Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Francisco Rodriguez For The Yankees Pen In 2014?

The Yankees lost a lot of their core guys in their bullpen from 2013, it is well documented everywhere so I won't touch on it again and pile on, and they have done very little to replace them. Now while I am a huge advocate for Joe Girardi and his ability to build a bullpen on the fly, especially with prospects, I think everyone would like a little more certainty. Francisco Rodriguez signed a minor league deal last season with the Milwaukee Brewers, and using my "there is no such thing as a bad minor league deal" mentality, and the Yankees should jump on it with K Rod if he is willing to do so again.

Every pitcher comes with pros and cons obviously. Rodriguez strikes out guys, has closing experience, doesn't walk many batters, has not given up many home runs in his career, and gets almost enough ground balls to survive in Yankee Stadium. He has also pitched in the New York market before with him time with the New York Mets which while it probably does not compare it cannot really hurt.

The cons are painfully obvious especially looking at his half a season in the AL East in 2013. While K Rod finished with a 2.70 ERA in 2013 he also had a 4.50 ERA while in an Orioles uniform. He gave up over twice the home runs in the AL as he did in the NL, and was average according to WAR.

Should the Yankees take the plunge and the chance? Absolutely! As much as I love David Robertson he could falter, it's baseball and anyone not named Mariano Rivera could falter, and having a suitable back up plan is never a bad idea. Who cares if he beat his father in law, can he get batters out with consistency? On a minor league deal I would love to find out...

Marc Hulet Releases His Top 10 Yankee Prospects List

Marc Hulet is well known if you go on Fangraphs.com and he released his Top 10 list of New York Yankees prospects today just in time for Prospects Month. HERE is Hulet's list and write up and such but you can see the meat and potatoes below:

1) Gary Sanchez
2) J.R. Murphy
3) Eric Jagielo
4) Mason Williams
5) Slade Heathcott
6) Aaron Judge
7) Ian Clarkin
8) Greg Bird
9) Jose Ramirez
10) Tyler Austin

Definitely not the way I see my list going down, which is being slowly released every day here on the blog so check that out every day, but he is entitled to his opinion. That is way higher than Jagielo needs to be in my opinion and way higher than JR Murphy probably should be. It continues to perplex me how Aaron Judge can be ranked so high and has never taken a professional at bat, Clarkin I get because of the potential and the raw talent, but Judge is making me scratch my head. Also I am a lot higher on Rafael De Paula than most so it irks me when he is not listed on these lists. Oh well I guess that's why I did my own right?

YES To Televise 2013 Masahiro Tanaka Start

The YES Network has announced that they will televise one of the starts that recently signed Masahiro Tanaka made in 2013. For most this will be the first time many of the Yankees fans, including myself, will get to see Tanaka in true action. The game will be televised on Monday February 10 at 7:00 pm ET, be there! For the first time we will all see why Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and a 0.943 WHIP and a Japanese League championship.

Yankees May Use Manny Banuelos In Bullpen In '14

According to ESPN New York the New York Yankees may use one of our best pitching prospects Manny Banuelos out of the bullpen in 2014. This actually makes a ton of sense for the Yankees since Manny is coming off of Tommy John surgery and did not pitch a single professional inning last season. While it would be nice to build up innings as a starter, where I think he would ultimately be, the clock is ticking on Banuelos literally and figuratively so we need performance out of Banuelos now, not next season and not in AAA again.

Banuelos is only 22 years old and has a live arm and has already made Major League hitters look silly, albeit in Spring Training, so why the hell not right? Between him, Cesar Cabral, and Matt Thornton we would have a serious bunch of guys coming at you from the left side of the rubber.

Jeff Baker Comes Off The Yankees Board

Last week I had the ultimate facepalm when I was killing the Yankees for letting Jeff Baker sign for a minor league deal elsewhere besides the Yankees only to be reminded by my good friend Patrick Walsh that it was Scott Baker, not Jeff, whoops. Well Patrick, and all Yankees fans, Jeff Baker has come off the board for the Yankees, for real this time. Baker signed with the Miami Marlins on a two year deal worth $3.7 million.

Baker would have been nice but I would have honestly been a little upset if we gave Baker that deal. In my opinion I do not think he is worth that much money or the years, lefty masher or not. The Yankees were not sold on his defense at third base and neither was I and I am definitely not fond of a glorified platoon player for nearly $4 million. Would have been nice but I am glad we ultimately passed on Baker.

RiverDogs Announce 2014 Manager & Coaching Staff

CHARLESTON, SC - The New York Yankees have announced that Luis Dorante, who served as bullpen coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2008-10 and has managed 11 seasons in the minor leagues, will serve as manager of the Charleston RiverDogs in 2014.
Dorante was most recently the first base coach for the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees' Double-A affiliate, the past two seasons, and he also skippered the Aguilas de Zulia to a 34-29 record in the Venezuelan Winter League this offseason which was good for second place. A native of Falcon, Venezuela, he spent six seasons as a player in the Boston Red Sox organization prior to beginning his coaching career.
"Luis has a load of coaching experience, all the way up to the major league level, and has also successfully managed for many years," said Pat Roessler, the Yankees' director of player development. "We are excited to have Luis lead this group in Charleston for the 2014 season."
Dorante replaces Al Pedrique, who has been named manager of the Tampa Yankees of the Florida State League. Dorante will be the sixth RiverDogs manager in as many years and follows Pedrique (2013), Carlos Mendoza (2012) Aaron Ledesma (2011), Greg Colbrunn (2010) and Torre Tyson (2009).
Born on October 25, 1968, Dorante appeared in 221 games over six seasons in the Red Sox farm system. A right-handed batter, he primarily caught, but also made appearances at first base, third base and in the outfield. Dorante compiled a career batting average of .216 with 32 doubles.
After retiring following the 1993 season, Dorante joined the Montreal Expos organization in 1994 as an international scout. The next year he began his managerial career when he steered the Expos' Gulf Coast League team to a 21-35 record. He has managed in five different leagues over his 11 seasons at the helm, including the South Atlantic League in 1998 when he guided the now-defunct Cape Fear Crocs to a solid 80-61 finish.
The Yankees also announced first base coach Justin Tordi will return to the staff. A former Florida Gator, Tordi is a native of Rochester Hills, Mich. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 46th round of the 2002 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Dr. Phillips High in Orlando, Fla., and by the Cincinnati Reds in the 41st round of the 2005 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Florida.
Joining the staff as the team's new hitting coach will be former RiverDog outfielder Edwar Gonzalez. A right-handed hitter from Maracaibo, Venezuela, Gonzalez spent nine seasons as a player in the Yankees organization reaching as high as Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2010. He enjoyed his beat season as a pro in 2008 when he hit .292, clubbed 20 homers and drove in 85 runs as he split time between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. Gonzalez spent last year as hitting coach of the Gulf Coast League Yankees 2 team.
Another familiar face that is new to the staff this year is pitching coach Carlos Chantres, who served in the same capacity in Charleston in 2011 under Ledesma. Chantres enjoyed a lengthy 12-year playing career as a right-handed pitcher in the Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Philadelphia Phillies' organizations. He spent parts of four seasons pitching at the Triple-A level, and overall finished with an 80-88 record and collected six saves in 291 appearances over his dozen seasons on the mound. Chantres was born in Miami, Fla., and spent the past two seasons as the pitching coach for the short season Staten Island Yankees in the New York-Penn League.
Additionally, Jimmy Downam, who was with the Staten Island Yankees last year, will serve as the trainer while Anthony Velazquez, who was with the Philadelphia Phillies organization last year, is the new strength and conditioning coach. JR Bassett returns as the clubhouse manager for his third season in the Lowcountry.
The RiverDogs open the 2014 home campaign on Monday, April 7, when the rival Greenville Drive invade Riley Park with a scheduled first pitch at 7:05 pm. For tickets and more information, please contact the RiverDogs Box Office at 843-577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com.

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

Meet A Prospect: Gosuke Katoh

Gosuke John Katoh was born on October, 8th 1994 in Poway California and spent his high school years at Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego. Katoh is not a towering presence, unlike yesterday's showcase in our prospects month Aaron Judge, only standing 6'2" and weighing 180 lbs soaking wet but he has produced unforeseen power at the plate in his limited debut. Katoh was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft by the New York Yankees out of High School and signed quickly jump starting his professional career.

Katoh put up big numbers for Rancho Bernardo High School which included playing in 135 games in which his team put up a stunning 107-29 record in his four seasons on the Varsity team. Katoh finished with a career .411 batting average with a .524 on base percentage while bashing 181 hits, 114 RBI's, and scored 169 runs. Katoh slugged .711 in his career and smashed 25 home runs, 35 doubles, and 11 triples in his four years while taking 96 walks and striking out 57 times. Katoh is a smart base runner and base stealer as he stole 38 bags in 51 chances in High School while also doing it with the glove and a .987 fielding percentage. Katoh committed seven errors in his entire High School career and his taking that glove, and all his talents to the New York Yankees.

Katoh's a left handed batter and a second basemen by trade but the Yankees have already said that they are going to try Katoh at shortstop as early as this winter, which may not happen after his finger injury, or next season. Katoh is considered to be a wonder kid with the glove at second base but his arm is the only concern with moving him to the left side of the infield. It will be interesting to see if Katoh fills in a little bit or stays looking like a taller version of Ichiro but for now Katoh is tall and lanky with a compact swing that translates into doubles and gap hitting in the majors. Katoh hits left handed but throws right handed just in case that means something to somebody who thinks that can help him, I just always find that to be an interesting tidbit of information.

Katoh broke out in a big way in his professional debut  with the Gulf Coast Yankees 1 team finishing the season with a .310/.402/.522/.924 slash line with six home runs and 25 runs batted in. Katoh got into 50 games and saw 215 plate appearances with 57 hits, 11 doubles, five triples and four stolen bases in six chances. Obviously he needs a little bit of polishing, but what High School draft pick doesn't, as is evident with his 44 strike outs and 27 walks in 2013. Katoh has a ligament injury that ended his season in the Instructional League but the injury is said to not be serious and will not prevent him from missing time next season. Katoh will look to build on a huge 2013 season this year in 2014 and I am excited to be able to watch and to cover him myself.


When Daniel and I had out initial conversations about me joining the staff I had mentioned to him that I really wanted to be able to express my love for the game through sabermetrics. Sabermetrics is the advanced statistical analysis of baseball which has created a pretty heavy divide among people who like or are involved with the game.The divide boils down to two schools of thought, new school (sabermetrics) and old school, people who are still the driving force behind the old school thought process can not be bothered by these advanced statistics and believe more in "chemistry" than empirical analysis. 

As part of my first mission here on TGP I am going to start a mini-series entitled "Saber-Series." My mission here is to spread awareness about the new school and help others who are interested but may be confused on all sabermetrics has to offer. The new school is often met with heavy and burdening resistance even by professionals, coaches, players and executives. I understand this because I often feel the same way towards them. I am not here to say the way you think is wrong, I am here to tell you that there certainly may be a better way of approaching the game. It would be easy to say for example "I will make this a three part series," but it is not that simple. I am not going to limit myself on the amount of knowledge that  could spread and so with that, I consider Saber-Series to be an open ended project that can be continually refreshed and added on to. After my first few posts I am hoping to have enough questions so that I can do a cumulative Q&A Saber post so that the readership can may be find some of their own answers within that. I look forward to the journey ahead and hope that you can appreciate the art form that is, Americas favorite pastime. 

First Saber-Series post: 2/5/2014 Saber-Series: The History 

Yankee Stadium Legacy: #56 Goose Gossage (Again)

Goose Gossage signed with the New York Yankees as a free agent before the 1978 season and responded by tallying 27 saves in his first season in pinstripes. Gossage pitched to a 2.01 ERA that season and earned him a Top 5 placement in the American League Cy Young Award voting. Goose was also in the top five of Cy Young Award voting in three of his first four seasons in New York.

56 days until Yankees Opening Day

Prospects Month: Top 28 Yankees Prospects List #25

Continuing our look at The Greedy Pinstripes Top 28 prospects list as a part of Prospects Month we name our #25 prospect, Rookie Davis!

Here is the complete up to date list. Check back every day as the list fills out and we continue our look at the prospects in the New York Yankees system during Prospects Month here on TGP.

25. Rookie Davis
26. Jake Cave
27. Ben Gamel
28. Angelo Gumbs

Exclusive Interview With SI Yankees Derek Toadvine

The latest exclusive interview that The Greedy Pinstripes landed was with the Yankees 22nd round pick in the 2013 MLB First Years Players Draft Derek Toadvine. Technically this was out first "Twitterview" as the interview was conducted on Twitter but six of one, half dozen of the other right? You can follow Derek Toadvine on Twitter .

The Greedy Pinstripes: How are you Derek? Feeling good going into your first full season in the pro's?

Derek Toadvine: I'm doing great and really excited for my first full season

TGP: Who was your favorite team was growing up?

DT: My favorite team growing up was the Cincinnati Reds

TGP: The name D-Toad is already being thrown around, are you okay with that name?

DT: Yeah D-Toad is fine by me, my friends called me that all through High School

TGP: Did you play any other positions coming up? 

DT: Yeah I've also played centerfield, which I feel comfortable playing regularly

TGP: Why has been your biggest inspiration in baseball??

DT: My biggest inspiration is probably myself. I just want to make a name for myself

TGP: I think this answer may be obvious but in my time around social media I have noticed there are two kinds of fans when it comes to prospects. You have the "prospect humpers" (myself being a self professed prospect humper) and a name yet to be determined (due to my lack of creativity) describing those who want to sell all the prospects off for the 37 year old "sure thing." Which category do you think yourself as a fan falls into?

DT:  I believe in developing the kids within, some will pan out and some won't, it's just part of the business

TGP: What do you think you will specifically work on this year? 

DT: All offseason I've been trying to switch hit so I'll keep focusing on perfecting hitting from the left side as much as I can

TGP: What do you do in the offseason to keep yourself busy?

DT: During the last few months of 2013 I was taking classes so that kept me busy but now it's just working out and training

TGP: Favorite restaurant to eat at?

DT: I'm a very picky eater, I like all of my food plain, so no restaurant is really a favorite

TGP: How hard is it to be out on the road so much having your girlfriend back home waiting for you?

DT: It's pretty tough but she understands my schedule. With her just graduating and starting her career it should help

TGP: As a player how do you feel about the new draft rules and the slot recommendations for salary?

DT:  I don't like the new draft and rules, it seems like there is a lot more bargaining and leverage for the teams draft rooms

TGP: Is it true that you were in a mall when you found out that you were drafted and not glued to a TV or the internet?

DT: I was originally watching but once I slipped past the rounds I was projected I couldn't watch anymore so yeah I was at the mall

TGP: Be honest, were you disappointed to go in the 22nd round after being projected to go as high as the 6th round on some boards?

DT: Yeah I was kind of disappointed because waiting all day is so stressful but I know you don't live off of your signing bonus, it's all about making it to the big leagues. That's where you make your money and I believe I can make it there

TGP:  If you could be the Yankees GM for a day what would you do? Don't have to really be realistic here. 

 DT: If I was GM for a day I'd honestly just call some of the big leaguers into my office and pick their brains

TGP: What current major league player would you compare yourself and style of play to?

DT: Jerry Hairston Jr Because I view myself as a utility guy and can play any position in the infield or outfield just as good as the other

TGP: I know you probably don't think of things like this but how long before you think we could see you in the Major Leagues? I have your ETA down as 2018, is that accurate?

DT: I haven't put much thought into what year but ill do whatever to get there at some point whether it's before or after that date

TGP: Most famous person in your cell phone?

DT: Most famous person in my phone is probably Adam Eaton, was the centerfielder for the Diamondbacks but now with the White Sox. We played together on the same High School team when I was a freshman when he was a senior

TGP: Any embarrassing songs in your iPod?

DT: Can't think off the top of my head but maybe Ke$ha or Miley Cyrus, something like that

TGP: We'll finish with this one, where do you see yourself in life and your career in five years?

 DT: I see myself on a big league roster

We want to thank Derek for taking the time to do this interview for us and we wish him nothing but the best this season and for the rest of his baseball career. Thanks again Derek and the best of luck to you! You can follow Derek by following the Staten Island Yankees all season long or on Twitter. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 2/4

On this day in 1984 the New York Yankees obtained third basemen Toby Harrah and minor leaguer Rick Brown from the Indians for Dan Boitano, rookie outfielder Otis Nixon, and minor leaguer Guy Elston. Harrah will only play one season for the Yankees and hit just .217 while Nixon, as we all know, had a very good 17 year career with a few teams including the Atlanta Braves. Nixon finished his career with a .270 career average after he retired in 1999 and Harrah was never heard from again.