Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Member Of The Family Is In Need

Attention Greedy Pinstripes and New York Yankees family, a member of the family is in need of our help. I was woken up this morning to this tweet from one of our Twitter followers and it touched my heart, cancer sucks. For some reason there are over 2,000 people on Twitter and more on the blog that actually give a crap what I have to say and honestly I do not take that, for lack of a better word, power lightly. I think if you have the platform for it and the following you should use it for the better, like this young lady right here battling cancer. She needs your help

I am sure that every little bit helps, even if it's not with a monetary donation. Times are tough, if you can't afford it at least tell a friend. Post it on Facebook, Tweet it, spread the word and let's help one of our own beat this thing. Thank you all for your support!

Click this link HERE to donate, spread the word, add some words of encouragement, whatever you can and are willing to do would be much appreciated. Thank you again everybody.

Aledmys Diaz To Be Cleared In Two Weeks

The latest Cuban defector is 23 year old shortstop Aledmys Diaz and he is expected to be cleared to sign with any Major League team in the next two weeks. Diaz was originally declared ineligible to sign with teams after he falsified his age on his documents after claiming to be 23 years old and was only 22 at the time. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox were two of the reported eight teams interested in the shortstop with the intent of sticking him in the minor leagues for a season or two.

The Diaz signing may be what is keeping Stephen Drew from signing, although I doubt it. The Yankees have had interest in both recently so maybe these two guys will have home soon.

Fernando Rodney Comes Off The Yankees Board

If the New York Yankees had any dreams or aspirations to sign Fernando Rodney for either the 8th or 9th inning this season it wont be happening as the Seattle Mariners scooped him up today. The Mariners signed Rodney to a two year deal for $14 million with an extra million bucks in incentives. While Rodney was great in 2012 we saw a closer version of what Rodney really is in 2013 and in his age 37 season I think we continue to see his decline, no worry here from me.

Masahiro Tanaka Could Be Back In The USA On Sunday

Masahiro Tanaka has his visa in hand and is ready to get his New York Yankees career started, and that could get started as early as this Sunday. This was after the Yankees reached out to Senator Chuck Schumer of New York with help expediting the visa process, which can take as long as a month to obtain for you or I. The 25 year old is heading to New York and the Major Leagues after spending his career in Japan with the Rakuten Golden Eagles after signing a deal worth $155 million over the next seven years, with an opt out clause after the fourth year.

Tanaka is said to be in the best shape of his career which is exciting when you remember he went 24-0 last year and won the championship series over there. Pitchers and catchers report one week from tomorrow officially so the sooner Tanaka can get here the better in my opinion.

Tracy McGrady Is Trying To Become A Pitcher

Former New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens is trying to help former New York Knicks star Tracy McGrady become a pitcher. Can McGrady be the next Michael Jordan? Jordan retired from the NBA, like McGrady did last season, to try out baseball only to come back to basketball and win a ring or two or four.

McGrady has been clocked on the radar gun in the 83-85 MPH range but is struggling with his command a little. McGrady is said to have the body and the mechanics to repeat his delivery though and that is sometimes half the battle, so good for Tracy. Good for McGrady I hope he gets the shot to live out his childhood dream, even if it is in the Independent League and not the Major Leagues.

The Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League have shown interest in the former NBA star and even released a press release for McGrady:

"Tracy McGrady is one of the most elite athletes of this era and we appreciate his interest in pursuing a life-long dream with the Sugar Land Skeeters and the Atlantic League. While the Atlantic League is considered the highest level of baseball outside of Major League Baseball, McGrady has demonstrated skill, determination and diligence during his training program at Constellation Field. We look forward to monitoring his progress."

Derek Jeter Smokes A Single In A RailRiders Uniform

Watch Derek Jeter smoke a base hit during one of his many rehab assignments in Scranton with the RailRiders from the 2013 season.

Meet A Prospect: Peter O'Brien

Peter Robert O'Brien was born on July, 15 1990 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Peter spent his High School years at Braddock High School in Miami and split his college years between the Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida and the University of Miami. Peter was drafted in 2011 by the Colorado Rockies while with the Bethune Cookman College baseball team but decided to go back to school with the University of Miami.The New York Yankees, with their third round pick (94th overall) in 2012, selected O'Brien as a catcher in the MLB First Year Player's Draft after signing for $460K.

O'Brien drives the ball to all fields and has what is widely considered as plus raw power. He is not going to light up the base paths with his speed but he is no Jesus Montero either. His arm is definitely considered a plus and he has shown great improvements at Miami after transferring from Bethune Cookman. His agility, considering his size, is also somewhat of an amazing thing. The Yankees have since moved O'Brien to third base as a possible Alex Rodriguez replacement in the future and he has flourished since the move.

Here is a look at O'Brien's minor league numbers:

2012212 Teams2 LgsA--RkC362792433151.9824813
201221Staten IslandNYPLA-C332602262951.9814311
2013222 Teams2 LgsA-A+C656656025677.9897132
2 Seasons15610358661393012.97111945
C (2 seasons)C10194484587128.98711945
DH (1 season)DH17
3B (1 season)3B38912152184.802
Generated 12/7/2013.

There has been some grumbling, whether substantiated or not, about letting O'Brien come to Spring Training and compete for the third base job if Alex Rodriguez is suspended. I think he is still a little too raw for that and not a better option then Kelly Johnson or Eduardo Nunez but it is what it is, speculation. O'Brien won the inaugural Bowman Hitting Challenge with the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League this year but struggled a little bit at the plate. How final line was .190/.212/.413/.625 with four home runs, 13 RBI's, 12 hits, and 26 strike outs. Sounds like he could benefit from a few more seasons down in the minors before we start wanting O'Brien to fill the big shoes of A Rod.

O'Brien is likely to start this season in Tampa again to work on his fielding and such but he looks like one of the first candidates for a call up to AA Trenton mid season. My current ETA for O'Brien is sometime in late 2015 or early 2016. 

Saber-Series: Part 1- Offense

Welcome to part one of Saber-Series, offense. When looking at sabermetrics as an outsider it can probably look convoluted, that's because it is. Advanced statistics have become so convoluted that it's often hard to discern what is what and who is who. Often it even boils down to two separate entities using different formulas to calculate the same thing. I am however, not biased and I do not choose just one entity to follow. I pick from here and there to gain a broad perspective. My two primary sources of statistics are and Both are very solid sources and I encourage new saber savvy folk to frequent these sites.

Okay so part one of Saber Series I will strictly focus on offense. How many parts will there be in Saber-Series? I don't know and I don't care! As I've said before, there is way too much information in the field to be placing useless limits or barriers to the amount of information that can be given out. I will move along piece by piece and give you the information and that's all there is to it, a fluid discussion between me and you. Now, I want to clarify something off the bat, I DO NOT claim to be an expert in the field of sabermetrics. I DO however claim to be an active fan participant in the new school thought process and my goal here is to pass along the information I do know and learn more myself as time progresses. Now also, as you may have noticed I am not a fan of limitations or barriers to creativity that prohibit a free sense of thought. Therefore, I will not strictly follow a template in my posts. Generally I will list some of the main statistics in that category and give a definition, example and simplified summary on that particular statistic. Please enjoy the following and I encourage all readers to ask questions and be active in the discussions, I will answer all of them to the best of my ability and find the answers to the ones I am not sure of. Enjoy!

Advanced Offensive Statistics:
BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play): Although BABIP is more finely tuned to estimating pitcher performance it is also used to evaluate hitters. BABIP is a measure of a hitters pure skill and their ability to put the ball in play by "placing" it. Line drive hitters or hitters with a lot of power often have higher BABIP's due to their ability to "smack" the ball. The average BABIP for a major league hitter is about .300 and to give you a reference point Mike Trout's career BABIP is .366

ISO (Isolated Power): Isolated power is the measurement of a hitters "raw" power is calculated by subtracting their average from their slugging percentage (SLG-AVG).
Reference points: Mike Trout 2013 ISO: .234   Miguel Cabrera's 2013 ISO: .288  Ichiro 2013 ISO: .081
The higher the better because if the slugging% is high then subtracting average will still result in a reasonable number.

K% (Strikeout Percentage): This one is pretty easy. It is the percentage of at bats that a player strikes out. An average K% is about 18.5% (Power hitters often have higher K%)

BB% (Walk Percentage): Very easy again. The percentage that a player walks. An average BB% is about 8.5%

BRR (Base Running Runs): Base Running Runs simply measures a players contribution on the base paths. This combines all factors on the base paths including stolen bases, advancing on a passed ball, scoring from 1st or 2nd. This stat is one of the ones that is often not focused on enough because it truly gives a more accurate representation of a player. For example, there were many people who wanted Mike Trout for MVP in 2012 and said that his contribution on the base paths and ability to score runs with his speed pushed him above Cabrera. Mike Trout had a 12.1 BRR in 2012 while Miguel Cabrera (The MVP) had a -2.9
For a reference point, 0.0 is an average BRR rating for a player.

SLG (Slugging Percentage): Slugging percentage is a batters average but it only takes into account extra base hits and it is calculated by dividing total bases by at bats. An average SLG% is .500

OBP (On Base Percentage): OBP is much more mainstream than other advanced statistics but you must never underestimate its important and many new school reformers like looking at a players OBP than average because it is a true embodiment of how much a player reaches base. OBP is measured by adding a players hits, walks and hit by pitch (H+BB+HBP). .350 is considered an average OBP.

OPS: OPS is a batters OBP+Slugging%
Reference points: Mike Trout 2013 OPS: .988     Ben Zoborist 2013 OPS: .756
Anything in the .1000 range is considered great-excellent.

wRC+ (Weighted Runs Created Plus--Exclusive to FanGraphs): wRC+ measures a players overall run contribution to his team. 100 is league average and every percentage point above 100 equals 1% above league average (ex. a player with a 130 wRC+ contributed 30% more runs than a league average player)
This stat is also adjusted for different parks and leagues. You could use this stat to measure how Mike Trout compares to Ted Williams, offensively that is.

TAv (True Average--Exclusive to Baseball Prospectus): Is a batters Avg. that takes into account things like situational hitting and reaching base on a dropped third strike. Strikeouts hurt your average more than a typical out and bunts count less toward your average than a typical hit. An average TAv is .260 and between 2009-2011 Miguel Cabrera had a .342 TAv.

The next two stats are indicators of a players total value, one takes into solely offense and the other takes into account overall contribution. 

VORP (Value Over Replacement Player--Exclusive to Baseball Prospectus): This stat takes into account account a players overall offensive and base running contributions. There is no real better explanation than this so the best way to comprehend this is to give you 2013 reference points, Excellent-Average-Poor.
Reference points: Excellent= Mike Trout 86.2   Average= Ben Zobrist 25.6     Poor= Dan Uggla 7.6

WAR (Wins Above Replacement): This stat is the one used by, uses a thing called WARP which is the same thing as WAR but it is calculated differently which usually results in a small difference. (ex. Mike Trout 2013 WAR: 10.4    Mike Trout 2013 WARP: 9.6) This stat is used as a general indicator of overall contribution and measures approximately how many wins a player contributed to a team, those amount of wins are how many more than an average substitution would contribute. A 3 WAR is considered average.
(I will use this stat often in my writing, its very good when comparing players and looking at overall contribution from a player to a team.)

Okay, that is it for Part one of Saber-Series. It is not full list by any means but then again it isn't supposed to be. I wanted to highlight the statistics that are most often referenced by new school people and also highlight the stats that are most valuable to gauge performance and future performance. It is possible that I will do supplemental rounds later on but for now read up and learn these stats! I highly recommend visiting and to read up on some more saber savvy tools and tricks.

All statistics and some dialogue provided courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus 

Yankee Stadium Legacy: #54 Bucky Dent (Again)

Bucky Dent still to do this day is adored in New York and abhorred in Boston as Dent was responsible for sending the Yankees to the playoffs in 1978, and eventually the World Series. Bucky F'in Dent will forever be remembered for his three run home run over the green monster in Fenway Park in Boston on Game 163 in 1978. The Yankees would win the game 5-4 and kept the momentum going with a .417 World Series batting average in six games in the Fall Classic, oh and he also won the World Series MVP Award that year.

54 days until Yankees Opening Day.

Prospects Month: Top 28 Yankees Prospects List #23

Continuing our look at The Greedy Pinstripes Top 28 prospects list as a part of Prospects Month we name our #23 prospect, Ramon Flores!

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.

23. Ramon Flores
24. Mark Montgomery
25. Rookie Davis
26. Jake Cave
27. Ben Gamel
28. Angelo Gumbs

Exclusive Interview w/ Yankees Pitcher Cale Coshow

Today as a part of Prospects Month we bring you our latest interview, this time with Staten Island Yankees pitcher Cale Coshow. In this interview we talk everything from fried chicken, Joba Chamberlain, golf, and the song Call Me Maybe. You will just have to read to understand, enjoy! 

The Greedy Pinstripes: Hey Cale, how are you today sir? How is your offseason going?

Cale Coshow: The offseason right now is going great. Working out at Athletic Republic with a great staff and getting to spend quality time with my family and golfing whenever the weather allows. 

TGP:  First off I want to say I respect the heck out of you for your faith and being so open about it. Your Twitter bio "part time professional baseball player, part time golfer, full time christian" is awesome. How do you think your faith has helped you in your life and specifically in your baseball career? 

CC: My faith is the most important thing in my life. I love baseball, but its something that will not last forever, but my faith will. Through all the trials I have been through in baseball and life, my faith has gotten me through it. It helps whenever you have grown up in Christian home environment so I have family and friends that can help my walk with Jesus Christ. 

TGP: How important is your family to you? How have they helped you with your baseball career? 

CC: Outside my faith, my family is so important to me as they are my main support system. I have parents who I can ask certain questions about and I have a brother who played collegiate baseball so I can lean on him for baseball advice. My family also gives me a way to get my mind off baseball, because they just will do anything just to make sure I am doing okay away from home. 

TGP:  Did you play any other positions coming up either in Little League, High School , or College ball?

CC: In little league I really did not pitch very much for my talents were hitting and being a catcher. Sophomore year of high school is when I made the switch from catcher to pitcher and first base. 

TGP:  Were you disappointed in your lack of use at Oklahoma? Is that why you ended up transferring?

CC: I honestly was very disappointed in not being used at the University of Oklahoma but I was actually cut from the baseball team after my redshirt-freshman season. Right after I got cut, the coach at Oklahoma Christian called me as I was driving home and right there I knew thats the school I wanted to play for. I used me getting cut as a way to humble myself and motivate myself to become a better pitcher. 

TGP:  What teams and sports did you root for and watch growing up?

CC: Football was my first love growing up so I have always been a huge fan of football overall, and not having an NFL team in Oklahoma just caused me to root for close teams like Denver and the Kansas City Chiefs. However, I am a die hard Oklahoma Sooner fan and will always find time to go to the games when I am home. My family used to go to Texas Rangers baseball games during the summer so I grew up favoring the Rangers.

TGP:  Do you think your 6'5" height will hurt you as a pitcher?

CC: I do not believe my height will hurt me because even though I am not the premiere tall and skinny pitcher, I use my strength as an advantage. 

TGP: Do you have a girlfriend/wife waiting for you at home while you are on the road so much?

CC: I actually do have a girlfriend that plays softball in Oklahoma. I also have a dog named Beefcake that will certainly be waiting for me to get home.

TGP: What are you doing this offseason to improve on your 2013 season?

CC: This offseason I have used the time to tighten up my core and get my legs stronger, as well as work on my changeup. All things are a work in progress.

TGP: What do you do during the offseason to keep yourself occupied?

CC: I play golf at least 3-4 times a week to keep myself occupied. I am a huge movie buff and always go to see movies when they come out. I am also an avid fisherman and enjoy sitting on a bank with a fishing pole in hand. 

TGP: Favorite restaurant to eat at?

CC: My favorite restaurant to eat at would have to be Eischens. Its a fried chicken place in Okarche, Oklahoma. My best friend Tyler and I always make plans to go eat their fried chicken and okra.

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?

CC: I like to hold onto prospects because those young guys turn out to be great players, just like Derek Jeter. But if you have the money to spend on some key veteran player, I would spend that money because those veterans can help the young guys grow in the game.

TGP: What current Major League player do you think you compare to the most?

CC: I have been told that I remind everyone of Joba Chamberlain. I am a big guy that throws hard. Funny thing is wherever I pitched, home or away, fans would yell "throw it harder Joba" or "look everybody, its Joba." I am okay with being compared to him because he has always been a reliable pitcher. 

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

CC: If I was GM for a day, I would have a costume day. Where every player and staff member would have to show up to the stadium in a costume.

TGP: Do you consider yourself more of a relief pitcher or a starting pitcher going forward?

CC: I see myself as a relief pitcher honestly because I have the mentality as a relief/closer pitcher and I recover relatively fast after pitching.

TGP: Most famous person in your cell phone?

CC: Most famous person in my phone would be Landry Jones, current Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback. Him and I became great friends at the University of Oklahoma when we would have bible studies together and would occasionally play some catch. 

TGP: Most embarrassing song in your iPod?

Contrary to popular belief the guy in the wife beater is NOT Cole Coshow.

CC: Most embarrassing song on my iPod would have to be Call Me Maybe, even though it is a remix of the original song.

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

CC: I see myself hopefully getting married in the next five years and hopefully make it to the Major Leagues Lord willing. But if I do not get that opportunity, I will most likely be working with the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and be an agent. Either way I am extremely blessed to have the opportunity to play with such an amazing organization and cannot wait to see where baseball takes me.

Thank you very much Cale for taking the time away from your fishing and striking guys out to do this interview for us, we appreciate it and I am sure our readers do too. You can follow Cale on Twitter by following C_Coshow or at a minor league stadium near you. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 2/6

On this day in 1921 the New York American League franchise purchased a ten acre lot of land for $675,000 from the estate of William Waldorf Astor. The site would eventually become the home of the first Yankee Stadium. The stadium would sit directly across the river from the Polo Grounds on the west side of the Bronx.

On this day in 1986 the Yankees signed free agent Al Holland. Holland was coming off a season in which he saved at least five games for three different seasons the year before.

Also, really Phillies news more than Yankees news but I digress,  in 1962 the Phillies announced they will retire the #36 uniform number of Robin Roberts. The New York Yankee will visit the Phillies to play an exhibition game in March of 1963 for the ceremony, the first time the Phillies will retire a number in their then 79 year history.