Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Two More IFA's In The Fold For The Yankees

This seems like an hour by hour update as the New York Yankees continue to snatch up all the international minor league free agents they can. The Yankees have signed well over $10 million in talent already after being allotted a shade over $2 million in cap room and that number is only going up after two more signings, Venezuelan outfielder Jonathan Amundary and Dominican outfielder Antonio Arias.

The rumored signing bonus for Amundary is $1.5 million and Arias is rumored to receive right at $1 million to start their professional careers.

CC Sabathia Comes Through Latest Rehab Healthy

CC Sabathia has pitched in his second rehab stint, this time with the Trenton Thunder, and still has his knee connected to his body which is a win for all parties involved. Sabathia wen't 3.2 innings and threw 55 pitches, 33 for strikes, while giving up five runs (three earned) on five hits, one walk, one hit batsman, and two strikeouts. Sabathia sat comfortably at 88-90 MPH but did hit 92 MPH a couple times, which is encouraging.

This start came on three days rest so no word on how his body feels yet but I have to imagine if there was pain we would have heard by now. Great news.

Yankees Signed Three More International Players

The New York Yankees big day on the International market continues as they have officially signed three more IFA's since the last post got put up on the blog a few hours ago. The Yankees have signed Korean shortstop Hyo-Jun Park. Park is a little older than most prospects that will be signed this week at 18 years old but it a High School senior that projects to stick at shortstop.

New York also signed the second best prospect available Dominican outfielder Juan De Leon. De Leon is 16 years old and possesses the best bat speed in this year's class to go with a strong arm and above average speed. De Leon may not stick in center field but should be a solid corner outfielder, worst case scenario.

Finally the Yankees signed Venezuelan catcher Miguel Flames. Flames is a former third baseman who has a ton of raw power and obviously a strong throwing arm. Flames is raw as far as catchers are concerned and may have to move to first base eventually due to his size, see Jesus Montero and Gary Sanchez.

Alex Rodriguez Allowed To Use Steroids In 2007-2008

Alex Rodriguez is being vilified for his use of performance enhancing drugs since the 2013 season but had permission from Major League Baseball to use PED's during his MVP 2007 season and the 2018 season according to a new book. The book "Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis, and the Quest to the End Baseball's Steroid Era" was published on Sports Illustrated today showcased how Major League Baseball gave A Rod permission to take steroids for at least two seasons.

Rodriguez requested an therapeutic use exemption (TEU) to use testosterone before the 2007, a steroid that has been banned in MLB since 2003, and was granted permission before the season. A Rod would win the MVP in 2007 and hit 54 home runs, including his 500th of his career, that season with the help of the anabolic steroid.

Rodriguez was allowed to use clomiphene citrate in 2008 which is prescribed to men who suffer from a testosterone deficiency.

Rodriguez has not failed a test since steroid testing was implemented in Major League Baseball but is still serving a 162 game suspension this season because of Biogenesis. Something sounds fishy here but I am killed when I defend A Rod so whatever.

Yankees Sign Edgmer Escalona, Lose Robert Coello

The New York Yankees have signed former Baltimore Orioles pitcher Edgmer Escalona to a minor league deal today. Robert Coello opted out of his minor league deal so basically Escalona will take his roster spot for the Scranton Wilkes Barre RailRiders.

Escalona is 27 years old and rejected a minor league assignment after being designated for assignment by Baltimore a couple weeks back. Escalona was a relief pitcher until around two months ago when the Orioles moved him into the starting rotation. Escalona responded by posting a 6.10 ERA in 20.2 innings before getting the ax.

Yankees International Spending Spree Has Begun

Here is what the Yankees did in Day One of the International spending period:

16 year old Venezuelan shortstop Wilkerman Garcia for $1.35 million. Garcia was ranked the 7th best prospect by Baseball America and 14th by

16 year old Dominican third baseman Nelson Gomez for $2.25 million. had Gomez ranked as the second best prospect and Baseball American had him ranked sixth.

16 year old Dominican shortstop Dermis Garcia for $3.2 million. This was expected as the Yankees announced a verbal agreement with the best prospect available according to and ninth best according to Baseball America.

16 year old  Venezuelan shortstop Diego Castillo for $750K. Castillo was ranked 16th by and 24th overall by Baseball America.

16 year old Dominican outfielder Frederick Cuevas for $300K. Cuevas was not ranked by any major media outlets and is a relative unknown at this point.

Mark Teixeira & Jacoby Ellsbury Battling Injuries

Both Mark Teixeira and Jacoby Ellsbury were out of the Yankees lineup today and it wasn't just a normal days rest in a day game after a night game. Teixeira had his left knee drained before the game but is expected to be back tomorrow night in Minnesota. Ellsbury is described as "sore all over" and in desperate need of a day off. He was leading the Yankees in game, tied with Brett Gardner, before today so I could see that. Ellsbury is also expected to be back tomorrow night for the Twins series.

The Yankees need Ellsbury and Teixeira back and back healthy so this is something to definitely keep an eye on. Teixeira leads the team with 15 home runs and RBI's with 41 while Ellsbury is a .288 hitter and your typical number three hitter. The Yankees are already struggling with the bats, this doesn't help. Hopefully it's a one day off and done type of scenario.

Yankees Fall Below .500, Get Swept By Rays 6-3

For the Yankees and their fans, the fact that the team lost the first two games of this week's Rays series was already pretty bad. 

Going into the set, the Bombers were slumping, making a dignity win in today's series finale an absolute must.

Unfortunately, the struggling, currently-dead-in-every-way club couldn't even do that, getting swept by the Rays 6-3 and dropping to 41-42.

At the beginning of the Yanks' offensive day, things didn't look like they could get much better, as Brett Gardner led off the bottom of the first with a home run to right.

Later on in the third, Brian McCann would also take Tampa Bay's Jake Odorizzi (Win; 5.2 IP, 3 ER) deep, with Gardner tacking on another with a fourth-inning single to put the Pinstripes up 3-2.

That hit from Gardner, coming with two on and two out, was New York's only with RISP in 9 at-bats this afternoon, dropping their average in those situations to .036 since Saturday.

Still, at that point, the Yankees held a 3-2 lead, the third time already they had broken a tie. 

Sure, you could argue the way they did it wasn't pretty, but the fact that Vidal Nuno was doing alright was definitely reason for confidence.

Or, so it was thought. 

In the top of the fifth, Nuno (Loss; 5+ IP, 4 ER) surrendered an RBI Single to Rays LF Brandon Guyer, soon followed by another lead off hit in the team's next turn.  

Immediately after that inning-starting knock, Sean Rodriguez drove a Shawn Kelley pitch over the left-center field wall, giving Tampa a lead and essentially ending the ballgame.

The Yankees had given up their fifth run, something that usually kills their confidence, as they are just 1-32 this season when giving up that many trips around the bases.

Can't Predict Baseball: Reynolds Carves Up The Yankees

The Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees have played a ton against each other over the years and we have been lucky enough to see many great and historic games between the two. A lot of the moments were great Yankees moments but on this day the White Sox and Carl Reynolds took center stage.

Reynolds became only the second player in major league history to hit a home run in three consecutive innings and he did it over the Yankees. Reynolds hit a home run in the first three innings of the 15-4 White Sox win, two of them the inside the park variety.

You know what they say Suzyn, you just can't predict baseball.

Girardi Doesn't Intend to Change Yankees' Lineup

Since Carlos Beltran hit that walk-off home run back on June 20, the Yankees' everyday lineup has struggled to do anything.

The nine-man group, a big reason why the team's gone 2-8 in their last 10 games, has averaged just 3.1 runs a contest during their ugly recent stretch, causing them to fall way back in both the AL East and AL Wild Card standings.

Despite that, Manager Joe Girardi apparently doesn't plan to do anything, telling ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews after yesterday's loss that the guys the Yanks currently have are just going to have to start contributing. 

"These are the guys that we have, and these are the guys that have to get it done on a nightly basis," he said. "As I’ve said in the game, no one is going to feel sorry for you, and no one has a magic potion. You just have to go out and grind it out."

Going into today's finale against Tampa Bay, the Bombers have amazingly not led since Friday, a stat truly disturbing to a fan of any team.

In the games since then, they've actually been pretty competitive, although you have to ask yourself if that really matters, as each of the club's last four contests have obviously not been wins.

Game Thread; Yankees vs. Rays

Welcome to this afternoon's game thread and open thread for Lou Gehrig Bobblehead Day at Yankee Stadium. Major League Baseball will honor Gehrig on July 4 but this is the final Yankees home game before leaving town until after the All Star Break so the New York will honor Gehrig this afternoon. The Yankees will send Vidal Nuno to the mound looking to get the Bronx Bombers a victory and will face off with Jake Odorizzi. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio at work with WFAN.

Get your Lou Gehrig bobblehead by grabbing a pair of cheap Yankees tickets right HERE on the blog without all those annoying fees, shipping, and added costs. You can chat with us during the game by following @GreedyStripes on Twitter or by searching for The Greedy Pinstripes on Facebook. The comment box is always open as well so be sure to drop a line there as well and chat with fellow Yankees fans across the country.

Enjoy the game Yankees family and enjoy the rest of your day!

I'm Not Sold On Vidal Nuno, Sell Me Rookie!

I know some may be willing to keep Vidal Nuno around when CC Sabathia returns and send down Chase Whitley after one good start in Yankee Stadium but personally I'm not sold. Today Nuno has the chance to sell himself to me and the rest of the Yankees Universe by putting together another good start. It's Lou Gehrig Bobblehead Day, let's win it for the Iron Horse.

7/2 Yankees Game Preview vs. Tampa Bay Rays

The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays will play in the rubber match of their three game set today in the Bronx before the Yankees leave town for Minnesota. The Yankees will send Vidal Nuno to the mound to face off with the Rays Jake Odorizzi. The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Nuno is coming off his best start of the year last time out against the Boston Red Sox where he allowed no runs and two hits in 5.2 innings. Even with this start the Yankees desperately need a win and Nuno is not the guy I feel the most confident in on the mound at this point, especially in the Bronx. Nuno did get his first career home win last time out though so hopefully he can build on that momentum.

Odorizzi only lasted five innings in his last start, a loss to the Baltimore Orioles, while striking out six and walking four. Odorizzi definitely did not have his best stuff last time out and struggled with command and control, a trend that I hope continues tonight in the Bronx. Odorizzi took the no decision and threw over 100 pitches in his five frames.

Today is Lou Gehrig Day at Yankee Stadium and the team will be giving away a Lou Gehrig Bobblehead today for the fans. You have to get your Yankees tickets to get the bobblehead and see the home team in the Bronx for the last time before the All Star break so get your tickets now. By clicking HERE you get access to tickets for any home or away game without all the fees, shipping costs, or having to use costly printer ink to print your tickets, you get actual tickets in hand the very next day. Get yours now and someone save me a bobblehead. 

Go Yankees!!

Hall of Fame Profile: Lou Gehrig - Article Revisit

This was originally posted by our writer, and my very good friend, Bryan Knepper back in April of 2013, seen here, and we bring it back to you for Lou Gehrig Bobblehead Day at Yankee Stadium. Enjoy the post as we enjoy Gehrig's career and accomplishments today in the Bronx and all across Major League Baseball on July 4th.

The second player inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Yankee was Lou Gehrig.

Full Name: Henry Louis Gehrig (Ludwig Heinrich Gehrig)

Born: June 19, 1903  Died: June 2, 1941

Nickname(s): The Iron Horse, Buster, Biscuit Pants

Hall of Fame Induction: 1939 (by special election...results were not reported)

Teams Played for: New York Yankees (1923-1939)

Retired Jersey: #4 by the New York Yankees in 1939 (the first number to be retired in MLB history)

Career Statistics (courtesy of

Batting Average: .340 (17th all-time)
On-Base %: .447 (5th all-time)
Slugging %: .632 (3rd all-time)
OPS: 1.080 (3rd all-time)
HR: 493 (26th all-time)
RBI: 1992 (5th all-time)
Runs: 1888 (11th all-time)
Hits: 2721 (59nd all-time)
2B: 534 (34th all-time)
BB: 1508 (17th all-time)

WAR: 112.6 (18th all-time)
Grand Slams: 23 (tied for 1st with Alex Rodriguez)
MVPs: (2) 1927, 1936 <8x voted in the top-5>
All-Star Appearances: (7) 1933-1939
Uncommonly Known Fact: Lou was a pitcher for Columbia when he was signed by the Yankees.


Lou Gehrig, the "Iron Horse" made his debut with the New York Yankees as a 19-year old in 1923 in the "House that Ruth Built."  The two were forever linked as part of the famed 1927 Murderer's Row and The Babe was there on the day that Lou's career ended in 1939 for one of the most famous sentences spoken in public in history.  In between his debut and the disease named for him that ended his baseball career and shortly thereafter his life, he played in 2,130 games consecutively garnering the "Iron Horse" moniker.

In his first 2 seasons with the Yanks, he only made 23 appearances as he would play for minor league Hartford for most of 1923 and 1924.  He wasn't on the roster for the Yankees first World Series title, but would make an impact in 1925 batting .295 with 20 home runs as a rookie in 437 at-bats.  The 1925 season would also usher in his streak of 2,130 games played beginning on June 1, 1925 and ending on April 30, 1939.  This streak would stand until Cal Ripken, Jr would break it in 1995.  Lou's breakout season would be 1926, in which he compiled some pretty mind-blowing numbers for a 23-year old: a .313 batting average, 135 runs scored, 179 hits, 47 doubles, 20 triples, 16 home runs, and 109 RBI.  This is just another reason why the #23 is so important to this Yankees fan.

The numbers put up by the AL MVP Gehrig in 1927 could quite possibly be the greatest offensive year ever had by a Major Leaguer.  His numbers as the anchor in the Murderer's Row were as such: a .373 batting average, 149 runs scored, 218 hits, 52 doubles, 18 triples, 47 home runs, 175 RBI (a new MLB record), and 447 total bases (3rd all-time). He compiled a .765 slugging percentage and a 1.240 ops that season.  In the World Series that year, he helped the 110-win regular season Yankees sweep the Pittsburgh Pirates with a .308 average, 2 triples, 4 RBI, and a 1.158 ops.

The next 2 times the Yankees would be in the World Series, Gehrig would prove to be the dominant force in sweeps over St. Louis in 1928 and the Chicago Cubs in 1932 batting .545 with 4 home runs, 9 rbi, and a 2.433 ops in 1928 and .529 with 3 home runs, 8 rbi, and a 1.718 ops.  These stats would help him compile a career postseason triple slash of .361 / 10 / 35 in 119 at-bats against the best competition in baseball.  There was a reason the Yankees won 6 World Series titles from 1927-1938, and it was Lou Gehrig.  From 1930 to 1932, Gehrig compiled a record 509 runs batted in.  No one has ever combined for that many RBI in ANY 3 seasons of their career, let alone in 3 consecutive years.  He also hit 23 grand slams in his 17-year career, a record that stood by itself until just recently when fellow New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez tied it.  Gehrig would become the first player of the "modern era" to hit 4 home runs in a game coming against the Philadelphia Athletics on June 3, 1932.  He would have had 5 home runs that day had Al Simmons missed a ball that was caught over the wall.

The 1938 season was below average for Gehrig as his numbers diminished to a .295 batting average (down from .351 in 1937), 29 home runs, and 114 RBI.  He made comments to the fact that he felt slower and not himself.  On May 2, 1939 after going hitless, Gehrig took himself out of a game, which would be the first he had not played in since June 1st of 1925.  On a trip to Chicago, he would visit the famed Mayo clinic in Rochester, MN where he would later be diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis  (ALS), which is commonly known today as "Lou Gehrig's Disease."  He would never play in another baseball game and would die from the disease on June 2, 1941.  On July 4, 1939, the Iron Horse was honored by the New York Yankees in front of an emotional crowd in which he spoke his famous "luckiest man on the face of the earth" speech.  He was joined by his beloved teammate Babe Ruth who would later succomb to cancer and join Gehrig in the afterlife.  Below is the full speech given by Lou that day:

"Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. Look at these grand men.
Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I'm lucky.
When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift — that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies — that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter — that's something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so that you can have an education and build your body — it's a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed — that's the finest I know.
So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for. Thank you."



Quick Hit: John The Artist Paints Lou Gehrig

Back in July of last year an artist named John Prince approached us on Twitter asking us to check out some of his paintings, specifically his Yankees related works. I was instantly impressed with his work and his attention to detail, the man is truly talented. One of his paintings was of the Yankees Iron Horse, Mr. Lou Gehrig, and you can see that painting above. He does great work so click HERE to check out his work.

Let TheYankees International Spending Spree Begin

As of midnight this morning the International spending period has begun so let the New York Yankees spending spree begin! The Yankees are expected to spend in upwards of $30 million this spending period including the fees and penalties associated with going over their allotment and spending cap.

The Yankees already have verbal agreements with shortstop Dermis Garcia is set to sign for $3.6 million, third basemen Nelson Gomez is set to sign a $2.8 million contract, and shortstop Christopher Torres is ready to sign for $2.6 million. All three players are 16 years old and from the Dominican Republic. The Yankees have reportedly agreed to other verbal agreements as well so stay tuned, it's going to be a fun one. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 7/2 - Mantle Says Goodbye On Babe Ruth's Birthday

On this day in 1941 Joe DiMaggio passed Wee Willie Keeler's 1897 major league record for consecutive hit games with his 45th straight game. DiMaggio hit a three run home run off the Red Sox Dick Newsome in front of 52,832 fans.

On this day in 1978 Louisiana Lightning Ron Guidry beat the Detroit Tigers to improve his record to 13-0. This would be the best start in the Yankees franchise history for a season.

On this day in 1995 the New York Yankees celebrated what would have been Babe Ruth's 100th birthday. Mickey Mantle, a frail image of his former self, bids the fans a farewell in a recorded message on the Yankee Stadium Jumbotron. Mantle would die 22 days later after a losing battle with liver cancer but not before telling the fans that "I feel like Phil Rizzuto in Babe Ruth's uniform."

On this day in 2007 Roger Clemens became the eight pitcher in Major League history to win 350 games with his eight inning and two hit victory over the Minnesota Twins. Joe Torre was Clemens manager on that day and was also the catcher for Warren Spahn's 350th game making him a participant in the only two times since 1928 that a pitcher reached the historic plateau.