Sunday, August 17, 2014

Kuroda, Gardner Lead Yankees to Rubber Game Win in Tampa

Hiroki Kuroda surrendered just 2 earned runs in 6 2/3 innings and Brett Gardner connected on a big two-run single today as the Yankees beat the Rays, 4-2, in the rubber game of this three-game set.

In his start this afternoon, interestingly, Kuroda only struck out one hitter, a stat that usually indicates ineffectiveness. 

Fortunetaly, though, that wasn't the case in this one, with the veteran allowing just four total hits to get the W, his eighth of the year.

Yes, for the first four frames he was haunted by another rough bottom of the first in which Evan Longoria grounded Ben Zobrist home, but since the Yanks still found a way to rally off Tampa Bay's Jeremy Hellickson (5 IP, 3 ER) in their half of the fifth things did finish relatively stress-free for the visitors, who collected a trio in that at-bat when Gardner collected the aforementioned single and Jacoby Ellsbury drove him in with another knock. 

No, things weren't technically over at that point, but thanks to nearly-perfect relief from Shawn Kelley, Dellin Betances, and David Robertson as a well a solo homer by Mark Teixeira in the eighth they soon would be, with that performance by Robertson impressively earning him his 33rd save.

Next Yankees Spending Spree Coming Your Way 2018

We as Yankees fans all enjoyed constantly checking sites like this one, River Avenue Blues, Bleeding Yankee Blue, MLB Trade Rumors, etc. when the Yankees go all in on the free agent market. Personally I spent a ton of time on the computer in the winter of the 2009 season when the Yankees traded for Nick Swisher and signed CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and AJ Burnett. I was also all over the computer and my iPhone this winter when the Yankees brought in Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, and Masahiro Tanaka. When will the Yankees see another "all in" type free agent spending spree? If my math is correct I can't see one until the 2018 season.

Alex Rodriguez comes off the books after the 2017 season and his 10 year deal worth $275 million plus incentives deal. Rodriguez has the ability to get his contract all the way up to $320 million if he becomes the All Time home run hitter in Major League Baseball. Thankfully for the Yankees, financially anyway, Rodriguez will not be achieving those numbers in New York. The good news is Rodriguez had a signing bonus deferred for the last six seasons but the final payment was paid this January. Immediate $20 million in savings.

Mark Teixeira comes off the books after the 2016 season after signing an eight year deal worth $180 million. With Teixeira leaving the team has an immediate $22.5 million in savings. Carlos Beltran's $15 million also comes off the books after the 2016 season. Martin Prado is also off the books after the 2016 season and so is his $11 million in salary. Brendan Ryan also holds a $1 million player option for 2016 and the team has a $2 million option for Ryan in 2016 meaning that he is likely on the team, or at least on the books, through the season either way.

CC Sabathia's contract runs through 2016 with a vesting option for the 2017 season. The option vests basically if CC has no issues with his left throwing shoulder and isn't reduced to a relief pitcher or is placed on the DL. With CC's knees in the shape they are I wouldn't worry too much about his shoulder at this point. When CC walks the Yankees immediately save an additional $25 million in 2016 if the option doesn't vest or $25 million if the option does vest for 2017.

Masahiro Tanaka may opt out after the 2017 season and walk away from $22 million for each of the 2018 and 2019 seasons and $23 million in 2020. New York would also save chump change in $85K not having to pay for an interpreter, $100K for Tanaka's housing, and would no longer have to buy four round trip first class air tickets from New York to Japan.

New York would still be on the hook for Brian McCann's $17 million, Brett Gardner's $11 million, and Jacoby Ellsbury's $21.1 million and change for the 2018 season and beyond but potentially could see a ton of money coming off the books. If my math is correct the Yankees could potentially find an additional $116.5 million to spend on the 2018 free agent market. Mark your calendars now, it's going to be a long time before it's fun again in New York.

8/17 Yankees Open Thread vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Welcome to this afternoon's open thread for the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays. This is the third and final game of this three game set this weekend at Tropicana Field before the Yankees head home on Tuesday. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face off with the Rays Jeremy Hellickson. The game will be played at 1:40 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB TV, and can be heard on the radio with WFAN. 

Be sure to grab some Yankees tickets off the blog right here before the team returns home next week. Also be sure to follow us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes and like our page on Facebook by searching for The Greedy Pinstripes. 

Skip the Sunday nap and drop us a line or two in the comments section of our site. It is an open thread after all. Enjoy the game Yankees family and enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Go Yankees!

Rays' Manager Maddon Not Happy Fans Are Cheering for Jeter

Rays' Manager Joe Maddon doesn't appear to be happy with the Tropicana Field crowd's cheering of Derek Jeter.

After Jeter's ninth inning single yesterday gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead they'd never lose, just about all of the spectators who attended the contest were applauding, a logical happening considering most of them were probably seeing #2 play for the last time.

Still, following the game Maddon seemed mad with the way his attendees acted, ranting to The Star-Ledger's Brendan Kuty that, while he's fine with the support for Jeter, he wishes people would come to root for the Rays, too. 

"Yeah it's great," Maddon said. "It's great that it's sold out. And I understand that the people like Derek Jeter. But you've got to come out and root for the Rays, too, you understand. I mean, I totally understand what's going on. But I'm not going to sit here and defend all of that noise in the Yankees' favor in our ballpark. I'm not going to defend that. So we're going to come out and root for the Rays. We'd appreciate that."

Even though some out there aren't going to like what Tampa Bay's skipper had to say here, it's understandable why he was so angry, as he had just watched his team drop a contest to a rival. 

No, he shouldn't have gone off the way he did, but since what had recently happened was obviously pretty frustrating for him to witness I think this whole thing is actually tolerable, a fact I'm sure many will choose to ignore.

8/17 Yankees Game Preview vs. Tampa Bay Rays

The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays will play in the finale of their three game set this weekend at Tropicana Field with an afternoon game. The Yankees will send the struggling Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face off with the Rays Jeremy Hellickson. The game will be played at 1:40 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.

Kuroda is coming off six days rest after taking a loss last Sunday against the Cleveland Indians. Kuroda only lasted 4.2 innings and allowed three runs and five hits to go with his four walks in the loss. Has Kuroda hit his annual August wall or is Kuroda ready to lead the team to the postseason? Stay tuned.

Hellickson is coming off a start in which he held the Texas Rangers scoreless through six innings in a no decision. Hellickson is a Yankee Killer as he sports a career 4-1 record and 2.95 ERA against New York. Hellickson is 0-1 with a 3.29 ERA this season inside Tropicana Field so something has to give.

The Yankees take tomorrow off to travel and rest and return home on Tuesday night to face off with the Houston Astros. Act now and grab a pair of Yankees tickets for the game or any of the Yankees home stand games this week and see Derek Jeter live in his final season. We won't charge you any fees or shipping costs this season to see Jeter before he retires. 

Go Yankees!!

September Call Ups 2014: Redux

We have posted one article this month already showcasing some of the possible call ups for the Yankees this September but a lot can change between then and now so we are in need of a mulligan.

First let's take a complete look at the players on the 40 man roster that are not on the active roster:

Manny Banuelos
Zoilo Almonte
Bryan Mitchell
Gary Sanchez
Zelous Wheeler
Austin Romine

Now let's look at the players currently injured and on the disabled list that are likely to be back before 9/1:

Preston Claiborne 
Ramon Flores 
Matt Daley
John Ryan Murphy

And finally the players (likely) lost for the season:

Jose Campos 
Slade Heathcott 
Jose Ramirez
Andrew Bailey

Looking at this list I can see Almonte, Mitchell, Wheeler, Romine, Claiborne, Daley, and Murphy being called up in the first weeks of September, if not right away. Sanchez is unlikely to come up this September, especially with likely four catchers already in the Bronx by the time the season ends, and Flores is unlikely to come up with the outfielder logjam the team already faces.

There could always be a Robert Refsnyder, Jose Pirela, Kyle Roller, Tyler Webb, James Pasoz, Jacob Lindgren, Nik Turley, etc. added to the 40 man roster and called up but the Yankees seem stingy with these spots. They also don't like to start the clocks of players unless they absolutely have to so I wouldn't exactly look out for that either.

Reinforcements are on the way but they aren't likely to be enough. It's inventory time in New York.

Quick Hit: McCann Activated Today, For Real This Time

Brian McCann is expecting to be activated off the seven day concussion disabled list today, for real this time. I know we posted this yesterday morning but the Yankees way of thinking gave McCann another day, and frankly it made sense. Francisco Cervelli always catches pitcher Shane Greene so with Greene pitching yesterday afternoon the Yankees played the cautious parent once again and gave McCann one more day just to be sure.

McCann is expecting to be activated today and in the lineup in the finale against the Tampa Bay Rays. Unless Joe Girardi pulls a "take a day today, off day tomorrow" approach that will likely make me want to scream.

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/17: Alfonso Soriano Goes 30/30

For the better part of a decade Alfonso Soriano was one of the premier hitters, stolen base threats, and home run hitters in all of Major League Baseball. Soriano entered the 30 home run and 30 stolen base club on this day in 2002 after hitting a home run in the seventh inning of the Seattle Mariners James Baldwin. Soriano was the first ever second baseman to join the 30/30 club joining Bobby Bonds as the only other Yankee to accomplish the feat. Bonds went 30/30 in 1975.

Also on this day in 1948 Tommy Henrich hits his fourth grand slam of the season tying one of Babe Ruth's major league records. This came just a day after the great Babe Ruth passed away. This came after an estimated 100,000 fans passed the body of the Bambino at Yankee Stadium while showing their respect for the great.

Finally on this day in 1933 Lou Gehrig quietly passed Everett Scott for the most consecutive games played by playing in his 1,309th consecutive game. Gehrig would end up playing in 2,130 consecutive games before benching himself and ending the iron man streak.