Monday, May 5, 2014

Game Thread: Yankees @ Angels 5/5

The New York Yankees will make a quick three game set out in California as they take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Angel Stadium. I really hate these West Coast games as they don't start until 10:00 pm ET and 5:00 am comes early here on the East Coast. The Yankees will send David Phelps to the mound, finally, to face off with Jered Weaver for the Angels. The game will be played at 10:05 pm ET on the YES Network and can also be seen on MLB TV and heard on the radio with WFAN.

You can talk during the game by following us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes or by dropping us a line in the comments section of the site. We always have Yankee discussion going on at Twitter or on the site so feel free to join us, the more the merrier.

Enjoy the game Yankees family and hopefully you're not too dead in the morning for work.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Fans... Meme

There is definitely some truth to this, no?

Preview: New York Yankees @ Los Angeles Angels 5/5

The New York Yankees will make their first West Coast road trip when they travel to Angels Stadium tonight to take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Yankees will send David Phelps to the mound to face off with Jered Weaver for the Angels in Anaheim. The game will be played at 10:05 pm ET on the YES Network and can be seen on MLB TV and heard on the radio with WFAN.

Phelps is finally making another start replacing Michael Pineda after his last start was cancelled due to rain and found Phelps skipped in the rotation. You have to wonder if rust or stamina will come into play today with an already tired and thin Yankees bullpen that has been overused lately.

Weaver has pitched well this season but does not have much to show for it due to a less than stellar Angels bullpen. Weaver is always a tough guy to beat while on the mound so this should be a tough task for the Yankees offense, especially in Anaheim.

Go Yankees!!

Understand Sabermetrics : Slugging Percentage (SLG)

Slugging percentage is another one of those "oldie but a goodie" kind of SABR stats because it seems like it has been around forever, and is still commonly used. SLG is obviously used to measure power hitters and their ability to get extra base hits and home runs.

The highest single season SLG% was recorded in 2001 when Barry Bonds posted an .863 SLG%. The highest career SLG% is Babe Ruth's mark of .690. The highest possible SLG% you can have is 4.000, although you would have to hit a grand slam in your ONLY MLB at bat to achieve this.

Here is how you calculate SLG % :
Slugging percentage (SLG) = (1B) + (2B X 2) + (3B X 3) + (HR X 4) / ABs

To simplify the formula all you have to do is take the number of total bases and divide it by the number of at bats for the player.

Let's look at Curtis Granderson's 2011 season and specifically his SLG% since he led the team last year in home runs. Granderson's total bases stat equaled 322 in 583 at bats. If you divide 322 by 583 you get Granderson's 2011 SLG % of .552, a very respectable number. 

Series Preview: New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Just 2 weeks ago the Angels were in the Bronx to visit for a 3 game series, the Bombers took 2 out of 3. That series included one blowout loss, and 2 nail biting wins that came via hold on for dear life mode. Let's take a look at how this series stacks up.

What have they done lately?

The Angels come in with an even 15-15 record with a run differential of +28 which equates to the 3rd best mark in baseball. Odd. Their Pythagorean record states the Halos should be 18-12. They are nearing the end of a 9 game homestand which saw them sweep Cleveland and lose 2 of 3 to the Rangers.


The Angels score about 5.3 runs per game which is the 2nd best mark in baseball behind the Colorado Rockies. That is a rather astonishing mark since they're missing Josh Hamilton. He is not expected back for this series, as he is still rehabbing a torn UCL. David Freese was placed on the DL on May 3rd, and Kole Calhoun is rehabbing a sprained ankle is also not expected back. 

Mike Scioscia is getting production from other places though. Mike Trout (161 WRC+), Albert Pujols (160 WRC+) as well as Yankee killer Howie Kendrick (160 WRC+) pace the offense with Hank Conger (147 WRC+) and Chris Ianetta (122 WRC+) putting up solid numbers in split catching roles. 

Pitching Matchups:

Monday: David Phelps (vs LAA) vs Jered Weaver (vs NYY)

Jered Weaver has been alternating so-so starts with good starts and one bad one sprinkled in. He owns a 4.00 ERA (4.83 FIP) in 6 starts with 36 innings pitched. His K rates (7.00 K/9 and  18.8 K%) and his walk rates (3.00 BB/9 and 8.1 BB%) are just plain average, while his home run rates (1.50 HR/9 and 11.3 HR/FB%) are just really poor. Weaver has just been hit hard this year so far, with lefties (.327 wOBA) hit him just a bit moreso than righties (.290 wOBA). Weaver has a mid 80's 4 seam (51.83%) along with a high 70's change-up (22.6%) and a high 60's to low 70's curveball (16.3%). He also throws a slider that averages in the high 70's that he throw about 9.3% of the time. Weaver, ala CC, has definitely lost a ton of velocity in recent years.

Tuesday: Hiroki Kuroda (vs LAA) vs CJ Wilson (vs NYY)

We saw CJ Wilson just a few weeks ago when the Halos were in town, he fared very well. He owns a 3.18 ERA (3.43 FIP) in 6 starts with 39.2 innings pitched. His K rates (9.30 K/9 and 26.1 K%) are magnificent and walk rates (2.95 BB/9 and 8.3 BB%) are good as well. CJ has given up a few longballs (0.95 HR/9 and 11.9%). CJ throws a high 80's to low 90's 4 seam (55.0%), a mid 70's curveball (17.5%) as main offerings while mixes things up nicely with a low 80's slider (9.2%), a high 80's cut-fastball (8.2%), and a mid 80's change-up (9.9%). He certainly mixes things up well with all five pitches. 

Wednesday: Vidal Nuno (vs LAA) vs Hector Santiago (vs NYY)

This was the pitching match-up just 2 weeks ago in the Bronx that yielded both pitchers failing to complete 5 innings of work. Fun. Santiago has been downright terrible this year, he owns a 5.01 ERA (4.99 FIP) in 6 starts with 32.1 innings pitched. His K rates (7.79 K/9 and 17.9 K%) are league average while his walk rates (4.18 BB/9 and 10.6 BB%) are poor. He has walked a ton of guys so far. He has also given up quite a few home runs early on (1.39 HR/9 and 10.2 HR/FB%). Santiago throws a low 90's 4 seam fastball (65.5%), a low to mid 80's change-up (18.1%) as his main 2 offerings and throws a mid to high 70's slider (8.2%) and a mid 80's cut fastball (6.6%). Apparently he also throws a mid to high 70's splitter (1.6%) that he tinkers with from time to time. Don't expect to see many of those. 

Bullpen Status:

The Angels bullpen isn't too rested after yesterday's blowout loss against the Rangers. Ernesto Frieri (7.10 FIP) is no longer the closer after a terrible start to the season. That role is now occupied by Joe Smith (2.28 FIP). Michael Kohn (3.68 FIP), Fernando Salas (4.45 FIP), Kevin Jepsen (4.28 FIP), and Nick Maronde (4.73 FIP) anchor the Halos 'Pen. They probably need some length out of Weaver tonight, as the bullpen hurled 6 1/3 innings yesterday while giving up 3 runs. Ouch. 

Can't Predict Baseball: Joe Torre Makes History Again

On this day in 1929 on the first Sunday home game the Braves ever played Milt Gaston pitched to catcher Alex Gaston, relieving Red Ruffing in the 7th inning, to become the second pair of siblings in American League history to be battery mates. Tommy and Homer Thompson appeared in one game together for the Yankees in 1912 and were the first pair of brothers and teammates.

On this day in 2008 Joe Torre managed in the 4,000th game played at Dodger Stadium as the Dodgers beat the Mets by the score of 5-1. The Los Angeles manager managed in the 1,000th game at the Astrodome with the Mets in 1977 and the 1,000th game at Coors Field with the Yankees in 2007. Torre also managed the 2,000th game at Busch Stadium with the Cardinals in 1991, the 3,000th game at Angel Stadium with the Yankees in 2003, and the 6,000th game at Yankee Stadium with the Yankees in 2001.

You can't predict baseball.

Understand Sabermetrics : The Intro

I know that a lot of people probably already know the whole craze of sabermetrics (SABR), how they are calculated, how they are used, etc. A lot of you may not though so while I am not being a "prospect humper" I am being a "statmetician" and love talking and explaining SABR stats. This week, and maybe beyond depending on interest from the fans, we will be looking at some of the more common and less complicated SABR stats. Check in tomorrow for the first stat.

Before we get started with this new feature I want to give those who do not know about SABR stats a little bit of the history behind it. Sabermetrics is a specialized analysis of baseball through baseball statistics that measure in game activity to give you the "true" value of a player. The acronym SABR stands for Soceity for America Baseball Research and was coined by Bill James, who is considered the pioneer of SABR stats. Basically SABR stats try their best to determine the value of a player or team in current or past seasons and attempt to predict the value of the player or team for the future. No one stat is a tell all stat and no one stat is perfect but when you know what they all mean and how to use them in what you are looking for they can be extremely useful, in my highly biased opinion.

For those that want to learn from us at TGP, great, come daily and check out our posts and join the conversation. If you are more of a "Do It Yourself" kind of person then here are the most common and well known sites that can teach you everything that you need to know about SABR stats, listed here in no particular order.

This will constantly be updated so send us any suggestions for sites that you have by sending me an email at, tweet us @GreedyStripes, or simply leave us a comment on this post! Thanks!!

Quick Hit: The Return Of Brendan Ryan & Infield Defense

With Michael Pineda finally close to being off suspension and able to placed on the disabled list all eyes are on Brendan Ryan. Derek Jeter has not had a true shortstop backup for a couple weeks now after Dean Anna was optioned to AAA with the Scranton Wilkes Barre RailRiders and will finally have one. Yangervis Solarte has filled in well for Jeter but the infield defense is really about to get a whole lot better.

If it were up to me the infield would have Solarte at second base, Mark Teixeira at first obviously, Kelly Johnson at third base, Jeter at shortstop, and Ryan in reserve. In a late game situation having Ryan, Solarte, Teixeira, and Johnson in the infield I can't see many ground balls getting through anywhere.

The only problem will be the offense because Ryan is not expected to give us much at all with the bat.

Trenton Thunder Game Recap 5/4

Squirrels Spoil Sweep in 5-3 Loss

Richmond designated hitter Mario Lisson went 2-for-2 with a pair of home runs to boost Richmond to a victory in the final game of the three-game series against the Thunder, 5-3, on Sunday afternoon at ARM & HAMMER Park.

The Flying Squirrels jumped on the board against Thunder starter Manny Banuelos in the top of the first inning. With two outs, Jarrett Parker was hit by a pitch and Mario Lisson followed with a two-run home run.

The two-run homer would be the only runs allowed by Banuelos. The left-hander pitched into the fourth inning and surrendered two hits, two walks and struck out three. He threw 59 pitches, 36 for strikes.

The Thunder scored a pair in the bottom of the second. Yeral Sanchez drove in Rob Refsnyder with a groundball for their first run and later in the frame, Ali Castillo reached on an error by Richmond shortstop Matt Duffy to score Dan Fiorito.

The Flying Squirrels scored twice against Cole Kimball in the fifth to take a 4-2 lead. Mario Lisson drove in Skyler Stromsmoe with a sacrifice fly and Angel Villalona drove in Duffy with a single to center. Kimball suffered the loss, his second of the season.

Gary Sanchez brought the Thunder within one with a solo home run over the batter's eye in center field in the sixth inning. Sanchez now has four home runs on the season and ranks second on the team with 20 runs driven in.

Mario Lisson struck again in the Richmond half of the seventh with a solo home run. He drove in four in the game and walked twice.

The Thunder begin a three-game road trip to New Britain tomorrow at 6:35 p.m. RHP Caleb Cotham (0-2, 5.40) will start for the Thunder, the Rock Cats will counter with RHP Matt Summers (0-2, 8.59). Listen live on 91.3 WTSR and beginning at 6:20 p.m.

Being posted with permission from the Trenton Thunder. The original article can be seen HERE

Charleston Riverdogs Game Recap 5/4

Smith Shuts Out Shorebirds Again, Extends Scoreless Streak
3-0 RiverDogs shutout highlighted by six scoreless innings from Caleb Smith

CHARLESTON, SC - For the second week in a row, Charleston RiverDogs left-hander Caleb Smith tossed six shutout innings against the Delmarva Shorebirds, striking out seven in a 3-0 shutout on Sunday afternoon in front of 4,067 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in South Atlantic League action.
The RiverDogs have a winning record at 15-14 while the Shorebirds slide to 13-16. Smith now has a streak of 18.1 consecutive scoreless innings pitched, the best streak by a Charleston pitcher since Daniel Camarena tossed 23 shutout frames in a row in the 2013 season. Smith, the reigning SAL Pitcher of the Week, is also the league pitching leader with a 0.66 earned run average.
Smith struck out the side to open the game before the RiverDogs took a quick 1-0 lead. Abiatal Avelino led off the bottom of the first inning with a double. With the bases loaded and only one out, Miguel Andujar grounded to third base to score Avelino during a Delmarva error.
In six shutout innings, Smith allowed only two baserunners on two hits. Trey Mancini began the second with a single but was thrown out on a double play by Andujar, Tyler Wade, and Mike Ford. Drew Dosch doubled in the fourth inning but stayed at second base to end the inning.
During the bottom of the sixth, Charleston added cushion to its lead. The RiverDogs loaded the bases with two outs and garnered a 2-0 lead after an infield single for Murphy. Gosuke Katoh made it a 3-0 advantage by scoring on an error after an Avelino ground ball.
Giovanny Gallegos followed Smith and earned a three-inning save with nearly perfect work. A leadoff single in the eighth inning was wiped clean by a double play. Another single opened the ninth before Gallegos and the RiverDogs defense closed the game with the final three outs.
Smith's record climbs to 3-1 this season after his fourth consecutive shutout start. Austin Urban fell to 1-3 after the loss despite allowing just one run and two hits in five innings pitched. Gallegos earned his first career save with his long relief outing.
BALLPARK FUN: The Ancient Order of Hibernians were a fun group on Irish Heritage Night, which included bagpipes, an in-game hurling demonstration, and on-field dance routines as part of the festivities. Former Gamecock football and basketball star Bruce Ellington mingled with the fans on Sunday and even threw out a ceremonial first pitch. Celebrity "Smokin' Chef" Michael Saboe of the Culinary Institute of Charleston served pulled pork sundaes that he made with the RiverDogs new meat smoker.
COMING UP: The finale of this four-game series and seven-game homestand will be at 7:05pm on Monday evening. Charleston RHP Brady Lail (3-1, 4.05 ERA) squares off against Delmarva RHP Hunter Harvey (1-1, 2.08 ERA). Dollar Dogs and Beers Night, presented by Coors and Z93 Jamz, means $1 hot dogs and $1 drafts in the Ashley View Pub. The RiverDogs are also hosting Cinco de Mayo festivities along with "Dogs with a Cause," featuring Tri-County Family Ministries. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line If fans cannot make it to the ballpark, they are encouraged to tune in to all the action this year both home and away worldwide on and locally on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.

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

This Day In New York Yankees History 5/5

On this day in 1930 the New York Yankees traded Cedric Durst to the Boston Red Sox for Red Ruffing. This deal allowed the Red Sox to sell Tom Zachary to the Braves for the waiver price. Boston will never learn.

On this day in 1955 the musical "Damn Yankees" opens up on Broadway. The comedy set in Washington, D.C. and based off Douglass Wallop's novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, tells the tale of an aging Washington Senators fan's bargain with the devil to stop the Yankees dominance in the 1950's.

On this day in 2010 DirecTV and the YES Network strike a deal to televise the first major league baseball game in three dimensions. The July 10 Safeco Field telecast between the Yankees and Mariners will be available in 3-D in New York, Connecticut, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Montana, and Idaho.