Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Open Game Thread vs. Texas Rangers 7/29

Welcome to tonight's open thread for the game between the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers tonight in the Ballpark in Arlington. The game will be played at 8:05 pm ET and can be seen on Fox Sports 1, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with WFAN. The Yankees will send Brandon McCarthy to the mound to face off with the Rangers Nick Martinez.

Remember to get your Yankees tickets here for any game this season. Support your Yankees team and Derek Jeter while you can. Also follow us on twitter or find us and like us on Facebook by following @GreedyStripes or by searching for The Greedy Pinstripes.

It's an open thread so feel free to use the comments section of this post to chat it up during the game. Enjoy the game Yankees family and enjoy the rest of your evening. Go Yankees!

Michael Pineda's Rehab Assignment Begins Sunday

Reinforcements are officially on the way for the New York Yankees as Michael Pineda will begin a minor league rehab assignment this Sunday. Pineda pitched a 45 pitch simulated game today and came through it in one piece and will likely extend himself to 60-65 pitches this weekend. Manager Joe Girardi wants Pineda stretched out to around 90 pitches before coming back to the major league club. There has not been an announcement on where the rehab assignment will take place but you have to figure it is likely to either be Charleston with the Riverdogs or Tampa with the Tampa Yankees.

Using the 15-20 pitches addition every start you could conceivably state that Pineda will only make two rehab starts before joining the Yankees. That puts Pineda in the mid to late August range. A lot can happen between then and now, it could be too late by then. Either way the Yankees are going to let Pineda go all out when he does return so there is always that.

If You're Not Following Brandon McCarthy You Should Be

This guy is quickly becoming a fan favorite not only in New York but on Twitter as well. Him and his wife Amanda are a great follow and always have interesting and funny tweets to share. See above, if that's not enough to sell you then grab your Obamacare card and get yourself checked out.

Trade Deadline 2014: Yankees Trade Rumors 7/29

The Yankees are thankfully not in on Justin Masterson of the Cleveland Indians. The Indians are extremely motivated to move their ace starting pitcher that is currently on the disabled list and a free agent at the end of the season.

The Yankees and White Sox continue to talk, presumably about John Danks and Francisco Cervelli, as we inch closer to the trading deadline. The Yankees may also be interested in outfielder Dayan Viciedo but the asking price may be too much.

The Cubs told the Yankees that outfielder Justin Ruggiano was not available.

Stay tuned...

Yankees Game Preview 7/29 vs. Texas Rangers

The New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers will play tonight in their second of a three game set this week in Arlington that will bring us all the way to the trading deadline for Major League Baseball. The Yankees will send Brandon McCarthy to the mound to face off with the Rangers Nick Martinez. The game will be played at 8:05 pm ET and can be seen on Fox Sports 1, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WFAN.

McCarthy has truly stabilized a Yankee rotation that was in tatters when he arrived. McCarthy has a 2-0 record with a 2.45 ERA in three starts as a Yankee helping keep New York in the discussion for the postseason.

Martinez is coming off a start in which he allowed zero runs in 5.1 innings against the New York Yankees last time out. This was Martinez's first start since June 1 and was limited to only 67 pitches in the start. Martinez allowed three hits in the game before the Yankees got into the Rangers bullpen.

Get your Yankees tickets for any game this season home or away right HERE on the blog through our friends at Ticket Monster where we offer cheap (actual) tickets without all the bulky fees or annoying shipping costs. Our tickets are shipped out generally the same day through Fed Ex Express so you have them in hand fast. Buy now. 

Go Yankees!!

Teixeira: I Can't Play Through the Injuries Anymore

If you've watched any Yankees games this season, you already know that team First Basemen Mark Teixeira has struggled to stay healthy.

The veteran infielder, who missed nearly all of 2013 with a wrist injury, has spent a couple of weeks on the DL and missed the club's last eight games this year, an occurance that's hurt the defense due Brian McCann's inability to play his position.

Still, Teixeira can't hide the fact that he may be getting old, telling CBS New York earlier today that while he could compete through the pain when he was younger he simply can't now.

“I was injured plenty, I just played through it,” Teixeira said. “I can’t play through (the injuries) anymore. That’s just the fact of the matter. The guys ask me, ‘How did you play in Texas for five years, 100 degrees every night?’ I was young. I was a kid. I played through everything.”

Be that as it may, since the 34-year-old is owed $45 million over the next two seasons he does have to find a way to stay on the field more often, as it's been made clear over the last week that McCann isn't a reliable backup. 

For example, in yesterday's first inning #34 let a routine groundball get into right field, something Teixeira probably wouldn't have done if had he been there.

Leroux & Billings Accept Triple-A Assignments

Both starting pitchers Chris Leroux and Bruce Billings were designated for assignment by the New York Yankees last week and both players have since cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A. Both players have accepted their minor league assignments and will report to Scranton Wilkes-Barre with the RailRiders rather than electing free agency. Both players will probably be back at some point this season if Brian Cashman cannot bring in more depth.

Nothing wrong with a minor league deal and nothing wrong with depth. Nothing more, carry on.

Yanks One Player Away From A Refspectable Again

The New York Yankees are one infielder away from having a refspectable infield once again in the Bronx. No that is not a typo, yes I know I spelled it wrong, and yes I realize it was probably not my best play on words but bear with me. The Yankees went into the 2014 season with arguably one of the worst infield defenses in all of baseball, and maybe ever if you delve deep enough into the stats, but with the addition of Chase Headley and a healthy Mark Teixeira the Yankees are one player away from having a good infield once again. Enter Robert Refsnyder.

Derek Jeter is Derek Jeter, there isn’t much you can do with him at this point in his career defensively except for putting some guys around him with great range. Adding Headley and the young legs of Refsnyder allow them to cheat a step or two in each direction to help alleviate some of the range problems at shortstop. I know the errors and all are well documented for Refsnyder but Jeter once had over 100 in a single season and he turned out okay, even won a Gold Glove Award or two. What Refsnyder and Headley do for Jeter Teixeira can do for Refsnyder.

I imagine, without looking at the box scores or seeing many games first hand, that Refsnyder is not playing with many players of Teixeira’s defensive caliber in the minor leagues but it should not be ignored the significant drop off in errors once Refsnyder reached Triple-A and started playing with Kyle Roller. Teixeira can fetch those balls out of the dirt, save the errant throws, and just allow Refsnyder to take a breath and relax, and that is something you cannot put a stat on.

I have grown tired of seeing the Yankees, Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson specifically, fumble the ball around like the Bad News Bears. It’s time for a change, Headley was a start, now we just need one more infielder to be respectable again. Don’t be shy, make the move. 

Cole Hamels Made Available By Phillies, Is Brian Cashman Listening?

Earlier today we brought you an article pertaining to the Texas Rangers outfielder Alex Rios and all the trade rumors swirling around him, specifically those that may bring him to New York. We did the same thing about another man on July 9th and here we are almost three weeks later and that man was made available. His name is Cole Hamels and his team is the Philadelphia Phillies. It's worth mentioning that Hamels has a no trade clause but the New York Yankees are NOT on it.

It's funny, here is one of the comments on the article:

Hey Daniel, want a beer ?
Far fetched ?....try bazaar. Taking on $ 150 million ? For one pitcher who is injured, and the
other who is over 30 ? I thought the Yankees were running from those contracts ?
I'm typing a lot of question marks here.
And, you placate them with decent talent. Jesus.

Hey Daniel, would you like two beers ?

Doesn't seem so far fetched now. Here's some quick excerpts from THIS article we posted at the beginning of July:

Lee looks like a pure salary dump at this point of the season as he struggles to come back from an elbow injury. Lee is owed $25 million this year and next and the Phillies franchise isn't going anywhere with that contract on the books. To take on that kind of salary the Yankees could pay less in prospects and save their better pieces for a run at Hamels. Hamels, like Lee, is weighing down the club with $22.5 million a season through the 2018 season and a has a club option written into his contract for 2019 worth $19 million. Whether Sabathia and/or Alex Rodriguez retires or not the Yankees could easily absorb these contracts with the likes of Hiroki Kuroda and others coming off the books after this season.

Before you jump down my throat saying how I am out of touch the Phillies are going nowhere, they know it and we know it. The only players Philadelphia has under the age of 30 years old are Ben Revere, Cody Asche, and Domonic Brown who are hitting a combined .221 in 2014. The Phillies have finished in third, fourth, and look likely to finish in last place in their last three seasons respectively and it may be time to hit the reset button in Philadelphia.

The Phillies could sell off their high priced talent much like the Red Sox did a few seasons ago and re-tool and rebuild. Gary Sanchez or John Ryan Murphy could replace the departing Carlos Ruiz. Robert Refsnyder could replace the departing Chase Utley. Abi Avelino could replace the departing Jimmy Rollins. Ian Clarkin and throw in Shane Greene/Chase Whitley could replace Hamels and Lee and the rest is history.

Quick Hit: Mark Teixeira FINALLY Ready To Join Lineup

Mark Teixeira is finally ready to get back in the starting rotation and ready to get back and man first base after missing over a week with a back injury. The slugging first baseman is sorely needed in this lineup. Teixeira has missed 28 games this season and still leads the team in both home runs and RBI which goes to show you how much New York needs him back in the middle of that lineup.

Teixeira probably could have started yesterday but trainer Steve Donahue wanted Teixeira to hit in back to back days pain free before letting him loose. Apparently Teixeira's back is fine and the Yankees will get their cleanup hitter back in the lineup tonight in Texas.

Article Revisit: Yankees Need A Fourth Outfielder

A few weeks back we discussed the need for a fourth outfielder in New York after the injury to Carlos Beltran and Ichiro Suzuki coming back down to Earth. We mentioned, once again before anyone else, that Alex Rios would be a good fit that could fit into the Yankees plans and budget. Now that the rumors around Rios joining the Yankees are in full tilt let's take a look back at where it all began, right here on TGP:

Going into the 2014 season the New York Yankees had too many outfielders and not enough positions to accommodate. Here we are at the end of July in the same season and the Yankees don't have enough outfielders to make a real run at a division title or a Wild Card. You really can't predict baseball Suzyn.

The Yankees started the season essentially with Brett Gardner as their left fielder, Jacoby Ellsbury manning center, Carlos Beltran as your right fielder, Alfonso Soriano as your full time designated hitter, and Ichiro Suzuki on the bench. Three months later you still have your mainstays in Gardner and Ellsbury but a bone spur has Beltran limited to DH only starts, Soriano is not on the team anymore, and Ichiro is essentially your every day right fielder.

The problem is Ichiro is a singles only hitter and has been exposed lately as an every day player. The Yankees don't seem comfortable with Beltran in the outfield at all this season and Ichiro is not going to cut it everyday, the Yankees need an outfielder. Since the Yankees won't call up Robert Refnsnyder and seem unwilling to call up Zoilo Almonte, Adonis Garcia, or Jose Pirela New York may instead turn their attention to the Texas Rangers Alex Rios.

Rios, at the time of writing this, is batting .302/.330/.405 with only four home runs and 16 stolen bases. Rios defense has actually been better than Ichiro's this season and his right handed bat would compliment the lineup well. The biggest issue is a six team no trade clause that is written into Rios' contract that includes the Yankees. Rios is in the last year of a monster deal but there is a team option for the 2015 season worth $13.5 million with a $1 million buyout.

The Yankees and the Rangers start a four game series tonight in Yankee Stadium and will play seven times before the trading deadline which is a perfect showcase for Rios and the Yankees. Will the Yankees make it happen? Stay tuned...

This Day In New York Yankees History 7/29: Billy Martin Returns To Yankee Stadium For Old Timer's Day

The New York Yankees won a World Series championship in 1977 under then manager Billy Martin and before Martin could try and defend his title he resigned and was replace by Bob Lemon as manager. The Yankees would repeat as World Series champions in 1978 under Lemon but before that Martin made one more trip to Yankee Stadium. The trip was made on this day in 1978 when Martin returned to the Yankees on Old Timer's Day.

Martin couldn't stay away from New York and George Steinbrenner as he would be the Yankees manager once again in 1980.

Finally on this day in 1969 Joe DiMaggio was named the greatest living player in Major League Baseball by a group of sportwriters. A poll was taken to coincide with the centennial of professional baseball and DiMaggio was given the honor. DiMaggio proudly embraced the title until his death in 1999. Not bad for a guy that took four times to get into the Hall of Fame.