Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Daily Half Dozen - July 23, 2014

(Twelve Six Takeaways from Tonight's Game - July 23rd, 2014)

1. If you are going to give up hits...give up singles.  Yes, it can be a grind that way, but taking away the threat of the long ball can remove the threat of a big inning.  Phelps did exactly that tonight and spread out 4 singles in the first 4 innings of play to beat Yu Darvish.
"I beat you fair and square Yu!" (Source of Photo:

2. Usually Yu can't give Darvish any room to breathe whatsoever or Yu are done.  However, something seems to have clicked with this team in the last 2 days that reminds me of the 2009 team and the team of the late 90's.  There are an awful lot of "journeymen" type players that are battling each night and building up a resume of comebacks that has really impressed me.  I know I'm pretty sarcastic about them being the "Bronx Bombless" and all, but when guys like Gardner and Cervelli perform it just feels right.

3. A balk and a bomb was all the Yanks needed.  What an inning in the 3rd with Cervelli getting the double and Gardner "blasting" his 10th of the season.  Gardner has been the only sizable investment this year that has actually been worth the contract.  Couldn't be working out for a better guy.
He'll be doing this in Roll Call for years to come.

4. The Yankees had 4 hits tonight and they were all of the extra-base variety.  The best part of it all is they happened when it mattered.  There hasn't been much of that going on, but with Gardner, Cervelli, Ellsbury, and McCann starting to stroke the ball, I see good things in their future.

5. Chase Headley strikes out a lot.  This was pointed out by Burch during the game but it bears repeating.  Those expecting him to hit .300 should drop their expectations quickly.  Yes he was the hero of last night's game but it was in his third opportunity to do so.  The times before he 1) struck out, 2) grounded out, and 3) hit into a fielder's choice.  Expect him to be a .250 hitter and strike out 1 to 2 times a game and come up with an occasional big hit.  Hopefully the Gardner Gatorade Bath variety.

6. Francisco Cervelli should be nicknamed the Darvish Killer.  He single-handedly gave Darvish the loss tonight in a rain-shortened affair.  Two doubles and he scored on a balk.  He ended the game standing on second base ( a phantom runner).

Cervelli, Gardner Rally Yankees to Rain-Shortened 2-1 W

Whether you think he's a reliable starter or not, you can't deny that Yankees Pitcher David Phelps has been great lately. 

The 27-year-old right-hander, who joined the rotation in late April when Michael Pineda got hurt, had given up no more than two earned runs in four consecutive outings going into tonight, a big reason why the team's still competing.

Yes, it is in fact true that the young Notre Dame grad's dominated over the last few weeks, an occurance that only continued this evening, with Phelps tossing 5 frames of five-hit, one-run ball as the Yanks won a rain shortened game over the Rangers 2-1.

In this one's top of the third, as expected, Phelps did have his one bump in the road, surrendering a pair of singles to Leonys Martin and Chris Gimenez that led to a run-scoring double play. 

Nonetheless, he'd eventually find a way to get the W, with Francisco Cervelli and Brett Gardner heading a rally in the New York's next turn.

After Cervelli doubled and Brendan Ryan grounded him to third to begin the at-bat, the former scored on a balk by Texas' Yu Darvish (4 1/3 IP, 2 ER, Left With Man On Second), setting up a seemingly stress-free 3-1 pitch to Gardner, which would be skied into the right fields stands to give the Bombers an advantage. 

No, the veteran's tenth homer of the season wasn't hit all that hard, but since it did still reach the fifth row it obviously counted, making it 2-1.

Later on, the now 5-4 with a 3.77 ERA Phelps would escape a man-on-third, one-out jam in the Rangers' half of the fifth, essentially ending the ballgame, with things being called in the bottom of that frame after a 1 hour, 49 minute rain delay.

Open Game Thread: Yankees vs Rangers 7/23

Welcome to tonight's open thread for the game between the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers. Tonight is the third game of the four game set these two teams will play at Yankee Stadium this week and it should be a good one. The Yankees will send David Phelps to the mound to face off with Yu Darvish for the Rangers. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with WFAN.

Remember to get your Yankees tickets for tonight's game as it's Yankees T-shirt giveaway night. Get your tickets right HERE on the blog for tonight's game, tomorrow's day game, or any game home or away this season. If you can't make it to the Bronx join us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes or find us on Facebook by searching for The Greedy Pinstripes to keep the conversation going.

It's an open thread so get to commenting on tonight's game, for better or worse. Enjoy the game Yankees family and enjoy the rest of your evening. Go Yankees!

Carlos Beltran Has Resumed His Throwing Program

The Yankees all of a sudden need an outfielder and Carlos Beltran may be on his way back to right field after starting a throwing program. Yesterday Beltran began an all new throwing program in hopes of being able to throw without pain and head back into the outfield. 

Beltran started trying to throw again about three weeks ago and was shut down after feeling pain in his right elbow. The Yankees need to find a way to make Ichiro Suzuki a part time player again so this may be some good news for New York. 

Kelly Johnson Placed On 15 Day DL w/ Groin Injury

The Yankees have placed Kelly Johnson on the 15 day DL with a left groin injury. The Yankees need bullpen help so Chris Leroux has been called up and Bruce Billings has been designated for assignment. No word on any other corresponding moves if any so stay tuned.

Phelps: "Darvish? No Problem, I Got This!" Meme

David Phelps didn't actually say that but you have to think the way he has pitched recently he has to have that confidence every time he goes out to the mound. If Phelps can keep us in the game tonight and the offense can be patient and maybe get into that Texas bullpen I think New York has a shot. If the Yankees swing at first pitches and let Darvish get into a groove then this game will be over by 10:00.

I predicted a victory tonight in our Mega Prediction Game that we run here on the blog and I am barely holding on to second place in the game so Phelpsy, make me proud.

Yankees Game Preview 7/22 vs. Texas Rangers

The New York Yankees face a tough task tonight when they host the Texas Rangers tonight in the third game of this four game set at Yankee Stadium this week. The Yankees will send one of their more consistent starters in David Phelps to the mound but he will be opposed by the Rangers ace Yu Darvish. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

Phelps has been great for the past month and started the second half of the season off with a great start against the Cincinnati Reds. Phelps pitched 6.1 innings and held the Reds to three earned runs and six hits while striking out seven. Phelps threw 98 pitches and has not thrown less than six innings for the entire month.

Darvish is coming off a start in which he shut down the Toronto Blue Jays while striking out 12 batters  in only 6.2 innings last time out. The Yankees hope to get more of the Darvish who posted a 5.40 ERA over his five previous starts and less of the pitcher that shut down a potential playoff team.

Get your tickets for tonight's game to see Darvish and the Yankees right HERE and received a Yankee t-shirt as well. The Yankees are giving these away to their first 18,000 guests so get your Yankees tickets now and see the home team and get a pretty cool shirt to go with it. 

Go Yankees!!

Yangervis Solarte Won't Be Hurt By PETCO Park

Earlier today we took a look at Chase Headley and how much, or how little, Yankee Stadium will help his production for the rest of the season so why not look at Yangervis Solarte in PETCO? I know Solarte is no longer a Yankee but I still support him and his family, they were always generous and all around great people on Twitter and I can't turn the page that easily.

The general consensus is that your production would suffer after making a move from Yankee Stadium to PETCO but BIP locations once again disagree. You have to wonder how much moving the walls in last year factored into these BIP locations today. Either way let's take a look at Solarte's hits in Yankee Stadium and what they would look like in San Diego:

Dark Blue represents home runs
Teal represents doubles
Orange represents fly outs

As you can see all Solarte's Yankee Stadium home runs also go out in PETCO. Also all of Solarte's doubles in New York are likely extra base hits in San Diego as well and conceivably one of them may go out with optimal weather conditions at his back. Interestingly enough one of Solarte's fly outs are well out of San Diego and a couple others are near the warning track. Solarte is an extra base hitter and a line drive hitter and he may actually benefit from playing in PETCO.

One thing is for sure Solarte will definitely benefit from playing everyday and I am glad for him, he needs that and deserves every shot he can get to stick in the majors. He works hard and he plays the game the right way and the game needs more players like that. Good luck in San Diego Yangervis, this isn't goodbye.

Solarte Thankful Yankees Gave Him An Opportunity

When the Yankees first traded Yangervis Solarte to the Padres yesterday, many fans were surprised the team would give up his kind of talent for a rental.

The 25-year-old rookie, who spent eight seasons in the minors before making the Yanks out of spring training, hit .300 for them over the first two months of 2014 and .254 overall, making the fact he was dealt for someone batting just .229 tough to understand.

Still, since the exchange did happen the world, including Solarte, has to come to terms with it, something the youngster seemed to do yesterday, telling ESPN Deportes' Marly Rivera how thankful he was to be a Bomber.

"I just want to thank the New York Yankees for the opportunity they gave me; they made my dream to play in the majors come true," he said. "I am very thankful for the support the Yankee fans gave me, which was completely unexpected; they gave me inspiration to keep fighting and working hard." 

Way back in April, Solarte, then just a utility infielder, took the starting third base job from Kelly Johnson, arguably the high point of his success, as the majority of his playing time from then on included only slumps and frustration.

Meet a Prospect: Chase Headley

As many of you know we like to introduce you to Yankees prospects you may or may not know, especially during our Prospects Month every February. That evolved into also catching up with current Yankees who are established players while looking back at those players while they were coming up. Today Chase Headley gets officially added to the mix as The Greedy Pinstripes present Meet a Prospect: The Chase Headley edition. Enjoy!

Chase Jordan Headley was born on May 9, 1984 in Fountain Colorado and spent his high school career at Fountain-Fort Carson High School in Fountain, Colorado. Headley graduated in 2002 as the valedictorian as a two sport star in both baseball and basketball. Headley was a three time Colorado All-State player and was named to the South Metro All-League team all four seasons there. Headley took home Player of the Year honors as a senior in 2002 from the Colorado Spring Gazette and was selected to play in the Colorado Rockies Senior All Star Game. Headley would hit a home run in his first at bat and bounced around the Colorado Rockies Select Scout Team before heading to the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California where he transitioned from shortstop to third base.

In 2003 Headley transferred to the University of Tennessee where he suffered a meniscus surgery on his knee and a lengthy hamstring injury that hampered his season. Headley recovered quickly enough to draw 62 walks to break Todd Helton's 1995 school record and flirted with the college's single season record for on base percentage. Headley was named the team's Most Valuable Player in 2003 while also being honored as an Academic All-American with a 3.63 GPA majoring in Sports Management. Headley's hard work paid off as he was drafted in the second round of the 2005 MLB draft by the San Diego Padres.

Headley played well in his first professional season in 2006 and was sent to the Arizona Fall League as the only player there who had not yet reached Double-A. Headley was quickly donned the Padres best prospect and responded with a 2007 Texas League Player of the Year award after hitting .330/.437/.580 with an insane 1.016 OPS while leading the league in many stats. His 2007 season earned him an invite to 2008 Spring Training camp and Headley responded well again hitting .371 and leading the team with 12 RBI before being sent down to Triple-A to learn left field. Headley lasted only 65 games while hitting 13 home runs before the Padres called him up to the big leagues.

Headley was called up on June 15, 2007 after hitting .357 to replace the injured Kevin Kouzmanoff. Headley would only stay up for eight games but would collect his first major league hit two days later against the Chicago Cubs. Headley would ultimately get called back up and finish the season in the majors before starting 2008 back in the minors. Headley was not long for the minors and got called back up on June 17, 2008 and immediately wen't 2-4 at Yankee Stadium. Headley would hit a home run the next night in Yankee Stadium off Kyle Farnsworth and would finish the season with a .269/.337/.420 triple slash with nine home runs. Headley would start the 2009 season in the major leagues as the Padres starting left fielder and would put up a .262 average in his first full season with 12 home runs and 64 RBI. The padres traded Kevin Kouzmanoff before the 2010 season opening the third base position up for Headley to take over full time.

Headley had another typical Headley season in 2011 but started to come into his own in 2011 when he batted .289/.374/.399 before an injury robbed him of some of his season and his power. Headley finished with only four home runs in 381 at bats but led the National League in putouts at third base. Headley really broke out in 2012 which led to the trade rumors. Headley finished 2012 with a .286/.376/.498 triple slash with 31 home runs, 173 hits, 115 RBI and was named the Padre Player of the Year by the San Diego chapter of the  Baseball Writers Association of America. Headley won the Gold Glove Award at third base and also won the Silver Slugger Award for all third basemen. Headley would finish in fifth place in the NL MVP vote and also won the MLB Breakout Hitter of the Year Award.

Headley looked to build on his huge 2012 season in 2013 but started the season by fracturing the tip of his left thumb in spring training when it got caught under the second base bag while sliding into the base. He started the season on the disabled list and missed a month with the thumb. Headley also tore his meniscus in his left knee during the season although he played through it. His production suffered as Headley ended the season with less than stellar numbers and underwent arthroscopic surgery on the knee during the offseason.

Headley had a slow start to the 2014 season including battling some back pain but has hit near .300 after receiving an epidural in the back. Headley was traded to the Yankees yesterday for Yangervis Solarte and Rafael DePaula and looks to start a new chapter in his baseball career with New York.

Yankee Stadium Will Not Help Chase Headley Much

Just a quick hit for all you Yankees fans out there that think newly acquired Chase Headley will improve offensively after moving from Yellow Stone PETCO Park and moving to Yankee Stadium. MLB Gameday  Balls in Play (BIP) location stat disagrees with that notion. Obviously this is in a vacuum and in a perfect world and we're all just guessing here, even the experts, but I like to look at BIP locations when acquiring a new player. It's no secret that the Yankees (should have) a secret weapon with the new Yankee Stadium but Headley doesn't look like he will utilize it much this season.

Dark Blue are home runs
Teal are doubles
Orange are fly outs

As you can see Headley has hit two home runs in San Diego this season and both would be in the bleachers in Yankee Stadium. What intrigues me are the doubles. According to BIP all of his doubles in PETCO stay in the ballpark in New York but you have to remember the weather factor and mother nature. I have never been to San Diego personally but I have to imagine the humidity is higher in San Diego and I have to think the ball travels more in New York, especially with wind currents. We could see a few of those doubles going out down the line and resulting in Yankee Stadium home runs if Headley is lucky. Same goes for the fly outs as some are warning track power in New York. While Headley will not return to his 2011 and 2012 stats while coming to New York the stadium could help him improve, but not by much.