Friday, January 9, 2015

Thames the RailRider's Hitting Coach, Not the Yankees

Press Release from the Scranton RailRiders:

Moosic, Pa. – A slew of familiar faces and two noteworthy additions will make up the 2015 field staff for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees). Manager Dave Miley, pitching coach Scott Aldred, athletic trainer Darren London and strength & conditioning coach Lee Tressel will again mentor, mend and develop the players that call NEPA their summer home. The additions come from within the organization with hitting coach Marcus Thames and defensive coach Justin Tordi.
Miley, who was named Manager of the Year for all of minor league baseball in 2012 by Baseball America, enters his ninth season as the skipper in SWB and 10th with the Bombers’ Triple-A unit. The 2014 inductee into the IL Hall of Fame also called the shots during the Yankees’ final campaign in Columbus (2006). This marks year six with the squad for Aldred, who pitched in the bigs for nine seasons. London, the International League’s Athletic Trainer of the Year in 2006 and 2012, has spent more than two decades as the Yankees’ Triple-A athletic trainer with this season marking his 23rd at the level and 27th in a row with the organization. Tressel enters his 12th year in pinstripes and his seventh with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Thames, 37, was a 30th-round pick by the Yankees in 1996 before spending a decade in the big leagues with the Yankees (2002, 2010), Texas Rangers (2003), Detroit Tigers (2004-09) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2011). The corner outfielder belted the first of his 115 homers in his first MLB at-bat against 2015 Hall-of-Fame inductee Randy Johnson. Thames assembled a career line of .246/.309/.485/.794. He still owns Detroit’s franchise record for best at-bat/HR ratio on a career at 14.8. He spent the 2014 season as the hitting coach with Double-A Trenton and served in the same role with Advanced-A Tampa in 2013. He played 314 games in the International League including a four-game SWB stint in 2010.
Tordi, 30, was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 41st round of the 2005 draft out of the University of Florida. He spent last season as a first-base/bench coach with Low-A Charleston. The Rochester Hills, Mich. native played first, second, third, short, caught and pitched over his four seasons in the minors with the Reds. He reached Double-A both in 2008 and 2009 with Chattanooga and Carolina respectively. He earned second-team All-SEC honors in 2005 for the national runner-up Florida Gators as the team’s shortstop.
The RailRiders open their 2015 season at home on April 9 against the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals). For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit

Randy Johnson Will Always Be Remembered In New York for This….

Unfortunately the now Hall of Fame starting pitcher Randy Johnson, who spent two years in Yankees pinstripes and won a combined 34 games for New York, will always be remembered for this. Remember what Frank Sinatra said, and many others but I always default to something that Sinatra said, “If you can make it here you can make it anywhere.” Randy apparently couldn’t make it here… oh well. 

Tyler Pastornicky Was DFA'd, Prepare for the Signing

Brian Cashman is essentially stockpiling all the bullpen arms and middle infielders that he can right now, which makes sense on paper especially in the pitching department, and an interesting name became available this week. The Atlanta Braves have decided to designate shortstop Tyler Pastornicky for assignment to make room for a slew of deals they announced including the AJ Pierzynski and Alberto Callaspo signings. Will Pastornicky be the next coupon clipped item to end up in Cashman's stockpile room to be showcased on TLC's Extreme Couponing? Why the hell not.

Pastornicky is just 25 years old and widely considered to be a defensive first type shortstop lacking in the bat, think Brendan Ryan. Pastornicky owns a career, albeit in a small 268 at bat sample size, .243/.295/.314 triple slash. This is a vast drop off from his Triple-A numbers that currently sit at .290/.348/.386 in 793 at bats in the minors. Whether those numbers are a sign of optimism or whether that makes Pastornicky a true AAAA player remains to be seen and determined at this time.

Should the Yankees take a chance? Well there's no such thing as a bad minor league deal and Pastornicky will likely sign one this season. Will they? I don't know, it's getting pretty crowded down here.

Stay tuned.

Should New York Trade For Bartolo Colon?

Yeah, I said it. Should the New York Yankees and the New York Mets hook up for the second trade between the two clubs this offseason? Keep reading. Bartolo Colon is 41 years old and will be 42 years old during the 2015 season, weighs in at 285 lbs. while standing just 5'11" and throws basically nothing but fastballs. How could this work in the AL East and in the Yankees rotation? Well it did in 2011 when he rejuvenated his career so is it really out of the realm of possibilities to happen once again?

First and foremost this makes sense for the Mets because they have essentially eight starting pitchers currently on the roster and Colon makes the most salary at $10 million. The Yankees seemingly have an abundance of fourth outfielder types that are young with upside including Ramon Flores, Mason Williams and Eury Perez to name a few that could fit into the Mets needs quite well.

This trade makes sense for the Yankees because he's almost guaranteed 200 IP in 2015, he comes on a one year deal that will likely only cost the team around $5- $8 million assuming the Mets eat some of the salary in the trade (which they have said they would be willing to do and finally because Colon may be better than Chris Capuano right now.

Should the Yankees pull the trigger? Ultimately I would say no because I'd rather see a Bryan Mitchell struggle and figure it all out in the majors more than I would like to acquire the oldest starting pitcher in baseball. Will the Yankees make the deal anyway? It sure looks like a possibility, doesn't it?

Too Early To Look at the 2016 Hall of Fame Class?

Here is just a quick, and albeit early, look art the potential Hall of Fame class for the 2016 season. After three pitchers, John Smoltz, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez got in along with second baseman Craig Biggio in 2015 we may see a little more offense in 2016.

The offensive candidates are led by none other than Ken Griffey Jr. who seems to be a shoe in for the Hall with no prior steroid allegations or suspicions. Following Griffey into the Hall is likely, and finally, Mets and Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza after falling short since the 2013 season. Tim Raines will be on the ballot once again along with Jeff Bagwell while newcomer Jim Edmonds joins the group.

The pitchers are not alone though as a couple notable closers of our generation join the discussion as Trevor Hoffman and Billy Wagner make their first runs at Cooperstown. Who will get in? It's a little early to tell but we may see another four, or even five, players elected once again in 2016 and I simply cannot wait.

TGP Daily Poll: The Yankees Are Done

I truly believe the team we see today is the team we will see on Opening Day 2015. The New York Yankees may add some depth signing but are done adding any major or significant pieces to the roster.

Vote in our poll!

Trenton Thunder Announce 2015 Field Staff

Thunder Announce 2015 Field Staff
Al Pedrique takes over for Tony Franklin in 2015

The Thunder, the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, announced on Thursday that Al Pedrique will manage the Thunder during the 2015 season. Pedrique is the ninth manager in Thunder history and the fourth to have managed in the Major Leagues.

Al Pedrique takes over for Tony Franklin who was the Thunder manager for eight seasons and led the team to three Eastern League Championships. Tony will remain in the New York Yankees organization.

Pedrique will be joined in the dugout by new additions to the Thunder staff, Pitching Coach Jose Rosado, Hitting Coach P.J. Pilittere, and Defensive Coach Michel Hernandez. Returning to the coaching staff is Athletic Trainer Lee Meyer who enters his second season with the Thunder and Orlando Crance, the Strength and Conditioning Coach, entering his third season with the team.

"The Thunder are excited for the 2015 season to begin with Al Pedrique leading the charge on the field," said Thunder General Manager Will Smith. "Al has an impressive coaching resume and we welcome him and all of our coaches to the Thunder this season."

Pedrique, a native of Venezuela, guided the Tampa Yankees to a 71-68 record in 2014 and led the RiverDogs to a 75-63 record in 2013 as manager. Before joining the Yankees organization in 2013, he served as a coach or manager in the Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals and Arizona Diamondbacks organizations over 16 years. He spent the 2010-12 seasons as the bench coach for the Houston Astros and also served as the third base coach for the Diamondbacks major league club in 2003 and 2004. He was named interim manager of the Diamondbacks for the second half of the 2004 season. Pedrique was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1978 and went on to play in parts of three seasons with the Mets (1987), Pirates (1987-88) and Tigers (1989).

New Thunder Pitching Coach Jose Rosado has spent the past four seasons as a pitching coach with the Gulf Coast Yankees. The Jersey City, NJ native played five seasons with the Kansas City Royals where he went 37-45 with a 4.25 ERA in 125 career games. Rosado was originally selected in the 12th round of the 1994 First-Year Player Draft.

P.J. Pilittere returns to the Thunder as the Hitting Coach after serving in the same role for Tampa and Charleston the previous two seasons. P.J. made his professional coaching debut in 2012 as a coach with the GCL Yankees. He was originally selected in the 13thround of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft by the Yankees and went on to play in 470 career minor league game where he hit .264 with 77 doubles, 16 HR, and 183 RBI. P.J. was a catcher for the Thunder during the 2007, 2008, and 2009 seasons where he helped the Thunder win their first two Eastern League Championships in '07 and '08.

Defensive Coach Michel Hernandez joins the Thunder after spending two seasons coaching with the Gulf Coast Yankees. Michel played in 45 games over three seasons in the majors with the Yankees in 2003 and Tampa Bay in 2008 and 2009. In 15 seasons in the minor leagues, he hit .257 with 137 doubles, 8 triples, 35 HR, and 340 RBI in 997 games with eight different organizations (Yankees, Philadelphia, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Cleveland).

Lee Meyer will return for his second season as the Thunder Athletic Trainer. Previously he spent two seasons with the Tampa Yankees. He also worked in the same role for one season with the Charleston RiverDogs and one season with the Staten Island Yankees.

Orlando Crance returns to Trenton for a third season as Strength and Conditioning Coach. He served in the same capacity for the Florida Marlins AA affiliate in Jacksonville, Florida in 2010 and previously for the Savannah Sand Gnats (Class A, Mets).

Brett Gardner, the Face of the New York Yankees

MLB Network with the use of Twitter asked the fans of the New York Yankees to vote for their face of the franchise and the results are in. The face of the pinstripes now belongs to Brett Gardner now that Derek Jeter has retired and will be in the running for the network's #FaceofMLB campaign. Congrats to Brett and good luck in the competition.

FYI David Wright of the New York Mets won it last year in case you were wondering.

This Day in New York Yankees History 1/9: Highlanders are Born

On this day in 1903 Baltimore's American League franchise is sold to Frank Farrell and Bill Devery for $18,000 and is moved to New York. The Manhattan team will be known as the New York Highlanders before being renamed the Yankees in 1913.