Saturday, October 19, 2013

Nuno struggles, but offense backs him up as Scorps extend winning streak to 2

Despite having starter Vidal Nuno give up 4 earned runs in just 4 innings of work, the Scorpions were able to beat the Peoria Javelinas on the road today, 12-7. This win is their second consecutive, and improves their record to 4-6.

The only Yankees hitter who played in this one, Peter O'Brien, had a hit, a walk, and an RBI in his 4 at-bats. Two Bombers relievers threw in this victory: Fred Lewis and James Pazos. Lewis threw a scoreless innings for his second hold of the year, while Pazos lasted just 2/3 of an inning and gave up 3 unearned runs. Since they were unearned they obviously weren't his fault, but he did struggle, giving up 3 hits. Hopefully he'll turn it around soon, but for now I'm a little concerned about him. 

Baseball America: Yankees 2013 Draft Report Card

Clint Longenecker evaluated and gave a write up for Baseball America on the New York Yankees 2013 prospects that we got in the draft by giving us a report card. Will the Yankees need to hide this report card from their parents? Let's see...

Longenecker called our first overall pick Eric Jagielo the best overall hitter, most pure hitter, and the likeliest to make the major leagues first. Longenecker said of Jagielo that he had a "smooth stroke with loft to all fields, a disciplined approach and the ability to make consistent hard contact." Dante Bichette Jr. was moved up to High A with the Tampa Yankees so Jagielo may start 2014 in Low A with the Charleston Riverdogs.

Longenecker called Aaron Judge the best power hitter in the system and said that Judge has "raw power that rates at least a 70 on the 20-80 scale, and he can put on a show in batting practice. He has tremendous natural strength in his extra large frame." Judge has yet to make his professional debut so he will likely start 2014 in the Gulf Coast League or, at best, with the Staten Island Yankees. Judge will play winter ball this year before his 2014 season.

Tyler Wade was given the nod for the best defensive player in the draft as a shortstop which is encouraging for us. Longenecker said of Wade that Wade "who could hit for average is a good athlete with above average speed, good actions, steady hands and an above average arm." The Yankees seem to want to keep Wade and Gosuke Katoh together so where one goes the other probably will and Wade seems ready to go to Charleston with the Riverdogs.

Michael O'Niell is the fastest Yankees runner from the draft with well above average speed that could keep him in center field long term. Gosuke Katoh was also praised for his speed not only in the field but out of the box. O'Niell will probably repeat Staten Island in 2014 while Katoh, who had one of the best professional debuts from a High School player will go to the Charleston Riverdogs in A Ball.

Longenecker liked our pitching and ranked David Palladino, Nick Rumbelow, Cale Coshow, and Philip Walby as having the best fastballs in the draft as all four of the pitcher touch or top 96 MPH. Walby even touched 98 MPH comfortable but Longenecker praised left hander Tyler Webb because of his "average velocity but his fastball plays up because of his command and deception." Palladino will probably stay in Staten Island with Coshow while Rumbelow and Walby head up to Charleston. Webb already has tore up the scene with the Riverdogs and could be headed to High A with the Tampa Yankees by 2014.

The best secondary stuff went to Ian Clarkin, Nick Rumbelow, and David Palladino. Clarkin missed most of the 2013 season with an ankle injury but Longenecker says Clarkin "has the makings of a plus curveball. Palladino's curveball and Rumbelow's slider are plus at their best." Clarkin will "repeat" Staten Island in 2014 but with his stuff, as raw as it is, I do not see him staying there long.

Finally Longenecker praised Dustin Fowler and Caleb Smith as the best late round picks because of Smith's potential for a plus fastball and changeup and Fowler's athleticism to go with his simple swing and above average speed. Finally, and this makes me very happy, Brandon Thomas was named the drafts best athlete. I like this because I live in metro Atlanta, Georgia and support the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and that is where Thomas spent his college career.

Scorpions beat Desert Dogs in 10, 2-1

Yankees prospect Mason Williams went 1-for-5 and scored the game winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning last night as the Scottsdale Scorpions pulled off somewhat of an upset at home over the Glendale Desert Dogs, 2-1. Going into this one, the Desert Dogs were 5-2, first in the AFL East while the Scorpions were 2-6, last in the AFL East. So, while it is still early in the season, you can't deny that this win was a nice one to get, as it moves the Scorps to within 2.5 games of first place in the East. 

Pinstripes prospect Peter O'Brien, who has struggled lately, went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts in this game, continuing his strikeout troubles. Pitcher Brett Gerritse, who had an ERA of over 9 going into last night, pitched two scoreless innings of relief, earning him his first hold of the season. So, that's good and this win was good. Let's hope they do this some more. 

Should The Yankees Bring In Paul Konerko?

The Chicago White Sox may have sealed the fate of Paul Konerko and his windy city career after signing first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu to a mega six year contract. That gives the Chi Sox a right handed option at first in Abreu and a left handed option in Adam Dunn, could that be the best news we have heard to date this offseason?

It is no secret that the Yankees want a right handed power option to spell Mark Teixeira a day or two a week next season, especially after missing most of 2013 with a wrist injury, and Konerko fits the mold. He is a veteran, which the Yankees love, he can hit for power, which we lacked in 2013, would likely sign a one year deal, which is ideal, wouldn't command much in salary by my speculation, see the $189 million luxury tax threshold, and is willing to accept a part time position to play at least one more year, sold!

Honestly I think Konerko is a White Sox player or he retires and we have absolutely no shot at him but it's worth kicking the tires on anyway. Konerko is coming off career lows as a regular with a .244/.313/.355 triple slash line after missing a month of the season due to a nagging back injury. Konerko does not help us get younger, he is currently 37 years old, and only hit 12 home runs last season but maybe a change of scenery can invigorate him and we can have a Raul Ibanez part two comeback.

Just to recap I am not advocating for Konerko. I think David Adams adds versatility with his ability to play first, second, and third base and is also a much cheaper option. Adams gets us younger, more flexible, and may shows some signs of hope for change around here. At the same time though, like I said, we should definitely kick the tires on this, doesn't hurt to right?

Can It Be Done?

It was reported yesterday, by Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, that the Yankees are planning a spending spree of around $300 million. And they say they can spend that much while also staying under the $189 million Luxury Tax threshold in 2014. 

Okay, get your calculators out.

The team plans on pursuing free agents Robinson Cano, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, and Masahiro Tanaka. Getting those four players would be great, but my initial thought was that the team would have only a few bucks left over to fill other holes on the team. So I put together what I think the team would look like, along with the average annual value of each player's contract (obviously, some are guesses).

Catcher - Brian McCann $15 million (signed for 5 years/$75 million)
First Base - Mark Teixeira $22.5 million
Second Base - Robinson Cano $25 million (signed for 7 years/$175 million)
Third Base - 
Shortstop - Derek Jeter $14.375 million
Left Field - Ichiro Suzuki $6.5 million
Center Field - Brett Gardner $6 million (arbitration 3)
Right Field – Carlos Beltran $14 million (signed for 3 years/$42 million) 
Designated Hitter - Alfonso Soriano $4 million

Bench - Eduardo Nunez $500,000 million (pre-arbitration)
Bench - Austin Romine $500,000 (pre-arbitration)
Bench - Vernon Wells $0
Bench - Brendan Ryan $3.25 (signed for 1 year/$3,250,000 million)

Starting Pitcher - CC Sabathia $24.4 million
Starting Pitcher - Masahiro Tanaka $12 million (signed for 6 years/$72 million)
Starting Pitcher - Ivan Nova $2.5 million (arbitration 1)
Starting Pitcher - Michael Pineda $500,000 (pre-arbitration)
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 - Dellin Betances $500,000 (pre-arbitration)
Relief Pitcher - David Huff* $750,000 (pre-arbitration)
Relief Pitcher - Cesar Cabral* $500,000 (pre-arbitration)

The total here is $160.775 million. But we can't stop there, as you can add another $5 million for the remaining 15 players that would be on the 40-man roster, along with $12 million for the team's portion of league player bonuses. So that brings us to $177.775 million, leaving the team with $11.225 million. 

Don't jump for joy quite yet.

Unless you just skimmed that roster above, you probably noticed that there's nobody listed at third base. Nobody currently on the team sticks out as somebody that I'd be okay with playing there regularly. 

Then there's the fact that Shawn Kelly could be the set-up man for David Robertson. It would be nice to bring somebody in that could be better in that spot.

And finally, the team would want some money left over in case they have to spend during the season. There will surely be an injury or two that will require adding somebody to the team.

So I can see the Yankees spending a lot, but probably not on all four of those players.

Happy Birthday Bryan Van Dusen

I wanted to take this time to send out a Happy Birthday to my good friend Bryan Van Dusen. Bryan is my co-owner of the site, part of the brain child that is this site, and one of the best people I know. If it were not for him I don't know if the site would be what it is today. Bryan was the one who pushed so hard on twitter and many other additions, suggestions, etc that made us what we are today. I have known Bryan for four or five years now and he has been nothing buy loyal, kind, trustworthy, and a kick ass Yankees fan. Enjoy your day buddy and Happy Birthday once again!

Carve Your Yankees Themed Pumpkin Today

This is an awesome idea and a way to spend your Saturday with your children, your significant other, or by yourself. and the Yankees organization have released a Yankees logo stencil that you can download to carve out your Yankees themed pumpkin. My son loves the Yankees, well because I do but that is enough for me right now, and it is just me and him today so I think that what we will be doing. To get your Yankees logo stencil click HERE to download.

This Day In New York Yankees History 10/19

On this day in 1987 the Yankees hired Billy Martin to be their manager for the fifth and final time under George Steinbrenner. Billy would make it until June 23rd and finish his Yankees managing career with a 559-385 (.591) that saw two American League pennants and a World Series title in eight seasons.

On this day in 2004 all Yankees fans remember hearing the FOX announcing crew talking about Curt Schilling and his bloody sock. The Red Sox became the first team to ever be down three games to none in the ALCS and be three outs away from elimination to force a Game 7.

Also on this day in 2004 we saw the Alex Rodriguez slapping of the ball stunt that cost the Yankees a run and probably a rally in the Game 6 loss.

On this day in 2007 manager Joe Torre rejected the Yankees offer to come back and manage the team on a pay cut ending his Yankees career. Torre managed for 12 seasons and saw 12 postseason appearances, 10 AL East titles, six American League pennants, and four World Series championships.

On this day in 2010 the Yankees paid tribute to long time fan Freddy Schuman after he had been coming to Yankees games since 1988. Schuman was known for banging his spoon on a skillet and his catchy signs in the stands. The Yankees held a moment of silence before Game 4 of the ALCS and showcased Schuman memorabilia in Gate 4 at Yankees Stadium. "Freddy Sez" will always be remembered by the Yankees fans and by Yankees Stadium.