Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Game Thread: Yankees vs. Angels 5/7

Tonight is the final game of a quick three game West Coast trip for the Yankees as they travel to Anaheim to take on the Los Angeles Angels. I, for one, cannot wait for this game to be over so we can play a game that's not in the middle of the night for most of us. The Yankees will send Vidal Nuno to the mound to face off with Hector Santiago for the Angels. The game will be played at 10:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with WFAN.

Leave us a line on twitter by following @GreedyStripes and keep the conversation going. If twitter isn't your thing we always have the comments section of the site open and going as well for all your Yankees discussion.

Enjoy the game Yankees family and enjoy the rest of your night and early morning.

Yankees Release Ronnier Mustelier

The New York Yankees have released organization utility player Ronnier Mustelier according to Bryan Hoch on Twitter. Wow. The Yankees seemingly need his major league ready bat and he is hitting well this season so this is a real head scratcher to me. Mustelier is only 29 years old and was hitting .314 in the minor leagues this season. I don't get it and I can't say that I like it either.

Nik Turley Close To Re-Signing With Yankees

The New York Yankees have been without Nik Turley's services all season and all spring training long after struggling with some tightness in his throwing arm and ultimately released him off the 40 man roster. Much like David Adams last season the Yankees are close to bringing Turley back on a minor league deal and are ready to assign him to Double-A Trenton. Great news for the Yankees to have his left handed arm back in the organization.

Mike Scioscia Is Playing w/ Borrowed Time... Meme

Have to think there is some truth to this meme. The team has not been over the .500 mark for an entire season plus...

Preview: New York Yankees @ Los Angeles Angels 5/7

The New York Yankees wrap up a quick three game West Coast road trip tonight when they take on the Los Angeles Angels on Anaheim in Angels Stadium. The Yankees will send the struggling Vidal Nuno to the mound to face off with Hector Santiago for the Angels in a battle of left handed starting pitchers. The game will be played at 10:05 pm ET and can be see on the YES Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with WFAN.

The last time we saw Nuno on the mound was when he threw 4.1 IP against these same Los Angeles Angels. Nuno allowed three runs and took a no decision against the Angels. This will be Nuno's fourth start of the season after starting the 2014 year in the Yankees bullpen.

Santiago has started against the Yankees once this season and took a loss and conveniently the man that opposed him was Nuno. Santiago has been the brunt of a little bad luck though as five of the 18 earned runs against him this season have come off relief pitchers after Santiago left them on base. Santiago also has the sixth lowest run support in the league, which doesn't help.

Go Yankees!!

My Review of The Basbeall Movie "The Mendoza Line"

As a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, IBWAA, you get certain perks besides the recognition that you receive and one of them is getting free sneak previews of upcoming baseball movies and books. The Mendoza Line is one of those movies that I got to preview before everyone else recently and I have to say that I was thoroughly impressed with the story, the camera work, and the movie overall. The movie was written by Nathan Kauffman and describes his movie plot below:

Coffee is big business in Chiapas, Mexico. It is also an area where baseball is even more popular than soccer. When coffee rust, a plant disease decimates the industry, five year old Ricardo Perez is taken across the Rio Grande in search of a better life with his family. Before Ricardo’s father abandons him and his mother, he instills a love of baseball in his son who manages to combine a little talent and a lot of hard work to secure a low round draft ticket to the minor leagues. He is now struggling through his third year in A-ball as a back-up catcher, barely hitting above The Mendoza Line (.200). His marriage to Christina is on the rocks. Her patience of spending the summers in a small hot valley town with no friends, caring for their two year old son, working two part-time jobs while supporting Ricardo’s progressively unrealistic dream is wearing thin. As undocumented immigrants, they are constantly looking over their shoulders.
Phil Pichette is Ricardo’s manager, disciplinarian, teacher, role model and father figure tasked with indoctrinating young players into the athletic and business realities of the game, while trying to advance his own career and keeping his own marriage on an even keel. Gino Montoya is the sage, veteran roving instructor; the philosopher king, baseball guru and cranky old man of the organization, always one step away from retirement but unwilling to finally cut the baseball cord and always mindful of the racial and cultural barriers he overcame on his way to major league success.
The Mendoza Line takes place in the span of a few days after the June draft when a handful of minor league baseball players will be released to make way for the newest prospects. There is no predictable melodramatic “big game” ending. Ricardo is faced with finality of his baseball dreams, face his limitations, put childish things behind and find a way of adjusting priorities and moving on with life.

First I want to say that this is not you're stereotypical baseball movie, and I like that, as the story has not been told like this before. It seems like there is definitely some truth to the story and it's a story that most of us do not hear about. Me personally, this story touched me a little because I am friends with former Yankee pitcher Alan Horne who never made it to the big leagues due to a shoulder injury. The finality of his baseball career and what he is doing after baseball really seemed like it had him depressed for a while, to the point even where he didn't even wanna talk baseball. The story is great and it really touched home. Definitely worth the 82 minutes to watch and I absolutely plan to watch this again.

You can rent the movie on vimeo if you are interested for $9.99 RIGHT HERE. It's worth the money in my opinion so check it out. Two thumbs up from The Greedy Pinstripes.

Understand Sabermetrics : Fielding Independent Pitching

Fielding Independent Pitching, or more commonly known as FIP, is a pitchers stat that when put into simple English measures everything that the pitcher controls in a game. It takes away defense, it takes away the park where the game is being played, etc. Pitchers can control walks, home runs, strike outs, hit by pitches, etc and that is what FIP studies. There are two formulas for FIP and neither of them are very simple to understand, especially to a novice.

With this formula you would take the number 13 and multiply it by the number of home runs, then add it to whatever number you get when you multiply 3 by the number of walks. I do not know where the statmeticians got the number 13 to multiply by home runs, the number 3 to multiply by the walks, or the number 2 to multiply by the strikeouts. I know it has something to do with the fact that home runs hurt a pitcher more then a walk would but the actual numbers is a mystery to me.  This formula is generally no where near your ERA is, which is a problem for those who think FIP was made to show what your ERA would be with league average defending and every game was played in a bubble,  so another formula was developed to get it closer to your ERA.

The "constant" here is the 3.10 so you can achieve what the stat really wants, and that is to be more of an indicator of what your ERA will be over the course of a season. FIP is a terrible stat to use in a small sample size but a great stat to use to predict the future or look at what a guy did over the course of a season. 

Here is a graph, courtesy of Fangraphs, that shows you how your FIP will rank with the league average FIP's.

Above Average3.75
Below Average4.20

To put this into a Yankees perspective let us use the Yankees ace and workhorse CC Sabathia as an example of the FIP stat. In 2011 CC Sabathia had a 2.88 FIP, placing him in the "Excellent" range just a few points behind Roy Halladay's 2.70 league leading (for starters)2011 FIP.

We Finally Won A Trade With The Seattle Mariners

Everyone in the Yankees blogosphere has discussed and beat into the mud the whole Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi for Michael Pineda and Jose Campos trade desperately looking for a winner but there is one trade the Yankees definitely won with Seattle. Last Spring Training the Yankees traded Double-A outfielder Abraham Almonte to the Mariners for now set up man Shawn Kelley and the trade has been pretty one sided after a season and a month plus.

Almonte was optioned to Seattle's Triple-A team yesterday in favor of prospect James Jones after hitting .198/.248/.282. Kelley was huge for the Yankees bullpen in 2013 and has been the closer while David Robertson was out with an injury and a very viable setup man for the rest of 2014. Kelley sports a 3.60 ERA in 15 innings but has a 2.51 FIP and a 1.200 WHIP to go with it.

The Yankees may not have won the Pineda for Montero trade, yet anyway, but they definitely won this trade and that's good enough for now.

Can't Predict Baseball: The Roy Campanella Benefit

On this day in 1957 the Indians Herb Score suffered a season ending injury when he was struck in the face by the Yankees Gil McDougald's line drive. The 1955 Rookie of the Year followed up with 20 victories in his sophomore campaign only to fall of the face of the Earth after the injury. Score never regained his winning form although he blamed a torn tendon in his pitching arm and not the line drive to the face.

On this day in 1959 the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees played an exhibition game to benefit Roy Campanella after he was paralyzed in an auto accident prior to the team moving to LA in 1958. The Yankees would win the game 6-2 in front of the largest crowd ever drawn for a baseball game, 93,103 fans. AN estimated 15,000 fans were turned away at the gate due to the sellout. Pee Wee Reese pushed "Campy" in his wheelchair into the darkened stadium that was totally illuminated by fans holding candles or matches.

Roberts' home run, Kuroda's strong start lead Yankees past Angels, 4-3

Hiroki Kuroda gave up just 1 earned run in 7.2 innings and David Robertson collected his fifth save of the year last night as the Yankees beat the Angels in exciting fashion, 4-3. In this outing, Kuroda really was fun to watch, striking out 8 before leaving with an unfair No Decision. 

Anyway, the Bombers offense struggled in yesterday's first three innings, but in the top of the fourth they suddenly got hot, collecting three straight hits to start the frame including an RBI Single from Brian Roberts. After that, the Yanks would scratch on another to tie the game at 2, as Jacoby Ellsbury softly hit into a double play.

In the top of the eighth, the Yanks would take their first lead thanks to an Alfonso Soriano Single, which didn't last long, as the Angels tied the contest in their very next at-bat. However, the Pinstripes did re-take the lead in the ninth, when Roberts took Ernesto Fieri deep to right for his first home run as a Yankee. 

Besides those guys, Carlos Beltran and Derek Jeter also played pretty well in this contest, going for 1-for-3 with a walk and a run and 1-for-2 with a walk respectively. 

Quick Hit: Any Guesses On Jeter's Farewell Gift?

Tonight is the final time that the New York Yankees will be in Anaheim this season and the last time that Derek Jeter will ever play in Angels Stadium. As we all know Jeter, much like Chipper Jones and Mariano Rivera before him, will be showered with gifts all season long when visiting the visitors stadiums, any guesses on what that gift might be? Is it a stuffed rally monkey? Does Mike Scioscia have a sense of humor and will he get him a gift basket full of Preparation H? What say you?

This Day In New York Yankees History 5/7

On this day in 1903 the rivalry began between the Highlanders and the Pilgrims. The Pilgrims beat the Highlanders at Boston's Huntington Avenue Grounds 6-2. The teams would eventually change their named to the Red Sox and the Yankees but the rivalry stayed the same.

On this day in 1966 only twenty games into his second season as manager of the Yankees Johnny Keane was fired by General Manager Ralph Houk. Houk returned to the dugout to manage the team after the firing. The Yankees were 4-16 under Keane and would go on to win 13 of its next 17 games under Houk.

On this day in 1999 the Yankees Hideki Irabu faced off with the Mariners Matt Suzuki in the first match up of Japanese starting pitchers in Major League history. Irabu would get the best of Suzuki as the Yankees beat Seattle 10-1 on this day.

On this day in 2000 the Yankees held Bob Sheppard Day at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. The Yankees were honoring Sheppard's 50 years of service as the Voice of God with a plaque in Monument Park.

On this day in 2006 Joe Torre became the fourth Yankees manager to win 1,000 games with the team. The other three Yankees managers were Joe McCarthy (1,460), Casey Stengel (1,149) and Miller Huggins (1,067) for the record. Torre at the time was 1,000-645 after beating the Rangers 8-5.