Saturday, November 15, 2014

Yankees Prospect Banuelos to Compete for 2015 Rotation Spot

It appears the Yankees are finally convinced that Manny Banuelos is ready for the big leagues.

Team assistant general manager Billy Eppler recently told Baseball America that it expects Banuelos to compete for a spot in the 2015 rotation next spring. Banuelos, 23, missed all of 2013 due to Tommy John Surgery, and has a 3.29 ERA over six professional seasons.

“He was able to achieve the objective to build innings and increase the workload [this season],” Eppler said. “He was on a plan designed by Gil Patterson and monitored by our medical people.”

Banuelos is coming off a year in which his ERA was a somewhat high 4.11 at High-A Tampa, Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. According to Eppler, the average speed of Banuelos' fastball this season was also just 91.7 mph, a dip from the 95 he hovered around the year before.

Nonetheless, Eppler is confident in his abilities.

“He is still in the stage of where you have to watch him but he will be ready to roll in spring training," he said. "He will come in and compete for a job. The velocity was there and he developed a cutter as well.”

It's a safe bet that Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia and Brandon McCarthy (if he gets re-signed) are all already guaranteed starting jobs, but that shouldn't stop Banuelos from at least having a chance. Ivan Nova is expected to be out until May, essentially leaving the uncertain likes of Shane Greene and David Phelps as his only competition. 

Using BIP to Make the Case for Carlos Gonzalez

Earlier in the day we looked at Troy Tulowitzki’s BIP numbers if he had taken his 81 home games in Yankee Stadium in 2014 and not Coors Field. While the Yankees have a genuine need and desire for Tulo I do not believe the same can be said for outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. The Yankees outfield seems to be set barring any sort of a trade or injury but just for fun let’s also take a look at CarGo’s BIP locations from Coors Field in 2014 and see how they translate into Yankee Stadium.

Again we will use the same color code and same image to decipher the results:

Home Runs
Fly Outs

As you can see Gonzalez would also benefit from leaving the friendly confides in Coors Field and moving his talents to right field in Yankee Stadium. CarGo could conceivably add 5-10 home runs a season or more in the Bronx if he were acquired and could, if healthy, add a potent bat to the Yankees lineup. I know it won't happen and I am not exactly convinced that it should happen but damn it would be nice on paper. 

Starting Pitchers Should Not Be Allowed to Win the MVP Award

It was reported on Thursday evening that Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim won the MVP Award for the American League and Clayton Kershaw won the award for the National League. I made this same argument when Justin Verlander won the award a few years back for the Tigers and I will make the same argument today, a starting pitcher should not be allowed to win the MVP Award in my opinion.

Starting pitchers have their own award that they can win and it’s called the Cy Young Award. How is it fair that Kershaw, who undoubtedly was the most valuable player in the league, can win the award for pitchers and the award predominantly for the positional players. If a positional player could win the Cy Young Award or the Mariano Rivera Award and such I would have no problem with it but they can’t. The relievers have their award, the pitchers have their award, and the positional players should have their award.

While I understand that the positional players have Silver Slugger Awards that does not carry the same weight as being the most valuable player in the league. It seems like a one-way street that only the pitchers can take in my opinion and it doesn’t seem right with me. As a member of the IBWAA I had an MVP vote and I refused to vote for Kershaw for that exact reason, I voted for Giancarlo Stanton.

This is a debate that will rage on forever I think and a debate that most feel extremely passionate about one way or the other. I won’t win this debate with anyone and I’m not interested in a debate because you won’t win one with me either. This is my opinion and my opinion is that a starting pitcher who pitches every fifth day and has their own prestigious award should not be allowed to win the MVP.


Yoan Moncada Gets Graded

(Jesse Sanchez)
Yoan Moncada held a showcase for team's and while I could bore you with the details how he took ground balls at every position and took batting practice and yada yada yada I will simply cut to the chase and jump to the grades. In case you didn't know a scout grades players on a 20-80 scale with 80 obviously being the best. A player with average speed, hitting, etc. will receive a 50 so anything below is below average and anything above is above average and so on and so on. The papers are graded and here are the results:

Hit - 60
Power - 60
Arm - 60
Speed - 70
Fielding - 50

Using BIP to Make a Case for Troy Tulowitzki

The Colorado Rockies have at least opened their phone lines to discuss deals for both Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. The New York Yankees undoubtedly have an interest in Tulowitzki as their shortstop position is currently vacant and their offense in 2014 is still missing in action. When New York acquires or discusses bringing in a big star player to the Bronx I like to take a look at their Balls in Play, or BIP, from their old stadium and compare it to Yankee Stadium.

Many around the league are quick to point out the flaws in Tulo’s game including his injury history and his Coors Field and road game splits. What I did in the image below is I took all the balls that Tulo hit in Coors Field and compared them to Yankee Stadium. Use the color chart below to decipher the image.

Home Runs
Fly Outs

As you can see Tulo would have gained power from hitting in Yankee Stadium. There is always discussions about younger players about their doubles turning into home runs eventually and that is exactly what would happen with Tulo if he came to the Bronx. Conceivably at least two of his fly outs would have been a home run in Yankee Stadium and with the right wind current a few more could have gone out. Tulo would actually get better in New York looking at this picture... imagine that in Pinstripes.

TGP Daily Poll: A Rod is Still a Yankee on Opening Day

Everyone around the league, the fans especially, want Alex Rodriguez off the Yankees either by suspension, retirement, or a buy out of his contract. A Rod will be a Yankee on Opening Day.

Vote in our poll!!

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/15: A Rod wins 2nd Yankee MVP

On this day in 2005 the Yankees Alex Rodriguez won his second MVP award in three seasons edging out the Red Sox David Ortiz in the vote. Ortiz may have won the award had he played a position and not been a full time DH, sparking a heated debate and controversy, but the Yankees and Alex will take it either way.
Also on this day in 2001 Roger Clemens won the American League Cy Young award with a 20-3 record with a 3.51 ERA. Roger would become the first player to win this award for the sixth time in his career and the first Yankees player to win the award since Ron Guidry won it in 1978.

Also on this day in 1961 Roger Maris won his second consecutive Most Valuable Player award after setting the single season home run record with 61 round trippers. Maris only beat the second place finisher, his teammate Mickey Mantle, by four votes with a 202-198 vote.

Finally on this day in 1951 the Yankees Gil McDougald won the American League Rookie of the Year Award. It is worth noting that Willie Mays won the award in the National League on the same day. It is also worth noting that neither player were listed on their team’s original Spring Training rosters.