Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Johnson, Pedro, Biggio & Smoltz Elected to Hall

For the first time since 1955 the Baseball Writers Association of America has elected at least four players into the Hall of Fame in one class. The 2015 class includes Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Craig Biggio and John Smoltz. The trio of pitchers being elected in one year marks the first time that has ever happened in the Hall and BBWAA history as well.

Johnson received 97.3% of the vote while Biggio landed 82.7% of the vote after falling just two votes shy in 2014. Martinez garnered 91.1% of the vote and Smoltz finished out the class by gathering 82.9% of the vote from the writers. Congratulations to all four of these men, I don't see anyone I would have left off my ballot.

Don Mattingly received just 9.1% of the vote in his final season while former Yankees Roger Clemens (37.5%), Tim Raines (55.0%), Mike Mussina (24.6%) and Gary Sheffield (11.7%) all received enough votes to stay on the ball next season.

For the complete list CLICK HERE.

Hall of Fame Case for Former Yankee Gary Sheffield

With the 2015 Hall of Fame vote just around the corner there are a ton of questions regarding who is in, who is out, who did steroids and who will be punished for playing with steroid users. We all know the cases for Randy Johnson, he’s in, Pedro Martinez, he’s in, John Smoltz, he’s likely in with his relief work, and former Yankees Don Mattingly, likely not in, and Tim Raines, likely not in as well, but what about Gary Sheffield?

Sheffield played 22 seasons with eight different teams including the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers,  San Diego Padres, New York Mets, Florida Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Atlanta Braves. Sheffield finished with 509 home runs while ranking 26th all-time in RBI with 1,676 and 58th all-time in OPS with a .907 mark. The only members of the 500 home run club that are not in the Hall are all linked to steroids and/or have failed a test in Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro so on paper Sheffield seems like a safe bet to get in. The same can be said for the RBI totals as only Bonds and Palmeiro have more RBI than Sheffield.  Sheffield finished with a career .292 batting average and stole 253 bases in his career.

Sheffield was a nine time All Star, a five time Silver Slugger winner and a National League batting champion with the Florida Marlins. Sheffield never struck out more than 83 times in a season and had more walks than K’s in 16 different seasons. All that means nothing if he is simply lumped into the “steroid era” and his numbers are looked at as dirty. His advanced metrics could also work against him as he spent 302 games in his career as a DH and posted numerous negative ratings defensively in his career. Sheffield finished with an accumulative 60.2 WAR which places him behind non Hall of Fame players like Jim Edmonds and Reggie Smith but ahead of Hall of Fame players like Yogi Berra and Willie Stargell for their careers.

If we’re looking just at his offensive work he does have an offensive WAR of 79.9 which ranks only behind Bonds in eligible Hall players but will it be enough? Rickey Henderson is the only player to ever get into the Hall after playing for as many as eight different teams, he played for nine, and that could obviously also work against Sheffield. What also works against Sheffield is the fact that he was named to the Mitchell Report and testified in the BALCO trial although he was named after receiving some cream that helped with healing stitches after knee surgery. Whether Sheffield was telling the truth or not, and honestly I believe that he was, that may be the most damning factor of all.

So does he get in? In 2015, probably not. 2016 and beyond, absolutely. 

2015 Fantasy Baseball Top 100 – Early Preview

Who doesn’t love Fantasy Baseball right? Right! Well it’s early January and the top lists for Fantasy Baseball are already being released including an impressive Top 100 list from the USA Today. Check it out, enjoy and bookmark it for your draft in a couple months. For the sake of simplicity, room and so you can click the LINK HERE to give them a view or two I am only going to post the Top 50 here on the site as an excerpt. If you want to see 51-100 you will have to check out the original on USA Today.

  1. Mike Trout, OF
  2. Andrew McCutchen, OF
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Giancarlo Stanton, OF
  5. Clayton Kershaw, SP
  6. Robinson Cano, 2B
  7. Carlos Gomez, OF
  8. Jose Abreu, 1B
  9. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  10. Adam Jones, OF
  11. Hanley Ramirez, SS
  12. Jacoby Ellsbury, OF
  13. Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
  14. Felix Hernandez, SP
  15. Anthony Rendon, 2B/3B
  16. Jose Bautista, OF
  17. Troy Tulowitzki, SS
  18. Ryan Braun, OF
  19. Madison Bumgarner, SP
  20. Jose Altuve, 2B
  21. Ian Desmond, SS
  22. Max Scherzer, SP
  23. Adrian Beltre, 3B
  24. Michael Brantley, OF
  25. Josh Donaldson, 3B
  26. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  27. Chris Sale, SP
  28. Freddie Freeman, 1B
  29. Jose Reyes , SS
  30. Yasiel Puig, OF
  31. Bryce Harper, OF
  32. Justin Upton, OF
  33. Buster Posey, C/1B
  34. Adam Wainwright, SP
  35. David Price, SP
  36. Corey Kluber, SP
  37. Hunter Pence, OF
  38. Jonathan Lucroy, C
  39. Todd Frazier, 3B
  40. Kyle Seager, 3B
  41. Albert Pujols, 1B
  42. Stephen Strasburg, SP
  43. Brian Dozier, 2B
  44. Dee Gordon, 2B
  45. Johnny Cueto, SP
  46. Carlos Gonzalez, OF
  47. Nolan Arenado, 3B
  48. David Ortiz, DH
  49. Joey Votto, 1B
  50. Matt Kemp, OF

Brian Cashman's Not Done

Brian may have more calls to make.

Yesterday I wrote an article about how excited I am for the 2015 Yankees and the future of the team. In it, I pointed out the number of youngsters they have both on the big league club and in the farm system. It really is incredible how different the team looks.

But I may have looked at the team too long, because one thing really stuck out to me... the Yankees have too many starting rotation options.

We've all seen it, heard it, and probably said it ourselves... you can never have too much pitching. While that may be true, if a team has a question or hole on the team then there's a good chance that pitching depth could be depleted. It doesn't make sense to keep a plethora of guys in one area, while at the same time being thin in another.

So are there holes on the team? I don't think so. While the proposed 25-man roster isn't full of stars like in year's past, it does contain guys that should be in MLB. Well, I guess some of those guys shouldn't be around, but due to their contracts they aren't going anywhere.

"Would you leave me alone, already?"

But there are questions. The middle of the infield is young and/or inexperienced. Didi Gregorius has a lot of potential that hasn't been harnessed yet, but we have to keep in mind that sometimes that potential never translates into success. Also we're looking at either Jose Pirela or Rob Refsnyder being our starting second baseman, and while Pirela has a grand total of 25 plate appearances in MLB, Refsnyder has none. The combined age of the infield, as it stands, will be 49 or 50. We don't really know what will happen here.

But that isn't the part of the Yankees that concerns me. Neither Gregorius nor Pirela/Refsnyder will be leaned on to carry the offense, and compared to the defense we've seen up the middle in previous seasons this one should be pretty darn good.

The part of the team that concerns me is starting pitching. CC Sabathia's knee may never be healthy enough to allow him to be a solid member of the rotation. Masahiro Tanaka's elbow could give at any moment, leading to Tommy John surgery and being lost for 2015 and part of the 2016 season. Speaking of TJS, what will Ivan Nova be like when he returns? Will Michael Pineda's shoulder hold up? Can Nathan Eovaldi reach his ceiling, or at least be a serviceable starter for years to come? The fact of the matter is the starting rotation is far from stable. On the one hand it could be among the best rotations in baseball, while on the other hand it could be the worst due to being hit by injuries.

Those injury concerns, along with the constant questions surrounding youth, could push Brian Cashman to make a trade involving guys like Eovaldi, Bryan Mitchell, Adam Warren, Jose Pirela, Rob Refsnyder, Greg Bird, Gary Sanchez, John Ryan Murphy, Ian Clarkin and/or Jorge Mateo. I wouldn't be surprised to see Brett Gardner be traded away, as the Yankees have another good lead-off hitter with great outfield defense in Jacoby Ellsbury (not to mention Ellsbury having a contract that would be much tougher to move).

I don't want to see any of the above mentioned guys traded away, let alone a chunk of them, but I can definitely see it happen to acquire a big-time pitcher that could lead the team and lessen the blow an injury to somebody like Tanaka and Pineda could bring.

Happy 3rd Birthday TGP

Wow, three years ago on this day two friends of mine Bryan Van Dusen and Jorge Maestre approached me with the idea of starting a blog. I wasn’t really too excited by the idea nor was I too optimistic about the idea but being willing to be wrong I went along with the idea. Jorge dropped out after getting his panties in a bunch, if you’re reading I love you brother and I wish you would come back and I happen to like bunched up panties, and Bryan and myself moved on with The Greedy Pinstripes.

Three years later, again wow, here we are. We aren’t setting any records in growth or views and we’re not on the YES Network or anything but we have great organic growth that was built on hard work and dedication, not simply pouring money into SEO help. With the help of you all reading this we’re pushing well over 800,000 views and we’re pushing 2,700 followers on Twitter. That boggles my mind and I appreciate every single click, every single comment, every single Tweet and every single follower.

You guys and gals have truly humbled me. Three years ago I never would have thought that anyone gave a crap what I had to say. They could go to RAB or Lohud is what I would say. Now when I get on Twitter we’ve been told we’re the best Yankees blog around. While I appreciate that and cannot allow myself to agree with it I do truly appreciate it and appreciate you. Without you we would not donate our time and our efforts for this site like we do. We’re not getting paid for this and frankly if it never came, and I speak for everyone I think, that’d be okay with us.

So thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am truly one humble man today, and every day, and that is not possible without each and every one of you. I pour my heart into this blog and I’m glad to see some of the dividends finally paying off. Have a great day everyone and New Year’s Resolutions be damned, today we eat cake!

TGP Daily Poll: James Shields Signs This Week

Call it intuition, call it a gut feeling or call it whatever you want to call it but I cannot see the James Shields sweepstakes going beyond Monday.

Vote in our poll!

This Day in New York Yankees History 1/6: The Greedy Pinstripes is Born

On this day in 2009 the Cleveland Indians signed oft-injured starting pitcher Carl Pavano, formerly of the New York Yankees. Pavano signed a one year deal worth $1.5 million for his age 32 season after only making 26 starts for the Yankees in four seasons and making $40 million.

Also on this day in 2006 the New York Yankees finished the year with a then record payroll of $207.2 million. That staggering number was $90 million more than the second highest spending Boston Red Sox. The World Series champion Chicago White Sox only spent $73.2 million while the Tampa Bay Devil Rays had the lowest payroll at $26.6 million.