed to repair something that has broken. If you rebuild something that has been broken, does it return to its previous solid state? No, generally it is weaker in the part that broke. With regards to tendons and ligaments, these can be strengthened and built up again after surgery but this takes time and they still probably won’t be as strong as previously. Look at Jeter’s injury issues this season, he keeps antagonising the ankle injury that kept him out the start of the year. It seems like every time it heals, a countdown clock starts before it goes again and he’s back on the DL.

The average age of the other teams the Yankees are competing against is shown below:
Boston – 29.7
Tampa Bay – 29.5
Baltimore – 27.7
Texas – 29.6

When you look at it like this, you could say it’s easy to see why the Yankees are struggling given we are chasing teams with younger average ages (at least 2 years younger). I would like to point out though, we have had one of (if not the highest) average aged team in the majors since the mid 90’s! This is not and can not be the entire story. The Yankees have played badly at times, some players have not performed as they should and there have been some very strange management decisions (WHY are Joba and Hughes still around?).

At the moment we are 3 games out of the second wild card spot and whilst the new two team wild card playoff game could work to our advantage (we are 5.5 behind the first wild card spot and unlikely to take this). We have a team of players who have been to the playoffs on numerous occasions and have the experience of playing in and through October.

At the moment, the age of the Yankees does seem to be dragging them down when it comes to injuries but we’ve been pretty unlucky too and we’ve had some calls go against us. If we can make it to October, we could just see the age of the 2013 Yankees work for us, rather than against us when (hopefully) experience will start to shine through. If the Yankees are being seen as the old dogs who have maybe had their day, then let’s try to go out there and show these young upstarts that experience pays dividends!

Travis Hafner Added To 60 Day DL Ending Season

In a move that kind of comes as a shocker to me Travis Hafner has been added to the 60 day DL to make room for Mike Zagurski on the 40 man roster. This essentially ends any chance of Hafner coming back in the final weeks of the season as a pinch hitter. This will also essentially end Hafner's career as a New York Yankees player which has been all but memorable.

MLB Releases Tentative 2014 Schedule

Up at Yankees.com there is the tentative 2014 schedule for the Yankees released today by Major League Baseball. Here are some of the high spots next season, assuming there will be some for a team another year older and presumably $50 million bucks cheaper.

 The Yankees open up 2014 on the road on April 1 in Houston to face the Astros. The Yankees will finish the regular season on September 28 in Boston against the Red Sox. The month of September should be fun as the Yankees play the bulk of their games inside the AL East division with just one three game series against the Kansas City Royals. 
 The All-Star Game is July 15 in Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins, in Minneapolis. We will know a lot about the Yankees heading into the break as they finish the first half of the season on an 11 Game road trip. They will come out of the  break with a 10 game home stand which screams HOPE Week to me. The annual Subway Series, more commonly known as the closest thing to the World Series for Mets fans, will be May 12-15 with two games at Citi Field and then two games at Yankee Stadium much like the 2013 season. 
The Yankees will play the NL Central division in Interleague Play in 2014 including road games in Milwaukee, St. Louis, and a historic trip and reunion for Alfonso Soriano in Wrigley Field. We will also host the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, and the Cubs for a series at Yankees Stadium.  
Should be another fun, yet challenging, season in 2014 and I look forward to it already. Buy Yankees Tickets as soon as they become available because they should go fast, especially with teams like the Cubs coming to town. 

New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles Meme

David Robertson Likely Available Tomorrow

David Robertson has been shut down for what feels like a month now after feeling some pain and soreness in his right throwing shoulder. An MRI revealed inflammation and the future Yankees closer was shut down. David threw an 11 pitch bullpen session today and feels ready to go as soon as tonight. In true Yankees babying of the pitchers fashion he is likely to be held out until tomorrow at the earliest. Again, stay tuned.

Yankees Sign & Call Up Mike Zagurski

The New York Yankees have announced that they have signed LHP Mike Zagurski to a deal and have him listed as an available relief pitcher tonight. No word yet on the 40 man roster move but I do not see any obvious 60 day DL candidates unless they do so to a Jose Ramirez. There is always Travis Hafner but I hear that he could be activated any time now so stay tuned!

New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles 9/10

The New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles continue their four game set tonight at Oriole Park in Camden Yards in a series that could tilt the power in the wild card and playoff races this season. The Yankees will send Ivan Nova to the mound to face off with Miguel Gonzalez for the Orioles. The game can be seen at 7:05 pm ET on the MY9, MLB Network, and MLB TV.

Joe Girardi & Buck Schowalter Fighting Like Girls

The video proof

Yankees offense struggles in 4-2 loss to Orioles

I don't what's happened. Everything was going so well for this team, but now they've lost 4 out of their last 5 and are now 3 games out of the Wild Card race after losing last night to the Orioles 4-2. If the Yankees are gonna make the playoffs this year, they're gonna have to win these kinda games. They can't just expect to skate by beating only below .500 teams. 

The Yankees only two runs in this one came on two solo homers from A-Rod and Overbay. Their starter, CC Sabathia, was pretty good, lasting 7.1 innings while giving up 3 earned runs and striking out six. Due to a lack of run support, he took the loss, dropping his record to 13-12.  

Looking Ahead To 2014: The Designated Hitter

The Travis Hafner Era In New York Is Over

The Yankees have fallen in love with giving guys with no position but a ton of power the designated hitter position since signing Raul Ibanez for the 2012 season. The Yankees tried to catch lightning in a bottle again in 2013 when they signed Travis Hafner which was obviously a failure after multiple shoulder issues had him missing time as well as a power outage at the plate. The Yankees will surely let Travis Hafner walk after this season but will the Yankees give another aging power hitting veteran without a position the shot at the DH spot hoping for a third times the charm effect? Here is the complete list of 2014 free agents but I will hit the high spots and realistic options for the Yankees in this years free agency period.

Kendrys Morales (30 years old)
Delmon Young (28 years old)
Michael Young (37 years old)
Travis Hafner (37 years old)
Lance Berkman (37 years old)
Luke Scott (36 years old)
Mike Morse (32 years old)

Delmon Young is the youngest player on the list here and I am advocating for an all out effort to not only get better but get younger too but that does not start with Young. While he is younger, no pun intended, he is basically a DH only type. Sure he can play in the outfield, a place where we have plenty of options if you include Melky Mesa and Zoilo Almonte, but nobody would want him to unless they were really desperate. Travis Hafner is another that fits the "DH only" mold that the Yankees really need to start getting away from and so does Lance Berkman who has not had a healthy season in what feels like forever. Kendrys Morales is probably the most intriguing option here because he can play the infield, he has played the outfield, and is a switch hitter which the Yankees love. He can hit for power, for a good average, and has proven that he can stay healthy in the past two seasons which was the biggest concern for him. Kendrys Morales adds added flexibility, versatility, and power to the team and adds a switch hitter to the lineup that balances it out and brings us closer to the glory years of giving opposing managers late innings match up nightmares and #TooManyDamnHomeRuns.

If I am the GM I give Kendrys Morales a two year deal worth $12,000,000 that gives him a slight raise over 2013 and gives him the security of a two year deal.

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/10

On this day in 2008 the Yankees had a piece of history that they would like to forget as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim beat them 4-2 clinching the AL West. This is the earliest that a team has clinched the AL West in it's history. Slow day in New York Yankees history.