Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thoughts on the 1/3 part of the season

This part of the season has gone about as good as you can ask for when you consider the rash of injuries the Yankees have suffered. That being said, I believe the team is way better off this year than last year.

There are a couple reasons for that:
Sure, the team lost Cano and has an ever revolving door manning second base. But you don't have Vernon Wells, Jayson Nix, Lyle Overbay, and Chris Stewart starting nearly everyday. You more or less replaced their production with Jacoby Ellsbury, Yangervis Solarte, Mark Teixeira, and Brian McCann. The offense, while it has been stagnant recently, is bound to wake up any week now. I highly doubt Brian McCann will continue to smack balls right at people. Those will eventually find holes.

Those points being said, one thing I have noticed which has gotten progressively worse: the infield defense. This defense would not surprise me at all (barring an upgrade via trade) to be the worst infield defense the Yankees have fielded out in the Derek Jeter era from an errors and UZR+ standpoint. You don't even need the metrics to show you how truly bad the defense has been. Everything from Solarte rushing throws, to Kelly Johnson's inexperience at first base, to everybody else at some point missing routine plays, it's been laughable. When you go from Jayson Nix, Lyle Overbay, and Cano to these guys, sure you gain offense, but you lose a ton of defense. Say what you will about Cano and however bitter you guys may be towards the guy, but he was an absolute stud on defense. You can't replace him with Brian Roberts and expect anywhere the same results.

The biggest surprise regarding this team in my eyes is how good the pitching has been. Especially the bullpen, if you had told me before the season started that the Yankees would've had 2 pitchers at this point striking out near 15 K/9 at this point in the season I'd have to seriously wonder what you were saying. Dellin Betances has been absolutely dynamite out in the pen. I believe he has closer stuff, and that Girardi could possibly move Robertson back to 8th inning role as his "other closer" if you will. I refer to those guys as bullpen aces, but different story. Either way, him, Robertson, and Adam Warren have performed absolutely incredible thus far. Same could be said some other guys like David Phelps and Matt Thornton.

All in all, this has been a pretty dang good start considering what has happened. It's even better when you look up and all you see are the Blue Jays in front of the Bombers, and I am not ready to call them a contender yet. You'd have to think that the Red Sox and Orioles will figure their collective mess out and start doing better, and that all 5 teams will improve their teams at the deadline. One could say the Yankees have been unlucky just like last year, but from my perspective I think they're extremely lucky no one is running away with the division.

Mark Teixeira & Carlos Beltran Injury Updates

The Yankees are off today so you have to expect a plethora of injury updates, today being no exception.

The Yankees sent Mark Teixeira to Dr. Keith Raskin, the doctor who performed Mark's wrist surgery, and the diagnosis was as expected. Teix is fighting some inflammation in the wrist and is listed as day to day.

Carlos Beltran took 25 swings again from each side of the plate, 50 swings in all, and received soft toss from Kevin Long. Beltran did not report any pain or discomfort and will hit again tomorrow.

Good news on both fronts for the Yankees.

Yankees Injury Updates: Teixeira Day-To-Day, Beltran Improving

Without the power-hitting duo of Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran, the Yankees' offense is likely to struggle.

The other seven men in their starting lineup, while not terrible by any means, have averaged just a .259 BA, so it's obvious to anyone watching that having a couple of 30+ home run guys in there would help out a lot.

Today, one of those two made a lot of progress in his rehab, while the other just sort of stayed neutral. 

First, the good news, as Beltran took 25 pain-free swings from each side of the plate in his continued attempt to avoid eventual elbow surgury.

As of now, he's still not exactly close to coming back, but if he's able to do the same thing tomorrow then maybe, just maybe, it'll be time to get excited. 

Now to Teixeira, the guy who didn't have such promising results.

No, Tex isn't hurt bad, but yes, the wrist inflammation that kept him out of this week's St. Louis series has been confirmed by a doctor. It won't keep him out this weekend, but still, don't be surprised if the slowly-improving Kelly Johnson ends up playing a game or two instead, something that would probably weaken the offense.

Pauly Shore's "In The Army Now" Off Day Full Movie

It's 2:00 and I've got that 2:00 feeling so it's time for an off day full length movie right here on The Greedy Pinstripes. Just click on the video above to watch the movie "In The Army Now' with Pauly Shore. Does it have anything to do with baseball? Nope, and it shouldn't matter. You should be working anyway, enjoy!

Can't Predict Baseball: Unassisted Triple Play

On this day in 2000 the Oakland Athletics second baseman, and former Yankee, Randy Velarde completed the tenth unassisted triple play in Major League history. The New York Yankees had runners on first and second when Shane Spencer hits a line drive to Velarde who catches the ball, tags out Jorge Posada, and then tagged Tino Martinez to complete the triple play. No, CC Sabathia was not on the mound for the play.

Yankees Walk Up Music: Brian McCann

We have been looking at the New York Yankees walk up music all season long on off days, and today is an off day, so we will continue that today with Brian McCann. McCann's song of choice when walking up to the plate to hit into the shift is DJ Khaled's "All I Do Is Win."

All I do is win, win, win, no matter what. Maybe he needs to make the remix and call it "All I Do Is Hit" and maybe Brian McCann can get out of this season long slump he is in.

Quick Hit: Derek Jeter's Top 4 Favorite Movies

Derek Jeter, just in case you have been living under a rock so far this season, is going to retire at the end of the 2014 season and will likely have a lot of time on his hands. Jeter has said he has no interest in managing after he retires but has expressed an interest in owning a team, Derek is a boss so why not. Anyway, in an interview with ESPN's Andrew Marchand Jeter revealed his top four favorite movies of all time. Maybe he will get a movie theater from the Yankees on Derek Jeter Day.... Here's the list:

1. American History X - Great movie, quite possibly my favorite movie of all time too but I think Inception may be higher on my list. I have a huge man crush on Leonardo DiCaprio.

2. Major League - Who doesn't love Major League?

3. The Shawshank Redemption - Probably Top 5 on ANYONE'S list, especially mine.

4. The Five Heartbeats - Never heard of this one. It's a 1991 flick about the Temptations so I probably won't check it out but maybe you should.

5. Scarface(another Quaalude and she'll love me again), The Shining (never seen it), New Jack City (see the shining), and Friday (daaaaaaammmmn) were also honorable mentions on Jeter's list. It's always nice to get a little insight into the captain's mind because it's pretty rare.

Charleston Riverdogs Game Recap 5/28

Drive Rallies for Split Despite de Oleo's Grand Slam
Greenville's comeback snaps Brady Lail's streak of six consecutive winning appearances

CHARLESTON, SC - Eduardo de Oleo hit a go-ahead grand slam for the Charleston RiverDogs in the fourth inning, but the Greenville Drive scored seven runs, all with two outs, in a 7-5 Drive victory in front of 3,982 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in South Atlantic League action.
The RiverDogs have a 27-25 record while the Drive moves to 26-25, clinching a 2-2 series split. Brady Lail, who had won his last six starts, did not factor in the decision for the first time since Charleston's 8-7 comeback win against the Rome Braves on April 17.
Jantzen Witte homered in the first inning to put Greenville in front by a 1-0 margin. With two outs and an 0-2 count, Witte cleared the left field scoreboard against Lail for the early lead.
Greenville's advantage increased to 2-0 in the top of the fourth inning. Manuel Margot led off the inning with a single and moved to third base after a pair of groundouts. A wild pitch scored Margot to give the Drive a two-run lead.
Charleston rallied for five runs to take a 5-2 lead in its half of the fourth. Dustin Fowler doubled to break up Joe Gunkel's perfect game bid. Fowler scored on a one-out single by Aaron Judge. Later in the frame, de Oleo connected on a 3-2 pitch for a grand slam to left-center field that put the RiverDogs in the lead.
Lail was in line for the victory until the Drive rallied in the sixth inning. After Jordan Cote picked up two quick outs, Forrestt Allday received a walk and Tzu-Wei Lin followed with a double. Both runners scored during a single from Witte, cutting the deficit to 5-4. Witte advanced to third base during Carlos Asuaje's single and scored on a game-tying single by Wendell Rijo that tied the contest.
The tie was broken by Greenville in the eighth inning on a blast from Asuaje. Charleston's Chris Smith induced a groundout and recorded a strikeout prior to Witte's inning-extending walk. Asuaje hit a first-pitch home run to right field, giving the Drive a 7-5 advantage to win the game.
Jonathan Aro earned the win after four scoreless and hitless innings of relief. Aro's record is 1-0 while Smith drops to 1-1 with the loss. Greenville also had 14 of the 17 total hits in a close contest. All three RiverDogs hits came in their go-ahead rally in the fifth.
BALLPARK FUN: Firefighters Appreciation Night was celebrated at The Joe, which was also honored by official proclamations from the cities of Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville, Goose Creek, and Walterboro. Firefighters were also raising money for the MUSC Children's Hospital Burned Children's Fund. It was Guaranteed Wins-Day, so all fans in attendance may use their tickets to get into the next Wednesday home game for free.
COMING UP: Charleston hosts a four-game series against the Asheville Tourists, starting on Thursday at 7:05pm. RiverDogs RHP Rookie Davis (2-4, 4.93 ERA) is scheduled to pitch against Tourists RHP Konner Wade (3-5, 5.64 ERA). It is another Budweiser Thirsty Thursday, presented by 95SX with $1 drafts in the Ashley View Pub. ISHPI sponsors Military Appreciation Night, which includes free tickets for all active and retired military members and their immediate families by showing a military ID at the box office. For the occasion, the RiverDogs have partnered with Palmetto Brewery to serve Homefront IPA with all proceeds benefitting Operation Homefront. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line at 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

Trenton Thunder Game Recap 5/28

O'Brien's Slam Not Enough in 12-Inning Loss

READING, PA - Peter O'Brien's majestic grand slam in the third inning was the notable blast in Wednesday's ballgame until Reading's Cam Perkins launched a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the 12th inning for a 9-6 win.
With runners on first and third base with one out in the bottom of the 12th inning, Thunder reliever Francisco Rondon struck out Brock Stassi to bring up Perkins with a chance to push the game to a 13th inning. Instead, on a 2-1 pitch, Perkins crushed a three-run homer to left field ten feet inside the foul line and well over the 330-foot sign.
The Thunder forced extras when Mason Williams led the top of the 9th inning off with a single. He then advanced to second base on his tenth steal of the season with no one out to set-up a go-ahead RBI triple by Rob Refsnyder to tie the score 6-6. Refsnyder stood at third base with no outs but was cut down at home plate on a fielder's choice by shortstop Edgar Duran to keep the game tied.
In the top of the 4th inning, the Thunder trailed 3-0 but Refsnyder, Austin and Gary Sanchez all reached to load the bases. That set-up O'Brien for his ninth homer in a Thunder uniform which set the Minor League lead with 19 on the season (10 with Tampa, 9 with Trenton). O'Brien, who hadn't walked in his first 69 plate appearances with the Thunder, also walked twice in the ballgame.
Refsnyder continued his hot hitting for Trenton and was the lone batter (3-for-5) to have multi-hit games. Prior to the walk-off home run, the Thunder bullpen had combined for 7.0 shutout innings in relief of starter Eric Ruth.
The Thunder conclude their three-game series and seven-game roadtrip against the Fightin Phils Thursday day with a 11:35 a.m. first pitch and 11:20 a.m. pre-game show on 91.3 FM and

Being posted with permission from the Trenton Thunder, the original post can be seen HERE

This Day In New York Yankees History 5/29

On this day in 1997 the Hideki Irabu Era started in the Bronx with the New York Yankees. The Padres sent Irabu to the Yankees to complete an April 22nd trade that sent Gordon Amerson and Homer Bush to New York in exchange for Rafael Medina, Ruben Rivera, and $3 million. Irabu was purchased by the Padres from the Chiba Lotte Mariners in January but refused to sign with San Diego, or any team not named the Yankees. In three years Irabu compiled a 29-20 record and was called a fat toad by Yankees owner George Steinbrenner once, publicly.

On this day in 2002 the New York Yankees Roger Clemens becomes the third major league pitcher to strike out 10 or more batters in at least 100 games. Nolan Ryan did it 215 times and Randy Johnson did it 175 times.